An Interview with Jamie Parker

The Storylines news editor sat down with Jamie Parker, Greenough’s new president, to learn more about her background and business priorities. Here’s what we uncovered:

Storylines: Can you give us a snapshot of your career?

Jamie: Early on, I experienced the workings of a Fortune 50 tech company and gained a ton of experience in PR, executive communications, and marketing. I moved from there into consulting, eventually running the Cambridge office of Weber Shandwick as president for nearly 10 years. I was recruited to Arnold for a brief period to help brand the agency, then recruited again to WGBH in Boston, where as VP of marketing and communications for nearly seven years I learned a ton about the rapid technological change in media consumption– and along the way became an even bigger fan of public media.

Storylines: I have to ask - did you get to meet Matthew of Downton Abbey?

Jamie: Actually, yes - and Mary, too. I really love the Masterpiece series. http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/masterpiece/downtonabbey/ One of my first assignments when I got to WGBH was to help the Masterpiece team rebrand the series entirely – essentially moving it to “hip” from “hip replacement.” I’m one of many taking credit for the substantial gain in audience, particularly younger viewers, and corporate funding for the franchise. Success has many parents.

Storylines: What is it about Greenough that attracted you?

Jamie: He dresses well and has a good sense of humor. Oh, you mean the business? Right, sorry. [Editor’s note: Phil and Jamie are married.] Joining Greenough was a natural next step in my career. I wanted an opportunity that would afford me the chance to use my years of experience in marketing, operations, and mentoring, and leading the team at Greenough offers me that. I think Greenough’s storytelling brand positioning is compelling and differentiated, and more than that, very relevant today.

Storylines: So what do you want to accomplish now that you’re at Greenough?

Jamie: There’s a lot to learn when you start out at any new organization. Cultures need to be examined, you need to get to know the people, the clients, the ways of working, and so forth. I’m a very hands-on leader - I don’t much like sitting in my office and prefer to mix it up, whether it’s participating in brainstorms, mentoring team members, helping develop a new business pitch or consulting with clients.

Storylines: Can you talk about the non-profit mission-based practice area you’re starting up?

Jamie: I’ve always been involved in non-profit work, either as a volunteer or a consultant, or most recently an employee. I think non-profit organizations share the common challenges of limited funding, the need to continually raise funds, and the mandate to communicate their worth to a variety of constituencies – typically with small staffs. I think there are bigger stories to uncover at these institutions; many of them need help crafting those storylines, and getting their messaging out in ways that attract attention, and hopefully, funding. I want to help with that.

Storylines: What do you do when you’re not working?

Jamie: I love to cook, and more than that, to eat and drink, so I guess I have to say exercise because you can’t really do one without the other.