Public Relations

In today’s crowded marketplace, O’Neill and Associates helps companies stand out by communicating their unique strengths to the audiences they care about most. Whether seeking to market a product or service to potential customers, influence industry opinion leaders, communicate with employees or increase public awareness and grassroots support for an issue, O’Neill and Associates’ full range of public relations services help clients reach their goals. Our communications professionals provide customized public relations plans to address clients’ unique goals and then execute these campaigns to deliver our clients’ messages to their targets.

Below are some examples of just a few of the public relations campaigns we are proud of. Click on the client to learn more.

Case Studies:

Baystate Financial Services 

O’Neill and Associates was retained in 2010 by Baystate Financial Services, one of New England’s oldest and largest privately-owned financial institutions, to elevate the overall profile and successes of the firm and solidify Baystate Financial and Baystate Wealth Management as centers of thought leadership in the financial services sector. O’Neill and Associates launched a multifaceted public relations campaign, which involved crafting messaging, developing a comprehensive media relations campaign and implementing an internal communications strategy. O’Neill and Associates also identified events and speaking opportunities for senior leadership and worked to expand the company’s philanthropic arm, Baystate Charitable Foundation, by developing a more long-term and strategic approach to its operation. As a result of the efforts of O’Neill and Associates, the profile of the company and its management has been elevated and a number of successes for Baystate have been achieved, including awards such as the Boston Business Journal’s Most Admired CEO and the Boston Business Journal’s Best Places to Work. Baystate has been featured in a number of local, regional and national media outlets, such as Boston Globe, Boston Business Journal, Boston Herald, National Journal, NECN, Fox 25, Financial Advisor Magazine, Financial Magazine, MetroWest Daily News, Worcester Telegram and Gazette, Worcester Business Journal, Providence Business News, Maine Ahead, Wakefield Observer,, and a variety of AOL Patch online outlets.

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Benchmark Assisted Living 

Benchmark needed to gain additional exposure with business leaders outside of the assisted living industry and to maintain its excellent reputation in an industry at times marred by controversy. O’Neill and Associated developed a communications plan for Benchmark that included media briefings with leading New England reporters, press material development and news story pitching ideas, including capitalization on the many award opportunities presented to Benchmark. O’Neill and Associates announced each of Benchmark’s deals individually and afterwards pitched the cumulative story of Benchmark’s major financial dealings and the impact that they had on the size and capability of the company. O’Neill and Associates’ successes on behalf of Benchmark included solid business brief coverage of individual deals throughout New England and the markets where the communities were sold; a page three article by the Boston Business Journal; a feature as one of the fastest-growing private companies by the Boston Business Journal; an executive profile of CEO Tom Grape in the Boston Business Journal highlighting the success he has had in building the company from a startup to the largest assisted living provider in New England; a front-page story in The Boston Globe’s real estate section with large photographs of Grape interacting with residents; trade coverage of Benchmark’s two financial deals and positive coverage in regional and local papers where Benchmark was acquiring properties.

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Boston Harbor Hotel 

Upon earning its five-star rating, the Boston Harbor Hotel called on O’Neill and Associates to develop a strategic communications campaign aimed at capturing the top local demographic for power gatherings and fine dining while helping to expand its brand to new audiences. O’Neill and Associates developed and implemented a broad public relations campaign that involved local and national media outreach, social media management, new promotional initiatives for targeted audiences and a high-profile thought leader speaker series. The O’Neill and Associates campaign grew excitement for the Boston Harbor Hotel as a choice business and urban leisure venue for area residents and travelers alike. To date, the Boston Harbor Hotel has garnered increased awareness among its target audiences through cohesive and targeted messaging, proactive media relations and enhanced community involvement. Media coverage includes pieces in Travel and Leisure, Boston Globe, Boston Herald, Boston Business Journal, Boston Common, Boston Magazine, Improper Bostonian, WHERE, Sante, Zagat, Stuff Magazine and Yankee magazine, as well as broadcast segments on NECN, WCVB, WHDH, and WFXT. The popular speaker series regularly draws a crowd of over 100 local business leaders. Featured guests have included national newsmakers, policymakers and authors. Favorable media coverage of the hotel, the restaurants and amenities and continued brand and product evolution were central to the successful implementation of the public relations strategy.

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Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program 

Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program (BHCHP) has provided and assured the highest quality of health care for homeless men, women and children in Boston since 1985.  For many years, BHCHP operated a respite care facility for the homeless at 461 Walnut Avenue in Boston’s Jamaica Plain neighborhood, though their primary operations were eventually temporarily relocated. While planning to reopen the 461 Walnut Avenue location, BHCHP received strong opposition from abutters and many powerful members of the Jamaica Plain community. BHCHP retained O’Neill and Associates for community relations and public relations services. O’Neill and Associates built project support, conducted department outreach, implemented community meetings and secured elected officials’ letters of support. O’Neill and Associates also developed a print advertisement on behalf of BHCHP that displayed more than 400 signatures of local residents who supported the project. The BHCHP was featured in the media, secured the support of Major Menino, several city councilors and state elected officials, and successfully received a favorable vote by the Boston Redevelopment Authority Board giving the project the green light to move ahead.

