NadiaNadia Kendall is an entrepreneur and designer who uses her creative and artistic strengths as a hobby, career choice, and ultimately a voice. Nadia attends Howard University as a senior, electronic studio art major. Her extracurricular activities include Assistant Designer for the Hiltop, Howard University's Newspaper, designer for Howard University’s Resfest,  VP of Marketing for Alpha Kappa Psi Professional Business Fraternity, and a Multimedia Volunteer for WHBC 96.3 HD3. Nadia has also interned with The White House Historical Association, For our Future Super PAC, Morehouse College, and Public Company Accounting Oversight Board. In addition to her extensive graphic design and social media experience, Nadia owns an apparel line, The Balloon Effect.

Who/what has had the most impact on your academic or professional interests?

In first grade, my teacher made us write narratives and add clipart to accompany the stories. My favorite part was adding the art. That was when I discovered my love for graphic design, and I believe my experience at Howard University has given me the strength to pursue my entreprenuial goals.

What do you look for in an internship experience, and how has this shaped your career goals?

I look for internships that will help build the strongest portfolio possible, so when it’s time for me to look for an actual job my portfolio will be at its fullest potential.  I also look for internships that I will enjoy and learn from.

What are your long-term career goals?

After graduating, I plan on pursuing my entrepreneurial endeavors. I want to design sneakers and streetwear apparel as well as open a chain of shoe stores.In 10 to 20 years, I plan on building recreation centers in under privileged communities that emphasize sports for kids to experience. My last goal is to build an amusement park!

What has surprised you so far about your journey towards your career goals? 

The number and variety of industries I can work in with my major has surprised me the most.

Can you expand on your interest in public relations?

My interest in public relations stems from the fact that I can design for multiple companies and clients.

What comes easiest to you as an intern at CLS Strategies?

I think my ability to come up with design ideas from what’s explained to me is the easiest.

What has been your biggest challenge as an intern at CLS Strategies? How do you address that?

Although it’s easy for me to come up with ideas, they don’t always align with the brand. I made an effort to incorporate the necessary constraints so the message could be communicated effectively.

What is your favorite thing about living in Washington, D.C.?

I enjoy the vibes that my school and the surrounding areas bring. I also appreciate the numerous opportunities.

On our website we ask all of our staff to share three things about themselves. What are three things about yourself that we might not know?

  1. I won a free trip to study in the Galapagos Islands.
  2. I came in 2nd place at my first tennis tournament.
  3. I was the star of a local television commercial.

CLS News
December 6, 2018

WASHINGTON, D.C.—  This week, PR News recognized two Managing Associates at CLS Strategies, Natalie Pavlatos and William Moore, as 2018 PR News' Rising Stars 30 & Under at an awards ceremony at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. This honor is awarded to budding PR professionals who demonstrate exceptional achievement in the field of public relations.

“Everyone at CLS Strategies is proud of Natalie and William for receiving the PR News' Rising Star award, which recognizes something we see from them at CLS each day – their hard work and dedication to their craft, our clients and fellow teammates,” CLS partner Juan Cortinas said.

Natalie Pavlatos began her career as an intern at CLS Strategies in 2014 and quickly rose through the ranks to Managing Associate. She specializes in public affairs and international work, with an expertise in digital communications and media relations.

Since joining CLS Strategies in 2016, William Moore has become a key member of CLS Strategies’ international and high-stakes litigation communications teams. Moore began his career in strategic communications in Bogota, Colombia, before his move to CLS Strategies. 

CLS Strategies has a long history of PR News' Rising Stars 30 & Under honorees. Managing Director Meghan Keane and Managing Associate Dan Smith were honored in 2017, Managing Director Tim Hogan was honored in 2016 and Partner Ray De Lorenzi was honored in 2015.  Read more about the PR News Award ceremony here.


CLS News
November 12, 2018

New, specialized consultancy will focus on assessing and mitigating threats to brand reputation related to the transformational changes on the horizon caused by artificial intelligence (AI)

NEW YORK (November 12, 2018) – Omnicom Public Relations Group (OPRG) today announced the launch of the AI Impact Group, a specialized consultancy that helps clients assess and mitigate the risks to brand reputation arising from the introduction of artificial intelligence (AI) technologies. The launch of the AI Impact Group coincides with the release of the first comprehensive AI Risk Index, which integrates several layers of research to identify and score the reputational risk of industries and companies adopting AI.

The AI Impact Group will offer strategic consulting engagements to assess the communications challenges, brand vulnerabilities and other internal and external risks associated with a company’s adoption of AI. The cross-agency team can apply robust research and advanced analytics to create proprietary reputation-focused risk assessments for any company deploying AI. Armed with research and a deep knowledge of AI across a variety of industry sectors, the Group’s consultants and communications experts can also craft a tailored AI Roadmap for any business.

