Kara Alaimo, PhD, is assistant professor in the Department of Journalism, Media Studies, and Public Relations. She is a specialist in international and political/advocacy communication.
She is a frequent media commentator and columnist; her op-eds have been published by media outlets such as The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Atlantic, Harvard Business Review, CNN, Bloomberg, Al Jazeera, Fortune, Columbia Journalism Review, Newsday, and The Hill.
From 2012-2013, Dr. Alaimo was head of communications for the United Nations Secretary-General’s High Level Panel on the Post-2015 Development Agenda, a group of heads of state and other eminent thinkers convened to recommend the world’s next plan for eradicating poverty and achieving sustainable development.
In 2011, she was appointed by President Obama as spokesperson for International Affairs in the U.S. Treasury Department, where she communicated global economic diplomacy initiatives, including America’s bilateral economic relationships; engagement in multilateral institutions including the G-20, World Bank, and IMF; and international monetary, trade, development, environmental, and energy policy. In this capacity, she also served as media adviser to Jim Yong Kim during his successful 2012 campaign for the World Bank Presidency. Dr. Alaimo also previously served as the first press secretary of the Peter G. Peterson Foundation, global media coordinator for the United Nations Millennium Campaign, and as a spokesperson for New York City economic development initiatives during the administration of Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg.
Dr. Alaimo also serves as an independent communications consultant and is a member of the board of the World Communication Forum in Davos, and was honored as its 2017 Titan of the Future. She was recently a visiting scholar at the Centennial Center for Political Science and Public Affairs in Washington, D.C. and a resident fellow at IAU College in Aix-en-Provence, France.
Her book, "Pitch, Tweet, or Engage on the Street: How to Practice Global Public Relations and Strategic Communication," was published by Routledge in 2016. Her research on international and political/advocacy public relations has also been published in academic journals including the International Journal of Communication, Journal of Communication Management, Journal of Public Affairs, Case Studies in Strategic Communication, and Social Media & Society.
Industry Expertise (4)
Public Relations and Communications
Writing and Editing
Areas of Expertise (9)
Global Public Relations
2017 Titan of the Future, from the World Communication Forum: (professional)
Kara Alaimo was recognized for her creativity and commitment to the communications industry and “the high business and ethical standards of true global leaders.”
City University of New York Graduate Center: Ph.D., Political Science 2014
City University of New York: M.Phil., Political Science 2013
City University of New York: M.A., Urban Affairs 2007
New York University: B.A., Journalism 2004
- Board member, World Communication Forum in Davos
Media Appearances (10)
Opinion: This verdict is much bigger than Depp or Heard
An op-ed by Kara Alaimo about the verdict in the Johnny Depp-Amber Heard defamation suit.
The Dangers of an Elon Musk Twitter Takeover
Kara Alaimo discusses Elon Musk’s escalating battle with Twitter, as the tech company moves to adopt a “poison pill” in an effort to thwart Musk’s takeover. ”This is a man who isn't really trusted to tweet personally. You can imagine he has no place determining what the rest of us are and are not allowed to tweet,” Alaimo says.
She Was a Candidate to Lead Levi’s. Then She Started Tweeting
New York Times
Hofstra Public Relations Professor Kara Alaimo weighs in on the controversy over the exit of Jennifer Sey, a top executive at Levi Strauss & Company and a leading candidate to be the company’s next leader. Sey said she was forced out because of her social media posts opposing school closures and mask mandates.
If Your Wife Makes More than You Do, Read This.
An op-ed by Kara Alaimo: "Too many women still have to choose between their professional aspirations and relationship success. It’s up to men to defy damaging cultural expectations."
The Five Biggest PR Blunders of 2021
The Washington Post online
A news analysis column by Kara Alaimo looking back at the public relations blunders of the previous year.
Britney Spears' lack of autonomy is chilling
In an op-ed for CNN.com, Kara Alaimo, public relations professor at the Lawrence Herbert School of Communication, discusses Britney Spears’ bid to end a court-ordered conservatorship which allows her father to have control over her personal life, health concerns, career, and finances. Dr. Alaimo argues that the world does not have the right to such details even for those in the public spotlight.
