Public Relations and Marketing Strategist
Shrita Sterlin has worked in public relations and marketing for more than fifteen years. She has counseled elected officials, corporate executives, nonprofit CEOs, board members, clergymen as well as Native American tribal leaders during campaigns and crises. As chief executive and brand officer of Penn Strategies, Shrita oversees marketing, advertising, public relations and client service. Shrita is a frequent speaker at nonprofit and business conferences and events. Her published, written works have explored best practices in branding, social media marketing, corporate social responsibility and other areas. Her work has appeared in The Washington Post, PR Daily, Politic365, and on her blog (PR & Marketing Strategist). Her work has also been featured in Globe and Mail, Canada’s national newspaper.
Shrita specializes in brand and issues management and corporate social responsibility strategy. Shrita uses a brand-centric approach to solve public relations crises, reach target markets and and protect reputations. Whether branding a nonprofit to advance a social cause or developing corporate social responsibility strategies to reposition a company after a crisis, Shrita is an adept strategist. Clients rely on her strategic, technical counsel and keen political insights in designing and implementing effective campaigns that build their brands. Shrita’s creativity and background in managing high-stakes issues has resulted in numerous successes for her clients. Her extensive portfolio includes successful campaigns in community affairs, political communications, marketing, advertising and corporate public relations. Her principals and clients have been featured in the New York Times, Washington Post, USA Today, Associated Press, Reuters, New York Daily News, Politico, Buffalo News, Miami Herald, Fox Business, CNN, Essence.com, BET.com, on various television and radio programs as well as in an assortment of ethnic, trade and industry periodicals.
Before founding Penn Strategies, Shrita worked in the corporate and public affairs practice at a top crisis communications firm in Washington, D.C., where she crafted strategies for corporate and tribal clients. Among her achievements at the firm, Shrita devised a statewide television advertising campaign that aired on major networks in New York markets and drafted crisis communications plans for multinational firms. Shrita previously served as a senior communications advisor to U.S. Rep. Edolphus Towns (D-NY), the former chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. Shrita counseled Rep. Towns at a critical time, while his committee was investigating major economic, health and consumer issues. She also secured placements in top media outlets, cultivated relationships with scores of journalists, produced a weekly cable television broadcast and implemented communications plans as the committee investigated some of the most pressing, high-profile issues confronting the nation, including Johnson and Johnson’s drug marketing tactics and the Treasury Department’s foreclosure prevention program.
Shrita transitioned to Capitol Hill from New York State politics, where she worked on several election campaigns and served as the Chief of Staff to New York Assembly Member Crystal D. Peoples-Stokes of Buffalo. In that role, Shrita managed a diverse legislative portfolio on issues ranging from health care to commerce and shepherded several legislative proposals to the Assembly floor—and into law.
Prior to that, Shrita worked in non-profit advocacy organizations directing community-based programs and corporate sponsorship initiatives, where she generated support for community programs from companies like Miami Heat, Target, McDonalds, Office Depot, Western Union, Subway, Walgreens, Circuit City, Burger King, Zephyrhills, Winn Dixie, Hollywood Video, and many more. As executive director of a nonprofit organization in Miami, Florida, Shrita directed public affairs campaigns and community relations programs on environmental justice, economic development, education, crime prevention and health. During her tenure as executive director, Shrita helped lead all board administration and board governance activities for the organization. Shrita graduated from American University with a Master's of Arts degree in Communication. She also holds a Master’s degree in Public Administration and a Master’s degree in Nonprofit Management. Connect with Shrita on Twitter: @shritasterlin and LinkedIn.