Metro Public Relations Elevates Laura Michael to CEO, Bolsters Senior Team

by | Aug 13, 2021

Metro Public Relations, one of entertainment’s leading independent, female-owned strategic communications and creative marketing companies, today announced it has upped current Partner, President & COO, Laura Michael to CEO, in addition to hiring key senior team members to accelerate the company’s PR and content marketing offerings to support a growing roster of entertainment, brand, culture, and consumer technology clients. Joining the executive team are Disney veteran Laura Jalaie as SVP, Strategy & Communications, and Bree Jones as VP of Consumer Communications & Culture, among other new senior hires.

The news comes as the company celebrates its 15th anniversary this month, with a long-standing history working with Hollywood studios, networks, Emmy-winning producers, leading social media platforms, and more. Founded in the digital era, Metro is in the midst of extraordinary 200% team growth over the last year as it continues to expand its bi-coastal staff, client offerings, and expertise at the intersection of digital, entertainment, and culture.

“We teamed up at 23 years old to build a company rooted in innovation, passion and respect – ultimately a place where we want to work,” said Finkle and Michael. “We’re looking forward to leading Metro into this next phase of growth and are proud to welcome such talented individuals to our team.”

As CEO, Michael will execute Metro’s mission to empower talent, companies and brands to build a loyal community, activate their fans, and tap into today’s cultural currency. She will continue to be a driving force behind the company’s growth and expansion, oversee Metro’s leadership team, and offer strategic counsel for clients.

Michael will continue to work closely with Finkle, whose primary focus will be to further fuel company business development and partnerships, while broadening the agency’s services through Metro’s creative marketing and content strategy arm. Metro’s award-winning creative marketing portfolio includes campaigns for Universal, TikTok, Viacom, and more; with recognitions including Webby nominations and PR Week, Clio, and Shorty Award wins. Most recently, Metro created HeadCount’s most successful 2020 voter registration campaign, and is leading strategic counsel for cannabis brand Green Dragon to expand its footprint into the entertainment industry.

Metro’s new senior hires include:

  • SVP, Strategy & Communications Laura Jalaie joins Metro from The Walt Disney Company, where she helped lead communications and content strategy for the Consumer Products, Games and Publishing businesses. With more than 15 years of experience across entertainment, content, consumer products, retail, licensing and video games, Laura will be focused on building strategic marketing and PR campaigns across Metro’s growing roster of clients.
  • VP of Consumer Communications and Culture Bree Jones joins Metro’s senior leadership team to lead culture-forward campaigns and lifestyle communications for clients and brands looking to better engage with today’s diverse and socially-driven generation. In her previous roles at Cashmere Agency and PMK*BNC, Jones led PR, influencer and culture marketing campaigns for Netflix, HBO, Jack in the Box, Pepsi, Audi and more.
  • Kathryn White joins as Account Director to help lead Metro’s digital entertainment, publishing and consumer technology clients. She joins from Sparkpr, where she worked with a diverse group of start-ups and well-established brands including MagicLeap and Walmart, among others.
  • Angela Keane joins as Account Supervisor, supporting efforts on Metro’s brands and lifestyle team. Keane comes from 160over90, an Endeavor Company, and DKC where she worked on lifestyle and consumer clients including CALIA by Carrie Underwood, DICK’S Sporting Goods, Ken Burns documentary films and more.
  • Film festival and awards specialist Kelsey Finn joins as Senior Publicist. Finn most recently led campaigns for films including 2020’s Best Picture winner “Parasite.”

The new senior team members will help support Metro’s existing roster that includes World of Wonder, Dan Harmon, Marta Kauffman, Kevin Hart’s Laugh Out Loud, LL Cool J’s Rock The Bells; publishers including iHeartMedia, Group Nine, Betches, and The Shade Room; consumer technology platforms including Bright, Wave, Tiltify; conventions VidCon and RuPaul’s DragCon; and social platforms including Instagram and Facebook.

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