Member Spotlight with Macollvie J. Neel
Monday, June 29, 2020
Posted by: Lori Sales Cutler
Macollvie J. Neel
Founder & Principal
Comms Maven L.L.C.
PRSA-NY Member since 2019
How did you get into the PR industry?
PR has been in my orbit throughout my career as a journalist, management consultant, and in-house communications advisor.
About six years ago, my roles and projects began to take on more of a PR feel, mindset, and skillset. I believe this was because external, internal, and marketing communications were converging to tell more cohesive, relevant business stories to audiences. And all against the backdrop of digital. As I got deeper into areas like storytelling for executives, thought leadership strategies, re/designing digital properties, and establishing internal social media channels, I turned to industry groups. I then gravitated toward PRSA webinars and events to stay current on the communications landscape and to learn about new tools and tactics.
What is your favorite PR experience?
Coming from management consulting, where programs were always tied to business goals and integrated, it was natural to bring that discipline to the client-side. Funny enough, when I explained to people what I do and how I do it, they tended to nod and say back, ‘Oh, so PR – but internally.’
What do you love about PR?
To me, PR is the primary avenue for the public to keep businesses honest. It’s a symbiotic relationship that deserves to be nurtured and respected. PR’s role in that nurturing means it has to engage with its publics – internal or external. Practitioners get to experience the public’s unfiltered version of things. For me, that’s the most exciting part.
Why is PRSA-NY membership valuable?
Let’s look at the response of leaders and companies to their employees and consumers during the pandemic. Despite the challenges, I’ve seen some of the most empathetic, informative, and – to the earlier point – honest communications ever from leaders and companies. Unseen behind each effort is a communications professional. That person is giving advice, writing emails, scripting videos, prepping statements, delivering reports, fielding media calls, or coordinating virtual conferences.
Many of those comms pros belong to PRSA chapters, and some candidly shared their challenges and best practices in community forums. Without those connections, it might’ve taken longer to respond adequately or scale those efforts. That would’ve been a disservice to our publics.
Do you have anything else you would like to share?
Yes – thank you for asking! I love to hear about people’s paths in general, so please connect on LinkedIn to share yours. As a newly minted business owner, I hope other independent practitioners, in particular, will reach out.