The Role of Public Relations in Advocacy

January 11, 2019
Hosted by Merritt Hamilton Allen and Gary Potterfield

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Guest Information

Episode Description

It’s time for The Brand Ambassadors to roll their sleeves up and tackle the topic of public relations in advocacy. What’s the difference, if any, between advocacy and lobbying? What are the ethical and legal responsibilities for PR pros? This week Merritt and Gary welcome Dennis Willard, president of Precision New Media, to discuss public relations in advocacy and political campaigns. Dennis started Precision New Media in 2010 after 23 years as a statehouse reporter, the last 15 as bureau chief for the Akron Beacon Journal, providing him with a unique understanding of issues and the political process. He works for Democratic candidates, parties and caucuses in six states, for non-profit progressive organizations, and private sector clients. Dennis will discuss how he and his company have used public relations techniques to address issues such as collective bargaining, ending gerrymandering and marijuana legalization.

The Brand Ambassadors

The Brand Ambassadors

Friday at 6 AM Pacific Time on VoiceAmerica Business Channel

PR and communication have bad raps as being frivolous ways for businesses to burn overhead dollars. The Brand Ambassadors will show listeners the best way to incorporate PR into their operations, whether a startup or a Fortune 500 firm.

Host Merritt Hamilton Allen is an economist by training and a PR executive by accident. She will give listeners expert advice on focusing their PR energy and money. She will be joined by co-host Gary Potterfield, who is an expert in integrating business goals into compelling creative campaigns.

Every firm has a compelling narrative that sets them apart from the crowd. Everyone, whether an intern or the CEO, can advance their career and their business by blending their own background into their firm’s narrative through strategic storytelling. The Brand Ambassadors is broadcast live every Friday at 6 AM Pacific Time on the VoiceAmerica Business Channel.

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Merritt Hamilton Allen and Gary Potterfield

Merritt Hamilton Allen and Gary Potterfield

Merritt Hamilton Allen believes that every employee in every business can help promote that business. Merritt has leveraged unique stories and perspectives to persuade and inform those around her. She turned this personal brand into the company Vox Optima in 2005, and has since been awarded over $25 million in PR contracts. Vox Optima’s public relations clients include multi-billion-dollar organizations, start-ups, and everyone in between.

Merritt grew up in Silver City, New Mexico, where she got her first job in radio at age 13. She attended the University of Notre Dame on NROTC and National Merit scholarships. After graduation she served as a Navy public affairs officer for eight years, and led the Navy’s communication strategy for environmental, personnel, medical, and acquisition issues. Merritt is a disabled veteran.

Vox Optima closed its first year with a $1 million task order from the U.S. Navy. Vox Optima currently has 15 employees, offices in Albuquerque and the DC Metro area and its client roster includes NATO, the U.S. Navy, the Department of Defense, the Department of State, BAE Systems, the Census Bureau and several national trade associations

Merritt was honored as a Woman of Influence by NM Business Weekly in 2012. She was named the top-performing media and marketing CEO in New Mexico in 2013 by Albuquerque Business First. Vox Optima has been listed in the top five PR firms by revenue in the state for the last four years.

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