Vice President of Public Affairs
Pacific West Association of REALTORS®
IABC Member Since 2005
According to IABC member Myra Jolivet, “I have been a murder mystery buff for a long time. I am addicted to surprise endings and the mind-twisting journey that leads to them.” So, where did these interests take Myra during her communications journey? As Vice President of Public Affairs for a professional membership association of more than 12,000 realtors, her self-described experience is very much layered. She started writing plays and poems as a child, but never planned to work as a reporter, anchor, PR firm executive, advertising executive, public affairs consultant, mayoral advisor and spokesperson, political campaign strategist, corporate spokesperson and media relations director for a police department! However, that’s her story. Read on to see how airplane literature figures into it as well.
Long Beach, California
- “If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.” —Maya Angelou
- “What you think of me is none of my business.” —Terry Cole-Whittaker
Three words that best describe me:
Spiritual. Grounded. Creative.
When I’m not working, you could find me:
Writing, cooking, or in search of a good laugh.
MY LIFE IN COMMUNICATIONS
The biggest communications challenge I faced in a current role…
When I joined the Pacific West Association of REALTORS®, our members were in the midst of one of the most challenging economic times in their professional lives. My challenge was to define the best ways I could serve them. My solution has been to create and re-create vendor partnerships that offer enhanced savings and discounts, while refining the member experience in nearly every aspect of their interactions with our trade association. I provide media relations, but the priority is focused on economics these days.
My favorite communications memory is…
When I was at Hill and Knowlton, we created a “senior prom” to promote a Medicare HMO and to build the company’s client database. We created a 1940’s ballroom, complete with announcer, big band and Polaroid photographer. It was a corny idea that resulted in huge success. The company kept it going for eight years.
The most important communications or professional lessons I’ve learned are…
Media training is a fun way to share my television insight. My first career was in television as a news anchor and reporter. I was in broadcasting in the late ’70’s, 80’s, left the business and returned in the mid 90’s. In early 2000, I was anchor for an internet broadcast network. My foundation in news makes me work fast and I have the ability to listen to five hours of dialogue and turn it into two minutes of narrative or text. The many years of stretching that creative muscle have served me well in finding ways to promote a client or employer and present news concepts to reporters and producers.
A resource that I really find useful and recommend to other communicators is…
I’m a fan of Peter Shankman, founder of HARO – Help a Reporter Out™. It is a tremendous resource for media placement.
A few more things you should know about me…
I’ve written a novel—commercial fiction in the romance-suspense genre. Translation: a chick book with murder and a little sex. It’s the kind of book you’d pick up at the airport and enjoy with a glass of wine during your flight. When my youngest child went off to college, writing became my cure to the empty-nest-syndrome. An author friend suggested that I try a novel. I joined a writer’s guild and hired a writing coach to help me learn the ‘rules’ of commercial fiction.
My book (still in the manuscript phase) is entitled, “Pushed Times, Chewing Pepper.” My parents were Louisiana Creoles who came to California after WWII. There is a Creole expression, “pushed times will make a monkey chew pepper,” i.e., hard times inspire extraordinary actions. My book is the story of a California woman with Louisiana roots and diverse group of girl friends who support her in ways her family does not. Want to know more? You’ll have to wait for the book release … hopefully coming soon!
OH, HOW FAR I’VE COME… A few career highlights
Pacific West Association of REALTORS®, Anaheim, CA
Vice President of Public Affairs (2008 to Present)
WILLIAMS EnergyNewsLive, Houston TX
Energy, Financial News Service
Houston Bureau Chief
KHOU TELEVISION, Houston, TX
A CBS Affiliate
Special Projects Manager, On-Air Talent
OTHER PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE
- PR Consultant, Foster Youth Education Program, Sacramento, CA
- Adjunct Professor, University of Houston
- Reporter/Anchor- BET Black Entertainment Television
- Masters of Science, Marketing (Currently pursuing)
Golden Gate University, San Francisco
- Bachelor of Arts, Radio & Television
University of Louisiana, Lafayette
You can view Myra’s full resume here.
This profile was edited by IABC-LA board member Cheryl Farrell.