Music Watson
San Diego County Office of Education’s Music Watson

Music Watson, chief of staff with the San Diego County Office of Education, has been honored with the Communicator of the Year award from the California School Public Relations Association.

The CalSPRA award recognizes a school communications professional with five or more years of experience in school public relations, who has distinguished professional accomplishments, service to the association and service to profession. Watson has 17 years of experience of directing strategic communications, media relations, community outreach and public affairs, including 12 years in the public education sector.

As the county schools’ chief communications and public relations officer, Watson oversees a communications strategy that supports about 800 schools across 42 districts serving more than 500,000 students. She provides counseling and guidance to the county superintendent of schools, the board of education, school district superintendents and school staff on issues impacting schools, as well as media relations and crisis communications.

In his letter of recommendation for Watson’s nomination, San Diego County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Paul Gothold wrote, “In the past year alone, Music has seen our organization through a successful new logo and rebrand and the transition to an entirely new leadership team. We’ve seen the county office grow stronger thanks to the strategic communication efforts she implemented.”

Prior to joining the county in July 2012, Watson worked for the California Charter Schools Association as director of strategic communications and for the American Red Cross as director of marketing and public affairs. She also worked as assistant deputy chief for the City of San Diego’s Ethics and Integrity program and at the Disneyland Resort as senior public affairs representative.

Mikalyn Blevins (center) poses with radio hosts Jagger and Kristi.

Magic 92.5 Listener Wins $10,000

Local Media San Diego, which operates three local radio stations, has given another $10,000 grand prize to a listener. In March of this year, XHTZ Z90.3-FM presented a $10k grand prize to Ashley Reese of Hillcrest.

Now, XHRM Magic 92.5-FM has selected Mikalyn Blevins for the $10,000 top prize. Blevins, a San Diego photographer, said she plans to use the money to buy a new camera.

For six weeks, as part of the Jagger & Kristi’s $10K Giveaway, “magic words” were announced on Magic 92.5 and listeners entered the sweepstakes by submitting the words on the station’s website. Each word represented an entry to win the prize.

Local Media San Diegoalso owns XTRA-FM 91X. That station recently gave Arthur Adams of Spring Valley a $5,000 check plus a “bucket list” trip to New Orleans to attend the Mardi Gras parade.

Isaiah Mello Joins MNM Advertising & Public Relations

Isaiah Mello

Manolatos Nelson Murphy Advertising & Public Relations of San Diego announced that Isaiah Mello has joined the firm as a graphic designer.

Mello previously worked at Fidelitas Development, a downtown San Diego advertising agency, and as an intern at the Trademark 5150 web design studio. He recently earned an associates degree in graphic arts from The Art Institute of California.

Kelly Murphy Lamkin, principal at the firm, said, “The addition of Isaiah to our team brings fresh energy and new ideas. He’s a talented designer with a great eye who provides our clients with a lot of opportunities, especially in the digital space.”

“I’m very excited to be a part of serving MNM’s portfolio of clients, helping meet their diverse needs, solve problems and accomplish goals,” said Mello. “It’s important to feel like you’re making a difference for clients and truly moving the needle.”

MNM was founded in October 2016 by Tony Manolatos, Bob Nelson and Murphy Lamkin.

Direct Marketers Host Summer Social

SD Direct will host a summer social mixer from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, July 16, at Ballast Point Brewing Co., 9045 Carroll Way. Admission is free. The event will feature raffle prizes, networking and a presentation from Chris Foster with Modern Postcard. To RSVP, visit The networking group consists of direct response marketers, small business owners and entrepreneurs.

Rick Griffin

Rick Griffin is a San Diego-based public relations and marketing consultant. His MarketInk column appears weekly on Mondays in Times of San Diego.