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FSB Core Strategies Announces Staff Promotions, New Hires


FSB is pleased to announce the following staff promotions and newest hire in our Orange County and Sacramento Offices:

Orange County:

Mayra Vega has been promoted to an Account Executive and Latino Outreach & Spanish Language Specialist. She is in charge of creating strategic outreach plans for both the general population and Latino communities in order to build long-lasting relationships between clients and their publics. Mayra has been with FSB for two years. 

Nailea Ayala has been hired as an Account Coordinator after working as an intern for one year in the OC office on a variety of FSB’s clients. Nailea plays an integral role in FSB’s bilingual and bicultural practice. 


Jessica Sweeten has been hired as an Account Coordinator after working as an intern in the Sacramento office on a variety of FSB’s clients.

Rosana Torres has been promoted to an Assistant Account Executive and Latino Outreach & Spanish Language Specialist. She serves as an in-language spokesperson for several clients and works on social media outreach, grassroots campaigns and community relations strategies. An active member of the National Guard, Rosana has been with FSB in Orange County for three years and will be relocating to the Sacramento office later this month while continuing to work on southern California clients.  

Will Hixson has been promoted to an Account Executive. He assists coalition-building and media relations for the firm and has more than four years’ experience in public relations roles. Will has been with FSB for two years.

Sarah Pollo, MA has been promoted to a Senior Account Supervisor and Social Media Director. She manages the daily activities for various public affairs campaigns. She is an effective social media and grassroots strategist for various candidate and issue campaigns at the local, statewide and Congressional levels. Sarah has been with FSB for eight years and just recently earned a master’s degree in government at Sacramento State. 

Rachel Smith has been promoted to an Associate Vice President and Media Relations Director. She leads FSB’s public relations practice and oversees earned media campaigns for the firm’s clients, including global companies, national organizations, local businesses and non-profits. Rachel has been with the firm for nine years, spending 2012 in the Orange County office as an Account Supervisor before moving back to Sacramento. 

FSB Core Strategies is a full-service public relations, public affairs, political consulting and marketing firm with offices located in Sacramento, Roseville, Anaheim, and Costa Mesa.

FSB Core Strategies Wins Another Tough Land Use Campaign


FSB Core Strategies congratulates our client, the Modesto Chamber of Commerce PAC as well as Modesto’s business, farming, labor and public safety leaders, for successfully defeating Measure I this week.

The final tabulation of ballots in Modesto’s 2015 general election showed Measure I defeated by 215 votes. Our firm was honored to manage this campaign on the PAC’s behalf and on the side of property rights, good planning, more jobs, and economic development. Another win on a tough land use ballot measure for our team.

Measure I’s defeat follows a tough local land use victory just this past May in Buena Park.

Click here to read the Modesto Bee article.

Click here to view FSB’s campaign track record.

FSB Core Strategies Wins Public Affairs Award of Excellence at the 2015 Orange County PROTOS Gala



FSB Core Strategies was honored with the “Public Affairs Award of Excellence” by the Orange County Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America on September 18 at the 2015 Protos Gala in Dana Point for the firm’s work on the Orange County Transportation Authority’s Diversity Outreach Program Strategy & Work Plan.

You can find more information about this award-winning project in our case study.






FSB is thrilled to announce today that we have been listed in the Sacramento Business Journal’s Top 5 PR Agencies and we just launched our brand new website!

We encourage you to explore the new site and spend some time learning more about our brand, our growing staff, and the work that we do for our clients and in our communities. We value our clients and professional relationships, and our new site reflects our commitment to providing them with the highest quality public relations and public affairs services.

Thank you for your continued support!
Jeff, Cherri, and Kristy

Don’t be Fooled- Nothing is Private Online

Sarah Pollo, Senior Account Executive and Social Media Director

There has been a lot of chatter recently over the rise of short video loop social media applications like Snapchat, Facebook’s Poke, Instagram’s video service and Twitter’s Vine. And with any new social medium tool comes privacy concerns.

1388678720000-USA-NOW-stillSnapchat is the newest rising star in this category, leading all the others in number of users. Their largest target audience, however, is teens and what tends to be a hot button issue with this group is content. Snapchat has built its platform around the ability for users to share quick, ten second or less video clips with a short message to other users in their network. Then the video clip supposedly disappears.

