• 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!




  • 2022 Holiday Sparkle

    In Chapter Events, News on

    Boston PRSA members and members of the PR Club rang in the holiday season at Ned Devines on December 1. This was first in-person Holiday Sparkle mixer since the start of the pandemic.

  • 2022 Diane Davis Beacon Award recipient: Dan Dent

    In News, News & Publications on

    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.



    In Chapter Events, News on

    PRSA Boston’s 2020 Nominating Committee is pleased to put forth this talented Board of Directors and Leadership Team for the membership’s vote at the Annual Meeting on December 8, 2020:

    2021 OFFICERS

    President (previously voted)
    Kristin Foley
    Account Manager at fama PR

    Doug Haslam
    Account Director at KNB Communications

    Immediate Past President
    Eric Berman
    Communications Professional

    Michele Snyder
    Director of Communications at Maimonides School

    Kelly McFalls
    Public Information Officer at City of Framingham

    Programming Co-Chair
    Karyn Martin
    Founder & Chief Strategy Officer at Golden Thread Agency

    Programming Co-Chair
    Jill Goddard, APR
    Director of Public Relations and Communications at Boston Ballet

    Membership Co-Chair
    Brianna Quinn
    Public Relations Professional at PerkinElmer, Inc.

    Membership Co-Chair
    Lynnea Olivarez
    Director of External Affairs & Communications at Intellia

    Director-at-Large/Diversity (previously voted) (thru 2021)
    Kelley Chunn
    President at Kelley Chunn & Associates

    Director-at-Large (previously voted) (thru 2021)
    Nancy Sterling, APR, Fellow
    Senior VP Strategic Communications at ML Strategies, LLC

    Director-at-Large (thru 2023)
    Dan Dent, APR
    Media Relations Manager at Draper


    Faculty Forum Chair
    Jon Boroshok
    College Instructor, Marketing Communications/PR Practitioner, Journalist

    Yong Professional Network Co-Chair
    Mackenzie Linn
    Account Executive at PAN Communications

    Yong Professional Network Co-Chair
    Samantha Stone
    Account Executive at SHIFT Communications

    PRSSA Liaison
    Rebecca Owen
    Intern at Metter Media | Director of Internal Operations at empath worldwide | VP at PRLab at Boston University

    Content + Social Media Chair
    Shayne Brown
    eCommerce Retention Specialist at Wolverine Worldwide

    Accreditation + Diane Davis Beacon Award
    Josh Gitelson, APR
    Executive Managing Director at RF|Binder

    We wish to congratulate our colleagues and thank their 2020 predecessors for going above and beyond for their service to our 225+ strong members. This talent pool points to a tremendous year of networking and programming ahead.

  • Fast Five: Larry Brantley at Chaloner & Associates Wants to Help You Land that Next Job

    Larry Brantley, President of Chaloner & Associates, brings more than 30 years of experience in the communications, marketing and design world to his role at Chaloner.  a national executive search firm specializing in communications, public relations and marketing recruitment. He’s worked with brands such as JCPenny, HP, EDS, Texas Instruments, ConocoPhillips and many others to place executive level talent in the marketing and communications roles.  PRSA Boston recently had the opportunity to ask him for a few insights into the current job market.

    Q: What are some of the key trends you are seeing in the hiring process these days?

    A: Firms are now offering signing bonuses, relocation packages, enhanced benefit plans and increased compensation plans.  It is a candidate market.  Employers are having to compete for talent.  It has not been this kind of employment climate since the late 1990s.

    Q: What skills should PR and Communication professionals be looking to refine / develop as they start a job search?

    A: We all need to be proactive in developing our knowledge in online content creation and management.  Social media is key to all PR professionals.  Whether you create online content or manage crisis communications, it impacts all of us in a world where everyone uses mobile communications on a regular basis.  It is a qualifier in resume screening.

    Q: There was a time when communications and digital marketing jobs were separate.  Is that still the case?  If not, are you seeing employers who are looking for candidates with both sets of skills?

    A: Employers are looking for people who are multi-faceted in their skills and ability to do more for their company.  It is imperative that we, as candidates, are able to multi- task and spin many plates at the same time. Larger firms may separate traditional communications and digital communications to different teams.  However, small to mid-sized companies expect individuals to do both.

    Q: Are employers paying more attention to diversity in the hiring process

    A: Employers are ideally looking to have a balanced approach to life experiences, cultural perspectives and gender views in their business.  We do not have the same constraints that affirmative action required in the 90s, but our customers and clients look to see that our business reflects the market in which we live.  We approach all candidates as “talent”, not male/female, gay or straight, Jewish, Muslim or Christian.  The only consideration for us is who is the best qualified candidate to perform the job function. Our salary range budgeted is the same for all.

    Q: How important is experience vs. an ability to adapt and learn?

    A: Both are critical to the success of a new hire; however, adaptability is a critical component into cultural fit in an organization.  You can have all the experience in the world, but if you are inflexible, you will be out the door.

    Q: What mistakes should a candidate avoid in the interview process? 

    A: We do our best to prepare a candidate for an interview with our clients.  We share a little background on the individuals you may be meeting to help you be relaxed and familiar with who you meet. There are in my opinion some important things to consider-

    • Don’t regurgitate everything listed on your resume.  The resume helped to get you in the door but now they want to get to know you.
    • Let the interviewer lead the conversation. Don’t come in with your own discussion plan.
    • Be yourself. Don’t try to be someone you are not.
    • Thank the contact for their time and opportunity to meet.

