BRANSTORM Public Relations & Marketing

Colleen Cotter Brannan
Founder & President

Colleen is a well-rounded public relations and marketing communications professional with nearly 25 years of experience at top national firms, large corporations, niche consultancies and integrated shops. Prior to founding BRANSTORM PR & Marketing in 2006, she was SVP, Director of Public Relations at Luquire George Andrews (LGA), one of Charlotte’s top agencies.

Her background spans a wide range of categories and includes brand-building efforts for household names such as Hanes, Chick-fil-A, Bissell, MCI, Newell Rubbermaid and Wachovia.  Today, her clients range from professional service firms and real estate developers to academic institutions and consumer product companies.

Prior to joining LGA, Brannan was vice president of public relations at Mullen in Winston-Salem, N.C., where she helped build Frank About Women, the country’s leading marketing to women consultancy by landing BISSELL Homecare as its first public relations AOR account.  Before that, she spent a decade in Atlanta at top national firms, Ketchum and Cohn & Wolfe, as well as client side on the PR and corporate communications teams of MCI and media giant, Cox Enterprises.

Colleen got her start on the consumer healthcare team at Ketchum PR in Washington touting the benefits of aspirin the wonder drug where her team won the prestigious PRSA Silver Anvil Award. Since then, her career has taken her on top of the Olympic stadium, back stage at the CMA Awards, on the field for the inaugural WUSA match, in stores as a secret shopper, and by Humpy Wheeler’s side for 14 hours on his last day as President of Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Career highlights to date include managing Centennial Olympic PR/promotions for Hanes, becoming Media Director of Cohn and Wolfe, leading the Field PR team at MCI, launching the first-ever women’s pro soccer league (WUSA), heading up external communications for media conglomerate, Cox Enterprises and starting her own firm. 

From newsrooms to boardrooms, Colleen’s creativity and opportunistic eye have earned her a stellar reputation as well as numerous industry awards.  Locally, she has been named one of the 50 Most Influential Women in Charlotte by the Mecklenburg Times twice (2010 and 2014) and one of the Top 25 Women in Business by the Charlotte Business Journal (2011).

Colleen is an active member of the Charlotte Uptown Rotary Club and Women Executives (WE). She served a four-year term on the board of the Charlotte Chamber’s Metro (Uptown) Chapter including Chapter Chair in 2013. In 2011, Brannan was elected to a three-year term on the City of Charlotte’s Business Advisory committee representing the voice of women business owners. She is a graduate of Leadership Charlotte Class 30, past president of the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) and a 20+ year member of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA).

In the community, Colleen is active with JDRF’s Charlotte Chapter (a board member for seven years), a cause she is passionate about as her son Nick is a Type 1 diabetic, diagnosed at age 5. In 2015, she was elected to the board of directors for Autism Speaks.

A native of Springfield, Virginia, she is a graduate of the University of South Carolina with a B.A. in Journalism and Mass Communications.  Go Gamecocks!

She currently lives in the SouthPark neighborhood of Charlotte with her Clemson Tiger husband, Scott and two favorite emerging brands, Nicholas (13) and Phoebe (12).          

Contact her at colleen@branstorm.com.

BRANSTORM Public Relations & Marketing