Rick Batyko, APR, has more than 30 years of Fortune100 and nonprofit public relations, marketing and brand management experience. Currently, he is serving as senior vice president for marketing, communications and development for Team NEO. Team NEO works with state, regional and local economic development organizations for business attraction, retention and expansion in Northeast Ohio. It is the JobsOhio affiliate for the region. Through its Cleveland Plus campaign, the organization also assists corporations with talent recruitment, and garners positive national and international press for the region.
Prior, he has served as director of communications for Babcock & Wilcox; as a director of communications and brand management for AlliedSignal; as manager, e-media and news management at Honeywell International; and most recently as an officer and vice president for marketing and communications at The Cleveland Foundation. He began his career in PR leadership roles with Rio Grande University and Lake Erie College.
Batyko is a graduate of Ohio University’s E. W. Scripps School of Journalism with a major in public relations, and received his Master of Arts in public relations from Kent State University in 2012. He holds his Accreditation with the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) and is an adjunct faculty member at Kent State University’s College of Journalism and Mass Communication, teaching courses in the Masters of Public Relations program.
He is a past president of the Greater Cleveland and the Akron Area Chapters of the Society and past chair of PRSA’s East Central District’s Board of Directors. He has presented at a number of PRSA’s international and regional conferences, chaired or held positions on several national committees and has been a delegate at six national assemblies. Most recently, he served on the 2013 College of Fellows Selection Committee, co-chaired the 2014–16 College of Fellows Strategic
Planning Committee and is currently a member of the PRSA Investment Committee. He is a Champion for PRSSA.
For his service to the profession, Batyko was inducted into PRSA’s College of Fellows in 2009. In 2013, PRSA Greater Cleveland Chapter presented him with its Lighthouse Award that acknowledges a senior-level practitioner for contributions to the field and the community.
His writings have appeared in an ABC-CLIO book on advertising titled, “We Are What We Sell” (2014); in a University of Akron Press book on community-building economic development titled, “Under the Rustbelt” (2015); and in a Praeger book titled, “Debates for the Digital Age” (November 2015). He is editing for ABC-CLIO (Greenwood imprint) an encyclopedia of the global digital revolution (publication date: 2017). He has been published in the Public Relations Journal and in other outlets. His thesis, “The Impact of Japanese Corporate and Country Culture on Crisis Communications: A Case Study Examining Tokyo Electric Power Company,” was published to OhioLink in 2012.
Batyko’s son, Bobby, is a graduate of Kent State University in public relations and is working for a Cleveland ad/PR firm. His daughter, Erica, is also a graduate of Kent State University in public relations and is a graduate assistant in KSU’s School of Communications Studies, working on her graduate degree in Global Communications. His wife, Mary, teaches for Akron Public Schools and is a finalist for the school district’s 2016 Teacher of the Year.