About Us

212 Communications is a rapidly growing public relations, strategic communications and crisis communications firm launched in 2013. 212 stands for 212 degrees, the boiling point of water. The name matches its strategists’ approach, enthusiasm and energy they bring to their work. 212 turns up the heat!

212’s strategists work with businesses, non-profits, government organizations and individuals looking to build their brands and reputations through the generation of positive media and storytelling. The firm also specializes in connecting and bridging gaps between corporations planning large developments and neighboring communities, and representing corporations, trade associations, government, investors and individuals in crisis situations. 212 works with clients in industries ranging from technology, finance, government, banking and real estate development, to consumer products, nonprofits and environment.

In short, we are Builders. Connectors. Navigators.

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212 Communications helps companies build their business by enhancing their image, status and reputation; connect with communities, the media and those with a common interest; and navigate crises, the media and the intimidating world of social media.

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212 is certified in the Baltimore City market area as a Women’s Business Enterprise.
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Our Story

In 2013, Erica Mechlinski launched 212 Communications, a boutique, women-owned strategic communications firm based in Baltimore.

A former executive at Weber Shandwick, one of the largest public relations firms in the world, Erica believed she could deliver big-agency public relations expertise, strategy and know-how to small and mid-sized companies in the Baltimore/Washington region. She quickly realized her skills – strategic communications and unmatched organizational talents that help communications teams operate more efficiently – were in high demand.

In 2015, Erica’s Weber colleague, Bill Atkinson, joined 212 Communications. A former business and investigative reporter for 20 years, Bill spent a career covering businesses in crisis as a journalist, and now helps companies navigate the choppy waters. He understands the media, thinks strategically, relishes research and investigative work, and isn’t afraid to challenge the media when they are wrong.

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  • 211 degrees can serve a purpose but 212 is the extra degree - the extra degree that will bring exponential results.

    Sam Parker & Mac Anderson

Meet the Team

Erica Mechlinski

Erica brings 15 years of strategic public relations and marketing communications experience to her clients. She launched 212 Communications in 2013 to serve businesses focused on growth and brand recognition in the Baltimore area. For nearly seven years, Erica worked at Weber Shandwick and led environmental public affairs and community programming initiatives in Baltimore for a Fortune 100 company. She also served as a strategic public relations partner for the company’s corporate social responsibility initiative, implementing educational and humanitarian programs that have launched globally. Erica is a 2015 graduate of The LEADERship, a program of the Greater Baltimore Committee. She also sits on the LEADERship Schools advisory team and serves on the marketing committees for GBC LEADERship and The Living Classrooms Foundation. In 2018, Erica was named a Leading Woman by The Daily Record.

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Bill Atkinson

Bill, a former business columnist and reporter at the Baltimore Sun, became a partner in 212 Communications after 10 years at Weber Shandwick, a global public relations firm based in New York, where he specialized in strategic communications, crisis communications and media relations. While at Weber Shandwick, Bill led the firm’s environmental public relations practice in Baltimore and worked with clients that included Constellation Energy, General Motors, Bank of America, Promontory Financial Group and 1st Mariner Bank. His areas of expertise include financial institutions, energy, environmental and manufacturing, real estate and development. Bill serves on the boards of Junior Achievement of Central Maryland and Banner Neighborhoods. He is also a member and former Baltimore chapter president of Toastmasters.

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Emily Atkinson
As director, Emily is responsible for working with an array of clients, helping them develop long-term public relations strategies that will build reputations, brands and businesses. She also assists clients with the execution of crisis communication plans. Emily began working at 212 Communications in 2014 as an intern. She is a graduate of the University of Mary Washington with a B.A. in English. Emily was a member of the University’s lacrosse team and was selected to attend the University of Mary Washington Leadership Academy. She was also a member of the Student Athletic Advisory Committee, where she spearheaded the creation of a tutoring program for student-athletes and orchestrated community outreach events for the school’s Athletic Department. Emily served as the volunteer assistant lacrosse coach for Goucher College in 2015.
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Elysia McEwen
Elysia brings more than a decade of strategic public relations and social media experience to clients. She specializes in marketing, media relations and online reputation management. Prior to joining 212 in 2018, Elysia served as the Director of Public Relations for Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts. Elysia graduated with honors from Lynn University with a B.A. in Communications. Locally, she helps to drive support through public relations for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Maryland Chapter.
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Marla Clendenin
Senior Account Executive
As a senior account executive, Marla assists the firm’s strategists to develop and implement communications strategies for clients. Prior to joining 212 in 2017, Marla worked for Kate Spade & Company, where she helped to position the brand’s identity in the media, as well as visualize and design a new store location that encouraged consumers to interact directly with product lines. Marla is a graduate of Loyola University Maryland with a B.A. in Public Relations/Advertising. She served as lead manager for the University’s Office of Annual Giving, where she created interactive campaigns to increase student philanthropy on campus.
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Will Atkinson
Account Executive
As an Account Executive, Will is responsible for supporting the 212 team by writing press releases, assembling media lists, and tracking client coverage in newspapers, blogs and electronic media. He also supports the team on various marketing engagements in Baltimore and other cities. Will began working for 212 Communications in 2016 as an intern. He is a recent graduate of the University of Mary Washington with a B.A. in English. While at Mary Washington, Will wrote for the University’s newspaper, The Blue and Gray Press, and uses those skills to benefit the 212 team. In addition to his college experience, Will was an active volunteer at Habitat for Humanity in Fredericksburg, Va.
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  • When the water starts boiling, it is foolish to turn off the heat.

    — Nelson Mandela —

Client News

Our clients #turnuptheheat!


$160M Merger to Create Largest Baltimore-Based Bank
40 years of Kettler: How a development icon changed with the times
Howard Bank Founder and CEO Mary Ann Scully Named Entrepreneur Of The Year by Ernst & Young
Holly Poultry expands in Baltimore, adding jobs for those who can 'cut it'
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