2016 Rising PR Stars: Payal Patel, Public Relations Specialist, Navy Pier, Inc.

The public relations representative for Navy Pier, Payal Patel has led the PR efforts on nearly a dozen major-scale events at the Pier, including its marquee events Winter WonderFest, New Year's Eve, Neighborhoods of the World, Louis Vuitton America's World Cup, Fourth of July and PEPSI Tall Ships.

Assuming the role of a spokesperson and media liaison for the organization, Patel (who joined the Pier in November 2015) has leveraged existing media relationships and quickly developed new ones along the way to draw coverage for events that have been around for quite some time and can therefore be challenging to promote year after year. Patel successfully tackled the challenge by finding new, creative story angles with which to pitch and entice the press. As a result, Patel has successfully been able to draw more media coverage for the Pier than ever before—the Pier won more than 1 billion impressions over Patel's short tenure.