Shaping Conversations Creating Change


Influence Consulting brings public attention to the issues you care about.


Public Relations

Content Creation


Case Studies

Early Education Leaders, an Institute at UMass Boston

Since 2016, Influence Consulting has represented Early Education Leaders. We help drive program attendance and philanthropic support by highlighting the impact of the institute’s leadership development and research.

Fenway Health

Since 2014, Influence Consulting has represented Fenway Health. We generate media coverage of The Fenway Institute’s science and research. By creating key messages from papers published in scientific journals, we help journalists, lawmakers, and policymakers understand the significance of the work.

Using Social Media for Issue Advocacy ​

In the spring of 2017, Congress considered numerous bills to repeal the Affordable Care Act and one was approved by the House in May of that year. The Boston Area Rape Crisis Center (BARCC) wanted to educate policymakers and lawmakers about the potential impact that repeal of the law could have on survivors of sexual assault, who are vulnerable to numerous health conditions over the course of their life.

Client List

Past and present clients have included:


Influence Consulting applies over 25 years’ experience to your storytelling, strategic communications, and media relations needs.

Influence Consulting is a solo consultancy owned and operated by Susan Ryan-Vollmar. Susan has deep experience working with mission-driven organizations to expand communications capacity. Working closely with clients, Susan develops key messages and utilizes media, client platforms (blogs, newsletters, and websites), and social media to get those messages out. She offers strategic communications counsel and is skilled in crisis communications.

Susan has worked in media and communications for over 25 years, 15 of them as a journalist. In 2015, she received an Excellence in NonProfit Communications award from the Massachusetts NonProfit Network for designing and implementing the communications plan for the Boston Gay Men’s Chorus 2015 tour of the Middle East.

In 2016, she received a lifetime achievement “History Maker” award from The History Project for her work as editor-in-chief of Bay Windows from 2004 to 2008, when she led the paper’s coverage of the fight for marriage equality, and for her work as news editor of the Boston Phoenix, when she oversaw the paper’s investigative reporting in 2000 and 2001 exposing the abuse of children by priests taking place within the Boston Archdiocese.

Susan is also an elected member of Arlington Town Meeting and serves as chair of the Arlington Civilian Police Advisory Commission. She was a commissioner of the Arlington LGBTQIA+ Rainbow Commission from 2020 through 2024, serving as co-chair of the commission in 2023 and 2024. In 2021, she co-chaired the Arlington Civilian Police Advisory Commission Study Committee.