Denise Blackburn-Gay, APR, President of Marketing Strategies, Inc. of Myrtle Beach, is South Carolina’s first woman to be inducted into membership in the Organization of American Women in Public Relations.

This influential network of leading business women strives for excellence in the field of public relations and has been formed to enable female leaders in PR to share ideas, contacts, experiences, and to advocate for major issues directly affecting women working in the PR industry today.

While women comprise approximately 70% of the staff in PR agencies, they occupy less than half of the executive committee roles at most large PR firms, and only four women lead agencies with more than $100 million in global revenue in North America.

“Women have played an important role in establishing and shaping the public relations industry we know today. I am proud of that achievement, and I am honored to be welcomed into membership of such a prestigious organization. The fact that my induction is on the eve of International Woman’s Day is significant,” said Denise Blackburn-Gay, APR.

Denise Blackburn-Gay, APR has been employed in the field of public relations for the last 30 years serving as a college professor and corporate executive prior to opening her own firm, Marketing Strategies, Inc. She is one of only of 46 accredited (APR) professionals, and one of only two experts certified in Crisis Communication and Reputation Management in the State of South Carolina. She has served on the Business Advisory Boards of Horry-Georgetown Technical College and the University of Florida.

Blackburn-Gay is past president/only female president of MCAN, one of the country’s largest and oldest trade associations serving the marketing and communications industries.  She is a member of Forbes Insight Panel, the AdAge Advisory Panel and is the recipient of the American Marketing Association’s prestigious Pinnacle Award. She is active in many local and civic organizations including Myrtle Beach Rotary where she is a Paul Harris Fellow. A past board member of the Long Bay Symphony, she was recognized by that organization as the Grand Strand’s “Woman Who Makes a Difference.”

She is married to Robert J. Gay, MD and they reside in Conway.


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