About

What attracts clients to Magnet PR Group?

Magnet PR Group is a virtual team of senior-level public relations professionals led by Carolyn Fromm, a 29-year technology PR veteran. Magnet PR Group serves technology clients who increasingly need to do more with less, and who want to work with seasoned pros at budget levels the traditional agency model simply can’t accommodate. From fast-moving start-ups to Fortune 500 firms, whether in growth, diversification or turn-around mode, our clients get smart, targeted programs along with quick, nimble execution and big-agency talent — without the big-agency prices. We blend our collective skills and expertise to offer a full range of PR and communications services, all supported by a campaign mentality that starts with sound business strategy and ends with solid results.

What attracts talent to Magnet PR Group?

Our team has worked on successful campaigns in various professional relationships together over the past decade. We’ve chosen each other because we know we can count on each other. We have a proven track record that encompasses both mutual successes and independent achievements. Each team member brings unique capabilities and perspectives, underscored by our shared commitment to executional excellence. No team member has fewer than 10 years of PR industry experience, spanning a broad range of technology products and markets from semiconductors and storage to networking and telecommunications.

The Pros

Endorsements

“We needed a smart, savvy PR team to assist in establishing Coradiant as leader in the Web application management field. Carolyn and her colleagues brought us a combination of pragmatic strategy, useful media introductions, a great-gut check on our messages, and a stream of coverage in our targeted publications including Computerworld, Network World, Information Week, STORES and Internet Retailer, among others. We also gained back-to-back “Best of Interop” awards. Carolyn managed a team that really helped take us to the next level of market awareness and prepared us for phenomenal growth.”

Tonhy Tissot Director of marketing, Coradiant Inc.

“I used Carolyn for public relations services while I was vice president of marketing at Metalink.  She and her team generated outstanding results for us, during a critical period when we were launching an important new technology and product line for the digital home entertainment space.  She developed a program carefully scaled to our tight budget constraints, and she and her team achieved all of the targeted results, and more, while earning us a disproportionate share of media coverage as compared to much larger competitors.”

Barry Volinskey Former vice president of marketing, Metalink Broadband

“Carolyn was instrumental in the successful market launch of Picolight, enabling the company to sustain visibility over time with key industry analysts and media representatives through her connections and capability to tell the story. I would recommend her highly, and look forward to working with her again.”

Lynn Watson Former director, marketing communications, Picolight Inc.

“I’ve known and worked with Carolyn in various roles for over 12 years and always found her very easy, pleasant and professional to deal with on a variety of PR tasks and product launches in the semiconductor space.”

Andy Mills Senior industry marketing executive; former president and CEO, NetCell Corp.; former director, LAN Products, Rockwell Semiconductor Systems

“While I was vice president of marketing at Picolight, I worked with Carolyn and her team for Picolight’s public relations needs from 2004 to 2007. This was a critical time for Picolight as the company went through a turnaround and growth phase, ultimately getting acquired by JDSU for $125M in 2007. Since Carolyn had been supporting Picolight’s public relations needs since 2001, she had historical perspective on Picolight, its products, and the market segment we served. As we started to reposition the company, she developed a clear understanding of our new positioning, market strategy, and branding objectives in no time. Carolyn and her team did a great job helping us raise visibility for Picolight’s new positioning and cement Picolight as a clear market leader in the short-reach optical transceiver market from its turnaround phase in 2004 to its growth phase in 2007. It was a pleasure to work with Carolyn and her team.”

Vidya Sharma

“Carolyn managed our external communications for Brooktree Corp. She brought a professional aspect to our business that helped expand our market coverage. Her friendly disposition and sense of humor made working with her and her team easy, and her insight into business and media made our communications program effective.”

Russ Christensen

“Carolyn is an expert in the area of public relations and communications for high tech companies like ours. I have always been impressed with her knowledge of the industry and her ability to evaluate our needs, provide several recommend options and execute the right one in a most timely and professional manner.”

James Kamke Vice president, marketing and sales, Newport Media Inc.

