Monthly Archives: July 2012

Keep your edge sharp with PRSA Silicon Valley Professional Development workshops

Three Friday morning professional tune-ups coming up

David Vossbrink, PRSA Silicon Valley Past President, Director of Communications for City of San Jose,, @dvossbrink

Seasoned PR veterans and up-and-comers can sharpen their professional edge with three great workshops from PRSA Silicon Valley starting Friday, August 3.

We live and work in a fast changing and hard charging world, but we still must take time to learn new skills, and relearn the basics, to do our best for our companies and our clients.  After all, as Gandhi once said, “Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.”

Our first workshop in the series is this Friday, August 3, when David Metz, partner at survey research firm Fairbank, Maslin, Maullin, Metz & Associates, will give us practical advice on a variety of formal and informal research tools that can help us plan our programs and evaluate our results.

Metz will talk about how to ask questions and design surveys; the differences between market research and political research; measurement for PR campaigns; and value of alternatives ranging from casual “dipstick polls” to formal survey research – as well as the use of surveys by PR to generate news.

If you ever have had to answer your boss’s question, “how do we know that?” – you must be there.  Anyone who is considering PRSA accreditation should sign up, since research and evaluation are among the fundamental elements of solid public relations. And just to be better equipped to interpret the vast array of surveys and statistics that fill media channels these days, this workshop will be invaluable.

On Friday, August 17, Carla Oakley, partner at the San Francisco law firm Morgan Lewis will cover PR and the law.  And there is no shortage of legal matters relevant to public relations, such as copyright and fair use; the rights of media, disclosure requirements, privacy and technology; the constantly changing challenges presented by new media; and the relationship and sometimes tension between the lawyers and the PR team within an organization – especially in the face of a crisis.

The best organizations recognize that advice from both the legal and the PR teams is essential for success. Oakley will help us understand the issues and the ways we can work with the lawyers to navigate the treacherous waters of communications.

Our final workshop for this year’s professional development series will be on Friday, September 21 when Jim Balassone from the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics at Santa Clara University will discuss Ethics and Public Relations.  He will give us an overview of ethics and ethical decision making; ethical organizational cultures; new challenges and issues emerging from technology; conflicts of interests; telling truth to power; and distinctions between ethical requirements, legal requirements, and perception requirements.

We’ve seen no shortage of organizational meltdowns in the past few years because of ethical breakdowns. PR has a critical role to play to steer a right course that can help prevent and correct them.  Balassone will give valuable insight on how PR professionals can provide this leadership.

All sessions will be held at Friday mornings from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. at Microsoft’s Mountain View campus at 1065 La Avenida (thank you, Microsoft, for providing the venue for PRSA!).  Your registration fee includes continental breakfast.  Go to to register:

members (and partners) – $25; non-members – $40; students – $20.


You Don’t Need HBO to Get a Look Inside the Newsroom

by Matt Ceniceros | Applied Materials, Director, Media Relations | @mattceni

I’m excited to announce the next edition of the Inside the Newsroom series will feature staff from top technology, Internet and media web site, AllThingsD on Aug 28 and hosted at Facebook in Menlo Park.

Our presenters will include Kara Swisher, Mike Isaac, Ina Fried and Liz Gannes will discuss the trends driving the latest technology, Internet and media investment cycle, their approach to building stories and how they prefer working with PR professionals. And, just maybe a story or two about Yahoo!

The PRSA Silicon Valley “Inside the Newsroom” series provides a unique look inside an outlet’s editorial curtain to reveal the behind-the-scenes environment of some of the biggest, most influential media companies.  Just last month PRSA Silicon Valley hosted the editorial staff at Bloomberg BusinessWeek  discuss how journalists from the online, print and broadcast disciplines come together to provide its audiences comprehensive coverage of the top stories in business. I’d like to again thank our sponsors BusinessWire and our host, Microsoft, and the many companies and agencies who joined us including: Oracle, Intel, Facebook, Global Foundries, Applied Materials, and Fleishman-Hillard, Edelman Access PR, Airfoil and JagWire Group.

