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Alumna honored as PR Practitioner of the year

From start-up agencies to corporate banking, Aly Goodwin Gregg (BSJ, 1995) has been crafting strategic plans for more than a decade, but 2014 is her year to be recognized by her professional peers in her home state of West Virginia.

Aly Goodwin Gregg (BSJ, 1995)

Gregg, vice president and chief marketing officer at MVB Financial Corp. in Morgantown, received the 2014 West Virginia Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America’s (PRSA) Practitioner of the Year award. The award was presented at the chapter’s Crystal Awards Gala in Charleston, West Virginia, on June 18.

The Ripley, West Virginia, native has extensive experience working in both public relations agencies and corporate public relations. Her career began on Capitol Hill, but after a year, she was back in the Mountain State working on Senator Rockefeller’s re-election campaign. Soon after that, she was managing public relations for The Greenbrier.

In the years that followed, she worked for Charles Ryan Associates, a well-known agency based in Charleston, West Virginia. She also founded and eventually sold two public relations agencies, where she worked with corporate clients and high-profile individuals like Jessica Lynch.

In 2013, Gregg was hired by MVB Bank, a former client, and in 2014 was named vice president and chief marketing officer of MVB Financial Corp.

Gregg says the primary difference between agency work and corporate public relations is what you’re expected to know.

“In agency work, you are as informed as the client allows you to be,” she said. However, corporate PR practitioners must know all the details about their company.

While it’s easy to get caught up “in your own story,” Gregg cautions that it’s essential to take a broad perspective of any situation.

“It’s a challenge and a necessity to offer a viewpoint of 15,000 feet,” Gregg said. Practitioners must be able to step back and offer their management and human resources teams an overview of both sides, for example.

Gregg said winning the award for Practitioner of the Year was a tremendous honor, particularly because she was recognized by her peers.

“To be singled out in an industry like ours in West Virginia, where we have a unique set of challenges, including environmental and social concerns, is overwhelming,” she said.

Under her leadership, MVB Bank also won PRSA Crystal Awards for Community Relations, Crisis Communications, and Special Event: Seven Days or Less, as well as honorable mentions for annual reports and invitations. MVB Bank also won the Best in West Virginia Award for having the highest single score on its entry in the Special Event: Seven Days or Less category.

The Crystal Award is the top prize in each of PRSA’s award categories. A complete list of winners from the gala will be posted at http://prsawv.org/awards.php.
Photo credit: Buddy Davidson