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B2 Communications expands with three new hires

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

A St. Pete-based public relations firm is expanding its operations in the area. B2 Communications recently hired Diane Jones, a 20-year PR veteran in the Tampa Bay area.

Jones most recently ran her own firm, DJ Public Relations, for eight years. Her company worked with high-profile clients including the Tampa Bay Area Regional Transportation Authority, Pasco County Utilities, Tampa Bay Water, Visit Citrus and Independent Financial Services.

She also served as public communications manager for Pasco County for four years and director of public and government relations for AAA Auto Club South in Tampa for eight years.

“We are thrilled to have Diane join our team, not only because of her extensive experience in public relations in the Tampa Bay community but also because of her specialized knowledge of transportation and water issues and in working with local governments,” said Missy MacFarlane, co-founder and principal at B2 Communications.

Jones is accredited in public relations from the Public Relations Society of America. She’s also a member of the group’s Tampa Bay Chapter and previously served as its president in 2002. She serves on the national Universal Accreditation Board overseeing the Accreditation in Public Relations.

Jones is also a past chair of the Public Relations Society of America’s Sunshine District representing seven chapters and serving nearly 1,000 members in the state.

B2’s latest hire received her Master’s degree in Public Administration and a Bachelor’s degree in Mass Communications with a public relations concentration. Both degrees were earned locally from the University of South Florida.

B2 also recently hired two account coordinators. Tyler Killette and Keeley Sheehan are both University of South Florida St. Pete grads who worked in journalism before joining B2.

B2’s growth stems from some new high-profile projects including representing design teams for the new Pier and the Pier approach. The group has also taken on the role HDR Engineering’s communications and outreach consultant for the City of Tampa’s Streetcar Extension and Modernization Feasibility Study.

Other B2 clients include Colliers International Tampa Bay, Central & Southwest Florida; Colliers International South Florida, USAmeriBank, Paramedics Plus, Revenue Management Solutions, SPCA Tampa Bay, Marlow’s Tavern, Lennar Homes, Premier Eye Care, Metro Development Group, St. Petersburg Free Clinic, Fisher & Phillips, and Tampa Bay Businesses for Culture & the Arts.

Janelle Irwin has been a professional journalist covering local news and politics in the Tampa Bay area since 2003. She also hosts a weekly political talk show on WMNF Community radio. Janelle formerly served as the sole staff reporter for WMNF News and previously covered news for Patch.com and various local neighborhood newsletters. Her work has been featured in the New York Daily News, Free Speech Radio News and Florida Public Radio and she's been interviewed by radio stations across the nation for her coverage of the 2012 Republican National Convention. Janelle is a diehard news junkie who isn't afraid to take on big names in local politics including Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, the dirty business of trash and recycling in St. Pete and the ongoing Pier debacle. Her work as a reporter and radio host has earned her two WMNF awards including News Volunteer of the Year and Public Affairs Volunteer of the Year. Janelle is also the devoted mother to three brilliant and beautiful daughters who are a constant source of inspiration and occasional blogging fodder. To contact, email janelle@floridapolitics.com.

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