2017 Top Women in PR

Diana Rickert

Vice President of Communications

Illinois Policy Institute

When people think of Illinois—residents and outsiders included—many think about the state’s financial crisis and pension debt. Unfortunately there is not much hope for Illinois in this area. But Diana Rickert and the team at Illinois Policy Institute are fighting to turn around the state and encouraging others to see the positive change.

The Wall Street Journal editorial board is not excluded from the “Illinois is a lost cause” mindset. They have published numerous pieces about the state’s financial woes and political turmoil. But they started to see a positive change and published a piece about Governor Bruce Rauner's progress in Illinois in May 2016, a huge step forward. This editorial is a direct result of Rickert's ability to cultivate relationships with respected journalists, including the Wall Street Journal editorial board.

Rickert and her team have become a valued partner for the Wall Street Journal editorial board. She is reliable, consistent, and is a resource to journalists, even if the story doesn’t mention her organization. She fights for the right narrative and positive change in her home state—a big part of what public relations is all about.

When Rickert started at the Illinois Policy Institute in 2010, she didn’t step into a well-oiled machine. She built the communications team, which is now a creative and media powerhouse. One of Rickert’s unique characteristics is her ability to empower others. She teaches her team how to tell stories people actually want to hear, become a valuable source for journalists, and focus on quality. She also writes a regular column for the Chicago Tribune and has received many journalism awards over the years.