• Member spotlight: Julie Dennehey

    In Membership, News & Publications on

    Q: You’re a Framingham native, where your business is located and you have a number of  local/MetroWest clients. How does the hometown aspect factor into the success of your business? 
    A: Yes, I’m a Framingham native. I moved back into my old neighborhood and I am thrilled to be close to friends who knew me when my hair was much bigger. Although few of my current clients are MetroWest based, I have always enjoyed a healthy mix of local, regional and national projects to keep my media connections as fresh as my event resources. Right now, I’m pleased to be helping T.C. Scoops ice cream shop re-open and re-energize their brand at a new Holliston location after a decade in Medway, and I couldn’t be more pleased to give the “scoop” to the Boston Globe, who recently published a feature story on owner Tina Chemini. My love for Framingham is strong and hope to contribute as much as I did in Medway, where I served on many boards and was a community leader for 28 years.

    Q:  Talk to us about the top three aspects of effective storytelling? 
    A: I teach my students at Boston University exactly what I counsel my clients: creative, strategic and powerful storytelling is the most important tool in public relations today – a device as old as ancient peoples sharing information around a fire before the innovation of written history. I’d surmise the top three aspects of effective storytelling today to be: simple and sticky” messages, an earned credibility by the storyteller, and creative and emotional appeals that both capture attention and prove to help the listener retain information longer.

    Q: You’ve been leading Dennehy Public Relations for over 25 years with a broad range of clients- small business, non-profits and chains such as 7-11 and Macy’s. What makes a good client/agency fit, in your view?
    A: Founded in 1996, Dennehy Public Relations have been connecting great brand with consumers for more than 25 years with three core values: authentic connections, solid counsel, and clear, creative communications. Those organizations and brands who believe in those same core values with a healthy side dish of mutual respect and admiration always seem to make the best fit for my boutique agency.

    Q: What do you do with your free time? 
    A: I love my free time when I can capture it! I read, walk, Zumba, go to the theater, see live music, play with my dog, dabble in art, kayak on the lake, volunteer, travel to our Charleston home, and mostly just spend quiet time with friends and family. As an empty nester with two great adult children, I’m re-learning what free time is and its value. I love to be busy, but I’m learning that a good life is best enjoyed in the quiet spaces between the noise of distractions and to-do list items.

  • communication-evolution

    Chapter leadership for 2023

    In Membership, News & Publications on

    The Boston PRSA leadership slate presented by the nominating committee for 2023 to the chapter membership. These members will be voted into their positions at the chapter’s annual meeting on December 7, 2022.

    Board of Directors:

    President (& Chapter PRSA Delegate) – Kelly McFalls

    President-Elect – open

    Immediate Past President – Doug Haslam

    Treasurer – Michele Snyder

    Secretary – Eric Berman

    Membership Chair – Kristin Foley

    Programming  – Regan Schiappa

    Diversity Chair – Jamie McIver

    Director-at-large – Josh Gitelson

    Director-at-large – Karyn Martin

    Director-at-large – Jonathan Pappas

    Leadership Team:

    Social Media and Content Chair – Jamie McIver

    Young Professional Network – Regan Schiappa

    Diane Davis Beacon Award – Josh Gitelson

    Faculty Forum – Todd Van Hoosear

    PRSSA Liaison – open




  • How to Attract the Best Young Professionals by Annika Sison

    In Career, Membership on

    It’s that time of the year again – GRADUATION. A big, swirling pot of emotions, brimming with hope, nostalgia, reminiscences, excitement, and drum roll, please – job hunting.

    For many outgoing seniors, this last point is a rollercoaster ride. Companies can make the daunting trip a little smoother by offering young professionals a variety of benefits. To discover what exactly these benefits are, I went to a potent source of information – members of the Boston College Class of 2019. Luckily, my bright, job-ready friends were eager to share with me what workplace offerings stand out to them.

    Employers, listen up!

    Internally, there are two major elements that young professionals look for in potential jobs: ethical environments and meaningful assignments. These people want to know that they will be working for an organization that does the “right” thing in their eyes, resounding with their inner moral compass. Moreover, they hope that the work they will be doing will actually be contributing to company growth, allowing them to sharpen their skills and creativity.

    If an employee works in a non-unionized workplace and wants to try to unionize, the employee may well want to consult an employment lawyer. An employment lawyer from HKM can help by advising employees about their right to form a union and the activities in which they can engage in connection with that effort.

    An enormously important part of this internal work environment is coworkers; they have the power to make or break a career experience. A team with members who have a killer work ethic and the synergy to work together effectively and efficiently is a huge asset in order to foster conducive collaboration. Additionally, supporting diversity in the workplace is a critical aspect that young professionals desire; this extends to gender, race, sexual orientation, background, etc.