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Boston Pride 

Boston Pride is a nonprofit organization that advocates for social justice on behalf of the LGBT community by disseminating news, promoting dialogue and mobilizing people to take action on issues of local, national and global significance. In 2011, Boston Pride issued an RFP for communications and marketing services, the first time that the organization sought a public relations firm. O’Neill and Associates won the contract in partnership with a graphic designer and was retained for public relations services. The campaign aimed to garner and promote a positive and cohesive image for the organization through both the 2012 and 2013 Boston Pride Season and to raise Boston Pride’s profile as a worldwide thought leader in the LGBT community in promoting civil rights for all. As a result of O’Neill and Associates’ campaign, Boston Pride gained visibility throughout the community and beyond with the use of cohesive and targeted messaging, media relations, extensive social media efforts and community events. The events of Pride Week were estimated to attract over 1 million people, including an estimated 300,000 people in attendance at the festival and parade. O’Neill and Associates secured media partnerships and extensive media coverage for Boston Pride, including features on CNN, WCVB Channel 5 and Mix 104.1 FM. News clips were also secured in The Boston Globe, Boston Metro, The Improper Bostonian, Boston Phoenix, the Rainbow Times, Bay Windows, The Huffington Post, Boston Spirit magazine and Stuff Magazine. O’Neill and Associates built followings on Facebook and Twitter accounts for both Boston Pride and Latino Pride. The social media content garnered attention internationally. O’Neill and Associates also assisted in the successful launch of the official Boston Pride iPhone application, which has been extremely popular to date and has helped to drive increased traffic to the Boston Pride website. Finally, O’Neill and Associates has helped Boston Pride enhance its reputation as a thought leader in the LGBT community.

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Christopher’s Haven 

Christopher’s Haven, a nonprofit organization that provides housing for families of children being treated for cancer at Massachusetts General Hospital, was struggling to cover the apartment costs and wanted to raise media awareness for their cause. Taking on Christopher’s Haven pro bono, O’Neill and Associates launched a multifaceted public relations campaign to increase the organization’s visibility. The team facilitated interviews of cancer patients and their families with Boston’s FOX25 News, The Boston Globe, the Cape Cod Times and other regional media outlets. The interviews helped to increase awareness of the cause and garner support and fundraising for the children and families staying in the apartments. As a result of O’Neill and Associates’ extensive media outreach campaign, Christopher’s Haven saw measurable increases in giving with a jump in donations after each segment aired or was published. They surpassed their fundraising goal and covered the apartment costs for young cancer patients and their families. Program director Martha Bernard Welsh is available as a reference.

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Harvard Pilgrim Health Care 

O’Neill and Associates developed a comprehensive communications plan to position Harvard Pilgrim Health Care (HPHC) and to position CEO Charlie Baker as a thought leader in the health care industry of Massachusetts and New Hampshire. O’Neill and Associates analyzed trends in health care and recommended that HPHC conduct a survey of health care decision makers at 200 area employers to ascertain their feelings on premium increases as well as the rising cost of health care. The key findings and other survey results provided the platform for Charlie Baker to address the issue with business leaders and gave HPHC the necessary news hook to gain the attention of reporters across the region. The message was clear: health care costs are rising, and without change on the parts of employers, employees and health plans the future will be bleak. O’Neill and Associates crafted a message that addressed the rising costs of health care and provided real action to change the downward spiral; this included information concerning the important role employees have to take in lowering health care costs through informed use of their health plan. O’Neill and Associates facilitated a keynote address by Charlie Baker to the membership of the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce as well as other speaking engagements throughout Boston’s South Shore, North Shore and the city of Worcester. The campaign was covered by more than 20 news outlets, including the business pages and columns of the Boston Globe, Boston Herald, Worcester Telegram & Gazette, Patriot Ledger, Worcester Business Journal and the Boston Business Journal and on broadcast outlets including NECN, WBZ, WBIX, WRKO, the Jordan Levy Show, and WINC Worcester.

