We at Rasky Baerlein are proud of our talented public relations and public affairs experts across the firm’s practice areas. In our new Meet the Expert series, we sit down with a different agency leader every Monday to get their thoughts on several important and timely questions and gain a greater sense of their industry expertise and experiences. This week we sit down with vice president for the firm’s healthcare practice, Rachel Gould.
Public relations is a constantly evolving field. Where do you see it headed and what can professionals do to keep up?
Today there is an increasing number of outlets for news and information, and with a surge in social and digital media, traditional journalists are no longer the only conduits for conveying a message. While media relations will remain an important part of our work, I see content creation and the development of audience-targeted messaging that can be delivered through new platforms as an opportunity for many of our clients.
You spent a year as a reporter after receiving your undergraduate degree in journalism at George Washington University. What insights did you gain as a journalist that have helped you become a better PR professional?
My time as a reporter gave me insight into the editorial process and certainly an appreciation for the pressure on journalists to break news and attract page views while often working with limited resources. Reporters are charged with contextualizing news while also telling a compelling story. A strong story pitch will include these elements.
You also earned a master’s degree in Public Administration from Suffolk University. How has that benefited you in your VP role here at Rasky Baerlein, which has such a strong tradition of client service in both PR and public affairs?
I was drawn to Rasky Baerlein for the firm’s strong reputation in the communications space and for its distinctive integration of public relations and government affairs. In graduate school, I was able to learn from and build relationships with colleagues from government, business and non-profits while also pursuing independent research on the impact of communications strategies on public opinion and the Affordable Care Act.
You led the client services team at Business Wire in Boston before joining Rasky Baerlein in 2011. How did your five years at Business Wire prepare you for agency life?
I learned how much I appreciate working in a client-focused role and having the opportunity to help organizations with diverse business challenges achieve success through media exposure.
What do you enjoy most about working with clients in the healthcare industry?
Healthcare is a fascinating industry that is constantly evolving. It’s also a heavily regulated industry that can be both intensely political and deeply personal. I have the opportunity to work with some fascinating clients that are truly having an impact through innovation in healthcare delivery, access to care and disease treatment.
If you could offer clients one piece of advice, what would it be?
Your public relations team is only as good as what you share with them. By keeping us looped in on upcoming initiatives and challenges and staying in touch through regular communication, we are able to be more strategic, effective and creative.
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