Innovative, forward-thinking and solution-focused, Melissa Murphy is a nationally-recognized and award-winning brand leader committed to building and transforming brands and organizations through strategic vision, mission and brand advancement.
With over two decades of practice, Melissa’s unique method is to create one brand voice and experience for all audiences while maintaining authenticity, individualism, and originality. Melissa is enthusiastic, accessible, and dedicated to her many clients in helping them get exactly what they need. Above all, her work is always personal.
With a sharp mind and deep intuition, Melissa excels at leading and implementing positive change through her bold command of branding strategies and communications.
Melissa’s vast experience boasts an impressive list of companies and campaigns with worldwide recognition, including: StarKist, Del Monte Foods, and Heinz. Throughout the years, she has impressively fashioned numerous award-winning branding and social media campaigns; championed employee management and communications to build brands internally and improve morale and employee satisfaction; managed numerous industry and company crises and issues; spearheaded communications efforts for a myriad of corporate initiatives, including restructurings and change management, earnings and M&A; facilitated planning sessions for business, marketing and communications strategies, as well as conducted off-site meetings for clients; partnered with local, state, and national elected officials to promote various legislative positions; fostered corporate giving policies; implemented community outreach programs; and has served on several non-profit boards.
A graduate from the University of Pittsburgh with a Masters on the way from Northwestern University, Melissa most recently served as Senior Vice President, Corporate Affairs and Human Resources of StarKist Co. where she oversaw corporate communications, government relations, human resources, and consumer affairs. She was also the PR head for the “one and only” Charlie the Tuna, who never goes without his glasses and hat. Prior to this, Melissa was Vice President, Corporate Communications for Del Monte Foods where she built the Del Monte brand both internally and externally by developing a new mission and vision for the company. Eager to begin her climb to the executive level, Melissa wasn’t even 30 years old when she first became a Vice President at Ketchum Public Relations, where she worked prior to Del Monte, and developed numerous consumer product launches and branding campaigns.
Melissa is living proof that you don’t need to live in New York City or Los Angeles to do award-winning work with high-profile clients or celebrities. Melissa has worked with the likes of American Idol’s Randy Jackson, comedian Jimmy Fallon, Oprah’s Chef Art Smith, skateboarder Tony Hawk, basketball pro Larry Bird, figure-skating Olympic Champion Kristi Yamaguchi, Brady Bunch’s Florence Henderson, socialite Ivana Trump, supermodel Carol Alt, cookbook authors and Food Network personalities Chef Tyler Florence, Chef Rocco DiSpirito, Chef Jacques Pepin, Chef Cat Cora and Dietician Ellie Krieger. Her more cuddly clients include 9Lives’ Morris the Cat.
Awards, Boards and Academia:
The industry caught on quickly to Melissa’s triumphs—she has earned a myriad of accolades: recognized as the Pittsburgh Business Times Women in Business Award Winner for 2011; the “Best Executive” Award from internationally-acclaimed Stevie Awards for Women in Business for 2011; and a Greater Pittsburgh ATHENA Award finalist for 2010. In honor of Women’s History Month, Melissa also received a City of Pittsburgh Proclamation for outstanding achievements, deeming it “Melissa Murphy Day.” In addition, Melissa won both the Bronze and Silver Anvil Awards from the Public Relations Society of America, which is the Oscars® of the public relations industry.
Combining her unmatched leadership skills with her love of wildlife, Melissa also served as a board member at the Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium, as well as Animal Friends, and served on the local council for Strong Women, Strong Girls.
In addition to her many nationally-recognized achievements, Melissa spreads her knowledge through various speaking engagements, lecturing on topics such as Creating and Growing Your Personal Brand, Leading Successful Company Turn-Around Efforts, Branding From the Inside Out, and Effectively Managing Company Crises and Industry Issues. Melissa also loves to teach and mentor students about her carefully-nuanced strategies for success in brand marketing and communications. She currently teaches two courses at the Tepper School of Business at Carnegie Mellon University.
Beyond the Office Walls:
Outside of her demanding career, Melissa also wears the hat of devoted mother to her daughter and two step-children, as well as wife to her husband, Chris. Together, they have three beloved dogs—Dempsey, Sadie and Ziva.