    Looking for a new opportunity?  Check out the Chaloner website at or follow Larry on Twitter at @recruitinglarry

    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 or on the go. 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!

  • Fast Five: with Richard Chacón, Executive Director of News Content, WBUR, Boston

    As executive director of news content for WBUR, Richard Chacón oversees all aspects of local radio and digital news content for WBUR, Boston’s leading public radio station.

    Richard’s career includes more than 20 years of experience in print and broadcast journalism, public affairs, politics and government. As a journalist, Richard has worked at The Boston Globe, where he covered Boston City Hall and higher education and was the Latin America bureau chief, based in Mexico City. He also served as deputy foreign affairs editor and as ombudsman. In addition, he has worked at New York Newsday, WCVB-TV in Boston and KTSM in his native El Paso, Texas.

    Beyond journalism, Richard also served as director of communications for Deval Patrick’s gubernatorial campaign in Massachusetts, and later served in the governor’s office as director of policy and then as executive director of the Massachusetts Office for Refugees and Immigrants. He also served as a speechwriter in the New York City mayor’s office under David Dinkins and later as deputy media director for the 1992 Democratic National Convention in New York City.

    We caught up with Richard prior to the 2017 PRSA Boston Annual Meeting where he is scheduled to give the keynote address.  We asked him about the future of news and how media platforms like WBUR are evolving.

    What led you to become a journalist and why did you decide to join WBUR?

    Endless curiosity – about how things happen, why and about the people involved. I’ve had this curiosity ever since I was a young boy growing up in the desert in El Paso, TX. My very first job was as a newspaper delivery boy. I have done delivering almost all of the major news including the News Weekly USA news.  I’ve been blessed to have had some wonderful experiences in print, broadcast and multimedia newsrooms and working with some talented colleagues along the way. I’m especially pleased and proud to help lead one of the biggest and best newsrooms in public radio. As WBUR grows and becomes more of a primary source of news and information – especially during this transformational time in Boston’s history – we have an opportunity and obligation to help lead the public dialogue on many important issues in our community.

    Will presenting news to audiences continue to evolve or change in 2018? If so, how?

    Newsrooms across Boston and the country are in the midst of rethinking and redefining how they collect and deliver the news – that includes WBUR. We know that over half of our audience experiences our multimedia content through mobile devices, so our content must be mobile friendly. Visual presentations of content – videos, photos, data visualization – are growing in importance for stories, especially those that are shared through social media channels. Although terrestrial radio continues to reach our largest audience, on-demand listening – whether through podcasts or streaming – is growing in popularity for our audience, especially younger listeners and readers. But even amid all of these changes, it is important that we always remain committed to the traditional values of fair, aggressive and transparent journalism.

    PR people continue to see the lines are blurring between advertising and editorial. Is this impacting how you and your team at WBUR report news? If so, how?

    News organizations are also constantly looking for new business and financial models to help sustain the journalism. Increasingly, we’re seeing the development of “sponsored content” which can sometimes look, walk and quack like newsroom editorial content. As a former ombudsman for the Boston Globe, I think it’s very important that news organizations are both very careful and very clear with audiences about what is advertising and what is news coverage. So far, I believe most organizations – including WBUR – has maintained that line between advertising and editorial but it’s an evolving and ongoing discussions (and debates) that we have on these issues.

    Why was it important to develop online niche sites, such as the ARTery and Edify, or podcasts such as Modern Love?

    As WBUR continues to grow as a multimedia destination for news and spoken-word content, we are constantly experimenting with new forms of presentations and platforms. We have national programs that reach millions of listeners across the United States; and we have sound-rich podcasts that share peoples’ personal stories and perspectives. In our local newsroom, we’ve developed a number of multimedia content “verticals” as a way to chronicle many of the dynamic sectors that are part of our knowledge-based economy around Boston. We’re building teams of journalists to bring WBUR’s high-quality storytelling to these sectors: “BostonomiX is how we cover tech and innovation; “CommonHealth” covers health and science; The ARTery is how we capture our increasingly diverse arts and culture scene; “Edify” is how we cover the many facets of teaching, learning and education. The great news is we are developing new ones for 2018!

     Why is hosting events important to WBUR? How will this continue to evolve in 2018?

    WBUR believes it has both an opportunity and responsibility to lead the public conversations on important topics with newsmakers, thought leaders, idea makers and diverse members of our communities. That’s already what we do every day on air and online. We do it through our selection of news stories and topics, our regular use of polling to key issues like the opioid crisis or climate change, and through our growing use of social media and crowd-sourcing. Convening more public events is a natural extension of our role as a public institution. We regularly host public events at WBUR that include many of our journalists. We also sponsor and produce dozens of other events all over the region because we believe strongly in our role of gathering communities together for thoughtful discussion. Sometimes these events can be a source of revenue for us, but more importantly, it’s an opportunity to constantly cultivate and grow our public media audience. There will be some more exciting news on this front also in 2018!


    Do you have a candidate for a FAST FIVE interview? Email Joshua Milne at and pitch your 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.