Though her childhood ambition was to be a nurse, a love of news lured Marsha Middleton into public relations. “I was addicted to the news at a very young age,” she says. “My mother called it ‘being nosey,’ but for me, the news was simply everything I needed to know.”
Middleton, who was born and raised in London, England, graduated cum laude from Florida A&M University and began her career as a public relations manager with Habitat for Humanity International, where she was responsible for the promotion of international projects including Women Build, the first building project led by the first ladies of the United States.
When she left the non-profit sector, Middleton headed for corporate America and joined The Home Depot as their Southeast public relations manager, where she led the internal and external communications between more than 200 stores, worked with contract negotiations and store openings. She also helped organize the 1,000th store celebration, held at the New York Stock Exchange. “Watching that bell ring on the NYSE still makes me think of Home Depot and their accomplishments,” she says. “I think I still bleed orange!”
This experience positioned her perfectly for her next career move to Four Seasons Hotel Atlanta, where she served as the director of public relations. She made her mark on the luxury industry by keeping the city’s only five-star, five-diamond hotel at the forefront of local and national media. During her tenure at the luxury hotel, Marsha is credited for amassing major marketing and partnership opportunities for the hotel, its restaurant and spa.
In 2008, she formed M-Squared Public Relations, which began as a home-based business. “I love PR and I know that any career change I made would always involve PR.” “It’s in my blood and I’m a firm believer that PR people aren’t made–it’s a personality trait that once activated, positions them to simply make things happen. I guess that’s why they call me ‘the Olivia Pope of PR.’
Middleton thrives on the fast-paced world of public relations, and loves the challenge of each new day. “I have the potential to turn everything I experience into a story,” she says. “I love being able to devise and execute new ideas for great client results. It might be cliché to say that I think outside the box, but I do. And I love it.”
As the mother of two, Middleton divides her time between work and family, but always finds ways to give back to the community that has been so good to her.
In 2016, Marsha was awarded the JP’s Recipe for Life Foundation’s Distinguished Service Award for her dedication to giving back to the Atlanta community and for her steadfast commitment to ensuring the success of her firm’s clients. In Sept 2016, Upscale Magazine named Marsha one of 15 ‘Top Players’ in their national roundup of movers and shakers. In Oct. 2016, 17th South Magazine named Marsha one of six PR Powerhouses in Atlanta.
A few affiliations include:
• Les Dames d’Escoffier, Member (2012-)
• Board of Directors, Meals on Wheels Atlanta (2011-present)
• Buckhead-Atlanta Chapter of Jack and Jill of America, Inc, VP Membership (2013-)
• National Black Arts Festival’s annual gala (2009, 2010)
• Chair, A Meal To Remember (for Meals On Wheels Atlanta, 2015)