Our Model
Creative Strategies uses an independent model, enabling organizations to receive full-service, expert communications advice and services at a better price point. As an independent firm, Creative Strategies teams up with other independent consultants as necessary to provide on target and expert results. This also means that your primary contact is the firm’s experienced principal, ensuring an outstanding and high-level product.

Shawn Flaherty, President

Shawn Flaherty is the firm’s principal and has more than 20 years of public relations and communications experience that has included working for a Fortune 50 company, a corporate foundation, trade association, travel research non-profit, and political campaign. Her creative ideas and ability to bring them to life have shaped many organizations’ communications programs, helping them achieve significant and lasting results.


Full Bio


Shawn’s career has touched many segments of communications: media relations, community relations, corporate social responsibility, internal communications, strategic planning, public affairs, product roll-outs, issues management, trade show communications, event planning, marketing communications, survey market research, and crisis communications.

Since founding Creative Strategies, Shawn has worked with a variety of companies and nonprofits, developing and implementing successful communications plans and strategies. Her award-winning client work has touched national and local issues, including public policy, housing, financial services, health, and child welfare issues. Recent successes include managing merger communications for two local nonprofits, raising the profile of a national nonprofit and its leadership, and promoting a smart phone app.

Prior to starting Creative Strategies, she directed the comprehensive and multi-faceted public relations activities for Freddie Mac’s corporate citizenship efforts including the Freddie Mac Foundation, minority outreach activities, affordable housing products, corporate governance practices, and workplace issues.

In addition, she developed major events to bolster the company’s reputation as a good corporate citizen, including Hoops for the Homeless, a charitable basketball tournament headlined by Magic Johnson, as well as a number of other partnerships with local sports teams to help promote charitable causes.

Prior to Freddie Mac, Shawn served as a public relations officer for the US Travel Association, where she revamped and grew its public relations program, building the association’s image as the industry leader while promoting the industry as an economic force.

Complementing her PR work, also co-owns Speedpro Northern Virginia, delivering high-quality large format printing such as signs, posters, banners, trade show exhibits, wall murals, and vehicle wraps.


Shawn serves on Stop Child Abuse Now of Northern Virginia’s Public Education Committee and has served on its board for many years, including as vice chair. She is a graduate of Leadership Loudoun, the Program Committee chair of the Independent Public Relations Alliance, a member of the National Capital Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America, a founding member of PRSA’s Strategic Philanthropy Section, and a member of the Loudoun Chamber of Commerce. Shawn graduated from the University of Virginia with a degree in Communications.


“Creative Strategies’ counsel and product were on target. I needed a marketing communications strategy to promote my businesses’ products, but a big firm was not in our budget. Shawn’s creativity and expertise proved invaluable and her product outstanding. I’ve also used her services to help my clients’ succeed.”
–Julie Wadler, Owner, epiphany productions, inc.

“I appreciate your excellent service and terrific skills. CWLA has benefited from your extraordinary expertise, helping us grow our voice to better serve our nation’s vulnerable children.” –Christine James-Brown, CEO, Child Welfare League of America

“Creative Strategies is a valued, highly professional partner. From great ideas to implementation, its exceptional services help put a face on my business, ensuring it stands out from others.” –Steve Gotschi, Owner, DryHome Roofing & Siding

“Shawn was a driving force in the success of Hoops for the Homeless–one of the region’s most successful charitable events. The soup-to-nuts communications strategy and visibility she garnered for the event were unprecedented.” — Frances Becker, Executive Director, Carpenter’s Shelter, and Founder, Hoops for the Homeless

“Shawn led our Board Public Education Committee for several years. With her insight and knowledge, our communications efforts grew and matured…greatly enhancing our ability to attract new funders and volunteers and serving children and families in our community.” –Diane Charles, Former Executive Director, SCAN of Northern Virginia

“Thank you for a truly OUTSTANDING job. You rescued us from a disastrous situation. It was a GENUINE joy working with you.  You were organized, informed, johnny-on-the-spot, no BS, creative and delivered as promised…we did something important together.” —Larry Bock, Founder, USA Science & Engineering Festival