Connecting with Your Client

Round One /////// 10:20-11:20

A public relations agency is hired by a company to manage the message and reputation of that company. What are the difficulties of working with a client, and how does that message get relayed? Learn what role the client plays in making PR decisions and how the dynamic of that relationship is maintained.

Speaker Bio:

Kate Finigan Account Director, Lewis PR


 Kate Finigan is an Account Director in the Boston office of LEWIS PR, an integrated digitalcommunications agency with 24 offices worldwide. Never one to bite her tongue, she fell in love with agency life during day one of her first internship when she realized she could tell stories—and get paid for it.

As the way in which brands communicate their stories changed in the ensuing years, Kate’s passion for communication only grew. With a broad range of global client experience spanning multiple sectors Kate is well versed in tailoring her storytelling approach to the individual industry and company need. She understands the intricacies of balancing traditional media relations with emerging digital and social tactics and—just as critical—ensuring both her clients and the account teams remain sane in this new world of public relations.

Kate is a resource for understanding the dynamic reality of day-to-day agency life and what entry-level candidates should expect to do and, more importantly, learn from their first job. As many of her campaigns span international markets, she also knows how implementing a global communications strategy can broaden PR practitioners’ industry knowledge and abilities.

When the day’s last ball has been juggled and every fire (temporarily) put out Kate can be found in the South End, further honing her communication skills over a cocktail. Or two.

Chris Meehan Deputy Director of Public Affairs, Schneider Associates

Chris Meehan

As the deputy director of the Schneider Associates Public Affairs group, Chris offers extensive experience gained in more than 10 years in politics and law. His political experience ranges from the halls of the U.S. Senate leadership, to the grassroots voter engagement of local campaigns. A former assistant district attorney in New York City, Chris also possesses the sharp thinking and communication skills of a big city prosecutor.
With an aggressive focus on data and messaging to target voters and opinion- makers, Chris approaches our clients’ public issues with the same methodology he has successfully implemented in winning political campaigns.

In 2009 and 2010, Chris served as special assistant to U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer (D- NY), acting as the senator’s primary traveling staffer, coordinating press, legislative, and constituent staff. In addition, he was legal consultant to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee during the historic election cycle of 2008, and assisted famed political consultant James Carville during the 2006 Congressional campaigns that saw Democrats retake the House and Senate. Chris started in politics on national and local campaigns in New York, Massachusetts, and Indiana. A member of the New York State Bar Association, Chris graduated with a juris doctorate from the University of Notre Dame Law School, and earned a bachelor of arts from Boston College in political science

Kate Weissman Senior Account Executive, Weber Shandwick

With a knack for media relations and project management, Kate is a key member in both the technology and consumer practices, developing and executing successful strategies and campaigns.

Working across practices, she has developed vast experience with a variety of media outlets  ranging from top-tier business to influential blogs, industry trades and verticals.

Kate currently works on numerous accounts including QlikTech, Nestle Waters, L.L.Bean and Zipcar. She has previously worked on Akamai, the GSMA and Shock Top.

Prior to Weber Shandwick, she was an Account Executive with tierney in Philadelphia. There, she mainly worked on the  McDonald’s account implanting PR events and programs, and managed their local Twitter handle and Facebook Fan page.

Keen on raising money and awareness, while motivating young professionals to make charitable giving part of their lifestyle, Kate is also a founding member of organization called FUEL the CURE. To date, she has helped raise over $208,000 for various non-profit organizations.

Kate is a graduate of Dickinson College, holding a bachelor of arts.

Alyson Karoly Managing Supervisor, Fleishman-Hillard

Alyson joined Fleishman-Hillard Boston in 2007 as a media generalist and has since developed and executed various media relations and digital programs for clients within telecommunications, healthcare, non-profit, consumer and B2B sectors.

Throughout her tenure, Alyson has supported a wide variety of client programs, including executing a celebrity-based campaign for women around uterine fibroid treatment, securing awards and top-tier media coverage following the launch of a local paint start-up, serving as the lead community manager for a Fortune 10 company’s B2B social media properties, and more.

At present, she is primarily dedicated to FH Boston’s digital and social media practice group and oversees various strategic activities across key social media communities including Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, Slideshare, company blogs and more. Alyson also currently leads the internship and fellowship programs for the Boston office.

Alyson graduated cum laude from Ithaca College in 2006 with a Bachelor of Science degree in integrated marketing communications and a minor in speech communication.