Rose McKinney, APR, Fellow PRSA
Founder & CEO
With aspirations of becoming the next Jane Pauley and “Today Show” host, Rose McKinney entered journalism school at Drake University in the mid-1980s. She quickly realized, however, she didn’t want to report the news—she wanted to create it!
Rose's influence and accomplishments—which range from establishing a national Millennium celebration to saving a Shriners Hospital from closure—are notable. Her career includes business, community, professional and academic facets. She has helped hundreds of organizations, from entrepreneurial startups to international conglomerates to vital non-profit groups, tap the power and potential of brand-reputation.
Enjoying equally the counseling and agency-management aspects of public relations, Rose launched PineappleRM, Inc. in 2011, a communications firm focused on reputation management. Rose has spent her career on the agency side serving as director of public relations at Foley Sackett, vice president client services at Karwoski & Courage, and president of Risdall McKinney Public Relations.
Each step of her career yielded new insights, greater leadership opportunities and an even deeper network of colleagues and champions— she still keeps in touch with her first boss, works with clients going back through the decades, and is proud to say one of her protégés has been a student, an employee and a client.
She served as chapter president of Minnesota PRSA in 2007 and recently completed a term on the Universal Accreditation Board, which oversees and grants the APR designation. She is an active member of PRSA’s Counselors Academy and College of Fellows.
PRSA, IABC, CIPRA, SABRE and PR Week have recognized Rose and her teams with nearly 100 industry and business awards. The Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal recognized Rose with its annual Women in Business “Woman to Watch” award. She’s part of the Women Presidents’ Organization, a business consortium providing support and counsel for industry leaders in manufacturing, healthcare, professional services, retail and more.
An adjunct professor at Metropolitan State University since 2005, Rose is a seven-time recipient of the President’s Circle of Engagement for developing community-based curricula in the courses she teaches. In 2015, the University presented Rose with its Excellence in Teaching award, nominated by her students and selected from among more than 925 faculty members.
Long-time residents of Brooklyn Park, Minn., Rose and her husband Kelly have two adult children and one in high school.