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CAS Graduate Study Success Stories

Not Business As Usual

Chunn helps organizations affect positive social change by using culturally sensitive cause-related marketing campaigns.

Scandals like those at Enron and Andersen Consulting have shaken consumer confidence in corporate America. It's no longer good enough to operate "business as usual." Kelley Chunn, MCM graduate and principal of Kelley Chunn & Associates, says organizations are standing out and gaining customer loyalty by affecting positive social change through the use of culturally sensitive cause-related marketing campaigns.

"Organizations that act as caring members of a community position themselves to be more effective in the marketplace. I founded my consultancy in 1991 with that in mind by offering multicultural and cause-related public relations and marketing," says Chunn. "Thirteen years later, my services are in demand now, more than ever."

A graduate of New York University's School of Journalism, Chunn worked 10 years as a TV news and public affairs writer/producer at all three television network affiliates in Boston. "At that time, I produced all kinds of TV programming, much of it related to social issues. That theme has continued to run throughout my career."

From broadcast journalism, Chunn moved to the public sector serving as a senior communications specialist for the Massachusetts Housing Finance Agency (MHFA). "This was a turning point in my career. There was a mandate to reach all kinds of people, to really reflect the Commonwealth and its diversity. So I learned to develop communications targeted to multicultural audiences."

Shortly after graduating from Simmons's MCM program in 1990, Chunn left the MHFA to work as an independent consultant; she also taught public relations and marketing at Northeastern University and the Heller School at Brandeis University. Since 2002, she has been teaching a course on issues management and crisis communications at Simmons.

"I truly enjoy teaching at Simmons. The classes are small and offer great opportunities to learn and exchange information. Grad school students bring their own professional backgrounds, experiences and challenges — we all benefit from each other. The events of this decade have also positioned issues management and crisis communications as critical assets for the communications professional."