Led by Andrew Koneschusky, partner at CLS Strategies, the AI Impact Group fuses the collective experience and subject matter expertise of several OPRG agencies: CLS Strategies, FleishmanHillard Ketchum, Maslansky + Partners, Porter Novelli and VOX Global.  The group is fuelled by a passion for technology, deep understanding of the perceptions of AI and world-class capabilities to meet any communications challenge.

“We are in the midst of the biggest technological change in recent history,” said Koneschusky. “Companies that plan for AI and communicate effectively around it will be well positioned to take advantage of the many benefits the technology brings, including cost savings, improved customer service, rich data insights and other efficiencies. On the other hand, there are serious consequences for those who blindly chase the benefits of AI without understanding the risks. We are already seeing examples of backlash against AI, and the technology is still in its infancy.”

“AI and machine learning present many exciting opportunities that organizations will want to consider and take advantage of – now and into the future. At the same time, these developments represent a new and relatively unexplored threat to brand reputation, and many companies and brands aren’t sure how to assess their risk,” said Karen van Bergen, chief executive officer, Omnicom Public Relations Group. “The AI Impact Group brings together top AI talent from across OPRG communications agencies, delivering a seamless, specialty solution to clients who need to equip themselves for AI’s future. We’re proud to bring this first-of-its-kind offering to market and look forward to helping our clients navigate this uncharted territory and set themselves up for success when it comes to AI.”

According to the International Data Corporation (IDC), worldwide spending on AI will reach $57.6 billion by 2021 – more than quadruple the $12 billion spent in 2017. As businesses large and small make significant investments in AI and race to embrace its benefits, they need to assess and plan for the risks lurking in the shadows. Given the massive changes afoot, Forrester Research, in a November 2017 report on AI-enabled automation, recommended that companies invest in change management internally and PR externally.

To coincide with the launch, the AI Impact Group has released topline findings from its first comprehensive AI Risk Index. This initial index is focused on the retail, manufacturing and transportation industries; future studies will examine other industries. The inaugural study quantifies a brand’s risk based on the company’s positioning related to AI and the perceptions of various stakeholders – consumers, industry employees, policymakers, activists and industry analysts. It also provides guidance to help business leaders understand where top companies are performing best and where those at risk of falling behind are failing. Scores range from 0 to 100, where 0 indicates less risk preparedness and 100 indicates higher risk preparedness.

Overall, the study data revealed that while some industries and companies have less reputational risk than others, no industry or company is fully prepared for the transformational changes on the horizon. AI poses serious risks for all three industries studied—and even the most forward-thinking technology companies still have work to do.

The retail industry is the least prepared for the impacts from AI, earning the lowest overall industry score of 44.0, followed by the manufacturing industry at 49.3 and transportation industry at 55.3. Within each industry there is considerable variation amongst companies:

  • Retail: the company least prepared for the risk earned a 27.9, the most prepared for the risk a 52.6
  • Manufacturing: the company least prepared for the risk earned a 33.3, the most prepared for the risk a 62.0
  • Transportation: the company least prepared for the risk earned a 37.7, the most prepared for the risk a 68.8

For more information or an in-depth briefing on the work of the AI Impact Group and the AI Risk Index results, please contact Tricia Whittemore or Allison Haley.

About AI Impact Group

The AI Impact Group, comprised of specialists from CLS Strategies, FleishmanHillard, Maslansky + Partners, Ketchum, Porter Novelli and VOX Global, is a specialized consultancy with the capabilities and experience to meet any AI communications challenge. In a world where AI is everywhere around us, the human impact of this technology continues to take shape. We help companies begin or continue their AI journey, armed with proprietary data and risk analysis, so they can identify, plan for and mitigate challenges to brand reputation that may occur along the way. To learn more, please visit:

About Omnicom Public Relations Group

Omnicom Public Relations Group is a global collective of three of the top global public relations agencies worldwide and specialist agencies in areas including public affairs, marketing to women, global health strategy and corporate social responsibility. It encompasses more than 6,300 public relations professionals in more than 370 offices worldwide who provide their expertise to companies, government agencies, NGOs and nonprofits across a wide range of industries. Omnicom Public Relations Group delivers for clients through a relentless focus on talent, continuous pursuit of innovation and a culture steeped in collaboration. Omnicom Public Relations Group is part of the DAS Group of Companies, a division of Omnicom Group Inc. (NYSE: OMC) that includes more than 200 companies in a wide range of marketing disciplines including advertising, public relations, healthcare, customer relationship management, events, promotional marketing, branding and research.