“I first worked with Carolyn when I joined Conexant Systems where she was vice president of the agency of record. Everyone from the chairman on down through the marketing ranks told me how good she was and I found that to be the case. So much so that I hired her to represent the spin-off of Mindspeed as well which we took public. Carolyn offers a rare combination of strategic smarts and planning with the excellent writing and media relations skills to roll up her sleeves and get the job done. I would highly recommend her.”.

Tom Sites Former senior vice president, communications, at Mindspeed Technologies and Conexant.

“Working with Carolyn Fromm is like having an instant solution to almost any business challenge. She is quick to learn your business and to understand the business and communications challenges facing the organization. Carolyn is thorough and willing to do the work to fully understand the complexities of any business she is working with. Carolyn approaches all aspects of your organization with a dedication to maximizing solutions and results. It is an absolute joy to work with Carolyn. She is very adept at understanding the complexities of working with multi-faceted teams and can provide recommendations that meet multiple needs. Her business acumen is extraordinary. I am privileged to have worked with Carolyn.”

Carrie Stradeer Industry marketing communications executive, former strategic communications planning manager, Micron Technology, Inc.

“I developed a great appreciation of Carolyn’s creativity, adaptability, and wide range of skills while working together over a period of several years on a high-growth, multi-hundred million dollar semiconductor business unit. The needs of our business varied dramatically over time, and Carolyn was always effective in planning, modifying and executing PR programs that kept pace with a rapidly evolving market. Article placements, category creation programs, analyst outreach, press releases, and product launches were always spot-on, generating consistent on-message coverage in the business and technical press. Carolyn’s steady contributions were a key factor in the success of this venture.”

Dean Grumlose

“Carolyn ran our PR account when she was at Weber Shandwick. Carolyn’s market area is integrated circuits and she has an expert grasp of IC technology, customers and competitors in this space, as well as message positioning to get tech editors’ and readers’ attention. She provided quick and correct editing of our releases and white paper pieces, and kept us on task to maintain consistent and clear messaging.”

Grant Hulse Vice president of worldwide marketing, Simtek (now Cypress)

“Carolyn became a key member of the Brooktree marketing team over the course of five years of service as our agency account lead.  She was an ‘outsider’ only in the sense that she didn’t carry a Brooktree business card; otherwise, she was an integral part of planning and execution for every major marketing and corporate initiative and helped to significantly boost our visibility during our highest-growth years, leading up to our $275 million acquisition by Rockwell Semiconductor Systems, now Conexant.  Whether it was positioning and communicating a critical product launch, company acquisition, or assisting with other key communications content and writing our annual report, Carolyn offered a powerful combination of sound strategic counsel and rock-solid tactical execution.”

Jim Bixby Former CEO/Chairman, Brooktree Corporation

“Carolyn and I have worked together in a variety of situations. At Rockwell we acquired her agency with another acquisition. It was a perfect match. Carolyn understands technology as well as an engineer yet has a special talent to communicate to any level of audience. Every executive and manager wanted Carolyn on the team. She always sees the right angle to promote products and technology, not only to the media, but to industry leaders. We have worked together since the mid-90s and I have never been more comfortable with a colleague, vendor or PR partner as I am with Carolyn Fromm. Nobody does it better.”

Eileen Algaze Former PR manager at companies including Conexant (Rockwell), Broadcom and Qualcomm

“I had the pleasure of working with Carolyn for several years and found her to be professional, personable, and dedicated. Her counsel in challenging situations proved invaluable, she possesses excellent positioning skills, and she is an outstanding writer. I know she will continue delivering value to a wide range of clients, and I look forward to working with her again one day.”

Scott Allen Senior vice president of communications, Conexant

“Effective PR campaigns can be a “hit or miss” experience! Not with Carolyn, however! She spends endless hours in developing an effective PR campaign, which is sure to render desirable results. Carolyn is particularly adept in using the interrogatory as she evolves the finished product. Her desire to succeed is strong and she will invest whatever time is necessary to satisfy the client. I was amazed at how quickly she learned our market as well as our competitors’ strengths and weaknesses. It wasn’t too long before Carolyn became an asset to our company, a member of the team as well as a trusted friend. If you want results, in a timely manner then I suggest you contact Carolyn today!”

