Connelly: Everything about PR/marketing business has changed

When asked how evolving media technologies are changing the business of marketing and public relations, Joanne Connelly, president and CEO of Connelly Works, said, “Everything about the PR/Marketing business has changed.”

This week, Connelly sat down with Women of Washington hosts Aileen Black and Gigi Schumm to discuss her career as a reporter and leader of a PR/marketing firm in Washington.

“Think about the PR business: everyone’s a reporter now. So we’re not just going after that traditional band of reporters; we’re going after bloggers; we’re going after thought leaders and other influencers in the market,” Connelly said. “The line between PR and marketing has really blended together over the last several years, so it changes how we bring a client’s message to market.”

However, Connelly does not think that the changes in journalism have led to a decrease in the quality of journalism. “I think that the viewing public is smarter than we give them credit for, she said. “I think that most people can discern a credible source from a less credible source. So I think it’s made it richer. There are more sources to go to.”


In addition, Connelly discussed the early days of her business, Connelly Works, and how she took the leap from being an employee to being an entrepreneur.

“I was so energized by doing something new that I never looked back. Was it hard? Absolutely it was hard. Did I do the amount of planning necessary to starting a small company? No. Looking back now it was almost reckless. But it was one of the best decisions I ever made.”

Connelly also shared with Women of Washington advice that she wishes she had taken in her career.

“Never burn a bridge,” she said. “Washington can be a very, very small town. And so it never serves to burn a bridge, because you know what? You’re going to be working with that person or that company or that group again.”