2012 PR People Awards: Media Relations Leader of the Year 

Winner: Colleen Cleary

Vice President, Havas PR

Colleen Cleary is a leading expert when it comes to media relations and celebrity partnerships—as vice president of Havas PR, Cleary is a senior client manager who specializes in cause and celebrity. Working with major media outlets and celebrity spokespeople, Cleary’s pitches create millions of media impressions, enabling client messages to reach the masses. Her ability to work with varied types of clients and pitch to various media outlets sets her apart.

When Donna Karan’s Urban Zen Foundation was looking to generate more press for its work in Haiti, Cleary created a proposal and presented it to Piers Morgan Tonight on CNN. Cleary was able to convince show producers of the seriousness of the topic as well as the expertise of the potential panelists. As a result, the show idea was accepted and in a matter of 24 hours, and over 1 million people soon knew about the foundation.

Cleary’s advice to young PR pros: “I think the best path for anyone is to be well-rounded. Know traditional media, know social media and diversify your client base. Generalists with knowledge across many different fields make the best PR people,” she says. —Jamar Hudson

Honorable Mentions:

Melissa Campbell, Director of Public Relations & Internal Communications, ERA Franchise
Sally Kweskin, Public Relations Director, WellPoint
Alison Mickey, PR and Corporate Communications Manager, Clean Power Finance
Hope Nicora, Director, Bhava Communications
Sarah Yansura, Senior Account Supervisor, Havas PR

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