About Mary Brophy

Mary has held leadership positions at the world’s largest independent PR agency, Edelman Worldwide, Cramer-Krasselt, Jacobson Rost and other leading agencies. Her background includes advising CEO-level executives on a variety of crisis communications and reputational issues.

How to Spot Fake News & Check Your Social Filter at the Door

I miss news. Real news, that is. I appreciate the vast volume of information, news and opinion now available to me online and offline. But there is one byproduct of the digital age that I’m not so crazy about: the rise of Fake News and demise of legacy journalism. I often think about what the Watergate investigation would have been like in the modern news era. Would the constant barrage of thinly veiled opinion disguised as outrage have hindered or helped the investigation? How would social media have swayed public opinion? After the Watergate break-in, instead of proudly declaring, “I am not a crook,” would President Nixon have argued he […]

Marketing Then and Now: Why Relationships Will Always Matter Most

Marketing Then and Now: Why Relationships Will Always Matter Most

My Dad, Dave, was an old school marketer. He didn’t have a college degree. He learned everything he needed to know about sales and marketing on the job at Aubrey Manufacturing, a family owned company in mostly blue-collar Union, Ill. Aubrey made range hoods and ventilation equipment for the kitchen and bathroom. Good products.  Well made. Dad knew the importance of great brand storytelling and influencer marketing long before they became today’s buzz words. His storytelling was of the oral variety, though, usually told with laughter over a drink or dinner. His influencers were the partners, colleagues, employees and company leaders he got to know through the work he loved. […]

How Nonprofits Can Make More Impact on Causes

How Nonprofits Can Make More Impact on Causes

Imagine an America without poverty or disease. A land where everyone is treated fairly, with dignity and respect and without the threat of discrimination or sexual harassment. A country where economic opportunity is available to all. A society with equal access to better education and health care. An environment free from harmful pollution. People spared the violence and crime that isolates so many communities. These and other causes embody the work being done by passionate nonprofits and their business partners around the world. Although important progress has been made on many of these issues, it’s clear to anyone tapped into their daily newsfeed or network news that utopia is not […]

6 Steps to Make Your Company’s Charitable Giving Pay. What’s In Your Wallet?

6 Steps to Make Your Company’s Charitable Giving Pay. What’s In Your Wallet?

Most of us, one way or another, have been either on the giving or receiving end for charitable causes. We give to our churches or synagogues; buy cookies for the annual Girl Scout fund drive; participate in the company United Way campaign; and send a check to the American Red Cross when a massive hurricane strikes coastal communities. Businesses also give back through social responsibility and sustainability programs. Their generosity shines through with in-kind and cash donations. Many encourage or incentivize employees to donate their time through volunteer programs. What do they have in common? Charitable giving as a core value. Give as Good as You Get Despite the lingering […]

Reputation Nation March 2018

Someone once said everything we do and say is public relations. The editorial mission of Reputation Nation is to highlight news and issues impacting business reputation and the practice of public relations (PR). From thought leadership programs to social responsibility and crisis communications, PR provides the reputation currency to build trust and grow your business. In fact, we would argue that in today’s divisive and highly polarized society, PR is needed now more than ever. We hope you enjoy this issue of Reputation Nation and we welcome your feedback!

Is Digital Disruption Killing PR? No, But Times Are Changing.

Is Digital Disruption Killing PR? No, But Times Are Changing.

If a tree falls in the woods and no one is there to hear it, does it make any sound? Yes, but only if there is a capable public relations (PR) advisor on hand to help amplify the noise. Perhaps this analogy is a bit corny, but it’s also true. Chances are that a PR pro has had some hand in nearly every major story of note, most often behind the scenes counseling business leaders on messaging strategy or serving as a liaison between official and press. But make no mistake, the indelible imprint of the PR practitioner is being felt more often than not. In recent years there have […]

Gotcha United! What is Really Behind this Week’s Corboy & Demetrio Press Event

Gotcha United! What is Really Behind this Week’s Corboy & Demetrio Press Event

After suffering a heart attack and cheating death one month into the job, unconventional CEO Oscar Munoz led United to become America’s best airline. That was the gist of the headline Business Insider reporter Benjamin Zhang penned just two months ago when describing Munoz after his success turning around the fortunes of the airline. On March 16, Munoz collected PRWeek’s coveted U.S. Communicator of the Year award for his ability to build consensus. Within 48 hours of the fateful video showing the forceful removal of Doctor David Dao from United Express Flight 3411, PRWeek publishers virtually snatched back their choice. As if everything the man had accomplished the prior two […]

Making or Breaking Your Small Business Reputation in a Connected Economy

Making or Breaking Your Small Business Reputation in a Connected Economy

Although we often hear about how important small businesses are to job creation and economic growth, what may be lesser known is the vital role they play in local philanthropy and solving key social issues. While large, Fortune 500 companies may get the most press and marketing visibility for their philanthropy in the macro economy, small, Main Street businesses are the ones moving mountains in the micro economy. These are the manufacturing, retail and service firms, community banks and sole proprietorships creating the majority of jobs in the neighborhoods, downtown business districts, manufacturing centers and commercial corridors across America. Owners and members of these companies are committed to their local […]

PR, Spin and the Art of Influence

Most small and mid-size business owners “get” marketing. They understand how important it is to define a marketing strategy to attract new customers, satisfy their needs and hopefully keep them coming back for more. But when the subject of public relations (PR) comes up, many are left scratching their heads, or if they give PR much thought at all they consider it an avenue for free publicity. That’s on a good day. On a bad day PR practitioners may be called spin doctors or propagandists. In the urban dictionary, PR is slang for an officer’s nightstick. Some journalists view PR representatives as shields to keep the press at bay when […]

Finding Your Career Fit: Advice from the Senior Class

My daughter, Shannon, a junior at top-ranked Cedarburg High School in Wisconsin, is starting that bewildering rite of passage nearly every young person making the difficult transition to adulthood faces: choosing a college or university. In case her dad and I (often in denial of how rapidly she is growing up and away from us) have not been paying attention, the signs of this tumultuous test are everywhere. Colorful brochures depicting ivory clad walls and sprawling campuses dotted with smiling, freshly scrubbed, youthful faces began arriving last fall. ACT tests are next week. Our investment advisor is talking to us about sources of financial aid and scholarships. Higher education costs […]