Pete Mackey, Ph.D.
Founder & President
Across more than 25 years in leadership roles at private and public institutions in the U.S. and Europe, I have become a specialist in institutional planning, communications strategies, admissions and campaign communications, team-building, and perceptions research that leads to meaningful return on investment.
As the top communications executive at Amherst College, Bucknell University, the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation, Science Foundation Ireland, and the University of South Carolina, I built transformative strategic communications operations. From branding overhauls to website redesigns, my teams and I re-shaped how these institutions connected with their audiences.
I've overseen communications for $500 million fundraising campaigns, developed admissions marketing that helped boost applications by nearly 40% in one year, and written for everyone from European Union scientists to Ireland's Deputy Prime Minister to numerous college presidents.
I am also an endless optimist, exemplified by my being a fan of Cleveland’s professional teams going back 30 years.
I will work with you to learn what distinguishes your mission and how to separate it from the crowd.
Senior Strategist, Writer & Affiliate
Two themes have run through my 30-year career in journalism and higher education: telling stories with clarity and power, and building high-performing teams in complex, fast-moving organizations.
As Carnegie Mellon University’s first Vice President for Marketing & Communications, I created, shaped, and led a new division of 50 professionals who provide strategic communications planning, integrated marketing campaigns, media relations, social media, executive communications, web development, creative design, video, photo, curation of the visitor experience, and university events. I served as an advisor to two presidents, helped draft the university’s strategic plan, and offered counsel on programmatic and budgetary priorities.
At the University of Chicago, I planned and executed major university announcements; developed strategy and messaging for sensitive issues; and acted as a counselor to senior university officials and deans.
As an editor at the Chicago Tribune, I shepherded some of a national newspaper’s most complex and important stories, while creating and leading new teams that specialized in original, in-depth analysis of trends in education and urban affairs.
This breadth of experience allows me to help you refine your message, deliver it effectively to audiences local and global, create plans and teams that will keep the momentum going.
Marketing & Media Manager
My passion for the arts, social-media savvy and strong organizational skills helped me land my first job overseeing digital communications at a prestigious college art museum. I spearheaded an award-winning web redesign, implemented a social strategy that increased alumni donations and student engagement, and secured national media coverage for the museum.
Through the process, I discovered my knack for creating content that is honest, compelling, useful, and ultimately effective.
As a marketing director at Amherst College, I produced high-quality content that drove results and served as a communications advisor to colleagues across campus. I launched a multi-media campaign that raised the profile of the arts and museums on campus. I developed and implemented an admissions strategy that integrated online content and electronic messaging, boosted applications, and increased prospective student engagement with the college’s web and social platforms. And, working with thought leaders across campus, I executed a marketing strategy that turned the college’s literary festival into a major annual event.
I earned my bachelor’s in English and creative writing from Emory University, where I honed my ability to think creatively and tell stories that affect people. I love working with organizations that are goal-oriented and that aim to have a meaningful impact on their communities and in the world.