Howard Wing Marketing consultant and former senior marketing executive at companies including Plextor, Maxoptic, CALIPER and Conner Peripherals

“Carolyn provides best-in-class public relations service to my companies and to me. She is expert in her field and has surrounded herself with other creative and effective professionals. I have hired Carolyn and her team multiple times with different companies and never been disappointed. I look forward to the opportunity to work with her again.”

Harold A. Blomquist Former CEO at Morpho Technologies and Simtek

“In the past 20-plus years, I have never found another PR professional who can understand technology while putting it into an understandable context for the customer better than Carolyn Fromm. Her strategic insights and flawless program execution have been indispensable in a number of PR situations, from boosting media awareness and excitement for both new and mature technologies at major events and tradeshows, to creating leadership visibility for a supplier of delivery solutions for cable, satellite and terrestrial television networks.”

Andrea LaVorgna Director of marketing, AIRSIS

“Carolyn and her teams have played pivotal roles for me in several important marketing campaigns over the years. She has a great ability to size up the business challenge, offer key insights, develop the ideal PR campaign, anticipate and avoid roadblocks, and deliver game-changing results on multiple fronts.”

Tom Clarkson Director, New Venture Incubator, and adjunct professor, Wake Forest University MBA Program

“Smart, effective public relations is critical for a start-up firm in an emerging market, and Carolyn Fromm has provided just that for Newport Media. She and her team helped to position us in our top targeted publications as key thought leaders in this rapidly evolving market, and one of the companies best aligned for success.”

Mohy Abdelgany President and CEO, Newport Media Inc.

“Carolyn Fromm has that rare ability in the technology PR world to appreciate big-picture business dynamics and the underlying technology while flawlessly attending to the smallest of details. She played a pivotal role in Rockwell’s spin-off of its Conexant semiconductor business, as well as the subsequent spin-offs of Mindspeed, Skyworks, Jazz Semiconductor, and Pictos. Her strategic and tactical support were indispensable across a wide range of programs, whether it was planning and developing our stories, managing challenging issues, executing a variety of key, high-profile product launches, speaker placements and speech content development for me and my senior team, or securing high-profile print and broadcast media placements in support of major corporate and financial announcements.”

Dwight Decker Dwight Decker, retired Chairman and CEO of Conexant Systems; non-executive Chairman of the Board, Mindspeed Technologies; former chairman of the board of Skyworks Solutions, Inc.; director of Newport Media, Inc., BCD Semiconductor Manufacturing Limited and Pacific Mutual Holding Company; and a director or member of numerous professional and civic organizations.

Carolyn Fromm

Carolyn, PresidentCarolyn brings a wealth of technology, marketing and communications experience to her clients. She spent 20 years at Weber Shandwick, most recently as senior vice president in charge of the semiconductor segment of the firm’s global Technology Practice. She came to Weber Shandwick in 1999 when the firm acquired The Benjamin Group, a leading technology public relations boutique based in Silicon Valley, where she had been since its 1988 inception, having founded the firm’s Irvine office. Prior to that, she spent eight years at Jansen Associates Inc, where she held a variety of positions including general manager of the firm’s Orange County and San Diego offices. Her extensive account experience spans a broad range of technology industries – including data storage, semiconductors, networking equipment, electronic components, computer-aided design and manufacturing, electronic design automation, process control equipment, modems, software, graphics and multimedia communications and computer security.

Carolyn is adept at quickly grasping even the most complex technologies, then translating engineer-ese into elegant and easily understood prose. She has worked closely with a variety of companies – from small start-ups to Fortune 500 corporations – helping to strengthen product or corporate positions so they can be rebuilt and crafted into compelling and unique stories. She has particularly extensive experience in the semiconductor industry, dating back to the early 1980s with clients like NCR Microelectronics Division, an early leader in mixed-signal cell-based application-specific ICs (ASICs) for the host and peripheral markets. She also serviced video/graphics IC supplier Brooktree Corporation throughout the early 1990s, which was acquired by dial-up modem pioneer Rockwell Semiconductor Systems in 1996. Carolyn continued working with Rockwell through its spin-off as Conexant, and then with two of Conexant’s spin-offs – Skyworks Solutions, a leading wireless semiconductor company, and Mindspeed Technologies, which offers semiconductor solutions for Internet infrastructure equipment. Other semiconductor and related client experience includes AMCC, Metalink, Microsemi, Morpho Technologies, NetCell, Newport Media, Picolight, Pictos, Simtek and Solarflare, among others.

