Connected Communications is an award-winning public relations firm in Las Vegas that was founded in 2007 by Sarah Thornton, APR. Our boutique firm specializes in working with companies in residential and commercial real estate, finance, professional services. Since our inception, Connected Communications has substantially grown and we now work with clients in major markets outside of Las Vegas, including Southern California, Oklahoma, Phoenix and Denver.
With over 30 years of combined experience in the public relations and marketing industry, our Connected Communications team has represented clients both locally and nationally, garnering millions of dollars’ worth of product promotion and news placement. Whether launching new businesses or planning community outreach campaigns, our public relations professionals are tenacious in our desire to help clients achieve their business goals. Connected Communications offers creative services for media relations, strategic planning, marketing, special events, business development, online marketing, newsletters and social media.
The firm’s current clients include Ascent Multifamily Accounting, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Arizona Properties, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Nevada Properties, Billy O’Keefe – Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, Camino Verde Group, Family to Family Connection, Geary Company, High Rollers Adaptive Sports Foundation, Lake Las Vegas, Naqvi Injury Law, Naylor & Braster Attorneys At Law, Reflection Bay Golf Club, and Strada Development Group.
Having worked with the country’s top developers throughout her career, Sarah is one of the most experienced real estate PR experts in Nevada. Her passion for construction and development is rooted in successful tenures at Southern Nevada’s largest master plan developer and the valley’s largest construction equipment dealership. While working with Del Webb Corporation, she garnered more news coverage in her first quarter than the company had ever received, earning the company an average of 20 million news impressions per month.
Sarah is an active member of the community and currently serves as an advisory board member for Family to Family Connection, High Rollers Adaptive Sports Foundation and Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) Las Vegas chapter. She spent two years on the Board of Directors for Kenzi’s Causes, a children’s nonprofit in Denver. She has also served on the board of directors for the PRSA Colorado chapter and the International Association of Business Communicators’ (IABC) Las Vegas and Colorado chapters. She regularly volunteers with the Clark County Bar Association’s Community Service committee and Cure 4 The Kids Foundation. She has also volunteered with the National Association of Women Business Owners- Southern Nevada chapter. Sarah was named Public Relations Principal of the Year at the Electronic Media Awards in 2011, and the 2018 Volunteer of the Year by the Clark County Bar Association. Most recently, Sarah was named Senior PR Practitioner of the Year in 2020 by PRSA Las Vegas.
Sarah received her bachelor’s degree in communication studies from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and in 2019 was honored as UNLV’s Alumna of the Year for the Greenspun School of Communications. Sarah was awarded Accreditation in Public Relations (APR) from PRSA, a distinction held by only 15 percent of public relations professionals within the society’s global membership.
Whitney Maher brings a wide range of experience to the firm. She earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism and mass communication from Arizona State University in 2015. Whitney worked as a sports reporter and copy editor at The Spokesman-Review in Spokane, Washington, covering sports teams that included Gonzaga University basketball, Eastern Washington University football and the Spokane Indians Minor League Baseball team. She also briefly worked as a news and sports producer for Spokane’s local television station, KREM 2 News.
Whitney is an active member of the PRSA Las Vegas chapter and serves as the board’s liaison for UNLV Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA). Most recently, she was named PR Newcomer of the Year in 2020 and was awarded a Pinnacle Award (top award) for a digital platform by the PRSA Las Vegas chapter.
Whitney offers an array of experience in media relations, digital and print content development, social media management, photography, videography and editing.
Brittany Barksdale’s role is to develop and maintain social media content by researching marketing trends and implementing strategies specific to each social media platform. As social media coordinator, she creates engaging content catered to a company’s desired target audience to translate online growth with company growth.
Brittany offers experience in graphic design, writing, social media engagement, social media management, and online brand development.
In 2019, Brittany earned her bachelor’s degree in journalism and media studies from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Currently, she is pursuing her master’s degree in media studies, focusing on influencer marketing trends. While in school, Brittany was a part of the game-day street crew for the Vegas Golden Knights and LV Lights. In addition to sports, Brittany has worked with businesses in beauty, serving as a social media content creator and strategist.
Carlee Gettman is a Las Vegas native and public relations specialist with an array of experience in real estate, corporate and non-profit industries. As a public relations specialist, she has an extensive background in media relations, writing, marketing, creative services and digital marketing.
Carlee is an active member of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) Las Vegas chapter and serves as its chapter administrator. She also works as a marketing associate for Ascent Multifamily Accounting.
Carlee earned her bachelor’s degree in journalism and media studies from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas in 2020 while she interned for our firm.
Harley Gagnon is a dynamic coordinator who assists our clients with public relations and social media strategies. Born and raised in the Hawaiian islands, she carries the aloha spirit everywhere she goes.
Harley has experience curating content, collaborating with brands/influencers, and securing brand deals. As a public relations and social media coordinator, she creates engaging content, conducts interviews, drafts and edits press releases, writes blog articles, and researches the latest trends to optimize social presence and brand awareness.
A graduate of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, she earned her bachelor’s degree in journalism and media studies and is pursuing a master’s degree in public relations with a specialization in social media strategies and marketing.
I’ve known Sarah Thornton for more than 20 years. We’ve worked together for almost half of those years. Sarah is very capable and gets results. She is excellent with the media and consistently scores major editorial placements. Sarah is a delight to work with and highly professional.
Mike Ballard, Partner, Ascent Multifamily Accounting
In this day and age, public relations is a necessity, especially for a new business. When John and I started our law firm in July 2014, we knew we needed a public relations person who could help us stand out from the crowd. Sarah has done that and more. Through the past year and a half, Sarah has assisted us immensely in highlighting our strengths, legal experience, and those attributes that distinguish us from other local attorneys. She is readily available and enthusiastic about the projects at hand – whether it be finding us the right “fit” in community organizations or giving last-minute feedback on proposed advertising.
Jennifer Braster, Managing Partner. Naylor & Braster, Attorneys at Law
Sarah is an absolute pleasure to work with. She is the best at what she does, she over-delivers and does so with class and style. I would recommend using Sarah to anybody who is looking for excellent results with their PR. She’s simply the best!
Ivan Sher, Owner, Broker-Salesperson, The Ivan Sher Group, Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Nevada Properties
Connected Communications goes far beyond what is typically provided by a public relations organization. Sarah and her staff have become part of our mission and our day to day existence. The connection is personal – by creating new opportunities, utilizing connections and continually checking in to make sure our values are respected and our goals are being met. Connected Communications cares about improving education in Nevada by nurturing Family to Family Connection, as if it were their very own.
Dianne Farkas, M.S., Executive Director, Family to Family Connection