With an amazing venue, captivating roster of journalists, there’s not much you can’t “Like” about the program. THE event will be Aug. 28 at will kickoff at 6pm with time for networking, eats and drinks. The panel discussion will begin at 7pm. Information on registration and group discounts can be found on the PRSA Silicon Valley website. You can also follow the conversation on our Facebook page and Twitter feed @prsasv.

The Inside the Newsroom series requires a dedicated group of professionals who take time out of their busy work schedules and personal time to bring this amazing programming to PRSA members. I’d like to especially thank:

  • Emelyne Interior, Katie Sarro, Tim Rathschmidt, Fleishman-Hillard
  • Clark Hsu, Edelman
  • Amanda Crnkovich, Citrix
  • Julie Strong, BusinessWire
  • Ellie Javadi, Stanford Research
  • Camelia Gendreau, Borders + Gratehouse

I’d like to extend a special thank you to our host at Facebook and lead for the AllThingsD panel, Ashley Zandy.

If you appreciate this effort, show it. Attend the event, contact us and volunteer. The industry and your resume will “Like” it.

Thanks for your time and support. I look forward to seeing you in August. Check back here on the blog or any of our social network accounts for updates.

Summer Series Starts Out with a Bang

What We Learned from Our Friends at Bloomberg

In PRSA Silicon Valley (PRSASV)’s first installment of our summer media series events, we brought together a gaggle of Bloomberg reporters for “Inside the Newsroom: Bloomberg TV, Bloomberg Businessweek, Bloomberg News.”  The event offered a unique opportunity to get inside the heads of our counterparts, as they divulged the ins and outs of their jobs, their relationship with PR pros and yes, even their pain points.

Hosted at Microsoft, the event drew more than 100 attendees and kicked-off with a one hour networking reception, followed by a panel program and audience Q&A with Emily Chang, Anchor of Bloomberg West, Bloomberg Television; Jon Erlichman, Senior West Coast Correspondent, Bloomberg Television; Rich Jaroslovsky, Technology Columnist and Reviewer, Bloomberg News and Bloomberg Businessweek; and Brad Stone, Senior Writer, Bloomberg Businessweek.

For those who couldn’t attend, here are some takeaways to keep in your back pocket next time you’re looking for a Bloomberg placement:

  1. Want to know how to successfully pitch Emily Chang? Keep it simple: Bullets with facts and links to other content (including video) are all she needs. Skip the editorial or talk of trends.
  2. Brad Stone’s advice to getting B2B coverage: make it a compelling human interest angle. A knowledgeable, charismatic co-founder can go a long way.
  3. Bloomberg is collaborative across all channels. Whilst making a subtle dig at former employer Wall Street Journal, Rich Jaroslovsky said one of the reasons he most enjoys working at Bloomberg is that teams are “free from the tyranny of regions and TV, magazine, online – everyone works together.”
  4. And as for Jon Erlichman? The Canadian-born broadcaster said when does have the time, he really likes to get to know people and meet with them in person.
  5. Overall, the panelists agreed that they want to receive pitches and are open to story ideas. Just make sure you know what they cover before pushing send on that email.

Overall, a smashing success—and we’re already looking onward and beginning to plan the next event. Stay tuned – next event we go inside the newsroom of All Things D at Facebook’s headquarters. The event will take place August 28—we hope you’ll join us!

L-R: Vanessa Yanez, Danielle Coan and Emily Horn
Rich Jaroslovsky and Emelyne Interior
Rich Jaroslovsky, Brad Stone, Jon Erlichman and Emily Chang with Vanessa Yanez Event sign at Microsoft
Katie Sarro and Tom Suiter L-R: Tim Rathschmidt, Emily Horn, Camelia Gendreau, Vanessa Yanez, Emelyne Interior and Katie Sarro