What We Do

Influence Consulting gets the news out about your good work and services to the media and key stakeholders. We create communication strategies that move policy issues forward, enhance reputations, and raise donations.

Influence Consulting has deep experience working with mission-driven organizations to expand communications capacity. The principal of Influence Consulting is Susan Ryan-Vollmar. She is a communications professional with more than 20 years of experience, 15 of them as a journalist. Working closely with clients, Susan develops strategic messages and utilizes print and broadcast media, niche publications, and social media to get those messages out. She can help plan and, if necessary, run short- and long-term communications campaigns. Such campaigns include advocacy supporting passage of legislation; event publicity; or the release of a study, report, or other policy work. She is skilled in public relations, message development, media training, content creation, and crisis communications. She will work closely with your team and, if necessary, bring in other professionals with expertise in video, design, website construction and maintenance, and paid and earned SEO to support your campaign.

How We Do It

We create messages that resonate with policymakers, elected officials, the media, clients, and customers. We create campaigns to get your messages out, and we work closely with you to run those campaigns.

  • Campaign planning (policy initiatives, events, public education, thought leadership)
  • Key message development
  • Message training
  • Customized templates and checklists
Public Relations
  • Media relations and pitching
  • Community relations
  • Development of talking points
  • Media training/coaching
  • Crisis communications
Social Media
  • Competitive analysis and audits
  • Measuring results
  • Strategy/goals
  • Staff training
  • Account management
Content Creation
  • Blogs and op-eds
  • Infographics
  • Press releases
  • Donor appeals
  • Event programs

Client List

Influence Consulting specializes in working with mission-driven organizations. We develop close, collaborative working relationships that get great results. Together, we move policy issues forward, enhance organizational and individual reputations, and raise donations.

Past and present clients have included:

  • Adoption & Foster Care Mentoring
  • AIDS Action Committee of Massachusetts
  • The Albert Schweitzer Fellowship
  • Big Brothers Big Sisters of Massachusetts Bay
  • Boston Gay Men’s Chorus
  • Bunker Hill Community College
  • CareWell Urgent Care
  • The Children’s Room
  • Health Care for All
  • Facing Cancer Together
  • Family Equality Council
  • Fenway Health
  • The Fenway Institute
  • Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders
  • The Massachusetts Legal Assistance Corporation
  • MassEquality
  • Massachusetts Public Health Association
  • MissionSAFE
  • Partners for Youth with Disabilities
  • Project Place
  • Zoo New England

Our Impact

“The key to getting the word out about our work is to be able to talk about what we’re doing in ways that are easy to understand. Then we need to get those messages out to the right people at the right time. Without fail, Susan knows how to make this happen. Whether is it talking political strategy, putting together an op-ed, or developing talking points, Susan has a keen eye and ear that helps us find the right tone. Her expertise with both social and earned media has brought much value to our small shop, giving us the capacity to broadcast our message far and wide.”

Matt Wilson Executive Director MASSCreative

“Susan knows how to put together a communications plan for any size campaign or issue. She can train staff, community members, and key stakeholders to speak with the media in a clear and concise manner, and help get their narratives and talking points across. Susan brings contacts with media professionals, strong relationships with a cross sector of non-profits, and understanding of the significant media relations in advocating for any issue or institution.”

Gunner Scott Executive Director Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition

"MPHA has significantly strengthened our communications impact by working with Susan. She is a collaborative thinker and good sounding board on strategic issues dealing with communications and politics. I can rely on her to be clear and direct, honest and encouraging all at the same time. She is helping us—a small organization—build our communications savvy and capacity through direct work, as well as joint planning and guidance. She’s raised the bar for our organizational communications."

Valerie Bassett Executive Director Massachusetts Public Health Association

“Susan has keen media and political instincts, strong writing and organizational skills, and a proven record of results. She has been a critical partner in helping us craft our messaging while greatly improving our visibility, image, and political effectiveness in the community. Susan has the rare ability to quickly digest complicated policy issues and develop an effective communications strategy with audience-specific messaging. She is an effective media relations strategists, and knows how to navigate traditional and new media landscapes. As a result, the quality and quantity of stories and media mentions she has placed on our behalf this past year has exceeded our expectations.”

Rebecca Haag President and CEO AIDS Action Committee of Massachusetts`

“Susan is an excellent writer and a first-rate editor. She is incredibly skilled at turning complex policy concepts into digestible bites for street-level use. She knows how to cultivate and nurture great relationships with representatives of the media, and how to expertly place and work a story. She also is a skilled communications strategist, with knowledge of a wide variety of free and paid media and how to put them to work to advance a message or a campaign.”

Anya Rader Wallack Principal Arrowhead Health Analytics and former Executive Director of the Massachusetts Medicaid Policy Institute and Interim President of the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Foundation

“We know how to sing, entertain, and inspire our audiences. Susan knows how to communicate, strategize, and deliver our message so that we have an audience. Susan has a keen insight into the community and she’s great to brainstorm with. As a small arts organization she’s flexible with our media plan as no event of ours is the same. Most importantly she is fun to work with!”

Craig Coogan Executive Director Boston Gay Men’s Chorus

Selected Case Studies


Campaign planning, crisis communications, public relations, content creation, social media management

During the 2013 Boston mayoral election, MASSCreative sought to raise the profile of arts and cultural issues among candidates with the Create the Vote campaign. The ultimate goal was to ensure that the next mayor would support the arts sector, and to also educate and engage voters about the candidates’ platforms on the arts. Influence Consulting helped generate more than 40 news articles and spur active conversation about the Create the Vote campaign on social media. 

Partners for Youth with Disabilities

Creation of custom templates and checklists, message development and training, social media coaching, creation of marketing materials and infographics

Over its 30-year history, Partners for Youth with Disabilities has grown from a mentoring organization to one that engages in organizational training, life skills development, and career readiness programs. Its organizational messaging and marketing materials failed to keep pace with its expanded mission. During a six-month engagement, Influence Consulting assisted with refreshing PYD’s messaging, programmatic brochures, infographics, and social media accounts.


Campaign planning, message development, public relations, content creation

Over a one-year period, Influence Consulting helped generate sympathetic media coverage of transgender people and the challenges they face living in a state without civil rights protections. The campaign was launched to support passage of the Transgender Equal Rights Bill and focused on influencing legislators. We helped place more than 100 news pieces and 25 favorable opinion pieces. The bill was passed by the state legislature in November 2011 and signed into law by Gov. Deval Patrick on November 23, 2011.