News & Publications

  • Member Spotlight: Monique Kelley Gigliotti  PR Woman in the Arena

    In News & Publications on

    Q: You are the current PRSSA advisor at Boston University and have been teaching there for some time. What is going on with the upcoming generation of professional communicators? What trends are you seeing? Are we seeing a more diverse student body that will soon enter the workforce?

    A: I recently became a full-time Associate Professor of the Practice – Strategic Communication at BU’s College of Communication after two years of adjuncting. It started as a side gig and creative outlet to complement my corporate communications leadership role at Takeda Pharmaceuticals during the crazy time of COVID. When I was a BU student, my fellow PR student peers and myself were just trying to graduate and find a job…anywhere. It didn’t really matter where as long as they were paying.

    A big contrast to this current generation is that they are seeking purpose along with the paycheck. While that is positive, I’d like to see them become more career savvy. Employers tell me that they want to see this in the new generations as well. I infuse professional development/career readiness in the classes that I teach – Media Strategies & Management and Corporate Communication. Everything from how to write a cover letter (and what they even are) to how to network properly – leading with one’s value to others, not what others can do for them.

    Q: You have an extensive background in healthcare and biopharma, both on the agency side and within organizations. Most recently, you’ve launched your own consultancy. Can you share some insights from both perspectives, and tell us about your firm?

    A: My diverse professional background enables me to relate to the challenges that leaders in all of these facets of communications have; I’ve been in their shoes. My personal motto is to add value, not space. And having this experience positions me well to deliver value to agencies, pharma companies and students alike.

    COVID and the social-political movements of the last few years impacted all industries, particularly the communications field. More now than ever, companies are investing in areas of comms, such as employee engagement and change management, internal communications, executive visibility, narrative writing and amplifying DE&I efforts. All want to attract and retain top talent, but with the recession, companies are not keen to hire premium-priced agencies as they once were. I hear often from corporate communications leaders that they value contractors who can come into a company, operate nimbly and effectively and generate impact.

    Monique Kelley Consulting, LLC optimizes client-agency relationships, providing (1) corporate communications leaders with a contractor who partners with their cross-functional teams and agencies; and (2) agencies with a client/former agency leader who gets their world. I will always be rooting for agency partners; agency was my world for 16 years! Being a strategic problem solver who knows how to execute will always be in my blood. I don’t like to jump into activities or initiatives without fully understanding how they connect to a company’s business objectives, even if that means the activities are less sexy and more impactful.

    I am also passionate about networking through leading with one’s value. In fact, my first client assignment out the gate was
    leading a virtual workshop for a telecommunications leadership organization on this topic.

    Additionally, this fall, I was recruited by Ray Jordan, former J&J and Moderna Corporate Affairs leader, to become one of his independent senior consultants at Putnam Insights. It’s one of the most diverse agencies out there. In this industry, thought partnership is incredibly valuable to ensure the best ideas are out forth to clients. We are strong individually, but even better together.

    Q: This past year in Boston, Communication Evolution has been PRSA’s 75th anniversary theme. Can you speak to the industry’s changing landscape from the university level through to corporate?

    A: Part of what I love about communications is that it’s always evolving, but still a strategic business lever at the core. Within BU, we recently reviewed the title for a graduate-level course in media relations. Some of the professors wanted to include earned media in the title to differentiate it from advertising or digital marketing. However, we ended up agreeing that the title of the class should reflect the evolving nature of our business – that paid, earned, shared and owned media are all important. Earned isn’t necessarily better – it depends on a company’s goals and audiences. And comms is in a prime position to “own” it all. The blurred lines between marketing, advertising and comms that we’re continuing to experience needs to be fully reflected in how it’s taught at the university level.

    In fact, BU is hosting for the 16th year the upcoming PRSSA Northeast District Conference on Saturday, February 25th. Speakers include those from the digital and social marketing world. There will always be a place for traditional PR, but integrated initiatives could offer more value. For this reason, I encourage my PR students at BU to become familiar with omnichannel engagement and make friends with those in marketing, even sales.

    Q: What’s on your playlist or what are you binge watching.

