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Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism University of Southern California

Rachel Pitts Whitestone

Class of 2003, Bachelor's

A 2008 finalist for the PRWeek Public Affairs Campaign of the Year Award, Rachel has extensive background in communications strategy, media relations, local land-use campaigns, crisis management, branding, event planning and corporate communications. For the last three years, Rachel strategized and practiced at worldwide public relations agency Porter Novelli (PN) where she worked on a variety of issues: from land-use campaign and local initiatives, to infrastructure, healthcare and Indian gaming. In addition, Rachel served as PN Sacramento’s Chief Marketing Director, as a founding member of PN’s Digital Task Force charged with strategizing and implementing social media into client campaigns, and founded the Sacramento office’s trend watching group.
Rachel’s experience uniquely positions her to be extremely effective with the media. Before joining Porter Novelli, Rachel worked as a television journalist for several years (Behind the scenes at KOVR, KNBC, KCRA and then as an anchor/reporter at KULR-8 in Billings, Montana for two years).


Rachel was nominated for the PRWeek Public Affairs Campaign of the Year Award in 2008, and the SABRE Award Finalist for Healthcare Providers Campaign of the Year, 2009 for her work on behalf of the California Optometric Association.


What are the top three skills journalism students should learn in college?:


What were your duties at ATVN? :

Reporter, Anchor (I even did weather!  Rachel’s Radar anyone?!)

How did ATVN prepare you for your career?:

I loved the experience that I gained at ATVN...working with friends...trying to file under deadline...shooting my own video...researching and meeting people...and lots of writing.  Even though I am out of TV now, I use these skills daily, and so many public relations clients are starting their own TV channels because of YouTube!

What is your advice to aspiring journalists?:

Work hard, but don’t take it too seriously.  Have fun!  Take risks!

What should graduates keep in mind when negotiating their first job?:

Look at everything as an opportunity.  Have confidence and build relationships.  You never know when you might talk to/work with those folks again!

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