This past Tuesday, October 6th, Temple PRSSA welcomed Jano Cabrera, the Chief Communications Officer for General Mills. Cabrera shared his career journey and the many chapters that have allowed him to glean versatile experience from. He also provided some insight into the most integral pillars of communications and PR.
Jano Cabrera has served as Vice President of Corporate Relations for the McDonald’s Corporation, where he focused on strengthening brand’s reputation, driving consumer engagement, and overseeing global media relations. Prior to this, Cabrera was the Worldwide Vice President for Burston-Marsteller, the third largest global public relations firm in the world.
Politics was the first of Cabrera’s many career chapters. He served as the Communications Director for the Democratic Party during the 2004 campaign. During the primaries, he was the national spokesperson for the Joe Lieberman for President campaign. He filled the national spokesperson role for Vice President Al Gore from 1998 to 2002. After living in Baghdad, Iraq in 2005 and working with members of the Transition National Assembly, Cabrera founded Carthrage Group Communications, a strategic communications, government affairs, and issue advocacy firm.
Cabrera detailed how General Mills has been adapting their communications strategies to align with the current pandemic landscape, and stressed the importance of balancing care and compassion with the need to continue driving the business forward. Cabrera took time to recognize how his experience as a Latinx American has influenced his path both personally and professionally. He shed light on the disparities that Latinx Americans face in terms of income and wealth gap, accessibility of college, and other issues. Through his use of his own experience, Cabrera fuels “courageous conversations” regarding the adversities faced by the Latinx community, and the ways that we can all work to be more inclusive and understanding.
Cabrera wrapped up his presentation by leaving students with three pieces of advice:
Embrace that you are a pioneer reaching into new spaces that not everyone gets to enter
Recognize that you are not special- if we want to make a better world, we must reach beyond our own experience and consider ourselves part of a larger, longer societal chain.
One especially inspiring takeaway was, “True learning comes from periods of discomfort.” As we all embrace the intricacies of this new normal, this advice has greater significance than ever before.
This blog post was written by Grace Savage, Digital Committee Member.