40 Under 40 2018 | Dwayna Haley

When asked to describe Dwayna Haley, associates at Porter Novelli use words such as "connector," "builder," and "influencer." "She sees the opportunity in every situation and uses it to the benefit of her company," says one coworker.

In one standout example, Haley delivered on Porter Novelli CEO Brad MacAfee’s challenge to leverage a speaking opportunity with a key client prospect by arranging a meeting in less than 45 days. Sensing the group wouldn’t respond to a typical presentation from yet another PR firm, she went off script, informing it that the meeting was designed as a conversation about the prospect’s needs.

Her instincts proved right on target. Porter Novelli not only won the business but was also praised for appearing more knowledgeable and better prepared than any of its competitors.

Haley has transformed how the firm approaches new business and pursues clients in Atlanta. She recognized early in her career the importance of relationships and how they foster long-term client relationships and has used her presence at industry events and speaking opportunities to show clients what they will get with her – smart, strategic thinking, packaged in an authentic and charismatic professional.

That approach has secured new accounts while circumventing the new business process with marquee clients such as Carter’s and OshKosh B’gosh brand. Haley has helped build a fast-growing, high-performing team and the results are award-winning work with year-over-year budget growth.

At Ketchum’s consumer practice, Haley worked on a national integrated marketing campaign for Kodak that included a brand partnership and content distribution deal with TLC’s Trading Spaces, influencer marketing with Paige Davis and Hildi Santo-Tomas, and production of both digital and TV content. At MSLGroup, she led the cross-functional team and multi-platform digital strategy for Comcast and Xfinity which included business growth from $300,000 to $4 million within eight months.

- Haley launched The Blueprint Series, an intimate, quarterly luncheon with five women of color, to build a bridge to executive roles for women of color as they step into the industry.

- Her blog, AskThePRGirl, covers hot topics as well as how a black working wife and mom juggles it all.

- She coaches students on interviewing techniques, tips for finding mentors, and embracing the art of the "hustle" to differentiate themselves in a crowded market place.

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