“I think of myself as a super networker. If I know someone or something that'll help another woman, I'll always go out of my way to make the connection.”
Martha Shaughnessy founded The Key PR in 2017 to give clients “a high-impact, low-BS alternative” when embarking on a PR partnership. The San Francisco native and her firm represent clients across fintech, consumer, nonprofit, tech, and social impact — and at the heart of each program is sharp strategy, smart media outreach and holistic consultation. “At The Key, I think of my role as not only helping build great communications professionals, but also helping people — particularly women, and as diverse a set of folks as possible — own their career paths, take advantage of a full range of benefits, and otherwise learn from the collective leadership of our senior folks,” says Martha.
The Hall of Femme honoree describes success as “making a real impact through work that matters [and] finding joy each day in big and small things.” She honors her background and diverse set of skills as the source of joy in her work. “My dad was an ethics teacher and my mom is a storyteller; I was a goalkeeper and studied cultural anthropology with a focus on sex and gender,” Martha says. “My magical moments are when all those things weave into my work: social justice, the magic of words, intentional teamwork and the celebration or pursuit of gender equity.”
As a business owner, Martha aims to “make work work better for people, and to prove that businesses can do well by doing good.” She is able to combine her entrepreneurial sense with her values, and describes The Key as “a great place to weave together my hippie sensibilities with my hyper competitive athlete's drive.”