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Aug. 9, 2022

Episode 11 - Michelle Andersen, PR Pioneer

Episode 11 - Michelle Andersen, PR Pioneer

Michelle Andersen’s career has spanned more than 20 years as a marketing communications professional, and she’s just getting revved up. Her work and career have been led by her passions, almost always involving music and technology. Starting as a music publicist, working with Lawrence Welk-owned Vanguard Records, she evolved her career through working with consumer technology brands and filling her soul with philanthropies, including the National Abortion Rights Action League and Planned Parenthood. Most recently, Michelle joined NextTech Communications, a women-led agency born from The Bliss Group, as vice president and is excited to bring her go-for-it approach to live to her new adventure.

An avid and early reader, Michelle has always loved words on the page and how they could transport you out of any situation into another place altogether. So it’s no wonder she started and continued in a career that surrounds her with words and music. 

After transitioning from a degree in computer science to graduating with a major in communications, Michelle has seamlessly blended her technical education in comp-sci, hands-on experience in production as a DJ and film producer, and street cred building as a publicist to a successful career in public relations. Her love of music, not the actual job (EA to the president), led her to work for Lawrence Welk’s Vanguard Records, where her passion and penchant for building things surfaced. In her years with the label, Michelle built an internal communication operating system for PR, Sales, and internal comms. 

Ready for a new challenge, she started a promotional company and honed her chops as a publicist. Then, ready for a change, she moved from LA to San Francisco and was an independent publicist for six years. Again, ready for a new challenge, Michelle was intrigued by a friend to join a PR firm and hasn’t looked back since. She recently started a new gig with The Bliss Group’s NextTech Communications and is excited by the vast array of opportunities ahead of her and the chance to build something from the ground up. Innately familiar with starting from scratch, having survived two .com busts, and staring up her own thing more than once, Michelle knows that success starts with having the necessary foundational systems that enable growth and collaboration. 

Throughout her career, Michelle has been offered and/or created opportunities that weren’t a perfect fit or seemed to be outside her wheelhouse. While, like so many of us, she suffers from periodic imposter syndrome, she took a chance on them anyways. Her philosophy is to try, regardless of what you think you can or cannot do. Lean in, and don’t let others, or your past experiences, tell you what you can or cannot do.

First Career: Writer

Influences: Mom’s boyfriend’s sister who was a teacher who taught her to read very early.

Song: The Passenger, Iggy Pop

Street Name: Sunset Blvd.

Michelle Andersen on LinkedIn