Tom Hannigan ’18 discovered his passion for public relations after graduating from UMass Amherst while working as an Associate at Inkhouse, a public relations and communications agency. Three years after graduating, he is the current Account Manager at the Bateman Agency, a strategic communications agency known for its integrated public relations programs for technology companies. In May 2021, Hannigan was named a Rising Star in PR by Insider, formerly Business Insider. He was among 26 honorees chosen for their incredible work.
As a Senior Associate at the Bateman Agency, he is responsible for securing news coverage for his clients, media strategy, developing pitches and press releases, staffing interviews, client relations, mentoring new employees, and more. “I still find myself going back to the journalism styles I learned at UMass when writing for work,” Hannigan said.
Hannigan joined the Journalism Department in the second semester of his sophomore year. “I was always told I am a great writer, so I decided to give journalism a shot,” Hannigan said. He has always had an interest in sports, and because of that, he decided to declare a concentration in Sports Journalism because of the many opportunities it offered. As a journalism student, Hannigan worked as an Editorial Intern with the Daily Hampshire Gazette, covering local school sports news. He also contributed to The Massachusetts Daily Collegian.
While he enjoyed his experience studying sports journalism, and his time spent covering local sports news with the Daily Hampshire Gazette, his opportunity with Inkhouse was a turning point in his career. Throughout his time spent there, he eventually worked his way up to becoming an Account Executive.
“I was there for almost two and half years, and it was the real molding of where I learned how to work in public relations,” Hannigan said. “I haven’t looked back since. I’ve enjoyed it so much.”
When reflecting on his time spent as a journalism student at UMass, he found that the department’s professors and courses were instrumental in his learning experience. “What helped was that many journalism classes complimented the others,” Hannigan said. “There was a semester where every class I took added something to the other.”
In particular, it is retired Senior Lecturer BJ Roche, winner of the 2017 New England Journalism Educator of the Year, who left a lasting impact on him to this day.
“The way she connected with her students helped me become confident in my ability as a journalist and my ability to do anything,” he said.This profile was written as a part of the 2021 Alumni Spotlight Series by students in the Writing for Public Relations course.