Public relations practitioners Karla Harvill, APR, and Stephen Brown, APR, shared their unique insights and stories about why PRSA Georgia has been integral to their roles as PR professionals.
The Georgia Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA|GA) is the second largest chapter of public relations professionals in the United States with approximately 850 members. It is an organization dedicated to developing and enriching the professional lives of Georgia’s public relations practitioners.
Karla G. Harvill is Director of Internal Communications for WellStar Health System in Marietta, Georgia. She is responsible for communicating with the Systemâ€™s more than 11,500 employees. Prior to joining WellStar, she spent more than 20 years in corporate communications with Gold Kist and Pilgrimâ€™s Pride, some of the nationâ€™s largest chicken companies.
In addition to her duties at WellStar, Karla is currently President of the Georgia Chapter of PRSA, the nationâ€™s second largest chapter. She is also a member of the adjunct faculty at Kennesaw State University where she teaches communications courses and is professional advisor to the KSU PRSSA Chapter.
A native of East Tennessee, Karla has a bachelorâ€™s degree in communications from the University of Tennessee and a MBA in marketing from Kennesaw State University. She also has her APR accreditation from the Public Relations Society of America.
In his role as Managing Director for the Atlanta office of Cohn & Wolfe, Stephen Brown manages dynamic account teams in the retail and real estate sectors and provides creative new approaches to reaching and impacting influencers.
Stephenâ€™s 16-year agency career includes work within advertising, public relations, marketing and interactive agencies on primarily consumer accounts. He spent the past five years managing public relations for McDonaldâ€™s in the state of Georgia and has been instrumental to crisis communications and public affairs work, new-product introductions and franchisee communications.
He spearheaded regional launches of the fast food restaurantâ€™s first Twitter feed, Southern Style Chicken Biscuit, Angus Burgers, Fruit and Maple Oatmeal, Real-Fruit Smoothies and the McCafÃ© coffee line. For the latter, he developed a creative program called Perfect Pairings in which culinary students paired McDonaldâ€™s food with the new lattes, cappuccinos and mochas. For Coca-Cola, Stephen has helped launch the new Freestyle touch-screen fountain dispenser in a variety of QSR locations.
Stephenâ€™s other notable consumer accounts include Carterâ€™s/OshKosh, Best Buy, The Home Depot, InterfaceFLOR and Porsche North America. Prior to his agency career, he was a feature news writer for Gwinnett Newspaper publications, Creative Loafing and Pre-Vue Magazine.
Stephen has been profiled in PR Week, Atlanta Journal-Constitution and Marketing News, and was named one ofâ€œ15 to watchâ€ by PR News. He has led teams to more than 12 national awards.