The central question surrounding this new video sharing service is if disappearing means permanently deleted or just gone from your phone? And the latest privacy issue cropping up for Snapchat has been user complaints over the inability to opt out of linking a phone number with the username.

As social media continues to spur new privacy concerns and the law seems to always be playing catch up, it is important to remember that anything put out in the social media and online realm is public. This goes for businesses as well- not just teenagers.

Social media is here to stay and has become a professional necessity for many industries needing to stay ahead of the news cycle and communicating. But that doesn’t mean we can be careless with its application.

Don’t assume a short video clip you share ‘privately’ with your friends or contacts won’t make its way into a twitter feed or blog post. Always make sure the social media messages you are trying to convey for your clients are approved and won’t be a disaster if spread outside of their immediate network.        


Public Relations Professionals: Key Elements We All Need

Vanessa Johnson, Account Coordinator

Passion and personality: two words that are essential in the Public Relations field. So often we forget the importance of a smile, kind gesture and ability to put a grin on someone’s face. This is what PR is all about. The concept that as a professional we are not only determined to be efficient, but also to make our clients happy. Working in the PR world has taught me that the nice guy (or gal in this case) does not always finish last and that passion, positive personality and flexibility will take me far as a professional.

What differentiates a passionate person from an indifferent person is the willingness to push one’s self knowing the client will value the work ethic. As PR professionals, nothing is more rewarding than celebrating a client and their successes. The passionate person, however, will also feel disappointed when he/she knows the client could have had a better experience. Sometimes it is okay to be upset when we don’t make a deadline or we realize we could have gotten one more registrant for an event. These emotions push us to work harder the next time we need to get a reporter on site, a new registrant at an event or a new member to join a coalition. Passion is what drives us to make a client happy.

While passion provides the drive, a positive personality can bring out the best in any situation or obstacle presented. This positivity can be seen in something as simple as a smile or even a thank you letter. We might think a smile cannot be presented over the phone. However, tone, confidence and knowledge can make any cold call so much more than just a cold call. We can entice our listener to stay engaged and listen to what we have to say. There have been so many occasions where a smile has given me the opportunity to network and welcome another professional into a conversation at an event or in the field. No one wants to talk to a “negative Nancy”.

Sometimes, however, it is hard to remain positive. We may feel as though we are in over our heads and want to forfeit the day’s work altogether. This is where flexibility comes in to play. In the world of PR, the phrase “roll with the punches” cannot be better related to what we experience in any given day. While mastering professional duties with one client may seem manageable, taking on two or even three clients at the same time can no doubt seem daunting. The flexible individual takes these responsibilities in and realizes this is the opportunity to learn something new. It could be time management, organization or even the courage to ask for help when it is needed.  Mostly, the flexible professional is able to adapt to their surroundings and compose their behavior in a manner that is ready to take on more challenges by not freaking out. A flexible professional will indeed “roll with the punches”, but they will also learn in the meantime.

So, PR professionals, keep your heads up and those pearly whites showing and remember a positive attitude and smile can go a very long way. Take every day as it is comes and know that we can learn something new in the process. Try and think about how happy you are with your work and the effort you put in. But most importantly, in the words of Steve Jobs, “… the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do.”

The Importance of Being Bilingual in Public Relations

Rosana Torres, Account Coordinator

Six thousand eight-hundred. That’s the rough number of languages spoken in the world today.

Third. That’s the place Spanish takes with a roaring 346 million-plus people speaking Spanish. In the U.S. alone there are 37.6 million Spanish-speakers, making it the second most spoken language.

Being bilingual is beneficial; I’ve never heard someone complain that fluently speaking two languages has hindered their way of life. In fact recent studies have demonstrated that a multilingual person is nimbler, quicker, better able to deal with ambiguities, resolve conflicts and even resist Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia longer.

I fully embrace my bilingualism and went as far as making sure I’d land a job that would allow me to resourcefully use my Spanish-speaking abilities to strategically deliver a message and gain a larger audience.

When I was researching which public relations/affairs agencies would be a right fit, I was shocked to learn that not many agencies were utilizing or even recruiting Spanish-speakers to broaden a client’s audience. There are more Spanish speakers than ever today, and the number will only continue to grow, until Spanish-speakers become the majority. Why not take advantage of this skill, when you can add an entirely different community to your reach?

