Who We Are

Page 2 uses a two-tiered staffing model, combining our in-house leadership and account teams with contract and affiliate resources to build dedicated project teams on a just-in-time basis. Clients pay for the right resources, right when they need them.

Page 2 leadership and account executives work on high-profile matters and engagements where strategic input is required. Our senior team brings a wealth of experience from PR agency account management, legal and professional services marketing and, most notably, work in the Chicago media. This experience yields insight into what it takes to make an excellent news story and how to shape the coverage of events as well as forming the basis for on-going relationships with reporters and producers around the country who trust our judgment when it comes to finding sources for their work.

Our contract staff and affiliate partners are similarly composed of many former journalists and subject matter experts: they produce high-quality work on very tight deadlines. We deploy these contractors as cost-effective resources for tasks including creating digital content, managing events and distributing media alerts.

Contact us today so we can begin assembling a world-class team to meet your specific needs.

Read more about our leadership

Meet our account team

Check out our affiliate partners

Leadership
Debra Pickett

Debra Pickett, President

For more than 20 years, Debra has blended business, legal and media acumen with outstanding communication skills to partner with attorneys, issue advocates, political candidates, and executives to get their messages out to key constituencies. An experienced journalist and published author, Debra specializes in translating complex legal, technical and policy language into compelling articles, speeches and books. She also leverages her deep connections with Chicago and national media to facilitate the placement of stories and articles that advance her clients’ interests, enhance their reputations and build their brands.

A lifelong writer, Debra spent the early part of her professional life as a management consultant, leading project teams implementing SAP-based technological and organizational change efforts, while pursuing a journalistic career with freelance contributions to local and national media. After several years in business consulting, a former client recruited Debra to serve as the operations director of a technology start-up. Chronicling the ups and downs of her dot-com life in a nationally-recognized series of articles, Debra made the switch to full-time work as a journalist in October, 2000.

Quickly rising through the ranks at the Chicago Sun-Times, Debra soon launched her signature “Sunday Lunch With ...” interview column, which featured conversations with notable figures from Secretary of State Madeleine Albright to Bears player Chris Zorich. Less than two years after joining the paper’s staff, Debra began to write weekly columns for the paper’s coveted Page 2 column (the former home of the legendary Mike Royko). Her career in Chicago journalism included launching the Sun-Times’ first blog and contributing to television news coverage at CNN, WBBM and WTTW.

Debra founded Page 2 Communications in 2011, focusing her media strategy and communications consultancy on the needs of law firms and their clients, specifically in the areas of media training, trial publicity and public relations.

Recent engagements have included:

Debra is certified by the Illinois Supreme Court MCLE Board as a Continuing Legal Education provider. She holds Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from the University of Pennsylvania.

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Account Team
Kelly McNees

Kelly McNees

An experienced writer and editor with fifteen years’ experience across multiple roles in the publishing industry, Kelly McNees is an account executive focused on content creation. She understands that effective media campaigns tell stories, and knows how to transform information from attorneys and their clients into compelling content for websites and social media. Kelly also brings insight and editorial skills to clients’ writing, helping them communicate their thought leadership and brand identity in powerful ways.

In 2008, Kelly founded Word Bird Editorial Service to help writers of all stripes—including a CIA agent, a Manhattan bartender, an art-house cinema owner, an organic farmer, a former director the Peace Corps, and many more—improve their writing and pursue publication. She also worked in the editorial department of two publishers, HarperCollins in New York City, and the University of Michigan Press in Ann Arbor. Kelly is the author of three historical novels published by Penguin, and her work has been published in The Washington Post and online.

She is originally from Michigan, and has a bachelor’s degree in English literature from the University of Michigan and a master’s in education from DePaul University. She lives with her husband and daughter and many, many books just a few doors down from Lake Michigan in Rogers Park.

Matthew Dawood

Matthew Dawood

Originally from Toledo, Matt Dawood is an account executive focused on client marketing support, digital content and social media. Prior to joining Page 2 Communications, Matt worked as an intern in the marketing department of a Chicago law firm. His experience there included writing press releases, news articles and attorney biographies.

He recently graduated from Loyola University Chicago with a Bachelor in Communications, concentrating in Marketing and Finance, and now resides in Wrigleyville.

While in college, Matt was part of Loyola’s Beta Rho Honors program and advertising club. His hobbies include attending concerts, trying new restaurants, and exploring the city for new things to do and try.

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Affiliates

In building project teams to serve our clients’ needs, Page 2 Communications relies on a broad network of talent. Our affiliated partners are key resources in staffing and managing special initiatives, bringing a depth of creativity, sensitivity and technical expertise unmatched elsewhere. No traditional agency can come close to matching the teams our virtual agency can assemble as we bring together the best-in-class consultants to deliver outstanding content and services to our law firm clients.

The Alliance Labs

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The Alliance Labs designs custom communications for the digital space including Wordpress and custom websites and web applications. Employing homegrown Chicago talent, Alliance Labs offers a low-cost alternative to offshore developers, while delivering top-quality design and performance, along with incredible responsiveness and client service.

Chapman Creative

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Founded by a veteran newspaper photographer with over 25 years of experience, Rich Chapman Creative offers high-end photography and video services, bringing clients unparalleled professionalism to help enhance their bios and website presence. Their award-wining creative and versatile photography and videography dramatically increase the effectiveness of their professional services clients’ websites.

Crump Tech

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With 10 years of experience in building SEO solutions using only “white hat” techniques, Crump Tech works with clients to capture the largest possible digital audience through comprehensive online outreach. Crump Tech’s solutions include building a strategically crafted web of Internet advertising, search engine marketing, email marketing and social media, using a variety of search terms and points of entry, to connect professional services firms with their key potential clients in multiple ways, keeping their expertise top of mind whenever its needed.

Heiniger Design

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Drawing on over 30 years of design experience in the professional services space, Heiniger Design helps firms build the visual tools essential to business, providing complete design services suitable for virtually any communications challenge. Our graphic design and web site design capabilities are combined with expertise in brand identity to create strategic design solutions, from creating a single brochure to establishing a comprehensive visual identity program from the ground up.

Nielsen Career Consulting

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Sheila Markin Nielsen of Nielsen Career Consulting specializes in career development and executive coaching for attorneys, helping clients with organizational skills, leadership, delegation, working better with their bosses and co-workers, and other situations that call for emotional intelligence. She is an attorney with over 25 years of experience running her own firm as a career coach, and has assisted over 3,500 professionals in job search and career path guidance and business and professional development.

Listen to Lawyers

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With the average person spending five hours a day on a phone or smart device, the best PR plans reflect a shift towards digital and multimedia content. We are pleased to partner with Listen to Lawyers, a podcast company founded by Heather McMichael King, a former TV journalist, documentary filmmaker and law firm PR manager, and dedicated to helping lawyers be heard. Podcasts and other rich audio content can greatly enhance a firm’s digital presence and brand identity.

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