I'm founder and head of strategy at PR agency Bread & Law (est. 2022).
The agency is ... unique is probably the right word for it. It's not a by-the-hour shop that has rigid processes with a bunch of overhead. In short, all I want to do is represent clients, but most agency owners spend practically all of their time on sales or on operational matters. Bread & Law lets me be a practitioner while also enjoying the autonomy of ownership.
Through the agency, I take on fractional PR and communications roles at clients as well as short-term projects that typically involve launching new things or handling sensitive issues. I also incubate new concepts and approaches to external comms, such as Espresso (www.espressotl.com), a thought leadership agency that delivers guarantees results at fixed pricing.
Finally, the agency teams up with other PR pros and agencies on longer-term client work, not unlike the business that conventional PR agencies seek. While some weeks are definitely easier than others, I'm privileged to have the experience and professional network that make pulling all of this off realistic.
Since leaving my last corporate job in 2013, I've worked hard to establish influence within my field. I was elected by my peers as president of the Public Relations Society of America, New York chapter in 2021 and continue to sit on the board of directors and executive committee of that organization as well as a committee affiliated with PRSA National, the parent organization. I've also contributed to industry efforts to identify solutions to the mis-, dis-, and mal-information epidemic and am published frequently in industry outlets.
Prior to venturing out on my own, I worked at several mid-sized firms for clients such as Bloomberg, DLA Piper, BT Group, and Morgan Stanley. The firm I owned prior to launching Bread & Law, an issues management firm called Clear, held agency-of-record relationships with Thomson Reuters and Jones Lang LaSalle.
I live in Brooklyn, work in Manhattan, and am usually down to talk shop over coffee. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A lot of it boils down to being useful and valuable to clients. I'm versatile as a practitioner -- I've served as a speechwriter/op-ed writer for people who a lot of folks have heard of, I've done issues- and crisis-based comms work for situations that have received significant press attention, and I've spoken with media many, many times, both on the record as a spokesperson and in the background as a handler for sources.
I ask a lot of questions, spend a lot of time listening, and practice with straightforwardness and honesty—which is all why I'd stack my professional reputation with media (and other comms people) up against anyone else in my field.
I'm also intensely competitive—I was a college athlete back in the day, and I *need* to help clients win. To me, most external comms work is about successfully making an argument or a point in the court of public opinion, and the satisfaction of doing that on behalf of companies and people that matter is why I genuinely enjoy what I do.
I compare external comms to how a good chef might make a meal at home. Chefs are always exhausted and they're not going to want to go to the grocery on their day off. Instead, they're going to look at what's already in the kitchen—what's freshest, what flavor combinations balance, etc.—and they're going to use only those things. And they're not going to pull up a recipe. They don't need it. Instead, they're going to lean on technique, experience, and instinct to get it done.
This metaphor isn't perfect because the comms field is increasingly using technology platforms to complement practitioners' experience and instincts, but hopefully, you get the idea. For the typical client, I'm looking at their news pipeline, the reputation of their leaders, the dynamics of their industry, and usually a few other things that become apparent pretty quickly.
Generally speaking, what I do best overall is maximize the value of every reputational asset a company has.
Social Good, B2B Technology, Financial-Services, Law & Policy, Real Estate
Mar 2015 — Dec 2019
Held agency-of-record relationship with global tech company. Mandate centered on the production, distribution, and analysis of news-driven content to complement marketing and external comms activity. Reported directly to CMO.
Aug 2017 — Sep 2020
Led external comms for large commercial real estate development in the midwest. Scope included media relations, government relations, and issues/crisis management.