When I was asked if I was interested in serving as part of the Ford Motor Co., California Communications Team with an emphasis on the Latino market with FSB Core Strategies, I found myself in a unique position that enabled me to live my public relations passion for both general market clients, and those looking to serve the Latino community as well.

Working primarily with Spanish-language media in Los Angeles; the capability to effortlessly communicate with others in more than one language is also an asset in the workplace and opens doors to a whole new world of public relations. I am lucky enough to partake in many events that showcase the power of bilingualism, where the measure of success is media coverage and relationships. How efficient is it to have a bilingual team that builds both general market and Latino media and influencer relationships? The ability to communicate with English and Spanish media outlets, doubles the coverage and reach for a client.

Finding Your Fit

Danielle Vaticano, Account Executive

As one of the lucky few who found a job right out of college, I was instantly enamored by my over-crowded Outlook calendar and drunk on self-importance from my new smart-phone pinging me with emails and calendar invites as I sat at lunch with my ‘professional’ friends and talked about the ‘business’. Within a few weeks I launched a quest to join every social and political organization in the tri-county region, intent on committing myself to leadership roles as soon as they could process my online application.

I bounced from meeting to meeting, and even went to a couple meetings about meetings, desperately hoping that I would feel moved by the topics and satiated by the work we were accomplishing in the community. I tried social organizations and professional organizations dedicated to my field, even exploring increased leadership positions at my church; I was determined to find my fit. Spoiler alert- It didn’t happen.

The trial and error went on for a few years and I became increasingly less optimistic I would ever make an impact on my community that I was proud of and actively enjoyed.

Earlier this year I agreed to fill in for my boss at a planning meeting for an event at a local chamber of commerce, intent on taking notes and reporting back to her so she would be prepared for the next meeting. Little did I know, the stars were about to align and I was on the path to finding an organization that welcomed my talents and celebrated my ideas and enthusiasm. Just one short year later, I am more involved with the chamber than ever, having found that working with an organization that promotes the health of the regional businesses community is actually a passion of mine. I am proud of the work the organization accomplishes and inspired by the community leaders that I have come to know and lean on as mentors.

While finding the best-fit organization for me was an arduous process, in the end, it was valuable in that I found what I was looking for and learned a few things along the way that could be useful for someone in my shoes, trying to find their own fit.

Give yourself a time frame. After a series of failed attempts to find what I was passionate about, I began giving myself a time frame for how long I planned to stay involved with a group to see if it was a good fit for me. In that time frame I committed fully to getting to know the membership and serving on committees, but stayed aware of my level of engagement and commitment to the issues. If at the end of my ‘time frame’ I didn’t find myself fully connected, I moved on.

Share your ideas. New members can offer a surge of fresh ideas for an organization and yours are just as important as your fellow committee member. Have the confidence to offer your suggestions when attending meetings and look for opportunities for your talents to be of use.

Show up. Committing yourself to an organization usually means that you are passionate about the issue and people you will be working with, making it easier for you to demonstrate your dedication. From volunteering for the shift that no one wants at an upcoming event to cold calling potential sponsors to raise money, when you show up and do the work, you may find that doors will open to opportunities in the organization that you never knew existed.

In the Field

Alex Burrola, Account Executive

There have been a few times when one could walk into either the Sacramento or Orange County office of FSB Core Strategies and find… no one. A deserted workplace. Not due to illness or holidays, but because in the business of public affairs, government relations and media, it’s often “in the field” that you do your most important work. Sometimes that means nearly your entire staff is out in the field working on behalf of clients and representing them, and the firm.

It is out there sitting in on meetings, participating in and contributing to discussion, visiting a site planned for development or preservation, talking with elected officials, constituents and stakeholders that the most valuable time is spent. That’s when you really connect with an issue and the people who are invested in it, and when you can really get a sense and grasp of the matter at hand.

Being out in the field is a choice that good public affairs firms make. Sure, some of this work might be accomplished “almost as well” with a few phone calls and the exchange of some emails. However, getting a third party report by email of how a public meeting went, for example, is a pale comparison to being there yourself and seeing how passionate your client’s supporters or opponents  are.  

When a client comes to a public affairs firm with a problem, many times there is a crisis already underway. Whatever the circumstance or issue, our advice – if you want to serve your client well and your firm well – don’t “phone it in” or “email it in.”  Be those boots on the ground and get out there in the field.