Spotlight: Boston

Laura Tomasetti, CEO and founder, 360 Public Relations, discusses how Boston's 'work hard, play hard' culture helps the city retain top talent.

The Red Sox may be the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about Boston, but in addition to professional baseball, the Massachusetts capital is a business and communications hot spot with growth across a number of industry sectors.

"It's a work-hard, play-hard city," explains Boston native Laura Tomasetti, CEO and founder of 360 Public Relations.

She says the city has a rich pipeline of young talent entering the PR sector because of the region's top-rated communications, journalism, and business programs, such as Northeastern University, Boston College, Boston University, Harvard, MIT, and Emerson.

Mid- and senior-level professionals also move to the area because of its close proximity to New York and six-hour direct flights to Europe.

Fast Facts

One of Tomasetti's favorite coffee and breakfast places to take clients or employees in Boston is Flour Bakery + Café, but for lunches or dinners she chooses Oak Long Bar + Kitchen or Scampo in Boston's Liberty Hotel.

Alexander Graham Bell, inventor and founder of the Bell Telephone Company, made the world's first telephone call from Boston in 1876.

Fenway Park, home to Major League Baseball's Boston Red Sox, is the oldest professional baseball stadium still in use. It opened its doors in 1912 and has hosted 11 World Series, the most recent in 2007.

In September, Boston was rated the most energy efficient city in the country by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE). Cities were rated on their efforts in five areas, including buildings, transportation, energy and water utility programs, local government operations, and community-wide initiatives.

The Boston Marathon, which started in 1887, is the oldest in the US, and it's also the fastest, with an average time of three hours and 44 minutes.

Boston has more than 850 restaurants to serve a wide variety of cuisines to its 10 million tourists per year.

Boston attracts talent because "it is a terrific walking city," adds Tomasetti. It's a 10-minute drive to Logan International Airport, and is close to vacation spots for both the winter and summer.

Other PR firms headquartered or with offices in the city are Cone Communications, Shift Communications, FleishmanHillard, and Racepoint Group.

In addition to PR, Boston draws digital professionals, with agencies such as Digitas, Modernista, and BzzAgent all founded in the area.

Consumer is another industry that has seen significant growth in the last few years, says Tomasetti, but the city has had deep roots in the sector for a long time. Many consumer businesses have launched or are headquartered around the Boston area, including Au Bon Pain, Converse, New Balance, Stride Rite, and The TJX Companies, parent company of both TJ Maxx and Marshalls.

Zipcar, Care.com, and bike- sharing system Hubway were also founded in Boston and "speak to the entrepreneurship that's at the heart of the region," notes Tomasetti.

The city is also seeing new players in the organic and natural food space, such as Late July Organic Snacks.

On the public affairs front, Tomasetti says the mood in Boston is "positive with a hint of political uncertainty" as the city gets ready to elect its first new mayor in 20 years. The election, which includes a dozen candidates, will likely keep some public affairs firms in the area busy, such as Rasky Baerlein Strategic Communications, she adds.

With a wide array of press in the area, PR pros have a number of outlets to engage for stories. WGBH-TV, a PBS station, is one of the strongest in the market with the show Frontline being run out of Boston.

The New England Sports Network and New England Cable News, as well as The Boston Globe, Boston.com, Boston magazine, and blogs such as BostonMamas.com are also popular local players.


Reach Out

Local PRSA chapter
Chapter administrator:
Denise Hutchins
www.prsaboston.org
(508) 272-7935

Boston City Hall
One City Hall Square
Boston, MA 02201
www.cityofboston.gov
(617) 635-4500

Greater Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau
Two Copley Place, Suite 105
Boston, MA 02116
(617) 536-4100
www.bostonusa.com
info@bostonusa.com

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