the golden gate bridge

February 1, 2021

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We are excited to introduce John McCartney, Director-At-Large for our second installment of “Meet the Board.” John has been a valuable member of PRSA-SF and served on the board in various roles over the past several years.


Tell us about yourself and your current role.

I'm going into my sixth and final year on the PRSA-SF board, and this year will serve as Director at Large, following other roles on the board, including Chapter President in 2019. In 2020, I moved to Los Angeles and started my first business, Jmac PR, a consultancy that works primarily with tech startups. 


How did you get into PR?

As an undergrad, I took a part-time job as a boutique PR agency, and it was there where it honestly changed my life.


What do you love about PR?

I like to say those who work in PR are storytellers, and I enjoy hearing other stories and helping my clients get their own stories told.


Why are you in PRSA-SF? What do you feel the benefits have been for you? 

I'm a big believer in PRSA and the mission of advancing the PR professional. I joined the PRSA-SF board via a former PRSA-SF chapter president who asked me to join and lead the chapter's Professional Development committee in 2016. Ever since then, I've seen first-hand the role the board and committee members play in helping to advance our fellow Bay Area PR colleagues, like restarting the PRSA-SF Awards program, the Foggies, in 2019. Through my involvement with PRSA-SF, I have also made many new connections and great friendships.


What are you hoping to accomplish during your year as Director at Large with PRSA-SF? 

I look to provide value and support to committees like sponsorship, still, given my historical knowledge and the roles I've served while on the PRSA-SF board, in 2021, I see my role as more of a senior advisor. 


What's one piece of advice you wish you would have known when you started in PR?

To have that thirst for knowledge. Whether it's creating a media list or putting together a communications playbook, research is the common thread, and it's something that doesn't go away during one's career journey in PR.


What are some of your hobbies? What do you do for fun?

Pre Covid, I enjoyed things we can't do as much these days like travel, restaurants, sports, going to concerts, museums. During Covid, I'm happy that I've been able to keep in touch with friends and family through video chats, and I long for the day when, in 2021, things we finally get back to the world we once knew!