Carolyn holds a bachelor’s degree in communications from California State University at Fullerton.

Lisa Briggs

A techie at heart, Lisa Briggs has provided public relations and marketing communications services to industry-leading high tech companies since 1995. Her positive attitude, attention to detail, and in-the-trenches approach to PR has endeared her to clients and journalists worldwide. Further, Lisa’s ability to translate jargon-rich technical material into easy-to-understand messages has enabled her to take on a variety of projects across the industry.

Lisa began her career at The Benjamin Group (now Weber Shandwick) where she worked on a number of accounts including Rockwell Semiconductor Systems (now Conexant), Toshiba’s Network Products Division, AST Computer, and Viking Components. While there Lisa honed her media relations skills securing placements for her clients’ products in both business and trade publications. Further responsibilities included strategic planning, press release writing, press tour management and trade show support.

In 1998, Lisa joined the internal communications team at Rockwell Semiconductor Systems prior to its spin-off of Conexant Systems, Inc. During her tenure with Conexant and its family of companies, she ran a multitude of media relations, marketing communications and internal communications programs in support of the company’s wireless, broadband and networking product lines. Lisa also served as the company spokesperson for quarterly earnings announcements, reductions in force, and crisis situations. When Conexant spun-off its networking division to form Mindspeed Technologies Inc., Lisa played an integral role in the initial launch of the new company.

Later when Conexant spun-off its wireless business to form Skyworks Solutions Inc. in 2002, Lisa was asked to join the Skyworks team as the lead PR executive and was responsible for the company’s inaugural day on Nasdaq, CEO media tour (print and broadcast), and financial analyst briefing day. While at Skyworks, Lisa managed an internal and external staff of communications professionals, successfully executing both corporate and product development messages. Further, Lisa was responsible for the company’s internal communications programs, hosting quarterly employee meetings; as well as producing and disseminating the company’s annual report. Working closely with executive suite officers, Lisa established a reputation for straightforwardness and an ability to produce under pressure.

Turning her sights on the non-profit sector, in 2004 Lisa became the director of communications at the University of California, Irvine’s Henry Samueli School of Engineering. While there, Lisa directed and executed all communications programs for the engineering school, successfully improving the School’s image through a combination of media outreach, collateral development and special events. In addition, Lisa directed the School’s annual three-day technology symposium which included event planning, collateral development, speaker coordination, and media relations. Further, she overhauled the School’s outdated website with a fresh, easy-to-navigate design.

Most recently, Lisa has lent her expertise as an independent public relations consultant servicing high-tech companies looking to strengthen their account teams.

Lisa holds a bachelor’s degree in communication from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona

Heather Chesterman

With 20 years of public relations and proofreading experience, Heather’s results-based account management style, professionalism, resourcefulness and quick wit intersect to make for PR success. From media outreach and reporting to proofreading and writing, Heather provides her clients with a range of activities to help drive PR communications.

Since 2004, Heather has operated as a PR consultant, contributing to the success of Orange County, Calif.-based firms. Currently, she works with Magnet PR Group, a Southern California agency specializing in tech PR. Magnet PR represents the ZigBee Alliance – an open, non-profit association comprised of more than 400 innovative companies from 37 countries that are working together to promote the world’s leading Internet of Things (IoT) standards for wireless communications.
In between PR responsibilities, Heather exercises her proofreading skills on an ongoing basis by lending an eagle eye to the corporate communications teams at Robert Half and Protiviti (a global consulting firm, and wholly owned subsidiary of Robert Half). She’s served as a regular proofreader for these two industry leaders for more than 13 years, tackling projects each week to ensure materials are ‘clean’ before they go to print/post.
Heather began her career at Copithorne & Bellows (now Porter Novelli Silicon Valley) working on the Hewlett-Packard print/scanner accounts. In 1998, she joined Benjamin Group/A Weber Shandwick Company (now Golin), and during her six years at the agency serviced a range of technology accounts including Toshiba, Conexant (formerly Rockwell Semiconductor) and Wireless Knowledge (a QUALCOMM/Microsoft joint venture).

