Debra PickettPrincipal Consultant
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, Debra was recruited by a former client 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.
Notable engagements have included:
- Launching a newly formed law firm with media support, including placement of television, radio and print news stories, along with integrated social media and outreach events
- Partnering with a national law firm in promoting its newly established Chicago presence, from organizing community service and outreach events to placing a major feature story in Crains’
- Delivering web content, media training and an integrated communication strategy for a boutique law firm serving entrepreneurs and high-net-worth individuals
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.