From Acorn to Mighty Oak

Graf-Martin Communications celebrates 10 years of growing great ideas

WATERLOO, ON – October 30, 2018 — What does it take to build a business that beats the odds? With Canadian statistics revealing that only 16 per cent of small to medium-sized enterprises are owned by women, alongside discouraging rates of new business failure by the fifth year, Founder and President Ellen Graf-Martin knew she wanted to do things differently when she set out to launch her own business ten years ago.

For Graf-Martin, this meant being committed to building a different kind of agency – the kind she wanted to work at with a high value placed on work-life balance, growth opportunities for team members, and an emphasis on excellence and honesty. Birthed out of job loss at the bottom of the recession, it was a risk she thought was worth taking. With a desire to connect people from coast-to-coast with life-changing messaging and resources, it is clear Graf-Martin had a unique purpose from day one. Today, Graf-Martin Communications is a Canadian publicity and marketing leader engaging faith audiences, serving publishers, filmmakers, non-profit organizations and values-based businesses. While the growth has been remarkable, and a lot has changed over ten years, the core of the business remains the same.

“Marketing has a bad reputation with many people, especially those working in faith-based or non-profit organizations,” says Graf-Martin. “I wanted to change that perception, demonstrating high integrity, and how good marketing can make a positive impact.” Commitments to client-focused work, good stewardship, investing in people and social responsibility underscore the distinctive core values at the heart of the agency: be humble, be honest, be smart, be skilled, be kind and stay hungry.

“We love coming alongside our clients to find the oak within the acorn; to help their great ideas grow in ways that fit them well,” said Graf-Martin, Founder and President, Graf-Martin Communications. “This means we are continually building new tools and finding new models that work to serve the needs of our clients, rather than trying to fit them into a pre-determined marketing mold.”

Notably, the Graf-Martin Communications team is marked by a posture of continual learning, modeled after their Founder. Mentoring, both informally and formally, is encouraged and has always been a hallmark of the organization. As Graf-Martin recalls, “When I first started, I knew I had so much to learn. I still do. Now, I get to invest in others the way great people invested in me.” The result is a talented, passionate team who demonstrate the heart the agency started with: relentless optimism, keen insight, reliable expertise, genuine connections with Canadian Christian audiences and a commitment to the Church, ministry and effective partnership.

To mark their 10th anniversary, the Graf-Martin Communications team is choosing to give back, with each team member selecting a Canadian charity to receive a gift in their honour. For a team built on a strong foundation of building others up, it is an appropriate way to celebrate, by doing just that.

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Download Graf-Martin Communications’ 10-year anniversary logo here.


About Graf-Martin Communications

Graf-Martin CommunicationsFounded in 2008, Graf-Martin Communications Inc. is the leading public relations and marketing agency serving Christian audiences across Canada. With decades of combined experience, our expert creative team has earned a reputation for reliably excellent work, and our clients have included the world’s top Christian publishers, film companies serving Christian audiences and a number of Canada’s largest Christian charities.

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About Ellen Graf-Martin

Ellen Graf-MartinAs the Founder & President of Graf-Martin Communications, Ellen Graf-Martin brings years of experience in marketing, publicity and business development along with ministry and non-profit organization involvement. This experience has served Graf-Martin Communications’ growing list of values-based clients well, providing them with reliably excellent, high-impact, high-value integrating marketing, branding and publicity campaigns.

With a passion for helping values-based organizations tell their stories well, Ellen has served and continues to serve a variety of roles as a marketing strategist, certified branding expert, and resource consultant for several national and international non-profit organizations including Compassion Canada, World Vision Canada, The Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada, Bible League Canada and The Navigators of Canada. Additionally, Ellen has initiated and developed successful branding, marketing communications and promotions strategies for numerous bestselling, top-level authors, film companies and publishing brands.

To learn more about Ellen, visit

Media Contact: Paola Theaker; or 519-342-3703 x 108