    A: I definitely have diverse taste in music. I think it stems from the fact that my grandfather was a sessions saxophonist for Duke Ellington. Music is in my blood. And all genres. I work with trap music from Bryson Tiller or PARTYNEXTDOOR on in the background. I run or weight lift to one of my all-time favorites, being from the Philly area in South Jersey, The Roots. And when I’m on a road trip, it’s always 1st Wave or Yacht Rock Radio on SiriusXM. My husband and I recently took a trip to Quebec City, Canada, and I discovered Christopher Cross’s “I Really Don’t Know Anymore.” Where was that song all of my life!

  • Moving the Needle, Building the Bench PRSA Boston President Kelly McFalls

    In News, News & Publications on

    This month, I am enthusiastically taking the reins of PRSA Boston! I am fired up and want to do great things in 2023. A special thanks to Doug Haslam our 2022 president, and Kristen Foley, who served as our past president. In 2023, Doug will occupy the past president position, and Kristin will serve as the membership vice president on the new board. You two have done yeoman’s work in light of what we have faced with the pandemic these last couple of years. You are appreciated! I intend to tap into your collective wisdom during my term. I am pleased to be working with the rest of the talented 2023 board as well.

    The last two years have been tough. There has been uncertainty, and at times, it has been scary. The Chapter survived COVID and is now positioned to thrive thanks to solid leadership and strategic thinking. I believe we managed the changes well. With that being said, I am ready to safely return to life before the pandemic. However, if there is another serious COVID outbreak, we will pivot our programs to a virtual format.

    In November, I attended PRSA’s national conference, ICON 2022, and connected with PR friends with whom I went to college, other PR pros I have known for years, as well as many new people. Being with these fine folks reminded me of how critical PRSSA and PRSA were and have been to my friend circle, my professional growth and my overall career. Attending the conference was inspiring, and I couldn’t wait to come back and share what I intended to accomplish for PRSA Boston and our members.

    This year, we will move the needle for our members and their careers now and in the future including:

    • Returning to at least six in-person professional development programs, two of which will be exclusive to members. Please note the change in the name from just programs to professional development programs. That change is slight, but it is intentional. PRSA’s mission is to help our members be smarter, better prepared and more connected at all stages of their careers. I take that as a challenge!
    • Building the Chapter’s future leadership bench by focusing on the Boston-area students in PRSSA. We will offer free entry to these PR scholars at every professional development program. The Boston board will also pay deliberate attention to this vital cohort.
    • Creating a past president’s council. The Chapter’s past presidents include several PRSA College of Fellows honorees, Diane Davis Beacon Award winners and near-countless APRs. Boston truly is a city of champions. It would be foolhardy not to recognize the PR brilliance in our own backyard!

    Finally, I want to leave you with a favorite quote from General Colin Powell, former U.S. Secretary of State. “Great leaders are almost always great simplifiers, who can cut through argument, debate and doubt to offer a solution everybody can understand.”

    As communications leaders, I believe that’s what we all do best. I appreciate your confidence in leading PRSA Boston in 2023. I can’t wait to get started!

    Warmly,

    Kelly

     

  • 2022 Diane Davis Beacon Award recipient: Dan Dent

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    PRSA Boston has named Dan Dent, APR, as the recipient of the 2022 Diane Davis Beacon Award. This honor annually recognizes a PRSA Boston member for his or her accomplishments and contributions in leadership in the field, professional ambassadorship, and exemplary service to the PRSA Boston community.

    Long a respected leader and mentor within PRSA Boston, Dan’s commitment to the organization includes not one but two terms as Chapter president. He has been a member of the Chapter’s leadership for nearly 12 years, including roles as membership chair, convention delegate, director-at-large, and chair of PRSA Boston’s Independent Practitioners Network. Notably, he served as co-chair of PRSA National’s 2018 International Conference held in Boston and was a lead liaison to the Northeast regional PRSSA Conference. During his tenure with PRSA Boston, Dent has worked with hundreds of communications professionals, as fellow board members, corporate sponsors, business colleagues, event speakers, and students representing universities and colleges throughout New England.

