• CLIENT: National Aquarium
  • PROJECT DATE: Year-round


The National Aquarium is a nonprofit aquatic education and conservation organization whose mission is to inspire conservation of the world’s aquatic treasures. Located in Baltimore, Maryland, the National Aquarium has been a symbol of urban renewal, an economic anchor for the region and a source of pride for Marylanders for more than three decades.


In 2009, the National Aquarium sought a partner that could help the organization increase attendance, introduce the institution’s mission as a global voice for conservation, manage crisis communications, provide communications counsel on issues and opportunities, and coordinate a variety of special events. PROFILES has served as the Aquarium’s strategic communications partner since that time.


PROFILES has developed and implemented a comprehensive and broad-based public relations strategy to reach and influence a range of audiences including visitors, donors, community leaders, elected officials, like-minded partners and others. Specific outreach efforts have included: media visits to markets that draw visitors to the National Aquarium; announcements of leadership changes including the retirement of long-time Executive Director David Pittenger and hiring of current CEO, John Racanelli; introductions of new exhibits, programs and initiatives including Jellies Invasion, Blacktip Reef, Maryland Mornings, Fridays After Five and 48 Days of Blue; communications around the closing of the National Aquarium in Washington, D.C. and the introduction of the BLUEprint process; creation and implementation of crisis communication plans; launch of the National Aquarium Conservation Center; securing chefs for the Fresh Thoughts Sustainable Seafood Dining Series; promotion of National Aquarium events and offerings including Hallowmarine, Date Night and 4D movies; and publicity of mission-based stories such as animal births and rescues, advances in research in Sarasota Bay following the 2010 BP oil spill, the launch of the Aquarium’s sustainable seafood program.


PROFILES’ efforts on behalf of the National Aquarium have garnered hundreds of media opportunities and extensive coverage on Aquarium initiatives. The organization has seen attendance climb at special events, and during the traditionally slower winter months. PROFILES’ efforts have helped National Aquarium position itself as a leader in aquatic conservation both in Maryland and across the country.