I believe in hand-crafted, meaningful creative.
As the Founder and Creative Director of Say Hey There, an Omaha-based creative studio, I believe that the best way to market a organization, connect with potential advocates, and spread awareness is through a brand strategy focused on compelling content, community engagement, and special campaigns. I help clients harness the power behind all these factors working together to unleash authentic storytelling and rally community.
MY STORY BEGINS WITH A PEN.
My background is rooted in writing. As a high school student, I received awards for fictional stories and earned college credit for creative writing. I began my career as a marketing intern in a corporate setting, which gave me the opportunity to bring events and experiences to life. A writer at heart, I penned human interest stories and white papers as a feature writer and associate editor for a healthcare newsletter with a readership of 16,000+. Later, as the Internal Communications Coordinator, I created the corporate newsletter and developed strategies for improving communication and efficiency between departments.
Eager to enter the creative domain, I accepted a position as the lead Creative Writer at a branding agency, producing everything from engaging website copy to original video scripts. In addition, I advocated for and developed the social media program which quickly grew to be an essential part of the overall agency revenue stream. I then evolved into a role as Content Strategist, which better reflected my ability to direct creative and strategy on all things content-related and contribute to brand development from a leadership perspective.
With a natural eye for design and UX, in-depth knowledge of brand strategy, and desire to lead, I founded Say Hey There in the summer of 2014. As both a strategic leader and team collaborator, I enjoy orchestrating all of the creative arts together, including design, writing, video and more, to raise awareness and inspire action.
It's About Storytelling
Strategy and authenticity are essential when it comes to building the elements of a brand. My approach is to clarify the purpose, mission, and values of an organization, develop standards to be used consistently across all messaging, find modern, effective ways to tell its story with the world, and connect with people in a meaningful way.
Modern creative should be enjoyable. Clickable. Social. It should be relevant, authentic, simple, tell a story, and engage. I am passionate about content development and enjoy collaborating with organizations and marketing teams on promoting programs, initiatives, fundraisers and events, and special campaigns.
Web • Social • Video
I feel at home when daydreaming over an almond milk latte about online creative. I enjoy helping clients create a modern, user-friendly, compelling online presence via social media and beyond. My favorite tools are: Google Workspace, Canva, Gain, Asana, WordPress, the Adobe Suite, and MailChimp.
As a true INFJ, I enjoy self care, journaling, yoga and meditation, and curling up with a good book on a rainy day. I'm happiest when I'm surrounded my family: Herb (partner), Louis (son), and Liliana (daughter). We love to travel, broaden our horizons, and explore the great outdoors!
When I first met with Mikala, she knew exactly what we needed to bring our brand to life. She asked questions that drove to our company’s essence and message—what we wanted to share with the world—and crafted our brand from there. Mikala and her team at Say Hey There created our online presence and streamlined our communication process with clients and amongst our staff, and helped us present our story and our services consistently across platforms. We simply could not be more pleased with our decision to partner with Say Hey There in making our brand a reality.
It has been wonderful to partner directly with Mikala for over five years! She always stays up-to-date on the current treads, presents innovative and creative ways to keep costs within budget, and assists with strategic planning that allows continued growth. Her marketing, branding, and design skills allow her to easily assist with any needs that may arise. Mikala’s hard work ethic, high integrity, and desire to always do what is right, make her an extremely reliable and valuable asset to our organization. Over time, Mikala has helped grow our social media presence and general brand awareness through her support of our internal marketing team. It’s been my pleasure to partner with Say Hey There over the years and work directly with Mikala on a variety of long-term and one-time projects. She brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to our organization. I would recommend Say Hey There to any business seeking outstanding marketing and branding assistance.
Mikala manages all of our marketing projects, social media content/campaigns, sponsorship fulfillment, fundraising campaigns, and website updates. No project is too big for her to take on and she was exceptional in prioritizing time, projects and resources to accomplish our goals. Mikala's design work is amazing and everything that she produced for the HCF is exceptional. If you are looking for someone who is organized, professional, and a joy to work; then you need to hire Mikala Harden and Say Hey There."
Outstanding work from the whole team! Everything from social media campaigns, brand development and design strategy, web, content creation, and so much more. Coming from nonprofit organizations, marketing and communication is vital to our success, and Say Hey There has been the perfect partner for us.
EDUCATION & COMMUNITY LEADERSHIP
BA IN LEADERSHIP, BELLEVUE UNIVERSITY
Today’s organizations seek people who are confident leaders and can successfully apply effective leadership practices to achieve results. Graduates of Bellevue University's Bachelor's degree in Leadership Program can effectively lead people and handle leadership challenges in a variety of interpersonal, group, and organizational settings.
PROFESSIONAL SPEAKING & EVENTS
Mikala has participated in panels about branding, storytelling, and entrepreneurship at events hosted by the Omaha chapters of IABC (International Association of Business Communicators) and AAF (American Advertising Federation), and has been featured in the Omaha Chamber’s We Don't Coast blog.
ARTS & MUSIC
In her spare time, Mikala enjoys supporting the arts. She is a past president and longtime board member of the Omaha Entertainment and Arts Awards, and remains involved to this day as the website sponsor. As a music journalist, she has been supportive of Omaha’s hip hop scene since 2013 through a longtime blog and having work published in The Reader. Mikala also enjoys volunteering for community events.
Mikala has volunteered for and/or donated in-kind services to the following causes or events: the First Responders Foundation, Wear Yellow Nebraska, Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo, Student Celebration Day, MAHA, and the Heartland Cancer Foundation.
"Dare to declare who you are. It is not far from the shores of silence to the boundaries of speech. The path is not long, but the way is deep. You must not only walk there, you must be prepared to leap."