While attending Boston University in the late 1990s, Shauna MacDonald fell in love. With the city and with a man. The problem was the man wasn’t from the city. “When anyone asks me what brought me to Calgary, I say, ‘Two words: a man,’ ” laughs MacDonald, founder and principal of Brookline Public Relations, who has a master’s degree in communications from Boston University. And while the man – now her husband – may
have won out, she wasn’t about to give up on her favourite city. So, she brought a little bit of Boston to Calgary.
First, she named her public relations firm after an area of Boston where she lived – Brookline. Then she found office digs – the third floor of The Lorraine building on 12 Ave. S.W. – that reminded her of the architecture in the Massachusetts capital city. Finally, she adorned the walls of her smart-looking office space with pictures of the Brookline area. “I would keep walking by this building and it just had that Bostonian feel with the exposed brick and the historical look,” MacDonald says of The Lorraine. “I always knew that I wanted my office to be here.”
Today, as she walks around her company’s headquarters explaining what each of the wall colours represent, it’s hard to believe this public relations whiz didn’t always long to spend her days figuring out strategic ways for clients to communicate. “I was hell bent on being an investment banker,” MacDonald says. “I didn’t even know what PR was.”
She even graduated with a BComm degree from Queen’s University before setting her sights on Boston. But once she began an internship at a Boston-area public relations firm, there was no looking back. “I just fell in love with PR and PR agencies,” MacDonald says. Not to mention a man and a city.
Royal College Applied
Chair, Media and
CIBC Run for the Cure
Ann and Sandy Cross
School of Business