6:00 p.m. Tuesday, October 29 in DBH 117

Join leading public relations and communications practitioners from top Bay Area agencies for an immersive panel in DBH 117. In addition to networking with light snacks and refreshments, we will be discussing topics for career readiness, including:

  • Pros and cons between working at an agency, or in-house at a corporation
  • Balancing client needs with agency priorities
  • Advice for new grads on landing your first job
  • Tips for career growth in the Bay Area
  • Insight on working in B2B or B2C communications

Following the panel, there will be opportunities to ask questions and mingle with the professionals listed below. Each agency participating has a variety of internships and entry-level roles available throughout the year: time to get networking!


Mike Sanchez, Account Executive

Mike started his PR journey four years ago at FleishmanHillard. Today, he’s an AE at Edelman and specializes in Enterprise Technology, the Cannabis Industry and Startups. Connect with Mike on LinkedIn and Twitter!

Hannah Boss, Senior Account Executive

Hannah began her PR journey as a public relations intern. With three years experience, she’s now a Sr. AE at Highwire PR and specializes in Tech! Connect with Hannah on LinkedIn.

RJ Jovellanos, Senior Account Executive

RJ began his public relations journey five years ago as a PR intern for Ubisoft. Today, his career continues to focus on Esports and gaming for global accounts as a Sr. AE at Ogilvy. Connect with RJ on LinkedIn and Twitter!

Deena Betcher, Senior Director

Deena began her PR journey as a Snow Reporter for Mammoth Mountain Ski Area. Today, Deena specializes in consumer PR, specifically in outdoor and health/wellness brands. Connect with Deena on LinkedIn!

Ashley Nakano, Director

Ten years ago, Ashely accepted her first job out of college as a multimedia journalist at North State Public Radio. Today, she is the Director of Sterling Communications and specializes in public relations, emerging technology and venture capital. Connect with Ashley on LinkedIn and Twitter!

Melissa Lewelling, Account Manager

After graduating from SJSU, Melissa began working at the Hoffman Agency as an Account Coordinator. Five years later, Melissa is an Account Manager and specializes in telling stories for B2B organizations from downtown San José! Connect with Melissa on LinkedIn and Twitter.

Jocelyn Arellano, Account Executive

Jocelyn is a PRSSA SJSU alumna who began her internship with Zeno Group two years ago. Today, she is an AE and specializes in B2B Tech (business-to-business technology). Connect with Jocelyn on LinkedIn and Twitter!

Juliet Fox, Associate Creative Director

Juliet began her career as a Jr. Copywriter at SpotCo in NYC. Today, she is an Associate Creative Director where she specializes creative concepting for earned media and digital campaign development. Connect with Juliet on LinkedIn!

November 10, 2014

Agency Tours this Friday

  • Only for graduating seniors
  • Need to RSVP to go to the event

Bolo Software: Getting Up to Speed

  • PhilipKlugman
    • Bolo is a media search engine FREE to students which helps you discover, manage and analyze the writers you need to know.
    • If you are on top of news you can get your clients in stories
    • Use your school to get in
      • Get internships because it lands jobs in that industry
    • Show innovation
    • Mail merging is great because it allows PR professionals to be personal with their emails by inputting their names into the pitch
    • Know what a given journalist writes about
      • Easier to pitch, relationship building
    • Know how journalists like to be pitch, when and how to track that email
    • Go to journalists on a personal level for example use a previous article as your opener
    • Know authors based on the news that you consume
    • Advice for interviewing
      • Who are their clients
      • Who are they looking for
      • Message of the organization
      • Researching the agency and the person that you are taking to
      • Maybe bring a hard copy of your resume
      • Have a background of being a good person who can talk, pitch,
      • Bring notebook during the interview write notes and then send them a thank you note
    • Bolo
      • Can search for journalists on a search engine and then proceeded to see how much that journalists has wrote about a certain subject which can determine if you pitch to them
      • Also you can search on the media platform to see what journalist write about what you are focusing on
      • Can edit your page to add journalists, pages on media platforms onto lists section off into subjects so that it is easier for you to pitch
      • Wants to provide value to their customers
      • Focuses on tech, gaming, startups and anything in that field


October 20, 2014

Introduced the team and what they are covering

  1. Introductions
    • Deaira Irons
      • Account Director
      • Tech practice
      • 4 years @ Weber
    • Daffne Gavidia
      • Assistant Account executive
      • Tech Practice
      • 5 years @ Weber
  1. Overview Weber Shandwick
    • Have 2400 employees in 81 markets. 605 of clients are multi market and represent 50% of Fortune 100. Since there are international they speak 65 languages.
    • Cover tech, clean tech, health, digital media, and media experts.
    • They engage with multiple clients such as Motorola, GM, Skype, Netgear, Cover ca, Bank of America, Gigamon, Genentech
    • We are: Storytellers, Bloggers, Builders, Directors, Conversation-starters, Analysts, Strategists, Writers, Nutritionists, Content developers, curators, Artists etc.
    • Bread and Butter is media relations which is the Lead Media team covers.
  • Campaign examples
    • Motorola global Product Launch
      • On sept 4th 120 tech companies were invited to the headquarters in Chicago to introduce 4 highly anticipated products
        • Results: had 1700 articles published, tone of global media coverage is 79% fact-based
  1. Our internship program
  2. Advice and Q&A
    • Advice
      • Be polite, but aggressive,
      • jump out on a limb,
      • network and impress,
      • clean up your social media,
      • work for free,
      • if you can (just to start),
      • embrace the 24hr workday,
      • absorb everything Questions
    • Questions
      • Internships
        • Only hire graduates
          • So apply a little before graduation
          • Do internships before then
        • What If a reporter writes something bad about your client
          • Be preventive and make sure their facts are correct
        • Pitching
          • Know who you are pitching to (in regards to Journalist)
            • Tie them together and tailor it to the reporter
            • More than one person
          • Suggestions for standing out
            • Following up, politely
            • Network with them


