two-women_mall_web.jpgWEST PALM BEACH — When the new Palm Beach Outlets opened in West Palm Beach recently, one local firm could have been happier. The Mosaic Group, a black-owned public relations, marketing and events management firm, landed a contract with the mall developer, New England Development Corp. and played a role in the development stage of the $200 million project. 

The Mosaic Group, owned by Ann Marie Sorrell and Sophia Nelson, was contracted to provide the pre-opening marketing, publicity, community relations and job fair services for the mall which is expected to have a $319 million economic impact on the area.
It is Palm Beach County’s first outlet center and replaces the defunct Palm Beach Mall which was built in 1967.

The 500,000-square-feet outlet mall is the only one within 55 miles and sits on an 80-acre property on real estate just off Interstate 95 and is visible from the highway and Palm Beach Lakes Boulevard, a major thoroughfare.

Its 100 or so stores include upscale retailers such as Saks Fifth Avenue OFF 5th, J. Crew, White House/Black Market, Kenneth Cole, Ann Taylor Factory Store and Banana Republic Factory Store.

Stores coming during the second phase in the fall will include Nordstrom Rack, Sports Authority, Whole Foods Market and T.J. Maxx.

The pre-construction marketing contract was the largest and most lucrative for the nine-year-old Mosaic Group.

“It’s been a great opportunity for us,” said Sorrell, president and CEO. “It certainly has raised our profile.” Sorrell said their firm was recommended to New England Development and Thomas Carabine, president of Carabine and Associates Inc., interviewed her and Nelson.

“I was looking for a public relations firm to help me set up our first job fair in connection with the Palm Beach Outlets in West Palm Beach,” Carabine said. “I wanted to announce the job fair and target local firms to participate in construction of the project.”

He said he interviewed two firms before selecting Mosaic Group “based on their stated approach to the task which was wide-reaching.”

The company was also given additional work, he said.  “Mosaic was contracted to get the word out about our upcoming job fair, and to manage the fair itself, and to establish and maintain an interactive data base of fair attendees and of those applying by Internet,” Carabine said. “Based on the good success of the first job fair, Mosaic was retained for subsequent job fairs, each with a different target. They then coordinated ground-breaking activities for us.”

Sorrell said her company also organized outreach for small business participation and for three sub-contractors workshops that attracted more than 400 attendees.

The firm was so successful coordinating and publicizing the job fair that more than 5,000 job-seekers showed up. The mall is expected to hire some 1,500 workers.

“The people we worked with have a heart for the community and we hope they consider us for future projects and will continue to have a community impact,” Sorrell said.

Sorrell and Nelson launched Mosaic Group in 2005. According to the company’s profile: “Our clients include non-profit agencies, private and public corporations, government agencies and small [to] medium-size enterprises. These organizations are typically interested in reaching diverse demographics, product or service differentiation; increasing visibility in the community through strategic community partnerships, publicity and media relations; and developing mass marketing opportunities through advertising, promotions and special events,” Clients have included ABC-TV’s Extreme Makeover Home Edition, for which it coordinated all facets of building a five-bedroom modern home in 4.5 days, coordinating the activities of more than 10,000 residents who joined and supported the effort.

Other clients have included FAMU/Florida Department of Transportation, South Florida Water Management District, Florida Department of Environmental

Protection and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Palm Beach County.  “We serve our clients with a unique approach of combining traditional marketing, advertising and public relations with new media, grassroots community outreach and advanced technology,” a company promotional brochure says.

The document adds, “One of our key capabilities is cultural competency. Mosaic staffers include a cross-section of people and languages from the Caribbean and Latin America.  From Jamaican Patois to Haitian Creole and from Reggae to Salsa, we are the ambassadors of marketing and public relations that reach into multicultural communities.”