    Dent has more than 30 years of experience in marketing, PR, media relations, and corporate communications. In his current role as media relations manager at Draper, a nonprofit engineering innovation company advancing technologies at the intersection of government, academia, and industry, Dent energized a media relations program that turned the company’s news page into the top traffic driver on the website. At Draper he has introduced more than 100 executives and subject matter experts to the media, ensuring successful interviews resulting in more than 10,000 media stories.

    Over his career, Dent has managed PR for dozens of organizations, from the Fortune 500 to newly funded ventures. He founded and managed his own agency, Dent Communications, and has created the public presence for major brands in technology, financial services, health care, consumer products, and e-commerce, bringing the customer’s voice to the foreground in all communications. He has worked one-on-one with the C-suite to create executive leadership platforms, and has written and published thousands of articles, press releases, blogs, and marketing content.

     

  • 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

     

     

     

  • Christina Maryland

    Diversity Communication with Christina Maryland, MBA 

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    Q: Tell us about your background in DE&I and communications. How have you melded the two to create impactful work?
    A: Although I’ve always embedded DE&I in the work I do, I would say that my work in DE&I and communications really collided during my time with the Natick Public Schools when I served as the director of communications. In that role, I participated in the inaugural cohort for a fellowship through the state focused on developing equitable leaders in school districts. I think the biggest takeaway for me as a communications practitioner, especially as I sharpened my DE&I lens, is realizing that it’s not enough to write for a general audience. I had to learn to understand my audiences, and help meet needs that they might not realize they had or couldn’t vocalize.

    Q: Is there are project or initiative that you are particularly proud of?
    A: When COVID struck, our school district was one of the first districts hit with cases and also one of the first to make the decision to close. I sat in the situation room meetings analyzing the impacts of closure, and how it would affect kids and families. Our biggest challenge was figuring out how to feed kids when we couldn’t let them in the building and also couldn’t get too close, safely (keeping in mind this was during the start of the pandemic when we had no clue about infection transmission.) School meals are all too often the only meal some kids get each day, so cutting it off without a plan means kids will go hungry. Through some strong relationships and experience, we were able to safely get food to kids by creating a mobile meal pickup at the high school and made people aware through robust communications (email, phone calls, and a HUGE variable message sign.)

    Q: This is PRSA’s 75th anniversary and Boston’s theme is Communication Evolution. What changes/growth have you seen in the industry?
    A: I’ve seen the industry evolve tremendously since I decided this was going to be my career path. We’re now seeing communications leaders play more central roles in all parts of messaging, not solely liaising with the press. Many of us lead the charge during crisis, helping establish a strong, consistent message in dire times for organizations. And even most importantly, our roles are valued as the way society interacts has become increasingly connected through digital and social media. This is the future we’ve always known was coming.

    Q: What’s on your playlist and what have you binged watched lately?
    A: My play list is full of Encanto songs that I sing with my 2-year-old, and I just finished binging ‘Proof” a true crime podcast.

  • Young Professionals Member Profile: Regan Schiappa  

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    Q: You’re a senior media relations specialist with Walker Sands. Tell us about a project or initiative that you are especially proud of.
    A: Most recently, I was included on a project for a boomerang client that we were hoping to retain again. My job for the project – to secure coverage    and wow them into working with us again. Within a month, I was able to secure six media opportunities – four briefings and two bylined op-eds. Our goal was achieved as the client has asked to extend their partnership with us!

    Q: What made you go into communications/PR?
    A: Growing up, I had a dream of writing a book. I loved to write stories and use the creative side of my brain. I think communications and PR allows      you to do just that. You are writing stories and developing creative angles to share with reporters. With the goal of becoming a writer, I pursued journalism in college, where I worked at the university’s news station as a reporter and anchor. Upon graduation, I got my first job as a producer at a local TV news station. After about a year there, I realized I wanted to shift to communications/PR so I could be more creative in my writing.

    Q: Tell us about your background?
    A: I grew up about 45 minutes outside of Boston and attended the University of Connecticut. Go Huskies!

    Q: What is on your playlist and/or the last movie you’ve binge watched?
    A: I have been listening non-stop to Morgan Wallen and Luke Combs’ new song The Kind of Love We Make. It’s really good music to listen to when you are working or unpacking! The last movie I watched was the new Elvis movie. I love Elvis Presley’s music so this movie was really interesting.