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ISO-New England 

O’Neill and Associates provided a comprehensive media relations and community outreach campaign to bring ISO-NE’s urgent message of energy efficiency to the audiences it sought. O’Neill and Associates developed and implemented the “Take Charge New England” campaign, which included strategic planning to assess targeted audiences and how to reach them and the development of the campaign theme, messages, slogan, graphic identity and website. O’Neill and Associates also cultivated strategic partnerships. These included relationships with key business leaders such as the Associated Industries of Massachusetts (AIM), the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce, and the Connecticut Business & Industry Association (CBIA); important nonprofit partners, including the Northeast Energy Efficiency Partnership and the Conversation Law Foundation; policymakers and public officials, including the Attorney General of Connecticut Richard Blumenthal, the Massachusetts Secretary of Economic Development Ranch Kimball, and Lieutenant Governor of Massachusetts Kerry Healey; and retail sponsors Lowe’s Home Improvement and Energy Star, the U.S. government program dedicated to energy efficiency. O’Neill and Associates coordinated simultaneous launch events in Massachusetts and Connecticut that included representation from ISO New England, business leaders, and elected officials and speaking opportunities throughout New England for ISO-NE leaders, including regional chambers of commerce. 

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National Braille Press 

National Braille Press is a Boston-based nonprofit dedicated to promoting literacy among blind children through Braille publishing. Each year the nonprofit hosts a fundraising event called the Hands On! Gala. O’Neill and Associates provided a public relations, media relations and relationship marketing campaign to secure noteworthy honorees, recruit high-profile co-chairs, raise issue awareness both regionally and nationally and increase gala attendance. O’Neill and Associates has worked with NBP to create awareness about the organization in the Boston and New England areas. 

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Natixis Global Asset Management 

O’Neill and Associates provided an integrated communications and public affairs campaign designed to build the corporate image of Natixis in Boston and New England among industry peers, media, business and political communities and the general public, enhance the public profile of Natixis executives within the Boston business community and establish key Natixis executives as thought and community leaders within Greater Boston.

The communications campaign included the facilitation of a messaging workshop to inform overall campaign strategy and direct proactive media outreach and deskside briefings with reporters. In addition, O’Neill and Associates created and successfully placed op-ed pieces and bylined articles authored by Natixis executives on topics such as regional economic development and corporate governance. The O’Neill and Associates team also created and continues to oversee a Natixis-sponsored breakfast series of panel discussions on important economic development and public policy topics.

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Santander (formerly Sovereign Bank) 

After helping this Philadelphia bank win 281 New England bank branches via the largest divestiture in U.S. banking history, O’Neill and Associates executed a successful campaign to create a positive identity for the bank with New England community groups, non-profit agencies, elected officials, corporate leaders and the public.

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Tufts Medical Center 

Tufts Medical Center, a world-class academic facility and a principal teaching hospital for Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston, Massachusetts, hosted its 9th annual Working Wonders event on February 27, 2012 at the TD Garden. This year’s Working Wonders event was the first signature event for Tufts Medical Center’s new CEO Eric Beyer. It honored former Tufts Medical Center CEO Ellen Zane and Cam Neely, former Bruins player and founder of The Cam Neely Foundation for Cancer Care. Tufts Medical Center looked to O’Neill and Associates to elevate the profile of the event and increase awareness of it in order to drive attendance and build support. As a result of this comprehensive communications campaign, the Working Wonders Gala was an unparalleled success, with nearly a thousand people in attendance. O’Neill and Associates was also able to secure Tiffani Faison as the event’s celebrity chef and WCVB-TV sportscaster Mike Lynch as master of ceremonies for the night. The evening raised $1.1 million for Tufts Medical Center and the Floating Hospital for Children. Media placements included multiple features in the following media outlets: The Boston Globe, the Boston Herald,, NESN, WCVB-TV Channel 5, and Wicked Local North Attleborough.

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U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum 

The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM) is one of the nation’s most important cultural institutions. In cooperation with Harvard Medical School, USHMM brought an exhibit to Boston called “Deadly Medicine: Creating the Master Race,” which focuses on the relationship of physicians, academics and others in Nazi Germany to the eugenics efforts and medical experimentation of Nazi doctors. USHMM retained O’Neill and Associates to develop a public relations campaign that would promote general awareness of the “Deadly Medicine” exhibition opening, partner events and the 2011 Boston Dinner. USHMM also sought the help of O’Neill and Associates to promote awareness and fundraising within New England of USHMM’s work nationwide. O’Neill and Associates laid the foundation for a sustained presence for USHMM in the region, reinforced ongoing fundraising and built support for future annual dinners, the museum’s 20th anniversary year and other programs on the horizon. O’Neill and Associates implemented a wide range of services in order to fulfill USHMM needs and was able to garner significant news coverage reaching hundreds of thousands of people, including print, radio, video and online outlets. The media outlets included WBUR, a local NPR station, The Boston Globe, the Boston Herald, the Boston Business Journal, Boston Magazine online, the Jewish Advocate and the Brookline Patch. In addition, attendance at the Deadly Medicine exhibition exceeded expectations.

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