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On the Case With…

Each month, as part of “The Business Case for Public Relations,” PRSA asks an industry leader to reflect on his or her career and make a “business case” for public relations.

More from “On the Case With…”

On the Case With Cheryll Forsatz

March 2, 2015

Cheryll Forsatz
Cheryll Forsatz

Cheryll Forsatz is director of communications for McDonald’s New York Metro Region. As a communications adviser for McDonald’s flagship markets, which consist of more than 600 restaurants, she provides counsel on communications strategies for the region’s leadership team, staff and franchisees. She also works with McDonald’s U.S. Communications team on strategies to leverage New York City’s global prominence to build the McDonald’s brand.

Prior to McDonald’s, Forsatz worked at MWW Group, where she served as senior vice president and director of the agency’s New York consumer practice, and at Amster-Young PR, where she developed campaigns and handled media-relations activities for Omni Hotels, Carr’s Crackers and the American Cancer Society.

She was a recipient of the Asian Pacific American Corporate Achievement Award and was a PRWeek “40 Under 40” honoree and has also received multiple PR and communications awards, including the PRSA Silver Anvil, PRSA-New York Big Apple, Sabre and Mercury Awards.

A PRSA member since 2009, Forsatz holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a bachelor’s degree in public relations, both from Syracuse University. She lives in Wayne, N.J. with her husband and two children.

In her 21 years in public relations, Forsatz says the most important thing that she’s learned is: “Strong relationships make any task or assignment easier.”

And as far as trends on the horizon for the PR profession, she says, “There is no line in the sand between internal and external communications anymore, and the role that communications professionals play within an organization will continue to evolve beyond messaging and press releases. Everything communicates.”

Name: Cheryll Forsatz

Childhood ambition:  I proudly declared in second grade that I wanted to be a pediatrician.

Current livelihood:  Director of communications for McDonald’s New York Metro Region

What changed:  I changed direction when I realized writing was more of a passion for me than science.

First public relations job:  I was an intern at a firm that secured radio media tours for authors.

What you know now that you wish you’d known then:  Having a stronger understanding of financial and legal matters makes me a more credible resource when counseling others. Broaden your knowledge base beyond traditional communications and public relations and become “students of the business” for your profession.

Best piece of advice you’ve ever received:  Your success is only as good as the success and the growth of the people working around you. McDonald’s founder Ray Kroc had a saying: “None of us is as good as all of us.”

Greatest professional accomplishment:  I am most proud when I am able to mentor and coach PR students and people entering the profession, and am able to ignite the passion I have for this discipline in them.

If you weren’t in public relations, you would be:  I don’t think it would have been an option. I can’t imagine doing anything else.

Desired legacy:  That I was able to bring more diversity into the PR and communications profession

Please make a “business case” for public relations.  With the power that social media, influencers, stakeholders and word-of-mouth have, I would hope that we are beyond having to make the business case for public relations and strategic communications.


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