Promoting Economic 


Public Relations



Strategic Services

Programs and campaigns that target EARNED MEDIA, SHARED MEDIA and OWNED MEDIA, across digital, print and broadcast platforms.
Our services are available
in any global market, in
any language.

The Underpinned team uses a research based and data-led approach to develop digital marketing strategies and programs for our clients. 
Our pixel campaigns and strategies are designed to drive leads, develop brands, shape perceptions and build reputations for the countries, states, cities, and regions we work with. 

The Underpinned team has developed conferences and events for groups from 20 to 2,500 people, for clients ranging from national government agencies to cities.  We can develop events for your community in any global market, managing them
turn-key or to your specifications.  

Underpinned's experienced team provides valuable counsel and strategic services to a number of countries, states and cities. From crisis management, to marketing and organizational strategy, we offer depth of thinking and perspective to help you address your mission critical issues and challenges.   

We are economy builders

Underpinned works with countries, states, cities and regions to attract inward investment that creates jobs and contributes to a robust tax base. We are passionate about creating opportunities for people, and an equitable quality of life in the communities we work with. 

We have a passion for improving

economies and improving people’s lives. 


What makes us different

Every one of our employees has worked on your side of the desk, in economic development. What truly sets us apart is our understanding of the corporate investment decision chain and process. We know how companies evaluate locations for new operations.  Our deep understanding of what drives and motivates location decisions and knowing how and where to intercept the decision makers, is what makes us different.

We are experienced economic developers.

The work we do

Underpinned works with countries, cities and regions as they face their economic challenges. Our work promotes the economic assets and competitive advantages they have. We combine smart people and deep expertise, with data and analytics to develop actionable marketing and communication strategies that drive inward investment. Our area of expertise is in direct investment and foreign direct investment. 

We connect communities to companies.


Economic Development isn’t only about changing and improving economies, it is about changing and improving people’s lives. 

We apply intelligence
and insight

In economic development marketing and public relations, the objective is to INFORM, INSPIRE and INFLUENCE corporate decision makers to invest. Our process combines research and a data-led approach with intelligence and insight. We work across all communication channels, from pixel to print and everything in between, to ensure that our work is a leading force in driving companies to set up operations in our clients’ communities.

Information and insight are a powerful combination.   


Public Relations

Media Relations for Investment Attraction

Media Relations for BRE

Ranking Programs

Media Tours

Sector Specific Media Relations

Inbound Press Familiarization Tours

*Aerospace Practice



Social Media Marketing

Influencer Programs

Paid Advertising

Data Analytics and Data Strategies

Direct Marketing

LinkedIn Strategies

Community Building



Custom Events

Training for Economic Developers

Trade Show Logistics

& Participation Management


Strategic Services

Grant Writing

Marketing Strategy

Organizational Business Planning

Sector Marketing & Propositions

BRE Programs

Managing Metrics & Reporting


Do fewer things and do them

exceptionally well.


Shirar O'Connor - Founding Advisor

Shirar has been in economic development, specializing in direct investment and foreign direct investment for nearly 29 years, working on both sides of the desk, for government agencies and as a consultant. Her expertise is in providing government-to-business, economic development services in public relations and marketing.   


Sandy Pratt - President

Sandy has been in economic development for 31 years working at local, regional and state levels. Her expertise is in global business attraction, business retention and expansion, strategy, and economic development support services in marketing and public relations. Sandy is knowledgeable in numerous industry sectors including aerospace, defense, corporate services, energy, bioscience, healthcare, advanced manufacturing,



“Shirar and the Underpinned team are some of the most experienced and successful economic development professionals you’ll find anywhere.  Their understanding of foreign direct investment and global commerce, combined with their marketing and public relations expertise, make them a powerful resource for any economic development organization.”

Don Pierson

Secretary of Louisiana Economic Development

“I have had the pleasure of being both a colleague and client to Shirar O’Connor.  She and her team at Underpinned are seasoned economic development professionals who can provide valuable support to destinations in need of marketing and communication expertise. Underpinned operates effortlessly in both the U.S. and international markets. Shirar’s acumen and experience in investment promotion run deep and I cannot recommend her highly enough.”

Gordon Innes

Bloomberg Associates Economic Development

"The Underpinned team supports the Thailand Board of Investment's New York Office with marketing and public relations activities. We are very pleased with the professionalism of the team, their responsiveness and the collaborative way in which they work."

Vorawan Norasucha 

Director, Thailand Board of Investment, New York Office


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