President and Principal
Melissa Watkins is president and principal of Out Box Communications, a full-service public relations and communications agency with big ideas and measurable results. The company, which has been in operation for 13 years, serves a variety of clients in various industries with offices in Richmond, Virginia and Marietta, Georgia. Melissa handles public relations, PR strategy, press releases, media relations, community relations, crisis management, copy writing, content writing and management, social media strategy, SEO and provides ongoing PR counsel.
Prior to Out Box, Melissa served as national spokeswoman/pr manager, where she helped create a national public relations department for the interior design division of The Home Depot and lead store PR for retail store launches across the United States. Managed all press initiatives for national and local markets, shelter publications, lifestyle and business/financial media. Managed PR agencies, provide strategic counsel, media relations, crisis communications, community affairs, grand opening of stores, real estate support as well as produced executive and internal communications for the division.
She also served at Georgia-Pacific as communications manager for the building products division with responsible for launching multi-million dollar integrated marketing campaigns that consistently drove sales over revenue goals for the structural panels and engineered lumbered divisions including in-store merchandising for Home Depot, Lowes and other merchants. Managed advertising, and consumer/ trade public relations programs (TV & print), collateral materials, sales incentive programs, public relations and promotions.
Prior to this Melissa served as a marketing and PR manager for a division of Equifax, Elrick & Lavidge. Managed public relations, advertising, marketing and corporate communications for a top 10 for a full-service research firm (a division of Equifax Corporation). Developed and oversaw speakers’ bureau, internal and external newsletters and company website. Served as international liaison with INRA (EUROPE)
Melissa also has agency experience with Biggs-Gilmore Communications where she started her career in advertising serving on the team for Upjohn Animal Health (now Pharmacia), Big Dutchman and the Greater Kalamazoo United Way.