TV News Anchor Turned PR Professional: Five Questions with Sean Hennessey
At Castle, we have some incredible employees. From social media gurus and digital marketing specialists to event managers and strategists, our skilled team of event and public relations professionals are the driving force behind our success.
Sean helps with strategy for all of Castle’s public relations accounts and is on the crisis communications team – offering strategy and counsel for clients in need of guidance for sensitive issues. Prior to entering the public relations field, Sean was a television news reporter for more than 20 years; an experience that has been a valuable addition to the Castle team. Outside of the office, Sean spends his free time with his wife and two children, who love playing with their father and having him coach their sports teams.
How did you get started in the PR industry?
I had always been curious about the PR industry because it seemed the logical next step for me. After a long career as a television news reporter, I knew how to write and tell a story, had a deep understanding of how the media operated, and knew what elements made for a compelling story. I also knew how reporters liked to be treated and what was important to them. This knowledge and understanding made for a seamless transition into the industry.
In the next 2-5 years, what do you see changing about the PR industry?
I hate to say it, but self-publicization could have a detrimental impact on certain segments of the industry. Given where we are with technology and social media, it is likely public relations firms focusing on traditional media will see a softening in demand because people savvy with social media who obtain media databases can find a way to promote themselves. That’s why it’s critical for PR firms to always be ready to diversify, change with the times, and offer clients top-level products and services they can’t get anywhere else.
What is something about working in PR that would surprise people?
I think the symbiotic nature between PR professionals and the media. It’s obvious to me now but wasn’t when I was a news reporter. Back then when I was dealing with PR people, I usually thought, “Here’s a story they’re just trying to sell.” It wasn’t until I was in the industry that I realized how valuable PR professionals can be for the media in supplying info, story ideas, resources, access to experts, context, and background. News outlets need PR pros just as much as we need them.
What are your top daily news sources?
CNN, New York Times & Boston Globe.
What is your favorite thing about working at Castle?
I’m really impressed by the Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives we take part in and the pro bono work we do for nonprofits. We’re not just paying lip service to the term “giving back” but we’re actually doing it. That says a lot about our culture and who we are.
To read more of our “Five Questions” blog posts click here.