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The PR Maven Podcast

The PR Maven® Podcast is the combination of traditional networking techniques combined with the power of social media to build your personal and professional brand. The podcast features interviews with industry leaders, top executives, media personalities and online influencers about public relations and their personal brand. Each week, Nancy connects with a special guest to talk about their career, and business or organization, as well as the latest news and events that will give listeners a unique perspective on the world of public relations, marketing and personal branding, including actionable takeaways.

Dec 25, 2018

About MacKenzie Riley Young:

MacKenzie Riley Young is the assistant director of media relations at Thomas College in Waterville, Maine. She studied journalism and communications at a small liberal arts college called St. Thomas University in Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada, before returning to her hometown (and country) to work at Thomas College. She started out with a recruiting job for Thomas, where she learned how to give an elevator speech and connect with strangers, and that a traveling job was not for her. Less than a year after college and at Thomas, her boss at the time took a chance and gave her the assistant director of media relations position. 

MacKenzie has spent the last few years at Thomas College, dramatically increasing its media presence in the state, region and nation, including recently on the Sunday Today Show. What MacKenzie loves most about working in public relations is the constant challenge and opportunity to write. 

MacKenzie lives in Washington, Maine, with her new husband. She loves hiking, reading, public radio and all things Maine.

In this episode:

3:56 – Where MacKenzie found her love for writing, including journalism classes.

7:38 – What MacKenzie would have done differently in finding a college.

9:15 – The importance of clear goals and what led to the media result on the Sunday Today Show.

11:55 – Nancy explains her mental Rolodex of contacts and how to build relationships with journalists.

13:53 – Using digital marketing and social media to reach Generation Z and the platforms they use to target those audiences.

16:21 – The obstacles that MacKenzie has faced, the key to success and why it is important to say no and take some rest and relaxation.

22:24 – How MacKenzie's relationship with her mentor Julie Rabinowitz has helped her in her career for different public relations questions.

24:28 – What MacKenzie does to measure her communications efforts and e-newsletter content.

26:34 – MacKenzie explains why networking is important in the growth of her career, including being on The PR Maven Podcast.

28:00 – The background on why MacKenzie has worked on her on-camera presence in case she needs to jump into the media interview.

29:55 – Why MacKenzie feels really connected to Nancy and the time they shared touring TV stations, including meeting Jeff Peterson at WGME in Portland.

31:57 – Advice for public relations pros, including the importance of listening and staying on top of the news.

34:09 – What MacKenzie realized about working with media in Maine.


“If you’re going into public relations and media relations you have to consume a lot of news.” – MacKenzie Riley Young, Assistant Director of Media Relations at Thomas College

Mentioned in this episode:


University of Maine camp for young authors -



Julie Rabinowitz -

Jeff Peterson, WGME 13 -

Rob Nesbit, Newscenter Maine -

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