Elizabeth Barnett is a sophomore at Georgetown University studying Healthcare Management and Policy. Outside the classroom, she is involved with Georgetown University Women in Leadership as a member of the organization’s financial operations board. Elizabeth is passionate about the organization’s mission to empower women driven to succeed in the professional world. Outside of school and work, Elizabeth enjoys spending time with friends, trying new restaurants in the D.C. area, and occasionally traveling home to enjoy the Delaware beaches.

Who/what has had the most impact on your academic or professional interests?

Most recently, Donna Paulson. She is a character in my favorite show, Suits, and although Donna is fictional, her ambition has been a great source of motivation for my own professional interests. A respected and influential leader at her firm, Donna is simultaneously the picture of loyalty and compassion. Her dedication to success is what ultimately shapes her career. Donna is smart and assertive, she makes her voice heard, and I feel as though her character has been an enormous inspiration for me in pursuing a career in the field of business.

What do you look for in an internship experience, and how has this shaped your career goals?

The most valuable component of an internship experience is the opportunity to absorb completely new information – the kind you can’t find in a textbook – and then take it one step further and apply it. Having the chance to work on a team of associates and partners who have ‘been there, done that’ is a unique opportunity that has positively shaped my experience thus far with CLS. In the brief time I have spent researching, reading, and discussing accounts, this internship has steered my career interests in the direction of corporate law and policy, two areas I had never previously considered.

What are your long-term career goals?

I don’t have any specific careers in mind yet, but I’d say my greatest career goals are: driving social-innovation and change through my future work and always feeling stimulated or compelled to continually learn about my field.

What has surprised you so far about your journey towards your career goals? 

Perhaps cliché, but certainly what has surprised me the most thus far on my journey towards my career goals is how significantly they have changed. One year ago, I thought I wanted to be a physician, and now that possibility is nowhere on my radar. I have learned though, that surprising myself is what makes the journey more interesting and will hopefully help build a future career based on my own skills and interests.

Can you expand on your interest in public relations?

My interest in public relations stems from my desire to learn more about how the media shapes the direction in which health care policy moves. Scrolling through the news on my phone each day, I wonder who drives home the impact these stories will have – how and why are the words arranged in such a way that they relay a very specific message? I have grown increasingly interested in how the media shapes public policy by driving public perceptions. With my time with CLS, I have also become more interested in the role public relations plays in litigation as well.

What comes easiest to you as an intern at CLS Strategies?

Multitasking. I enjoy the variety of assignments I’m given and feel as though my sense of organization enables me to tackle more than one project at once. In addition, the constant stream of new information from accounts I am on stimulates my ever-inquisitive self. When there is never a dull moment, I perform my best.

What has been your biggest challenge as an intern at CLS Strategies? How do you address that?

Working part-time can be a great challenge when it means playing a bit of catch-up in the mornings after the days I am not here. It can be overwhelming to open my email and see how much there is to read but prioritizing and making lists to stay on top of things has been helpful.

What is your favorite thing about living in Washington, D.C.?

It seems like everyone is always on the move – D.C. is an active city. I frequent the waterfront path from Georgetown to the monuments and love to see everyone out and about, especially when the weather is nice.

On our website we ask all of our staff to share three things about themselves. What are three things about yourself that we might not know?

  1. I spent this past summer in Italy, studying the intersection of neuroscience and art, specifically Romantic-era portraiture.
  2. I take pride in my knack for organization. People frequently comment about the color coordination of my closet.
  3. I enjoy watercolor painting, and while I was in Italy I painted Tuscan landscapes and sculptures.

CLS News
July 31, 2018

WASHINGTON, D.C. - CLS Strategies has been named a finalist for the PR News Platinum Awards in the Public Affairs category for its successful work with Insulet Corp. – a top ten Forbes Innovative Growth Company – to secure Medicare coverage of its revolutionary Type 1 diabetes (T1D) wireless insulin pump, the “Omnipod.” Prior to securing Medicare coverage in January 2018, the Omnipod was the only FDA-cleared insulin pump not reimbursed by Medicare. This caused many T1D patients using Omnipod to lose access once they aged into the Medicare program unless they could pay out of pocket for the pump.

Insulet turned to CLS Strategies to design and execute a multi-pronged media relations, grassroots and digital campaign aimed at securing Medicare coverage for Omnipod. The work was complementary to Insulet’s ongoing work with the diabetes community, healthcare providers and government relations.  After years of work by Insulet to obtain Medicare coverage for Omnipod, CLS helped bring greater public attention to the consequences of the lack of coverage and the need for it.  Ultimately, this campaign helped to persuade federal health officials to cover this innovative device. Medicare coverage of Omnipod will now provide tens of thousands of T1D patients who age into Medicare freedom of choice in their diabetes treatment therapy.

The PR News’ Platinum PR and Agency Elite Awards Luncheon will take place on September 21 at the Grand Hyatt New York, where the winners will be announced. Sport journalist and producer Hannah Storm will be featured as the keynote speaker of the event.