Alison McGonagle-O’Connell launches strategic marcomms and community development consultancy following management team role at Coko

Alison McGonagle-O’Connell announced the creation of O’Connell Strategic Consulting, a new consultancy focused on strategic marketing, business development, and community development for innovative technology organizations and publishers in scholarly communications and academia. This follows Alison’s successful transition from Coko management team member to advisory board participant on October 1.

Earliest client relationships include Delta Think, Book Sprints, and Coko

For Delta Think, Alison joins the team to develop community around the Open Access Data & Analytics Tool. Alison will also support consulting engagements focused on innovating workflows and leveraging open source technologies. 

For Book Sprints, Alison provides support in marketing and communications.

For Coko, Alison continues activities related to strategic public relations and business development.

Alison continues participating as co-chair of CRediT Program Committee, in addition to several initiatives and committees in the space.

“I’ve been very fortunate to develop a unique skill set working across extremely innovative and industry leading organizations, and I observe that everyone thrives and moves forward when collaborating in this way,” commented Alison. “My preference is to support organizations doing the most innovative work. I’m looking forward to leveraging a consultancy model to support helping organizations sustainably meet and exceed their growth goals related via strategic development activities.”

“As the scholarly communications landscape continues to evolve, start ups, emerging and existing players will benefit from leveraging Alison’s nuanced subject matter expertise and experience managing community development activities and interorganizational collaboration,” commented Richard Wynne, Founder of Rescognito, and former Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Aries Systems.

“I’m enthusiastic about continuing to collaborate with Alison in new contexts including within advisory capacities for Editoria and Coko,” commented Adam Hyde, Founder of Coko. “Alison’s many years in the industry make her an extremely efficient add to any team. She’s an excellent resource with deep subject matter expertise, many helpful connections, and a real passion for moving this industry forward.”

“We are excited about leveraging Alison‘s expertise for quickly generating fresh content for Book Sprints’ content distribution channels,” commented Barbara Rühling, CEO of Book Sprints. “Alison‘s is an interesting multifaceted perspective on the publishing industry and open technology that she brings forward in everything she does. We are excited to integrate her work into our messaging.”

About O’Connell Strategic Consulting | 

Alison McGonagle-O’Connell is a strategic development consultant with more than fifteen years of experience working for scholarly publishers, proprietary software as a service vendors, and open source organizations, as well as supporting project based initiatives in this space. Most immediately prior to founding O’Connell Strategic Consulting, Alison led community development at Coko as a member of the management team. 


Today’s the day!

I’m so pleased that this day has arrived! I’ve been looking forward to sharing more about my vision and plans.

Who will I be working with?

I am extremely fortunate and grateful to have the support and partnership of several organizations and individuals that I admire, right from the start. I could not, and would not have taken this exciting step without their early encouragement.

Delta Think has announced that I’m joining the team to support sales and the development of community around the Open Access Data & Analytics Tool. I look forward to educating our broader community about the tool’s powerful capabilities, and I am delighted to work as part of such an innovative and trusted organization.

I will also continue to support the continuing growth and success of mission driven Coko. Additionally, I am thrilled that Coko’s Founder Adam Hyde has invited me to participate within the Coko Advisory Board and to continue with my role on the Editoria Advisory Group. I have very much enjoyed working for Coko over the last years, and I’m looking forward to continuing within new contexts.

Last, there are some very exciting conversations in the works, more news I hope to share soon, and trusted advisors and a community of friends and mentors behind the scenes for whom I am eternally grateful.

Why work this way?

As I continue affiliations with organizations and initiatives I’ve been working for, it’s tempting to ask why make changes, especially since I am able to work across such a broad constituency of forward thinkers through my work with Coko, CRediT volunteer work, and other professional development initiatives.

While this is all true, I think there is a real need for shared resource in strategic marcomms support, particularly for start up organizations and new projects and initiatives keen to drive change in the space. Options can be limiting when faced with a decision: hire someone with deep subject matter expertise and shoulder cost, or hire generalist expertise at a lower cost and spend on training and developing skill set and knowledge base. 

Especially for start ups and project based initiatives, tapping into subject matter expertise without the overhead of a full time executive is ideal: a service that allows access to the nuanced subject matter expertise that they actually need to move their initiatives forward without the onerous cost of full time employment, benefits, etc. Similarly, some organizations have stellar senior-level strategic marketing staff who may understand, for example, content marketing and journal development well, but who may not be ready to take emerging tech offerings developing at their organizations to market. Or, they may have extremely capable tactical expertise that could use some ad hoc strategic direction or facilitation to operate at peak performance for the organization. This is the sweet spot for me, so if it sounds good to you – let’s chat.

This model also allows me to focus on the most interesting strategic work for innovative organizations. I have a proven track record for catalyzing projects, building successful programs and teams, and delivering on high engagement marketing, communications, and community development programs.

Can we work together?

While the short answer is ‘I am not sure,’ I am quite open to discuss possibilities. Let’s talk about what your project or organization is most in need of, and explore possibilities forward from there. Feedback and continued engagement is welcome as I work out next steps toward best resourcing and serving the community interested in collaborating. That said, today is the day, so if this sounds like something you are interested in, please, let’s start a conversation!

See you in Copenhagen!

As I transition from Coko management team member to Coko advisory board member, and to consulting full-time beginning October 1, I’m heading to Copenhagen, Denmark for the COASP meeting. This is a new meeting for me, but feels timely, with an extremely interesting program. In fact, it’s a season full of ‘firsts’ as I make these significant but very exciting changes.

If you are interested in catching up at the meeting, please let me know.