Last night, our social media director Laura Tierney was honored by the Duke Markets and Management Studies (MMS) program as the Alum of the Year. CEO Brad Brinegar and Director of Agency Communications Janet Northen attended the award event, at which Laura spoke about her post-graduation experiences, the successes and the failures.

"I'm honored to receive this award,” said Laura. “I feel that alumni are obligated to give back to the university that fuels us with such positive experiences both during and after college. Over the past several years, I have spent valuable time with Duke students and staff, learning from them as much as I have taught and instructed them. I’ve realized how hungry Duke students are to understand the nuances of social media and digital marketing, and I’m grateful that Duke opens doors into these innovative fields."

Martha Reeves, managing director of Duke’s Markets and Management Studies program, said, “We wanted an alum who has been working in the digital sharing economy in some way. Laura Tierney was a great candidate because she embodies many attributes we want our graduates to have — namely, discipline and hard work, creativity, and courage to try new things. Laura has made the best of opportunities that she has come across. And she has a very good understanding of the many tools out there that help companies connect with their consumers.”

Laura helps direct McKinney’s social media strategy for our clients, partnering with them as they experience growth and engagement. As an agency thought leader, she speaks regularly on emerging social media and content trends.  She also co-founded Socializ'd, a subscription newsletter sent each Monday with the most relevant, helpful news about social media from the previous week. Geared for marketers, agencies and social media managers, Socializ’d launched on February 2, 2016, and has so far reached over 800 subscribers.

Before coming to McKinney, Laura worked at ESPN to help launch espnW, creating a social advertising platform that led her to develop strategy, content and campaigns for partners such as Nike, Disney, Lexus, Under Armour and P&G. 

Laura was chosen by a committee at Duke composed of faculty from several departments and student representatives who assessed a shortlist of candidates submitted by the MMS steering committee. The Alum of the Year award is in its second year; in 2014, it was awarded to Shaan Puri, who founded award-winning startups.