From 2004-2014, Heather consulted for Lutz PR – steering projects for Dot Hill, Epicor, EVault (now a Seagate Company) and Powerwave Technologies. Over the past decade, she’s regularly tackled project work for Golin PR’s Orange County office – supporting the HTC and IOGEAR agency teams with various product launches and media relations – and services the Ingram Micro account for WhiteFox PR.
Heather holds a Bachelor of Science in Journalism with a concentration in Public Relations from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo.

Kelly Poffenberger

Kelly has 10 years of public relations experience, with extensive work in consumer electronics, semiconductors, wireless technology, computer hardware and software industries. From media outreach, writing and project management, Kelly takes a detail-oriented and deadline-driven approach to help drive the success of his clients.

Most recently, Kelly served as the public relations manager for Experian Consumer Direct, a market leader for online credit reports, scores and monitoring products. Kelly provided proactive and reactive media relations, securing coverage in The Washington Post, Consumer Reports, American Banker, TheStreet.com, and FOX Business, among others. He also managed the company's industry studies and developed content for the company's quarterly surveys, focusing on consumer attitudes toward credit and their financial health.

Kelly began his career at Frank Wilson & Associates, supporting the public relations and marketing program for the largest implementation of an electronic toll collection system in the world (E-ZPass). While at Frank Wilson & Associates, Kelly volunteered for the American Cancer Society's "Relay for Life" event, managing the public relations efforts with the local media.

In 2000, Kelly joined the Benjamin Group (now Weber Shandwick) in Irvine, Calif. During his seven years at the agency he serviced a range of technology accounts – from a large computer manufacturer to a host of semiconductor suppliers.

Kelly performed media relations, news release and contributed article writing, and product launch management for clients including, Toshiba’s Digital Products Division (notebook PCs, PDAs, and appliance servers), Skyworks Solutions (a leading wireless semiconductor company), Coradiant (Web performance monitoring), and Mindspeed Technologies (semiconductor solutions for Internet infrastructure equipment). His media relations skills garnered coverage in some of the top local, business, consumer and computer/electronics publications such as The Orange County Register, The Wall Street Journal, BusinessWeek, PC Magazine, and EE Times.

Kelly holds a bachelor’s degree in communications from California State University, Fullerton.

Donna, St. Conti Communications, Inc.

St. Jean Conti Communications

Donna is an award-winning marketing communications and public relations practitioner, writer and speaker with nearly 20 years of experience. She is a go-to person adept at all phases of the public relations process, from campaign strategy, project management, media relations and writing to stakeholder research and monitoring. She also is responsive, tenacious, detail-oriented and deadline-driven.

Donna has extensive public affairs and issues management experience. As the research arm of Gladstone International, she identified client stakeholder groups and monitored and analyzed relevant print, on-line and social media coverage. St. Jean Conti also executed primary constituency research to help inform real estate developer plans while defining associated messaging so it could be driven back to key audiences via public meetings and through stakeholder organizations. Weekly news monitoring kept clients abreast of issues and public sentiment, and was used to evaluate message acceptance and changes in audience perceptions. Donna’s responsiveness was particularly valuable when dealing with fast-breaking news events.

Donna also has strong “green campaign” experience, including promoting: a “green building” Outdoor Education Center aimed at showing future generations the science behind environmental awareness and conservation; eco-friendly turbine and turbomachinery designs for the US Energy Department; and advanced analytics software for more efficient forest management.

Clean and Green

Computers, Peripherals, Consumer Electronics

Enterprise, Web, Network

Mobile & Wireless

Privacy & Security

Semiconductor

Storage

Financial Systems/Solutions