WHO WE ARE
Portavoce Public Relations understands it’s not always the loudest voice that makes the greatest impact. That’s why we’re committed to working with companies large and small to define the voice that’s right for your brand platform. We know that what matters most to your success is how well you connect to your audience. Our experienced team works to deliver the messaging that builds your brand by molding your reputation and moving your business forward. They say talk is cheap, but at Portavoce PR, we know the right message can move mountains. Let’s see what mountains we can move for you.
Carla Vallone – President
Carla Vallone is a public relations and communications professional who specializes in bringing a voice to brands via media and blogger relations, creative communications and social media as components of integrated marketing campaigns. During her 15 years in public relations and marketing Carla has worked for and represented Fortune 100 companies as well as dynamic start-up companies. Under her leadership, Portavoce PR provides both business-to-business and business-to-consumer communications to clients in a variety of sectors. Carla and her team pride themselves on collaboration, creativity and dynamic execution.
Carla began her career in New York City at Burson-Marsteller, a leading worldwide public relations firm that is now a part of WPP Group. For five years she worked in the marketing division learning the core practice of public relations. There she worked on some of America’s most well known brands including Sunbeam’s entry into smart appliances and Sony’s consumer electronics portfolio that included digital cameras and camcorders, flash memory and PDAs. During her second tour at Burson-Marsteller she co-managed the agency’s San Diego office.
Building on her public relations experience, Carla’s next move was to Kellogg’s headquarters in Battle Creek, Michigan. There she implemented a variety of promotions to drive brand awareness and create product trial for Morningstar Farms veggie foods.
In 2002 Carla joined Segway Inc., maker of the Segway Personal Transporter, where she was a key member of the go-to-market team. For five years Carla led all public relations and communications for the company including corporate, crisis, and business-to-business communications, product publicity and regulatory communications. She implemented communication strategies to protect the company’s brand reputation from risks including state and municipal legislative limitations, perceived safety concerns, product liability allegations and two major product recalls. During her tenure she also grew the public relations practice at Segway from domestic to international and oversaw media activity in five countries.
In 2008 Carla served as senior communications manager for Qualcomm CDMA Technologies (QCT), the world’s leading provider of wireless chipsets. She increased QCT’s presence in business media with key placements in the Wall Street Journal and Forbes.com. She and her colleagues also devised strategies to help the division enter the social media sphere by producing a Web 2.0 newsroom, press releases, social media feeds, videos and e-newsletters.
Carla serves as a member of the Board of Trustees for Girls, Inc. of San Diego County, an organization that empowers girls to use their talents and life skills to achieve their goals and to protect their rights and the rights of others.
Jennifer Cronin – Senior Associate
Jennifer Cronin is a public relations professional with more than eight years of experience in public relations, marketing and social media. Jennifer has led national, regional and local public relations campaigns for destinations, consumer products, non-profit organizations and start-up companies. In her role as senior associate at Portavoce PR, Jennifer develops creative and resourceful media relations campaigns and sets the bar high to lead account teams to execute dynamic programs that deliver business results for her clients. Jennifer leads the business-to-consumer division of the company with a focus in health, fitness and consumer tech products.
For her clients she has landed envious media placements in top-tier media outlets such as The Wall Street Journal, SHAPE, Real Simple, MAXIM, Esquire, CBS This Morning, Reader’s Digest, Glamour, TODAY.com, Huffington Post, American Fitness, Today’s Dietician, the Los Angeles Times and more.
Jennifer graduated from San Diego State University with a degree in communication and emphasis in public relations. In her previous roles at San Diego-based agencies, she has represented the Del Mar Racetrack, San Diego Museum of Art, Tiffany & Co., FITzee Foods, Friends of Balboa Park, Feeding America San Diego and Big Bear Mountain Resorts.
Jennifer enjoys taking classes at her gym and chasing after her one-year-old daughter.
Binta Cissé is a communications professional with more than seven years of experience in media relations, issues management, campaign development and research. She is a Senior Associate at Portavoce PR, stationed out of the agency’s East Coast office in Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina. Binta is responsible for planning and implementing strategic public relations programs for many of the agency’s business-to-business accounts.
Prior to joining Portavoce PR, Binta worked as a Senior Account Executive at Capstrat, a full-service, communications agency in Raleigh, North Carolina. While at Capstrat, Binta led the execution of communication efforts for Deloitte, working closely with their technology alliances and healthcare and life sciences sectors.
Prior to Capstrat, Binta worked at Environics Communications in Washington D.C. where she focused on media relations for education and literacy accounts. Binta’s media outreach efforts at Environics resulted in placements in the Los Angeles Times, USA Today, American Libraries Magazine, Huffington Post, CNN and numerous trade publications and parenting and education blogs.
Binta graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University with a master’s degree in strategic public relations. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in communication with a public relations concentration from North Carolina State University. While earning her undergraduate degree, Binta served as vice president of the university’s chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America.
Binta enjoys volunteering and is an active member of the Junior League of Raleigh.
Desirae MacGillivray – Associate
Desirae MacGillivray is a creative communications professional with experience in marketing, journalism, public relations and non-profit administration. She thinks artistically, as well as analytically, in order to produce optimal results for her clients. As an associate at Portavoce PR, Desirae utilizes her excellent writing skills to produce high-level media materials, long-format articles and strategic story pitches that grab the attention of journalists, as well as to develop content for social media, digital media and other marketing channels. Desirae has experience with both business-to-business and business-to-consumer communications and works with national, regional and local media outlets to secure earned media coverage for Portavoce PR clients.
Desirae has secured several media placements for clients in top-tier consumer outlets including Glamour, The Examiner and Well+Good. In addition, she has secured numerous placements in a variety of key trade publications in the fitness, hospitality, telecommunications, education, industrial manufacturing and transportation industries, among others. In November 2016, Desirae received a Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) PRism Award in the Integrated Communications – Business-to-Business category for the impressive media results she secured for Vettec, a Portavoce PR client account that she leads.
Desirae graduated from University of Oregon’s School of Journalism and Communication in Eugene, Ore. with a degree in advertising. She was selected as one of 12 students to participate in the Portland Experience scholastic and internship program and was the only scholarship recipient in the program. Desirae also contributed to a campus-based publication throughout her collegiate career.
Desirae lives in San Marcos, Calif. and enjoys running, visiting with friends and family, traveling and the outdoors.
Cole Zerboni – Public Relations Coordinator
Cole Zerboni has worked for Portavoce PR since September 2016. With her passion for learning and fast-paced environments, Cole collaborates with the Portavoce PR team on many accounts including Ingersoll Rand Power Tools, Les Mills and Vettec. She supports her co-workers on numerous research, writing, reporting and media relations projects and continues to assist the team to contribute to the success and reputation of Portavoce PR’s clients.
Cole graduated from San Diego State University in May 2017 with a degree in Communication. In her previous role at Shift Digital Marketing, she led the development of internal case studies which resulted in a substantial enrollment increase in programming. She also created a training manual for more than 30 positions at the company. In 2015, she served as Membership Vice President of her sorority, and led the formal recruitment process for her chapter. With her communication and social media expertise, she spearheaded PR campaigns and acted as the face of Gamma Phi Beta at SDSU, which resulted in initiating more than 80 new members to the organization.
Along with professional experience, Cole has also developed a passion for philanthropic work during her time at SDSU. She served on the Aztec Dance Marathon Executive Board, a non-profit organization that raises money for children who seek treatment at Rady Children’s Hospital in San Diego. As an executive board member, she created public relations and social media campaigns to increase visibility and participation for the 15-hour event, which raised more than $140,000 for the hospital in 2017.