Account Director of Year Kelley’s Specialty—Raising Clients From Media Obscurity

Kelley featured image

2017 PR People Awards - Account Director or Supervisor of the Year

Winner: Brian Kelley, VP, Sage Communications

Brian Kelley’s passion for PR and outside-the-box approach have contributed to a noteworthy year for him and Sage Communications.

Kelley has spearheaded many of Sage’s largest campaigns and clientele, including its work with Halifax International Security Forum, where he has led U.S. media efforts and engagement, working directly with multiple leaders of sovereign nations and global defense organizations, resulting in 200% year over year growth in coverage in both print and media.

Account Director or Supervisor of the Year_Brian_Kelley_Sage Communications
Brian Kelley, Sage Communications

Kelley was able to take a relatively unknown small client (two employees) that specialized in drone technologies and capitalize on breaking news to insert them into the national conversation on national security, drone safety and privacy.

In another example, Kelley led the team representing a major Fortune 15 company specializing in the federal cybersecurity space and positioned its department head as one of the lead sources of information around the ongoing North Korea and Russian state-sponsored hacks during the 2016 presidential campaign.

He has also taken several clients from media obscurity to being featured on national broadcast and print coverage, including one client, DroneShield, which received national attention and major global coverage, including from NBC News, CBS News and the New York Times, within 24 hours of becoming a client.

Throughout the past year, it has become clear that Kelley also excels at nurturing and training PR employees. He is the first to notice when an employee is struggling, and is often the confidant of junior staff, many of whom don’t report to him. He spends countless hours of his time training PR employees to grow their personal skill sets.

Honorable Mentions:

  • Steven Andersen, VP, Content and Client Strategy, Infinite Global—Beginning his newsroom career as an editor before he became a reporter, leadership qualities are at the foundation of Steve Andersen’s skill set. That skill set has proven invaluable to his work in PR. In addition to building and managing Infinite’s Content Center team, Andersen leads several of Infinite’s largest PR account teams.
  • Christy Pittman, Senior Account Director, W2 Communications—Ignoring titles, Christy Pittman places a focus on team-building—she's never above doing whatever needs to be done. Pittman is able to utilize her teams' talent, including relationships with reporters, writing skills, and members who’ve dealt with disruptive, controversial companies before.

See all the winners and honorable mentions for PR News' 2017 PR People Awards.