    Outside of the work environment, there are three areas where companies can differentiate themselves from the rest – opportunities to socialize, personal care, and professional growth. As noted earlier, who your coworkers are make a big difference. Young professionals place high importance on being able to mingle with people who share their values and interests in other settings besides in the office. Holding company-wide events, having clubs or committees that cater to common interests, and team-building activities, such as volunteering, are helpful for fostering bonds among coworkers. Next, where personal care is concerned, benefits like wellness programs, healthy office snacks, generous insurance coverage, and flexible paid leave are enticing options for young professionals. Lastly, opportunities for professional growth are influential to young professionals’ decision-making process in selecting and staying employed at their organizations. Career development can be facilitated by hosting different seminars and speakers that impart valuable new information and offering classes of interest (e.g., language classes) after working hours.

    There is a multitude of factors that can impact the trajectory of a young professional – from positive work environments to ethical standards, from professional development opportunities to diversity and inclusion initiatives. By taking steps to implement these factors, companies can be the best employers and attract the best young talent in our profession.

    Check out PRSA Boston’s Jobs & Internships section to post a job or search for a new job.

    Student Correspondent Bio: Annika Sison is a rising senior at Boston College, double majoring in Sociology and Communication. Upon graduation in 2020, she is looking to start a marketing career in the start-up space. Her professional interests include, behavioral science, brand management, and graphic design. She is always looking to build upon her skill set and take on new challenges.

  • Making the Most of Your PRSA Boston Membership by Co-VP of Membership Matt Bashalany

    In Membership on


    You signed up with the PRSA national organization, joined PRSA Boston, and maybe attended an event or two.

    But are you getting the most out of your membership?

    PRSA Boston is more than a series of monthly meetings. You get the news, research, networking opportunities and professional development offerings that help you grow as a communicator, including:

    • Complimentary subscriptions to monthly and quarterly publications
    • Fifty free webinars per year
    • Preferred pricing on Professional Interest Sections webinars
    • Preferred pricing on PRSA seminars and conferences
    • Access to case studies, white papers and members-only research and e-books
    • Discounted rates on insurance, shipping and other professional services

    With these benefits, a membership can pay for itself – more than $8,000, in fact, according to the PRSA membership value calculator.

    PRSA Boston will connect you with hundreds of communicators in the Greater Boston area, as well as with more than 100 PRSA chapters nationwide. If you are interested in broadening your professional network, PRSA Boston is here for you. If you are looking for professional development, PRSA Boston is here for you.

    Interested in learning more? Visit PRSA’s website and find out how you can join.

    Matt Bashalany is a senior manager of corporate communications at FTI Consulting, a global business advisory firm, where he manages media relations and assists with internal and executive communications.

  • Fast 5 With Barry Wanger, APR, Fellow PRSA and President and Founder of Wanger Associates

    In Fast Five, Membership on

    Barry Wanger, APR, Fellow PRSA, president and founder of Wanger Associates in Newton, has closed the award-winning agency he founded 32 years ago.  He has worked in communications for 52 years, including serving as a newspaper editor and reporter, director of public affairs for major universities, and political press secretary.

    Barry is a former president of the Boston Chapter of PRSA, chaired many committees, served on the Board for nearly a decade, and was co-chair of the Hospitality Committee at ICON17. PRSA Boston recently sat down with Barry to learn more about why he decided to work in PR, highlights from his career and what’s next for him.

    How did you get started in public relations?

    Like many of us in the field, I started as a newspaper editor and reporter for papers in California, Connecticut and the U.S, Virgin Islands.  After I became a press secretary for presidential and other political campaigns. When I was handling Tom Atkins campaign for mayor in Boston in 1970, he introduced me to Ed Bernays, who is regarded by many as the father of public relations.  We became friends and he inspired me to go into PR.

    What were some of the major campaigns you’ve conducted over the years?

    I’ve probably worked with more than 100 clients but my most memorable projects would include The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum heist, the largest private property robbery in American history; the launch of the $100 million American Business Collaboration for Quality Dependent Care, the biggest corporate business collaboration of all time; the first International Youth Employment Summit that brought together more than 100 journalists from 25 countries in Alexandria, Egypt, and the 50th anniversary of the Framingham Heart Study.

    You’ve won more than 30 public relations awards over the years. Which are the ones that were most meaningful to you?

    I’m most proud of being elected a Fellow of PRSA. As far as individual honors, the Diane Davis Beacon Award from our chapter and the Chrystal Bell from the Publicity Club of New England are the most meaningful as they both are for lifetime achievement.

    Your career in communications has involved more than public relations. What are some of the other things you’ve done that are most memorable?

    I think covering forest fires in California and the Vietnam protest rallies in Washington were among the highlights of my journalism career.  In politics, working on Sen. Muskie’s presidential primary campaign in New Hampshire and dealing with the famous “crying” incident was an unforgettable experience.  I also loved my time in Washington heading public affairs for the National Endowment for the Humanities, promoting some of their major grants and going to the White House to celebrate NEH’s 25th anniversary.


    What’s next?

    I’m putting the final touches on a biography of Arnold Hiatt, a philanthropist, political activist, and arguably one of the most successful and influential American corporate executives of the last half of the 20th century. If that’s successful, I may try to do others.  My wife and I plan to do a lot of traveling and I’ll consider working on short-term projects as part of a team for other PR agencies.  I also serve on the Board of two nonprofits, give advice to tourists at the Boston Visitor’s Bureau, and am working on my bridge game.  Certainly, I’ll go to more Red Sox games and read books that I’ve been wanting to get to for years.

