Diane Schwartz, former publisher of PR News and one of the nation’s most recognized experts in corporate communication, has joined Ragan Communications as Chief Executive Officer, effective May 13.
The Chicago-based media company is best known for its PR and communication news sites and its growing conference, training and membership divisions. Its daily news sites—PR Daily, Ragan.com and HealthCareNews—are read by more than 600,000 internal and external communicators monthly.
“Diane Schwartz is known by nearly every communicator and PR professional in the country,” said Mark Ragan, owner and chairman of the board at Ragan. “I can think of few people in corporate communication as influential as Diane.” The hiring of Schwartz coincides with Ragan’s plan to open a New York City office later this year. “New York is one of the epicenters of PR and corporate communication,” Ragan said. “We have long needed a presence there, and soon we’ll have one.”
Among many of Schwartz’s accomplishments at PR News was the launch of the world’s leading PR awards program, its successful conference division and its critically acclaimed newsletter, which for the past 75 years has been widely read by key industry influencers. As CEO, one of Schwartz’s priorities will be the continued growth of Ragan’s hugely successful Communications Leadership Council. Launched in 2017, the Council has grown to include nearly 100 Fortune 500 brands, including The Coca-Cola Company, Disney, Amazon, Aflac, Target and Microsoft. Ragan also runs The Social Media Leadership Council, whose members include digital and social media communicators and marketers.
Schwartz joins Ragan Communications after 23 years at Access Intelligence, where she was senior vice president and group publisher of the Media & Communications Division, including head of the PR News Group. An accomplished business leader and innovator, Schwartz has a proven track record of driving organic growth while delivering top-notch customer experience across a multitude of vertical markets, including communication, marketing, media and entertainment. At Access Intelligence, Schwartz brought a customer-first mentality to the brands under her watch, including PR News, AdExchanger, Admonsters, Folio, Cablefax, Cynopsis, StudioDaily and Social Shake-Up.
A longtime PR advocate, Schwartz founded the PR News Measurement Conference and Hall of Fame, the Platinum PR Awards, the Crisis Management Summit, Media Relations Conference and numerous training and recognition programs to shine a bright light on PR’s contribution to an organization’s reputation and bottom line.
Schwartz, a 30-year media veteran and former journalist, serves on the boards of the Institute for Public Relations and the Alliance for Women in Media. She will embark on an industry listening tour in the coming months and plans to announce several groundbreaking Ragan initiatives in the fall.
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