Note from Susan J. Farese, SJF Communications: Delaney Heil is my Mentee in the Aztec Mentor Program at San Diego State University (SDSU). An Honors Program Student, Delaney is studying Public Relations, Advertising and Applied Communication and is Minoring in Biology. This interview was part of Delaney’s PR assignment and as her Mentor I wanted to give Delaney an opportunity to be published, thus, her guest interview post! Many thanks, Delaney!
Greatness from Small Beginnings:
How Public Relations Can Arise Anywhere
An Interview with Susan J. Farese, SJF Communications
By Delaney Heil
SAN DIEGO – Most public relations practitioners begin their careers by studying the subject in school. But Susan Farese of SJF Communications had a very different introduction into PR.
Instead of Susan obtaining a degree in PR she began in Nursing and Musical Theater.
“I received my bachelors and then masters degrees in Nursing and was a military nurse for 12 years. Since 1990 (after leaving the military) I have been a consultant, with several geographical moves in between. Fast forward to circa 2005, 2006…when my daughter was involved in professional and community productions I wrote a press release for the kids that were featured among the adults,” she said.
As the years went by, through her daughter’s participation in theater, Farese volunteered to write promotional announcements for the productions.
“In 2011, the director of ‘Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat’ in San Diego was impressed with my promoting the production and recommended me to join the board for the San Diego Musical Theatre,” said Farese.
Farese created the position of Marketing/ PR on the board, which turned into a consulting and staff position. After 5 years, it prompted her to begin freelance PR services with her business SJF Communications. She specializes in PR marketing and doubles as a social media coach, blogger and mentor.
Her specialty is in entertainment PR, linking back to her theater background.
“Somehow because I worked theater PR for five years, I cultivated so many contacts. I just feel comfortable in this industry. Additionally, I have been providing PR for musicians as well.”
Becoming established in San Diego wasn’t easy for Farese. “I had to compile and/or edit a list of media contacts, build a database, provide ongoing media relations, write and submit press releases, provide email marketing, online calendar submissions and social media posts, create a business website/blog and attend many productions and events as well as other duties. I joined organizations and networked. “It’s a challenge, but I like it. Actually, I love it! I’m still establishing my brand.”
Farese assured that despite the challenges, there are many benefits to being a PR practitioner, such as exciting interpersonal challenges and events. “Connecting with people excites me. I enjoy getting the word out, mass communication, everything involved with it,” said Farese.
Farese believes that the most important thing for future practitioners to remember is “to be assertive and confident in themselves. And to have a positive attitude…No matter what!”
Many thanks Delaney!