Veteran PR Expert Tiffany Sondergaard Expands Services, Supports Lehigh Valley Businesses – Interview By: Victoria Durgin

Interview By: Victoria Durgin

August is designated “National Black Business Month” and one Black business owner in the Lehigh Valley has provided public relations (PR), event marketing and other services throughout the Lehigh Valley for nearly two decades.

Tiffany Sondergaard is the founder of –ts Brand Elevation, a business that recently rebranded to better serve clients through PR initiatives, media campaigns, event marketing and talent representation.

She was named an Influential Woman of the Valley in 2022 by Lehigh Valley Style magazine and elevates the brands of many area businesses, leaders and local talent with both her professional expertise and also her dedication to giving back.

Before her now 18 years in Bethlehem, she built a career in New York City with clients ranging from Bath and Body Works to Reebok to authors on the New York Times bestsellers’ list.

“I started my career booking satellite radio tours for authors, and eventually worked my way to landing one of those authors a spot on the Oprah Winfrey Show. From there, I worked on a lot of product launches with all kinds of brands in the lifestyle place,” Sondergaard said. “It was a wonderful way to build a career, and I loved all of it. But then I fell in love, got married and we decided to move out of the city.”

Sondergaard moved to the Lehigh Valley with her husband intent on continuing her extensive career. When she arrived, though, she found the PR job market hyperfocused on work with the medical companies that called the Lehigh Valley home. Her first local work would be with Fegley’s Brew Works, which had recently opened in Allentown.

“I’ll never forget that Fegley’s was my first job here (in the Lehigh Valley), and it taught me a lot about event planning that tied in nicely to my own background with product launching in New York. It was a wonderful opportunity that developed a lot for me.”

Her event planning success with Fegley’s paired well with her background in traditional media relations, Sondergaard found, as she continued to work with area businesses. In 2019 she took the leap and opened her own business to tie that event experience with her skills in traditional PR and media relations.

“I began to really reconnect with all the work I did in New York and see how I could offer a grouping of services not just in event planning but also in promoting, along with all of the PR work and the leadership representation I could also provide,” Sondergaard explained.

Sondergaard, like virtually everyone, found herself pivoting quickly when the COVID-19 pandemic hit. She turned to providing services in planning, promoting and executing virtual events for many of the local businesses with which she had built relationships.

“Who didn’t have to pivot during that time, right?” Sondergaard said with a laugh. “But it ended up beginning a rebrand right under my nose, and the recent relaunch I did is really the result of finding work I enjoyed and felt I could provide at a really high standard during COVID.”

Now, –ts Brand Elevation is focused on utilizing Sondergaard’s expertise to increase the brand management and visibility of organizations and individuals throughout the Lehigh Valley. When she isn’t ensuring the success of her clients or building her team, Sondergaard also serves on the boards of several local organizations. Her involvement with organizations includes Bethlehem-based Bloom for Women (a shelter and related programs created to support women survivors of human trafficking and sexual exploitation), the Lehigh Valley chapter of the nonprofit Business Women Networking Involving Charity and Education and experience with the Lower Saucon/Hellertown Chamber of Commerce.

“My mom always told me that if you could help, then you did help. She instilled in me the importance of sharing and giving, and I carry that every day.”

As noted above, August is National Black Business Month, and Sondergaard hopes her success will show other Black entrepreneurs, and especially Black women, that Black businesses can and do succeed with diverse clientele and audiences.

“I honestly didn’t think much about being a Black business owner in particular until last year, and I realized that I felt I existed in a space of what I call ‘non-color’ for a long time. I was working with and for people of all groups and then I saw that not everyone had that chance,” Sondergaard said. “I strongly support Black businesses of course, but I want every business owner, especially Black women, to know that they should not feel limited to only serving the Black community. We all should pursue as wide of an audience as we want.”

Sondergaard is now gearing up for a busy fall that will lay the foundation for work in 2024. She is expanding –ts Brand Elevation to include operations on the West Coast, where Sondergaard will take on clients in entertainment as well as authors. She remains committed to the Lehigh Valley and plans on exciting opportunities, including bicoastal tours for local talent, for her local clients as she expands.

“Who doesn’t love the idea of expanding to the West Coast? That said, I still love the Lehigh Valley and I always will. I will be just as dedicated to the talent and businesses I support here as we start to grow.”

After nearly two decades in Bethlehem, where she lives with her husband and three children. Sondergaard has developed deep ties with the local community.

“I love our arts and entertainment culture here, and I love that our community is always ready to help others in need. It’s been a great place to live and I’m excited to keep working with my clients and groups in the area.”