Public Awareness Communicator Shares Experiences
Business success comes from identifying your target audiences and reaching them with your message. But what if your target audiences aren't listening? Is there a better way to reach them? Do you need government officials to hear your message? Do you need the media to report your story? These are the kinds of questions Suzanne Morse ’95 (journalism) deals with on a daily basis at Boston's O’Neill and Associates as an associate director in the communications practice. That her record of integrating communications and public awareness campaigns has been extremely successful almost goes without saying.
In mid-November Morse returned to Amherst specifically to share her experiences with students in Congressman Richard Neal’s journalism class, The Politician and the Journalist, as well as other journalism students interested in government reporting. She spoke also about the importance of getting involved in politics, and offered some pointers on how to land Washington internships. A White House internship in the Office of Media Affairs helped launch her own career.
After that, Morse landed a job with Senator Edward M. Kennedy, coordinating constituent outreach and the resolution of issues between constituents, community organizations, and the federal government. She facilitated grants and appropriations for state-related projects in excess of $5 million. Then, at the Brookings Institution and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Morse designed and implemented media strategy for research findings for these influential organizations, which resulted in broad national media coverage.
Prior to joining O'Neill and Associates, Morse was the communications manager for the Voice of the Faithful, a group formed in response to the crisis in the Catholic Church. While there, she oversaw the development of strategies and campaigns to create greater public awareness of the issues facing the Church, as well as promoting greater responsibility in the Catholic Church.
These campaigns were instrumental to the growth of the fledgling organization and to healing in the Church. She developed and oversaw both national and local public relations campaigns related to the organization's position on the Church's response to the clergy sexual abuse crisis; the closing of dozens of parishes in the Archdiocese of Boston; and became one of the key spokespersons nationally to comment on the papal transition in April 2005, appearing in national and local broadcast and print media outlets.
A member of Phi Beta Kappa and the national communications honor society, Morse holds a master’s degree in communication from the University of Pennsylvania. She coordinated the State of the Union Project for 2020 Democrats and sits on the Board of Directors of the UMass Amherst Alumni Association.
November 14, 2006