PR Up and Comer: Tommy Morgan’s influential ascension at Sage

by | Jan 17, 2018 | Public Relations

Tommy Morgan is the youngest person on the Sage Communications staff, but has quickly become one of the stars of the firm’s PR team and earned the respect of his peers and managers alike. Since joining Sage last year, Tommy has not only come through time and again for his clients, but is constantly mentoring and teaching others—many times as he is learning and perfecting PR industry techniques himself.

Tommy brings a maturity and confidence to his work that goes far beyond his 18 months of experience, so much so that he earned an early promotion from Account Coordinator to Account Executive after only a few months on the job. Over the past year, Tommy has pushed the envelope for his clients and for Sage, and has been a champion for inserting Sage’s professionals into ongoing conversations within the industry.

“2016 was my first year in the PR industry. I graduated from Radford University in May and had my first day on the job at Sage Communications two weeks later,” Morgan says. “Over the past year and a half, I have learned more about PR and the world of communication that I ever imagined possible.”

Tommy Morgan

Tommy Morgan

Read on to find out more about why Tommy Morgan was honored with a Silver Award in the “PR Up and Comer” category in Bulldog Reporter’s 2017 Stars of PR Awards.

Professional leadership

Tommy is the quintessential PR professional, with a keen instinct for the game—and he shares that knowledge freely with the team, as well as across the industry. He has indeed made the Sage PR team better across the board.

“As a young professional in the field that recently graduated, I saw a need to immediately share what I was learning during my transition,” he offers. “For many college students, what you expect the ‘real world’ to be and what it is like in reality is vastly different. In the first six months of my career, I encountered significant challenges and discovered aspects of this industry that were incredible.”

He has also been published multiple times in 2017, writing about critical topics to the industry—for PR professionals as well as clients. His submissions have been most recently featured in leading industry publications like PR News and O’Dwyers, as well as Bulldog Reporter.

Five of Tommy’s recent published posts and articles include:

Tommy Morgan

Breakthrough communication approaches

For Sage, he has developed and spearheaded several campaigns to raise awareness for the agency across social media platforms, including Sage’s “Fishbowl” content series and an infographic campaign. Further, Tommy has developed a presence for Sage executives through LinkedIn Pulse thought leadership posts.

Across client accounts, he has striven to innovate and improve how Sage as an organization reports and measures value. By providing in-depth analytical measurement of results, each client has been able to walk away with a thorough understanding of the work Sage has completed.

“In 2016, I was exposed to several new industries, including federal technology, defense/military, non-profit, etc.,” he relates. “As a young PR professional, I have continually sought out opportunities to learn and hone my craft, including compiling research for new clients and developing and presenting new tactics to our clients.”

Tommy approaches each of his client accounts with a leadership mentality that keeps each team focused on achieving (and exceeding) client expectations.

Tommy Morgan

Demonstration of integrity

Tommy is the type of employee that thrives under pressure. On numerous occasions, he has successfully mediated and resolved numerous “fires” for his clients.

One example of his ability to remain authentic and transparent during difficult situations is Tommy’s work in securing a piece of coverage in The Washington Post. Tommy worked diligently to ensure that all parties involved (the client and reporter) walked away satisfied and accomplished. Tommy was able to navigate the unsteady waters with the reporter’s interview requirements, while simultaneously working with the client spokesperson to ensure that messaging and content was in line with overall communications expectations. The end result was a top Post profile that was the pinnacle of their coverage from the year.

In terms of pro bono work, Tommy works with Total Action for Progress (TAP), a regional nonprofit in southwest Virginia, to bolster the organization’s public relations and social media efforts. Tommy works closely with TAP’s Project Discovery program, which helps first-generation at-risk high school students achieve the goal of attending college. He has worked to set up a standing partnership with Radford University and garner relationships with regional media outlets.

Tommy also supports the Institute for Excellence in Sales, an organization that is committed to furthering the mission of sales professionals. As an in-kind client of Sage, Tommy works with the institute’s founder to garner media coverage, secure event attendance and collaborate with the client’s social media team to bolster outcomes across Twitter and LinkedIn.

In addition, Tommy oversees Sage’s intern program. In this role, Tommy is responsible for hiring, organizing and supervising each class of interns on a seasonal basis. Under Tommy’s supervision, Sage has transitioned three interns to full-time employees in the past year alone, where before, Sage had hired only two interns from the six previous intern classes.

“In 2016, I frequently spoke with students from my alma mater through closed-door chats and in-person conversations,” Morgan says. “I also took on the role of managing the internship with my agency. In this role, I have been able to learn management skills, but also invest in the future professionals that will be making an impact on the PR industry.”

Tommy Morgan

Results achieved

Over the past year, Tommy has been instrumental in furthering the overall communication goals of each of his clients. For example, he has secured and facilitated two top-tier placements for Roboteam, including coverage in The Washington Post and TechCrunch..

“Working closely with one of my colleagues, we handled the U.S. media for a major international forum that was held in Canada,” he adds, offering a fantastic example of delivering ROI. “In this role, my colleague and I served as the U.S. Press Secretaries, pitched media to attend and managed all media requests from U.S. outlets during the event.

“We were able to secure more than 20 U.S. reporters to attend the conference, and organized more than 60 on-site interviews over the course of two days. As a result of our work, coverage from the conference appeared in all major U.S. outlets, including on-air coverage in CNN, CBS, MSNBC and more,” he continues. “The coverage that resulted in U.S. outlets was well-received by the client and elevated the conference as a major think tank on the international stage.”

Tommy also worked to secure multiple reporters for Lookout Mobile Security’s Capitol Hill Tech Demonstration that took place in March. With less than a week to determine logistics, craft a pitch and secure press Tommy was able to facilitate seven interviews, which resulted in 12 pieces of top-tier coverage, including in The Hill and other policy outlets.

To date, Tommy has also pitched and secured eight of nine pieces of coverage for SAP National Security Services, a large national security client.

“I have experienced significant growth since I began my career in 2016,” he says, “and owe it to those who have invested their time in me, as well as my desire to do better and be better each day.”

Bulldog’s 2018 PR Awards are now open, with more categories—and more ways to win—than ever. Enter now!

Richard Carufel
Richard Carufel is editor of Bulldog Reporter and the Daily ’Dog, one of the web’s leading sources of PR and marketing communications news and opinions. He has been reporting on the PR and communications industry for over 17 years, and has interviewed hundreds of journalists and PR industry leaders. Reach him at richard.carufel@bulldogreporter.com; @BulldogReporter


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