Amazon Quietly Tweaks Logo Some Say Resembled Hitler’s Mustache
The New York Times print
Kara S. Alaimo, a professor of public relations at Hofstra University, said that in an era of social media outrage and trolling, “branding experts should be bending over backward to consider all the ways people could misuse or misinterpret their logos prior to launch.”
Twitter can't undo Trump's damage now
In her latest column for CNN.com, Kara Alaimo, PhD, public relations professor at the Lawrence Herbert School of Communication, says that social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook bear some responsibility for the attack on the US Capitol by allowing untruths about the 2020 election to go unchecked. Dr. Alaimo argues that the decision by some platforms to suspend the president’s accounts comes “too late.”
Mothers Hit Hard by the Pandemic
NBC 4 NY tv
Kara Alaimo, PhD, public relations professor at the Lawrence Herbert School of Communication, was interviewed by NBC 4 NY for a feature examining the challenges working mothers have faced during the COVID-19 pandemic, including having to leave the workforce.
When an Employee or Spokesperson Criticizes Your Company
Harvard Business Review online
"Last month three of Under Armour’s celebrity endorsers — Stephen Curry, Misty Copeland, and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson — publicly criticized the company’s CEO, Kevin Plank, for making a favorable statement about President Trump. This was an unusual PR challenge. Normally, executives worry about their endorsers behaving in ways that reflect poorly on their companies, such as getting in trouble with the law. They don’t expect to be reprimanded by the very people they’re paying to market their products."
Sample Talks (2)
Public Relations Society of America, 2016
Going Global: Adapting PR Strategies for Different Countries and Cultures https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i9ZYz5jfdlI
World Communication Forum, 2016
Increased Efforts by Modern States to Improve their Reputations for Enforcing Women's Human RightsInternational Journal of Communication
2016 This study suggests that, since the year 2000, governments have been making greater claims and efforts to enforce women’s human rights. However, their motivations appear to be to improve their reputations in the international community rather than to protect women. The findings indicate that states are submitting reports to the United Nations on their progress eliminating discrimination against women on a timelier basis...
The US President’s Most Effective SpokespeopleJournal of Communication Management
2016 The purpose of this paper is to investigate whether political appointees or civil servants are more effective spokespeople for the President of the United States of America (US).
Which government officials leak unauthorized information to the press in Washington?Journal of Public Affairs
2015 Every modern president of the United States has been bedeviled by unauthorized leaks of government information to the press. Who is responsible for such leaks? Presidents of the United States have accused civil servants of attempting to undermine them...
How the Facebook Arabic Page “We Are All Khaled Said” Helped Promote the Egyptian RevolutionSocial Media + Society
July-December 2015: 1–10 "This study analyzes how the owner of the Facebook Arabic page “We Are All Khaled Said” both catalyzed and took advantage of opportunities in the Egyptian political climate in order to help promote the country’s 2011 revolution. Using a content analysis of posts on the Facebook page before and throughout the Egyptian revolution, the case study finds that the owner of the page, Wael Ghonim, served as a long-term trainer or coach, educating his online followers about the abuses of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak’s regime and helping them gradually become more comfortable with political activism, so that when a triggering event—the Tunisian revolution—occurred, he was able to move his followers into the streets to protest..."
Public Relations as Personal Relationships: How Top Bordeaux Wines are Promoted in ChinaCase Studies in Strategic Communication
2015, Volume 4 A decade ago, the Chinese barely purchased French wines. Today, China is the world’s largest market for the wines of Bordeaux. This case study investigates the public relations strategies of the “first growths” of Bordeaux, France—the elite group of wineries officially classified as the region’s best—that have fueled this remarkable growth. The study finds that the first growths have largely ignored mass communication tactics such as media outreach and advertising in China, and instead promote their wines through face-to-face exchanges with the Chinese elite..."