Distinguished PR Graduate Jon Iwata Delivers Keynote Speech at JMC School PR Day Event


by Bob Rucker

Distinguished SJSU Public Relations graduate Jon Iwata, Senior VP of Marketing for IBM, served as the keynote speaker at the PR Day Event held in the SJSU Student Union this past May 1st. Iwata was a classmate of PR Professor Chris Di Salvo, who invited Iwata and other PR graduates to return to campus for this event that brought together faculty, students, and professionals in diverse communications and PR fields. PR Day drew a crowd of 160 people for his noon hour address. Many other PR graduates, now accomplished professionals, returned to campus to share their expertise and advice with current PR students.

Amongst his many accomplishments, Iwata oversaw IBM’s Watson project on the nationally televised game show Jeopardy. IBM states that, “Cognitive systems like Watson may transform how organizations think, act, and operate in the future. Learning through interactions, they deliver evidence based responses driving better outcomes.”

The main thrust of Iwata’s keynote focused on the importance of understanding how new technology is being used to track and gather public information, and how that research Big Data needs to be studied carefully and used by businesses in an ethical manner.

Iwata said universities around the country need to teach these concepts, citing IBM, which is teaching employees how to understand and use social media as branding tools. Currently, more marketing resources go into social media channels, with reduced funding into traditional forms of company advertising and marketing.

Click below for select short videos from his keynote:

Iwata discusses digital media approaches: IMG_5660

Iwata discusses Big Data science and PR: IMG_5661

Iwata on Big Data, computer science, and technology:  IMG_5671

Iwata discusses Watson, decision-making, and Jeopardy: IMG_5672

Iwata shows and discusses a clip of Watson in action on Jeopardy: IMG_5675 (pt.1) ; IMG_5676  (pt.2)

PR Day was a huge success for the JMC School. Congratulations to PR Professor Christine Di Salvo and all her public relations students who did an excellent job developing this event!