ASU faculty who inspire: Jessica Pucci

November 01, 2022 · 4 min read · By ASU Online
Jessica Pucci, a senior associate dean and Professor of Practice in Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication discusses her personal journey through the field of journalism and her current position teaching students in the Master of Science in digital audience strategy.
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A shift from print journalism to digital marketing

Ten years ago, Jessica Pucci never would’ve guessed that she’d be working in higher education. Her substantial professional experience began as a writer for magazine publications.

“I was a travel writer, a food and beverage writer and a luxury goods writer,” Pucci said. “I did a lot of really fun work across the magazine space. What was really interesting about that is I came through magazines during a time where if you saw a page on a magazine that had a hundred word blurb about a candle, that was me writing the blurb about the candle.”

For nine years, Pucci served as the managing editor for DRAFT Magazine working with large-scale clients such as Bed Bath & Beyond, HGTV, Delta Faucet, Massage Envy and more. However, as marketing channels began to expand in the digital space with technological advancements such as social platforms, so did Pucci’s career. In 2011, she took on the role of digital editor where she began overseeing social media and orchestrating the print-to-web story packing.

“I made a really fun transition from the magazine side over to brand journalism, engagement and audience measurement, and I had a nice career in agencies working in strategic communication,” Pucci said.

While advancing her career in digital marketing, Pucci attended graduate school where she conducted research on media management and ethics in journalism.

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In this episode of Beyond the Screen, Jessica Pucci discusses her personal journey through the field of journalism and her current position teaching at ASU's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication.

Finding her home at Arizona State University

Upon graduating with her master’s in journalism, Pucci decided to transition from working in an in-house agency to teaching students in the field of digital marketing and journalism.

“I knew after my own graduate education that I wanted to give back and help nurture the new generation of digital marketers, communicators and journalists,” Pucci explained. “I really wanted to get into a classroom and have that connection with students and really help nurture this next wave of communicators.”

After an extensive search of universities across the country, Pucci chose the university in her backyard, Arizona State University, where she began teaching ethics in journalism.

“ASU is a really special place with really special students,” Pucci said. “The Cronkite School is the premier communications school on earth, period. That's where I wanted to be.”

 

A leading educator in digital strategy

Today, Pucci takes on many roles at ASU Online. She not only teaches students in the Master of Science in digital audience strategy program, but also leads the Cronkite School’s undergraduate recruitment, online degree programs, strategic communications programs and the Los Angeles expansion.

Pucci recognizes that her extensive experience in both traditional journalism and the digital side of marketing fuels her process of teaching and curriculum.

“I think that what makes me a great teacher and really what makes me a great strategist is journalistic research,” Pucci said. “My journalism and magazine career was all about finding out everything that you need to know about a topic in order to make some judgments around ‘What does this really mean?’ and ‘What's important for my audience to know?’”

Her passion and mastery of digital strategy and communication manifest in Pucci’s teachings where she educates students how to analyze the customer journey and measure customers’ behaviors.

“Everybody has an audience that they need to grow and engage,” Pucci explained. “Whether you have a t-shirt company, a photography company, a content company or a car company, you have an audience that you need to reach and engage and then ultimately measure in some way. Our program helps everybody do exactly that.”

 

Teacher, mentor and supporter

Pucci is not only a teacher, but a mentor and supporter of her students. This support shines both inside and outside the classroom.

“I love when students tell me more about their lives, especially the work that they're doing that really compliments their degree program,” Pucci said. “If a student has a podcast outside of the podcasting class, I want to hear it. I want to tell everybody about it. I want to tweet about it.”

Standing as the graduation announcer for the Cronkite School, Pucci expresses the pride she feels when she sees her students walk the stage at graduation.

“Graduation is the most exciting time of the year for me,” Pucci said. “To be able to hug my online students who I in many cases haven't gotten to meet in person yet until that very day is just the best day of my life, and it's the best day of our lives for so many faculty here.”

As she continues to teach, Pucci’s inspiration to keep going comes from watching her students flourish in their careers and surpass their goals. “I just love being able to see students accomplish their academic goals, but then also watch them translate those goals into incredible careers.”

Can I get my graduate degree while working full time?

With the right strategy and support, you can strike a balance between your educational goals and busy life. Learn more about the time management and strategic planning it takes for working professionals to earn their online master's degree.

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