For the past 30 years, Maureen Cahill has built her reputation as one of the top public relations practitioners in the Twin Cities. She’s established herself as a trusted go-to resource for media relations, crisis communications, events, and strategic planning and video producing. She’s built exceptionally strong relationships with local and national journalists. And now, we’re excited to share that she’s teaming with Bellmont Partners.
Maureen’s communications background is as broad as it is deep, spanning journalism, corporate communications, agency leadership and nonprofit. She spent five years as assignment manager at Twin Cities ABC affiliate KSTP-TV, nearly seven years as Director of PR at Mall of America while also working as a freelance producer for NBC Nightly News and the Today Show, and a decade as co-founder of PR agency McFarland Cahill. For the past eight years, Maureen was executive director at Smile Network International, where she oversaw day-to-day operations and international partnership and mission development for the Twin Cities-based healthcare nonprofit, while also leading the organization’s PR, marketing and fundraising initiatives.
When Maureen left Smile Network to jump-start her eponymous freelance business, Cahill Communications, she and Bellmont Partners cemented a strategic partnership, formalizing a relationship that’s stretched back nearly 15 years. While Maureen will consult with her own new and long-time clients, the partnership with Bellmont will allow her to build out larger teams for clients that need additional support.
We chatted with Maureen to talk about her move to refocus on PR, the importance of giving back, and what our partnership will mean for Bellmont Partners clients:
Why did you decide to get back into PR full time?
Throughout my career, I’ve been blessed by being able to do what I love with people I love, and my time with Smile Network was no exception. I was a board member for eight years, then executive director for another eight. It was an extremely difficult decision to leave an organization I’m passionate about and committed to, but it was time to get back to my roots. It has been very emotional and humbling – hearing from clients I worked with throughout the years, many of whom have become lifelong friends. To see everybody welcome me back with open arms is just phenomenal.
Add us to the list of people who are excited to see you back in PR, especially since it means we’ll be able to work more closely with you.
I’m excited to work with Bellmont Partners. I’ve been working with you and your team since 2008 and we’ve had a very collaborative relationship, whether we were partnering to help clients or I was referring them to your team because I was tied up with international travel. When I took the full-time role with Smile, my clients wanted my help in finding a new PR partner, and I introduced Bellmont to every client I had – and it’s great to see that you’re still working with some of them today. What I love is the energy and culture you have created. Not only with employees, but with clients and partners. Relationships like those are remarkable and rare, and in the end – they’re what help organizations achieve their goals.
I really value the amount of talent and expertise that this team has, with people at all levels, collaborating and learning from each other. I also love the agency’s low turnover rate, which translates into consistent work and client relationships.
What does that collaboration look like to you?
I’m available for consulting and smaller projects but will also be a part of the Bellmont Partners team to easily do bigger projects together or bring others in on specific aspects of one of my projects when necessary. I’ve loved being able to consult with several of Bellmont’s practice groups already, including health, tourism & hospitality and nonprofit, which represent so much of my experience over the past 20 years, and where I can combine my expertise with other team members’ for our clients.
I’m also really looking forward to working with local and national media on a more regular basis again. It’s been amazing to hear from so many journalists welcoming me back. Another thing the rest of the team at Bellmont Partners and I share is that we know how important it is to be able to tell a story on our clients’ behalf, but relationships are also key – and you build those with respect. Several of us come from journalism, so not only have we built these important relationships, we know how to tell a good story that we would have covered. We know what resonates with journalists, having been on both sides of the camera. We know what works – in both good times and crisis.
In addition to your deep expertise and experience, we’re excited about your focus on giving back to the community.
What’s important to me is to be able to feel like I’m making a difference. I have a strong passion and commitment to working with organizations and causes I believe in who are changing the world. That is a commitment that Bellmont Partners has as well and I really respect the agency’s focus on contributing to the community, through its pro bono work and the Bellmont Gives Back program, which gives everybody paid time to volunteer or support causes that are important to them. To me, it’s important to work with people who give back and are making an impact on the world.
Please join us in welcoming Maureen back to the public relations world. We’re thrilled about what our partnership will bring to our clients, colleagues and community.