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Beth Andrix Monaghan

My writing partner, Stuart, would caution against author crushes. Should I tell him that I named my new electric car Joan Didion? This thought fluttered briefly the first time a notification flashed on my phone: “Charging of Joan completed.”

Why would someone name their car after an author? Well, if you’ve ever had to rely on books to help you survive life, you get it. I always chose irreverent and courageous female authors who left guides for that survival behind. In fact, I loved books before I loved writing.

Me with my great-great-aunt Wilda Coleman when I was two.

I tell people I got into public relations because I wanted to be a writer. The catalog for Syracuse’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications listed writing as a core PR skill, and I was too practical to major in something more creative. However, I think the real reason is it gave me an opportunity to practice my niceness. In my family, we lived by the axiom, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.”

In high school, I honed these skills working at a gift shop that sold collectibles. The radio was tuned to…

Prior to Covid-19, I mostly thought about strangers as warnings to my children. Around the time I first began teaching my daughter Izzy to not talk to strangers, we were standing in line at Panera. She was scrutinizing the people behind us so intensely that I was about to tell her to stop staring when she pointed and said, “Mommy, are those the strangers?”

“Well, those are strangers, but not the strangers.” I shot the couple a friendly smile to show I wasn’t one of those hyper-vigilant moms who’s mistaken fear for security. …

I love the Hemingway App. It forces me to make my sentences tighter and doesn't do it for me, so I learn as I go. And iPhone notes are critical. They're with me all of the time and easy to organize.

The Impostor Syndrome Still Shadows Women

Even though today’s women’s movement has created more public space to hold accountable the kind of unequal, unfair and sometimes illegal environments in which women work, too many women still suffer from the impostor syndrome. It’s that feeling that you’re a fraud and came to success, small or large, by accident.

This is not a shortcoming of women, but an inherited prejudice of our culture. Women are taught to doubt ourselves because we don’t conform to the qualities of the incumbent leaders: white men. And this isn’t specific to one generation. I hear about…

The biggest marketing mistake executive spokespeople make is asking their PR people what they should think. I’m the place you come to help make it all make sense through the art of good storytelling. I’m also the place you should come to make it stick through words that resonate and quotes that make people think.

Me trying to invent a personal brand in 1986.

None of these PR tools work without the substance of authentic new ideas behind them. It’s why I cringe when I hear the term “personal branding.” I prefer to call it “executive thought leadership,” because it gets us closer to what works. We’re not trying…

Yesterday, I delivered this testimony at the Massachusetts State House in favor of a paid leave law. It’s time.

Good afternoon Chairman Brodeur, Chairman Lewis, and members of the committee. My name is Beth Monaghan. I’m vice chair of the Alliance for Business Leadership and CEO of InkHouse, a PR firm with 100 people and 3 offices. I’ve testified in favor of the paid leave bill and I’m here today in support of the ballot question, not because I support one over the other, but because I believe in paid leave.

So do most Americans. A recent Pew study showed…

Me Too: Good Guys, We Need Your Help

Last weekend The New York Times reported that in the wake of the #MeToo campaign, initially sparked by the Harvey Weinstein accusations and fueled by many more, some men are backing off from interactions with women. Some companies are considering canceling holiday parties. Some are forming all-male text groups. Others are going so far as to apply the Mike Pence rule, which used to be the Billy Graham rule — no meetings, dinners, car rides, etc. with a woman who isn’t your wife.

This is absurd. Sexual assault and sexual harassment aren’t…

Today I testified before the Massachusetts Joint Committee on Labor and Workforce Development chaired by Senator Daniel A. Wolf and Representative John W. Scibak, to provide the employer’s perspective on the hot issue of paid family medical leave. My testimony follows:

Thank you for your generous attention to the important issue of paid family and medical leave. I’m here to speak about the issue from the perspective of a business owner. I am a board member of the Alliance for Business Leadership, but today, I am here in my role as co-founder of InkHouse, a PR firm that employs 80…

Today Starla J. King published the book she compiled with Ros Nelson: “Wide Awake. Every Week.” I had the honor of writing a week’s worth of its 365 “aha moments.” One of them, “Honest Lies” appears below.

I vowed to always tell my children the truth, and when our French bulldog died, I passed my first test. Izzy, then three, kept asking, “Ernie go on train to Boston? Ernie at Gamma’s house?” Sob. I told her the truth, “Ernie’s body stopped working and he can’t be with us anymore.”

A few months later she also asked my husband, who told…

Beth Andrix Monaghan

Founder & CEO of Inkhouse where stories change people & markets. Writer about work & life. Fighter for equity. Believer in Buddhism & magic. She/Her

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