Dan McConnell, president and CEO of DMCPR, has spent virtually his entire career as a strategic communications professional. His amazingly eclectic journey has won him the national PR society’s “Ultimate PR Dream Job” accolade.
After starting out as a White House intern while still in college, he went on to Capitol Hill, working as a legislative liaison, drafting legislation for the likes of Senators Robert F. and Edward M. Kennedy. He then took his turn as a newspaper and TV journalist, winning plaudits for his introspective writing about his close friend and former college classmate Bill Harris, one of the kidnappers of heiress Patty Hearst.
After a stint in network-affiliate newsrooms alongside cub reporter Jane Pauley and weatherman David Letterman, he served as a field artillery officer during the Vietnam War, doing top-secret weapons development and testing for jungle warfare. He then found a home as a corporate executive responsible for global PR at Cummins Engine Company.
When he went out on his own, Dan grew his communications consulting firm into one of the top three independents in the Pacific Northwest until it was purchased by Madison Avenue ad-giant DDB. For nearly 20 years, he provided communications strategies through the company’s integrated support system that links more than 200 offices in 100 countries. During his tenure there, Dan led a host of award-winning teams on premium accounts such as Citibank, Weyerhaeuser, Microsoft, McDonald’s, Holland America Line, Cirque du Soleil and the America’s Cup and Whitbread sailing races before again going out on his own.
At DMCPR he specializes in developing communications strategies, solving crisis communications problems and storytelling for a small group of clients worldwide. He was among the first to use the worldwide web to distribute news about his clients globally and helped develop the first website for international sporting events.
Dan has counseled scores of national and international companies and organizations, sports and media stars, two Presidents and the Dalai Lama. His crisis communications programs have been recognized around the world and his relationships with the global news media have made him a sought-after media coach and trainer. In 2006, he received the ultimate honor when the local Public Relations Society of America chapter presented Dan its Jay Rockey Lifetime Achievement Award.
His work in adventure sports is unparalleled, having promoted more than 150 expeditions, literally to the ends of the earth. He set the standard for media coverage of extreme outdoor endeavors—from solo around-the-world sailing, to climbs of unknown Himalayan peaks and solo treks to the North and South Poles.
He brought prominence to the famed Iditarod Sled Dog Race and helped his friend, Sir Edmund Hillary, celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the first human conquest of Mount Everest. His recent involvement with the Sochi Olympics was Dan’s 10th assignment, working both Summer and Winter Olympic Games.
Last year, Dan received the University of Washington’s Excellence in Teaching Award for his work as a founding advisory board member and long-time instructor in the university’s award-winning Public Relations and Strategic Communications Certificate Program. And he is regularly called upon to speak of his PR exploits at gathering around the world, from London to Paris, Cape Town, Auckland and Beijing.