Winger Marketing creates and implements custom integrated marketing action plans (iMAP™) to help organizations share their story and develop business.

Winger Marketing uses three primary strategies:

  1. Thought Leadership Positioning
  2. Increasing Target Audience Awareness
  3. Creating Engagement Opportunities

We do this with five primary tools:

  1. Public Relations
  2. Content Marketing
  3. Social Media
  4. Advertising
  5. Email Marketing

We love to tell stories, influence opinions and help individuals, businesses, and non-profits succeed.

Our Story

Sherry Winger & Karolyn Raphael

Sherry Winger & Karolyn Raphael

Founded as Winger and Associates by Sherry Winger in 1986, the story of our agency actually starts with Hugh Hefner. The roots of the business were actually planted during the heyday of Playboy in Chicago. Sherry Winger was head of marketing and PR for Playboy Hotels, and her expansive network of individuals in business and entertainment served her well when Playboy decided to start selling its hotel properties. Sherry’s expertise quickly and seamlessly translated to her own boutique PR and special events firm. The agency serviced hospitality, restaurants, and luxury fashion boutiques.

In the mid-nineties,  Sherry’s husband Doug joined the firm. His military and banking background attracted a variety of new businesses. Doug Winger was also a passionate antiques collector and relished the opportunity to bring on antiques shows and international dealers as clients.  As the years went on, our exceptional work in PR and special events gained the admiration of many key journalists in Chicago, who then generated a stream of recommendations for the firm.

Soon, Winger was working with major hospitals, law firms, non-profits, and international expositions. Karolyn Raphael joined the firm in 1997 and became Vice-president in 2004. In 2006, Karolyn became President and Owner after she and her husband, Lance, purchased the company from Sherry and Doug Winger.

With more than 20 years of PR, marketing communications, and media experience, Karolyn continues to lead Winger Marketing and has expanded its services and offerings. The firm has grown from a boutique PR firm into a full-service marketing agency with in-house graphic design.

Our expertise includes public relations, public relations training, media relations, media buying, advertising, social media marketing, search engine optimization, thought leadership development, promotion of special events and the development of marketing collateral. The agency’s passion has remained the same over the years, despite the changing economy and media landscape. We share our clients’ stories. Helping businesses grow by sharing their stories of success and passion through an integrated marketing approach is the bread and butter of Winger Marketing.

The marketing agency with offices in Chicago and on the North Shore,  represents both middle-market companies and small businesses in industries ranging from art and real estate to health care, legal, and associations. Our own story continues to evolve and grow as we help clients adapt to social media, content marketing, and the value of search engine optimization.

Our Team

Karolyn Raphael
Karolyn RaphaelPresident
With nearly 20 years of media and communications experience, Karolyn Raphael has taken clients from near-obscurity to recognition on a national level. Her work in strategy, media placements, PR training, and digital marketing includes business-to-business consulting firms, nationally-ranked healthcare systems, trade associations, law firms, art shows and non-profit organizations. She’s created city-wide awareness campaigns and landed stand-out media placements in national and local news outlets. Karolyn also knows the lyrics to almost any musical created before 1990 and she can still do a double pirouette.
Taylor Clark-Stilianos
Taylor Clark-StilianosLead Graphic Designer
As lead designer, Taylor transforms static information into thoughtful and impactful visual solutions for our clients. Taylor’s niche is in design, but combined with her strategic account experience, she is able to push the creative and strategy in order to help our clients address their challenges head-on while staying relevant and visible in the communities they serve. When Taylor isn’t designing you can find her at a local coffee shop, hunting for treasures at estate sales, eating tacos, cuddling with her dog, Cash, or traveling the world.
Alena Cloud
Alena CloudAccount Director
Alena is a strategic marketer with over 25 years of experience in marketing professional services on a local, national and global scale. Her primary focus is on streamlining marketing activities to improve efficiency and ROI, combined with a passion for utilizing technology to enhance marketing efforts. Outside of work just don’t ask her to do a cartwheel, she will never figure it out.
Emily Girolamo
Emily GirolamoMarketing Strategist
An expert at bringing together the art and science of digital marketing, Emily has delivered successful sales in the hundreds of millions. She creates thoughtful user experiences for real-world solutions and designs user interfaces that are efficient and intuitive. Emily is a marketing strategist who builds innovative and customized ways for brands to command attention and premium pricing. With expansive experience in branding, holistic marketing, corporate communication, search management, conceptual design and user experience and interface design, she creates thoughtful user experiences that delight customers along their journeys. When not working, Emily enjoys impromptu dance parties with her kids, scuba diving and traveling.
Christine Rosko
Christine RoskoPublicist
Christine Rosko is an independent public relations consultant with more than a decade of experience. She has provided public relations, marketing, content creation, and event management to a variety of industries including hospitality, food & beverage, health & wellness, luxury, entertainment, non-profit, and more. As a result of her pitch efforts, Chrsitine has secured media placements in national and local publications including Block Club Chicago, Chicago Tribune, Midwest Living, Modern Luxury CS, The Kitchn, Time Out, USA Today’s 10Best, Wall Street Journal – Off Duty, and more. In her time off, Christine loves to travel to both new and familiar destinations and curl up with a great book.
Chloe Kiser
Chloe KiserMarketing Assistant
Chloe can be counted on to take a strong hold on a project once it has begun. She thrives on taking bits and pieces of marketing and strategy tactics and creating a powerful result for the client. Chloe is a graduate of Manchester University (North Manchester, IN) where she obtained her BS in Business Management. When Chloe is not working, she dreams of Hilton Head Island (her former home) and enjoys visiting beaches and parks with her husband and 1-year old son.
Marcy Manning
Marcy ManningMedia Maven
Marcy is a media relations expert with 30 years+ of experience. She has designed, implemented, and orchestrated communication projects that have generated increased revenues and awareness for businesses and communities. She has been instrumental in landing clients for guest appearances on Good Morning America, Nightline, CNN, and numerous local television and radio programs. Clients large and small have graced the pages of The Wall Street Journal and USA Today, business sections of leading newspapers and magazines from coast-to-coast, and have regularly been featured in such publications as Business Week, Inc., Entrepreneur, Investor’s Daily and others.

Winger Marketing’s Core Values

  • Deliver inspired PR and marketing results that advance your business goals – on time and within budget.
  • Define and promote compelling and cohesive messages that amplify your business.
  • Generate and guide all relevant and measurable communication initiatives from start to finish.
  • Create opportunities for consistent and positive promotion of your company.
  • Continuously challenge ourselves to be educated on cutting edge marketing strategies and tactics that produce results.
  • Operate as a collaborative extension of your business.
  • Create long-term relationships with our clients and the media.

Winger Marketing is not a smoke and mirrors PR firm. The value we bring to our client’s aligns with our agency’s overall core values. Tell the truth, be creative, collaborate with team members, observe and consider data, listen to your gut. Finally, deliver inspired results.

We believe that business is about more than selling widgets, its how you share your gifts, your vision and your story.

We maintain a creative and flexible work environment that empowers all of our employees to do their best work and exceed the expectations of our clients. By providing an opportunity for professionals at various stages of their life and career to work and deliver inspired results, we serve the higher needs of both clients and employees.

Winger Marketing is the smart agency. We are not the biggest agency and we aren’t the slickest. But, what we sell is what you get. Our work product is thoughtful, smart and designed to drive results and empower your business to grow.