  1. Dues are $70 on Oct 27th
    1. Socials
    2. Agency Tours

October 13, 2014

Guest Speakers: Scott Thornburg and John Vu of Eastwick Agency

How they got their positions:

  • John Vu- explains his story about how he got involved in east Wick through PRSSA regional conference and the connections that he made through PRSSA

How was the transition from SJSU to a real-life job?

  • John→ East wick is very employee and relationship focused so John was lucky because he felt like that he can get help, reach out for you, and root for you.
  • Scott→ was extremely involved in PRSSA and had various internships before he entered the PR world. Kept in contact with his professors who could help guide him.

Advice: Do anything that can help you grow within the field, Keep in contact with your friends and professors, Tailor your resume to what you are applying for, having a mentor can help boost your confidence and give you great insight. Number one thing that Scott looks for is → can you work with my team which has to do with personality, adaptability, and drive. Stay 2-3 months at a internships.

  • How did they balance having an internship while in school and work?
  • Find the right fit and it’s all about scheduling. Fix your classes to  your schedule and even talk to your boss so that they know where you are at because if you are not getting paid they can be flexible with you.

What are the ups and downs on working with a large agency?

  • Eastwick is privately own and is not a large company. At this time they are looking for people to hire because their client list is getting large.
  • In larger agencies you are not really seen and only might be working with only a few clients. So you might not be challenged enough which is something that can be great to learn from.
  • A mid-size agency can help strengthen your skills because you are an entry-level employee.

What are some things that you wish you knew before graduating?

  • Salary and how benefits work.
  • Things to say or not to say during an interview.
    • Skype interviews are better than phone interviews
  • Practice interviewing with friends and professors

What’s a good timespan for internships?

  • 2-3months and it matters about the outcome from the opportunity rather than having it.

September 29, 2014

Rene Siegel of High Tech Connect*, a consulting firm bringing in big names (and big bucks), came to talk to us and dish out some much-needed career advice and LinkedIn tips.

*[High Tech Connect is a $5 million consulting firm with over 1300 consultants, a genuine approach, and some kick-a** clients like Cisco, Intel, and more]

A few members had questions, and Rene had answers:

Question: What is public relations?

Answer:    Public relations has evolved over time. It’s about your relationship with the publics, which can be any one from stakeholders to employees. In fact, the most important people to pay attention to are your customers, investors, and partners – and that includes employees. It’s important to pay attention to all these people because it creates the “feedback loop” or the concept that you actually care about what people think or what the product/service does.

To be an exceptional PR professional, open up the dialogue.

Question: How important is social media?

Answer: Now that social media has come into the picture, it’s very easy for anyone to have power and flame you or your brand publicly. PR is more important than ever now. You need to be able to explain simply and passionately what something means for any type of company in any industry.

Question: Corporate v. Agency? Which one is better?

Answer: Both are equal, but do both. Doesn’t matter which one comes first. With corporate, you can join the one company and work for just them. With agency, you have multiple clients and have less of a choice in who you are working “for” but as long as you know where your values lie, it will be a useful experience.

Here are some highlights of what she had to say:

– Make the investment in PRSSA because it WILL make you stand out in your career

– Don’t take job descriptions too seriously! Apply even if you think you might not qualify – it’s worth a shot

– Be the person with integrity. Solve the problem, but solve it in a way that is human and real

– LinkedIn is important and the first place employers or hiring managers go; the second/third networks to clean up are your Facebook and Twitter accounts

– Go to professional meetings. Join PRSSA. Attend everything you can – it makes a difference in your career

– Don’t be afraid to join a smaller company – you might have a better shot and a better, well-rounded experience

– We are driven by our reputation, so fix up your LinkedIn and get to branding yourself!



September 22, 2014

Thank you for attending the first session of the Fall 2014 semester! This meeting was more informal and offered us a chance to get to know one another and understand what we hope to get from PRSSA.

Interested in entering a fashion and sports campaign competition?
Need a new headshot for LinkedIn?
Email us at and we’ll get you started!

Committees to join:

  • JMC graduation committee
  • Fundraising committee
  • Agency tours committee
  • And more to be announced…

Important Dates:

September 23 —- Fundraiser at Peanuts (ends at 7pm!)

September 26 —- Deadline to enter fashion campaign competition

September 29 —- LinkedIn tips & tricks with Rene Siegel of High Tech Connect

October 04 ——- Homecoming tailgate

October 17 ——- Media Training with Ruder Finn from 11am – 1pm

October 27 ——- Turn in your dues!

And more…

This year, we’re dedicated to bringing you the value and community atmosphere you asked for.