Shonali Burke

Founder, President, CEO of The Social PR Virtuoso

Shonali Burke

Founder, President, CEO of The Social PR Virtuoso


An accredited, award-winning Social PR strategist, teacher and trainer, Shonali Burke, ABC*, is president and CEO of her eponymous Social PR consulting firm which helps businesses small
and large take their communications from corporate codswallop to community cool™.

In 2015, Shonali founded The Social PR Virtuoso® , which provides online training and resources in integrated, community-focused and measurable Social PR for ambitious PR pros ready to catapult their careers. An early adopter of social media in the PR space, Shonali founded and still hosts the #measurePR hashtag and Twitter chat.

A veteran of both large and small PR agencies, Shonali has worked on two continents and on both coasts of the United States. Notable experience includes designing and implementing public relations around the world premiere of “Russell Simmons Presents Def Poetry” in San Francisco prior to its award-winning Broadway run; a stint as the ASPCA’s Vice President, Media & Communications during the 2007 pet food recall and Michael Vick case, and where she put in place its award-winning measurement program; and designing and implementing the now-textbook digital strategy for USA for UNHCR’s Blue Key campaign.

Shonali joined The Johns Hopkins University’s M.A./Communications program as Adjunct Faculty in 2009, teaching courses on nonprofit communication in the digital age and public relations writing. Faculty and students alike named her “Instructor of the Year” in 2016. She also teaches a course on PR measurement for Rutgers University’s PR Certificate program, which
she helped develop. She is also the developer of and instructor for Traackr’s acclaimed
Academy of Influencer Marketing online training program.

With more than two decades in the industry, Shonali’s innovative approach to Social PR has earned her a wide range of accolades, and about which she is frequently invited to speak at local, national and international conferences. She was named to PRWeek’s first “Top 40 Under 40” list of U.S.-based PR pros, and received AWC-DC’s prestigious Matrix Award in 2015 for excellence in communication and her service to the industry. She is a former IABC/DC Metro chapter president, has served on IABC International’s Accreditation Committee, was a founding board member of ColorComm, and currently serves on the Board of Advisors for Women in PR USA.

Based in the Washington, D.C., metro area, Shonali is active in her local community. She serves on the Executive Committee for the Montgomery County Executive’s Ball, which benefits Arts and Humanities programs in Montgomery County, Md. She is also a volunteer with Shepherd’s Table through Good Shepherd Episcopal Church, where she serves on the Communications Committee.

Photo Credit: Cade Martin Photography

All sessions by Shonali Burke

Content: Create it, and They Will Come?

12:30 pm - 1:15 pm
FHI 360 Conference Center