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Client-Centric Strategies for Success
with Cindy Leines

“What makes us a good fit for a client? Our core values,” says Cindy Leines, CEO of CEL Marketing PR Design. “Integrity, inclusion, collaboration, well-being, building relationships, and community.  These principles guide us in our pursuit of working for the greater good.”

Passionately Committed to the Betterment of Business family and community

As CEL Marketing PR Design celebrates its 35th anniversary, Cindy Leines attributes our long-term success to an unwavering commitment to our company mission. “We seldom call ourselves an agency or a firm because our long-term clients wouldn’t call us that. We are partners, friends, or colleagues. We have the pleasure of getting to know clients, building mutual trust and respect.”

According to Cindy, trust is built through active listening and interpreting client needs. “We consider ourselves to be in the business of human services. Getting to know our clients, their organizations, and their missions is an exciting challenge. Authenticity is paramount to us. Every aspect of our work is customized and personalized. If there ever comes a day when everything we do starts to look and feel the same, we will know we’ve lost our way.”

CEL services are tailored to meet the unique needs of each client. Offerings span from brand refreshes to complete branding overhauls, website migration, creation and optimization, marketing and content writing, social media and SEO expertise, digital advertising and marketing, to customized communications strategies and support, among others. All are based on building relationships and trust.

“How have things changed over the past 35 years?” laughs Cindy Leines. “Perhaps the better question is, how haven’t they?”

“When we first started, computers were just emerging. I still have the first Macintosh computer my husband brought home. Technology has transformed our industry for the better. Having research and data at our fingertips empowers our work. It enables us to collaborate more closely and efficiently with our clients. We have evolved over the years, adapting to new technologies and acquiring new expertise. But at our core, we remain storytellers, assisting organizations in connecting with their audience, both internally and externally. It’s not so much a change as it is an expansion of our founding principles.”

Building strong relationships with clients has always been a cornerstone of CEL’s values. “If you want to understand why clients keep coming back, just ask them! We believe it comes down to genuinely considering people’s best interests. We are not here to sell; we are here to honestly assess what people truly need.”

Cindy emphasizes the importance of looking at the bigger picture. “While a client may initially approach us for a new logo, the branding process often reveals valuable insights. Our MissionIgnitionTM branding process is designed to identify and communicate your true identity,” Cindy explains. “While a beautiful new logo is wonderful, how you convey your essence and how your clients perceive you is key. The branding process goes beyond stunning visuals; it showcases who you are and what you stand for.”

The strength of CEL’s marketing and design process lies in the diverse perspectives of CEL employees.  “We have team members with years of experience in business, K-12 education, and non-profits. We have interns who bring in fresh, youthful perspectives. Different life experiences and viewpoints only serve to strengthen us and help us relate better to our clients. Are we perfect? No. But we bring a variety of talents to the table and rely on one another to create a cohesive whole. If we don’t possess a particular skill, we likely know someone who can help us. Collaboration is the solution. I firmly believe that our intergenerational viewpoints enhance the quality of our work.”

Although striving for perfection is the goal, Cindy acknowledges that it is often a work in progress. “We work with organizations that may have struggled, failing to uphold their values or authenticity, but are eager to recover. How you address challenges is crucial. It’s tough work, but with honesty and transparency, you can bounce back. A client once told me that ‘It’s not when things are going well that you know who is a good partner; it’s when things don’t go well that you discover the true value of a relationship.’ I hold that advice close to my heart. If we make a mistake, we take responsibility for it. If a client makes a mistake, we support them and help them find a resolution. It is through continuous growth and learning that we all remain poised for an even brighter future.”

Keeping one eye on the future is important to Cindy Leines. “We anticipate continued growth, but we approach it strategically and thoughtfully. The future is uncertain, and we feel incredibly fortunate to have navigated our way through the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic while supporting our clients. I envision our future as a journey of growth, whether that involves new team members, partners, or acquiring new knowledge. What I can say for certain is that as long as we remain true to our values, believe in our competencies, and stay grounded in CEL’s founding principles, our exceptional work will continue. We can make a positive impact both for CEL and our clients. That’s what matters most to me.”

Published on: July 12, 2023