    About Fast 5

    This is a feature of PRSA Boston’s Hot Topics blog page. The expert subject is someone who is clearly in demand, on the go. But we know leaders like to share, so check back for insights, wisdom, and other valuable tips. @prsaboston #prsabos

    Do YOU have a candidate for a FAST 5 interview? Email: Joshua Milne at and pitch your subject expert!

    Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author or the individual being interviewed and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of PRSA Boston, PRSA National, staff or  board of directors of either organization. 



  • Fast Five Q&A: Jill Goddard, APR, Director of Public Relations and Social Media at Boston Ballet

    Jill Goddard serves as the Director of Public Relations and Social Media at Boston Ballet. With over ten years of experience in public relations, communications and non-profit development, her work has centered on mission-based organizations primarily in the non-profit sector including Covenant House International, Oxfam America, and the Unitarian Universalist Association. She holds a M.A. in Global Marketing Communications and Advertising from Emerson College and a B.A. in Political Science and Journalism from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

    PRSA Boston recently sat down with Jill to learn more about her career and why she decided to join the Boston Ballet.

    Q: How did you get involved with Boston Ballet?

    A: I have always been a fan and admirer of the talent and artistry of Boston Ballet and an arts enthusiast in general. My former colleague and friend, who serves as the director of individual giving for Boston Ballet, told me about the open position and asked if I was interested in being considered. It was helpful to have someone who I knew and trusted at the organization speak so highly of the vision and people behind Boston Ballet—I couldn’t wait to join the team!

    Q: Do you have a favorite campaign/program you’ve run for Boston Ballet (or a previous company), and what were the results?

    A: I’ve been fortunate to work for organizations close to my heart and campaigns that make a difference in peoples’ lives so it is hard to choose a favorite. Most recently, we finished 44 performances of The Nutcracker, a New England treasure and tradition. We did a lot of advanced press and promotions including having the Nutcracker Bear zipline on the Rose Kennedy Greenway to promote tickets going on sale. The video generated great engagement on our social media channels, was covered by The Boston Globe, Patriot Ledger, NBC Boston, NECN, and Dance Magazine, and helped generate awareness and sales. Later, we did a social media campaign where the mice from The Nutcracker escaped the Boston Opera House and went sightseeing around Boston. It was wonderful to collaborate with other iconic Boston attractions like the Museum of Fine Arts and the Boston Tea Party Ships—and see people’s reactions to these mice walking down the streets of Boston.

    At Boston Ballet, I really enjoy that all of its programs have so many fascinating angles and stories to tell. I love to deep dive into the research, find creative ways to engage with audiences of all ages, and help people enrich their own understanding and experience of ballet, its history, and the people behind it.

    Q: It looks like you have worked with other non-profits and associations, how important is PR to their overall strategies?

    A: Whether a non-profit organization recognizes it or not, public relations is essential to their success. To  inspire generosity, mobilize people and make positive change, you must have public awareness, support and engagement. Fortunately, I think more and more organizations are recognizing this and making the necessary investments in bandwidth and budget to incorporate public relations as an intentional management function which will support strategic goals.

    Q: What advice do you have for others who are interested in a PR career in the arts?

    A: Artist, dancer and choreographer Martha Graham said, “Great dancers are not great because of their technique, they are great because of their passion.” The same is true for public relation professionals and that is so important to remember if you want a career in the arts. In addition to best practices and the fundamentals of public relations, bring your passion, creativity, and imagination to the work and you will have great success.

    Q: How has being a PRSA member impacted your career?

    A: There are many ways that being a PRSA member has enriched my career. Often times in a non-profit environment, you are part of a small team or might be the only public relations professional in the entire organization. Being a PRSA member expanded my network of brilliant brains to pick when I have a PR-related issue at work. It also helps me keep up-to-date on the latest trends and technologies in public relations and social media through on-demand webinars, in-person workshops, and articles which I am able to immediately apply to my work.

    I recently finished the APR accreditation process which allowed me to take a step back from the day to day of public relations and look at the broader systems, theories, and techniques behind the craft. As a life-long learner, I’m grateful that PRSA offers these unique and invaluable opportunities. I look forward to all that PRSA continues to offer and all I can offer PRSA in return.

    About Fast 5

    This is a feature of PRSA Boston’s Hot Topics blog page. The expert subject is someone who is clearly in demand, on the go, and nailing them down for a conversation is about as easy as … winning Powerball at $1.5 billion! But we know leaders like to share, so check back for insights, wisdom, author’s books about to hit the stands and other valuable tips. @prsaboston #prsabos

    Do YOU have a candidate for a FAST 5 interview? Email: Joshua Milne at and pitch your subject expert!

    Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author or the individual being interviewed and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of PRSA Boston, PRSA National, staff or  board of directors of either organization.