Michelle Gilliam: Exhibiting Proficient Leadership in Media and Information Management

Michelle Gilliam

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Leadership in the media sector involves wearing numerous hats while being at the organization’s forefront. The role of media leaders is not just confined to the areas of management and operations but involves taking charge of several other aspects such as ensuring authenticity, verifying, and monitoring the transparent flow of information. Moreover, they are also responsible for leading the team and ensuring swift organizational operations.

An illustrious example of such ardent and zestful leadership is portrayed by Michelle Guglielmo Gilliam. She is a recognized media leader with an eminent career background. Her journey into public relations and marketing started in the news media. Michelle was always aware of her willingness to work in media—there was no one defining moment that pushed her in that direction. After graduating with honors from Villanova University, she worked in newsrooms from Miami to New Jersey, learning the trade and eventually became a reporter. 

Following her career in news, she took a position as a producer on The People’s Court, cultivating her journalism skills on a national courtroom program. However, Michelle’s path took a different turn after the historic 9/11 incident, and she began producing conferences on military topics. Gleaning lessons from top generals, admirals, and Department of Defense officials, Michelle honed her special event production skills, a trade she often uses in her career today. Currently, Michelle spearheads Point Taken Communications as the Founder and President and contributes to its immense success and development. 

In a recent conversation with Mirror Review, Michelle elaborated on her roles and responsibilities as a media leader and spoke about her company and its upcoming plans. Following are some snippets from the insightful conversation:

According to you, how have the customer preferences in media industry evolved over the past few years?

As people’s habits and technology change, the media is evolving to meet the growing demands of consumers. Customers are no longer willing to wait for the evening newscast or the morning paper to learn what they need to know about their community, their industry, or other issues that affect them. They want information and they want it on their terms, whether they receive that information via a news alert on their phone, a social media post, or a text from a friend. 

Can you please walk us through the establishment journey of Point Taken?

I started Point Taken shortly after my son was born with Down syndrome. As he has grown and matured, so has Point Taken. We started as a public relations consultancy and have grown into a boutique agency offering marketing, PR, web design, and video production.

Being at the company’s forefront, what are your primary roles and responsibilities? 

I manage all business operations while working with my team to ensure we always produce top-quality work on budget and on time. As a team of senior professionals, our goal is to make our clients’ jobs easier, finding them new opportunities to promote themselves and their organizations. 

Can you please walk us through the prominent highlights of your career as a media leader?

One of my career highlights was being named a Women of Influence by Pet Age Magazine and receiving multiple awards for Point Taken’s work as a top PR and marketing agency. However, my biggest achievement is creating an environment that allows work/life balance at Point Taken. I drop off my son and pick him up from school each day, often spending time with his teachers and administrative staff, as part of my role as vice president of the school’s board of directors.

How do you ensure optimum satisfaction for your clients and customers?

At Point Taken, our job is to not only ensure optimum customer satisfaction but also to guide our clients to make decisions that result in the best return on their investments. We help our clients create newsworthy and shareable content.

The global pandemic resulted in massive disruptions within every sector. What measures did you incorporate to counter the challenges induced during the pandemic? 

As a business owner, I balanced running an increasingly busy agency with home school. In the face of this unprecedented time in modern history, we pivoted our strategies, guiding our clients to communicate clearly, concisely, and calmly with their employees and customers. We helped our clients share paycheck protection program information, mental health strategies, and opening and closing notices. 

During the summer of 2020, we pivoted again, assisting our clients in the development of thoughtful statements about diversity policies. Our biggest lesson of 2020 was to be flexible, mindful, and resilient as we faced a time of international crisis.

While working within an industry where the flow of information is rapid and continuous, how do you ensure maintaining transparency and authenticity?

Information is spreading faster than ever before, allowing for a rise in disinformation. As media leaders, we must combat the spread of misinformation, reestablishing trust in the media. That trust begins with each and every one of us. We need to check our sources for credibility, ensure we have multiple sources and encourage collaborative teamwork to fact-check our stories. We as public relations professionals must ensure we are only working with ethical clients, pitching newsworthy stories, and creating in-house content that is moral and factual.

How do you envision the future of Point Taken Communications?

As we continue to grow and 5G takes over telecommunications, Point Taken foresees a need for more in-house, brand-developed content that can be deployed quickly. We plan to continue to grow our content development division, offering more custom video, copy, creative, and dynamic content.

Token of Leadership:

Michelle Gilliam quote

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