Brianna McKinney: She’s Passionate About the Greater Good

December 20 - On The Dot
FIRST THOUGHT: Hustle Your Bustle

I have plenty of childhood memories of my mom urging me to get my chores done by telling me to hustle, or my dad noting I did a good job by saying, “Good hustle!” Hustling is good. After all, you can’t gain ground by sleeping through the day. But hustling also implies more is always better, despite the quality of that additional work. I’ve often heard it takes about 10,000 hours of practice to master a new skill, but will spending 10,000 hours learning the violin make you absolutely despise the violin? Today, before you crunch through your lunch hour, race through your inbox and dive into your five-year plan, take a moment to make sure it’s what you really want. Then get to hustlin’!


For women in the workforce, hustling is pretty much a requirement, especially since there’s that ever-present wage gap. In certain industries, women have a more difficult time reaching the top. While the majority of people working in the nonprofit sector in the United States are female, those at the top aren’t. And in a recent poll conducted in part by The Chronicle of Philanthropy, of the 650 American women working in the nonprofit field who were surveyed, 44 percent said their organization favors men over equally qualified women for leadership positions.

WOMAN TO WATCH: Brianna McKinney, Founder and President of Bloom Communications

When you think about public relations, what do you think of? Maybe you have a negative connotation of mouthy dudes spin-doctoring reality in order to help their clients sell more widgets. But have you ever considered how vital PR is for nonprofits? When a nonprofit relies heavily on contributions from loyal supporters simply to keep the doors open, it’s crucial to get the word out. Enter today’s innovating Woman to Watch, Brianna McKinney, who uses her years of PR experience for good, igniting passion with purpose.

Brianna’s experience speaks volumes about her impressive work ethic. She worked with industry leaders such as BusinessWeek, Microsoft and Hewlett-Packard before branching out on her own, launching Bloom Communications to help nonprofits and responsible for-profit companies with strategic marketing, public relations and research-based consulting services. With more than 25 years of volunteer experience and a decade-plus of PR practice, Brianna combined the two into a mission-driven career that’s making a positive impact in her local community and throughout the world.

When it comes to the nonprofit sector, there are a few challenges every charitable organization faces. First, you’ve got to attract donors. Second, you must increase your volunteer pool—and actually retain those volunteers. Third, the public has to be aware you exist. Brianna’s company helps with all these logistics, offering ingenious ideas to not only help keep nonprofits afloat, but to help them grow. For example, in order to attract and keep donors, Bloom suggests nonprofits offer a recurring-donation feature on their website, and reward donors for their consistent monetary support with a branded T-shirt, magnet or even a simple thank-you note expressing gratitude.

Brianna mentions that even if you’re an old pro in the nonprofit biz, times, they are a-changing, and that means paying particular attention to your online reputation, offering a user-friendly experience on mobile and establishing personal connections with folks along the way.

There’s no question Brianna has a passion for people. She even invests about 10 percent of her company’s profits in her community. And as a supporter of local ballet, food banks and the YMCA, Brianna is definitely practicing what she preaches. With that kind of business philosophy, we’re sure her company will only continue to bloom!


With Brianna McKinney and Bloom Communications in mind, let’s finish today with a quote from the formidable Martin Luther King Jr.:

“The time is always right to do what is right.”

This is Melinda Garvey signing off until next time. Remember, ladies, empowered women empower other women. Share On the Dot so more women can have a voice. Thanks for getting ready with us.

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