Gail Kent, principal, started her career as a newspaper reporter and editor, learning what makes a great story and how to write one that attracts eyeballs and wins awards. Then she transferred that knowledge into a three-decade career in public relations in which her clients benefit from her know-how in shaping story pitches for success and managing the media in a “negative” situation or crisis.
With the advent of Web 2.0, Gail vigorously pursued expertise in the burgeoning wave of new online marketing and social media tools. She combines her creative storytelling ability and fine-honed writing skills with emerging technology to enhance her clients’ brands, employing the best medium to fit the message. A strong advocate of the power of networking – both in person and virtually – Gail has added social media coaching and training to her menu of services.
As the communications director at two healthcare systems and three universities, Gail has led marketing teams and executed award-winning strategic communications plans. While college communications director at Virginia Wesleyan College, she earned four coveted CASE awards for rebranding the private school, and she successfully launched the brand of The Mason School of Business at the College of William & Mary while serving there as chief marketing officer. She was a member of the administrative team that finessed the merger of Mary Immaculate Hospital in Newport News with Bon Secours Health System, managing the internal and external communications process.
As president of The Buzz Factoree LLC, a boutique PR and marketing firm in Hampton Roads, Virginia, Gail consults with a variety of for-profit, government and not-for-profit clients. Clients have included Sentara Healthcare; Heritage Commons Retirement Community; Newport News Public Schools; Tidewater Youth Services Commission; and the Virginia Municipal League.
She won three first-place awards from Virginia Press Women and a Pinnacle Award from the Public Relations Society of America (Hampton Roads Chapter) for a community relations campaign for Sentara Healthcare/Optima Health to promote those organizations’ success to reduce employee healthcare costs while improving health outcomes. She won 11 regional, state and national awards for a multi-faceted public relations campaign for Newport News Public Schools to reduce the number of parents who registered their children late for school in the fall.
Services by The Buzz Factoree include strategic communications planning; traditional and digital PR and marketing; media relations; social media consulting, execution and training; workplace communications planning and consulting; copywriting and editing; development of collateral materials, Websites, blogs and other content marketing; branding; sales promotion; special events; and fundraising. The Buzz Factoree, LLC, is a SWaM certified with the Virginia Department of Minority Business Enterprise.
Gail holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from UNC-Chapel Hill and an MFA in creative writing from Old Dominion University. She is accredited through the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) and has won more than 350 local, state and national awards for her diverse communications and marketing work.