Q&A With Belfort Group’s New Senior Director, Colin Murphy

by Belfort Group | Agency News , Public Affairs , Public Relations
March 29, 2023

Get ready to learn from the best in the business! We had the privilege of sitting down with Colin Murphy, Senior Director of BG Strategies and the newest addition to #TeamBG. In this interview, Colin shares his insights on the role of public relations and public affairs in a larger marketing and communications strategy and how earned media can be a game-changer for brands. He also discusses his vision for the future of the BG Strategies team and how we can continue to expand the offerings we provide clients to an even more comprehensive suite. 

Can you give us a background of your career leading up to when you joined Belfort Group and how you think your skills will help you enhance what we’re doing with BG Strategies?  

I began my career at the University of Massachusetts President’s Office when I graduated from UMass Dartmouth in 2014. As an undergraduate student, I spent a year serving on the university system’s Board of Trustees, and I got to know the hardworking folks who  run the UMass System. 

What many people don’t realize is just how diversified higher education institutions really are – especially research-intensive universities. At UMass, I was constantly dealing with a diverse array of challenges related to real estate, investment strategy, research funding, immigration, capital planning, debt financing, employee relations, mental health, public health, and just about everything else you can think of. For me, that range of activity kept the work exciting and helped me develop into a well-rounded communications leader who can pivot across functional areas effectively. 

That range of experience, as well as my ability to quickly shift focus, helps me provide a better and more informed service to the amazing clients that we have at Belfort Group. Because of my background, I am often able to approach a problem, take a step back, evaluate objectively, and recommend a course of action that pulls from all my collective experience.  

In addition to spending most of my career on the client side of things, I’ve also had the opportunity to approach communications strategy from the perspective of Board and executive-level leaders. That experience has allowed me to better understand our clients’ needs, and how the executives who they are reporting to may be evaluating efforts. Overall, my hope is that this will allow us to approach our work with a broader and more complete perspective on the challenges that our clients are facing and the context in which they face them. In other words, as one of my earliest career mentors said to me, “Don’t mistake the forest for the trees.”  


Can you share your thoughts on the role public relations and public affairs can play in a larger marketing and communications strategy? 

I view our contributions from BG Strategies as larger than just public relations and public affairs. As an integrated agency, we always approach our work through this lens: How does the work that we do connect to the larger organizational strategy? That answer is going to be different for each partner that we work with, but it’s an important framework to use when evaluating our approach and recommendations.  

Our BG Strategies Team excels in both earned and owned media strategies, working to complement the paid and owned media work done by our clients and by the BG Digital and BG Creative Teams.  

I view earned media as critically important to brands for two main reasons: 

  1. It can lead to increased brand awareness  and impact outside of the paid space.
  2. It is largely viewed by consumers as the most objective of sources about a brand and can be seen as validating of a company’s value proposition. 

Earned media like ranking or review websites, media coverage, and even customers or brand evangelists on social media, can serve as independent “checks” on paid and owned media. Negative earned media can undermine your efforts, and positive earned media can supercharge it. Just think to yourself: How many times have you seen an advertisement and then decided to search the product on a review site, or on Google, or another platform to see whether it lived up to its advertising? On another hand, how many times have you seen media coverage on a product and then immediately do further research? Both are good examples of why focusing on earned media is so important. Brands ignore or neglect earned media at their own peril.  


What are you looking forward to most about leading this service at BG? What are your goals?  

I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to lead this group of very talented and committed professionals who are always putting their clients first. With this capable team, we’re looking forward to identifying and implementing news ways that we can add value for our practice and ultimately, our clients.  

Beyond that, we are looking forward to helping our clients take their earned and owned media to the next level. We’re working with some wonderful teams who are leaders in their respective industries, and the ability to leverage our expertise to elevate them further is an exciting proposition all in its own. 

As a practice, we embrace the philosophy that we can always be better and do better work for our clients. As a team, we are looking forward to broadening the scope of work that we do to provide a more comprehensive suite of services for clients. Among those changes will be a complete monitoring service which will include a comprehensive view across the web, news and social media landscapes. We’re also working to incorporate more data into our decision-making process and our management process, both to hold ourselves accountable and to provide deeper and more meaningful insights to our clients. 

On the BG Strategies Team, we check our egos at the door and go into every day with one focus: To do the best possible work for our clients to help them achieve their goals.  

At the end of the day, that’s all that matters to us. 


Need help with your PR and communications strategy? Our team of experts are here to help. Reach out to us at connect@thebelfortgroup.com to get in touch today! 

Q&A With Belfort Group's New Website Production Manager, Heather Weir
The Future of Online Search