An award-winning public relations practitioner with a strong background in politics and public affairs, Kathy Barks Hoffman knows the players, the issues and the strategies needed to help clients succeed.
She has worked with clients active in economic development, education, health care, business, manufacturing, public policy and social services. Besides helping oversee team development for Martin Waymire, Kathy is able to provide clients with strategic counsel and expertise in public relations, marketing, social media, event planning, public speaking and media training.
Kathy has substantial experience in public policy communications, having covered Michigan and national politics for more than two decades as the head of The Associated Press’ Lansing Bureau and as a reporter for The Detroit News and Lansing State Journal. She has an insider’s knowledge of Michigan and national media, and spent many years as a panelist on public television’s “Off the Record” public affairs program. Her peers have honored Kathy for her past work by inducting her into the Michigan Journalism Hall of Fame in 2019 and the Ball State Journalism Hall of Fame in 2020.
In the public relations field, she has won numerous awards in the Central Michigan Public Relations Society of America Chapter’s annual PACE Awards and has twice won first place in the PRSA East Central District’s regional Diamond Awards. Before joining Martin Waymire, Kathy was a director in the Public Affairs Practice of Lambert, Edwards and Associates (now Lambert) in Lansing.
She is an active user of social media, with more than 2,700 Twitter followers. Kathy holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Ball State University and a master’s degree in American Studies from Michigan State University, and has taught journalism courses at MSU and Lansing Community College.
From May until October, Kathy spends as much time as possible on Lake Michigan with her husband, Brent, and their 34-foot sailboat, “Comes a Time.” They also like to ride on Michigan’s bike trails year-round. She currently serves on the board of directors for the Society of Professional Journalists Mid-Michigan Chapter and is a founding member of the Michigan Coalition for Open Government. She and her husband have two grown sons.