Former fair spokesperson overcomes layoff, starts own PR business

Name of business: PR by DRE Type of business: Public relations boutique Location: Contact information: [email protected]

Name of business: PR by DRE

Type of business: Public relations boutique


Contact information: [email protected]

Specialty: Brand building through storytelling


History of business:

Adrenna Alkhas hopes to help businesses tell their stories through her new public relations firm, but the Turlock resident’s own story is worth sharing, too. 

Now the owner of PR by DRE, Alkhas has worn many hats throughout her career — mother, author, professor and marketer, to name a few. She started out as assistant marketing manager at Vintage Faire Mall in 2005 before being named Stanislaus County Fair’s marketing and communications director in 2009, serving as the head of all things media for the annual event for over a decade. 

Like many during the pandemic, Alkhas’ job — and the fair as a whole — was impacted by COVID-19 and she was laid off last year. The fair was cancelled in 2020, but will return this year in a spaced out, less crowded format.

“I just loved the fair. I immersed myself in it and thrived because I loved telling the fair’s story through different marketing campaigns,” Alkhas said. “It’s been a tough situation, but I took the time to refocus and pick something else that I love doing.”

As she mentioned, Alkhas loves telling stories and decided to overcome her layoff from the fair by turning that passion into PR by DRE. By utilizing her connections created over years of working in media relations, Alkhas helps businesses with whatever they need when it comes to sharing their story with the community, whether it be writing press releases, crisis communication or helping to promote stories to different news sources. 

Helping businesses make themselves known after a year of pandemic closures is more important now than ever, Alkhas said. 

“It’s about telling your story and every business has a story. It’s not just about selling a product and numbers, it’s about people in the community. There’s always something that the community can gravitate to and that the media can write a story about,” Alkhas said. “If you have a good PR person who knows the different media people and how to pitch stories to them, it’s a win-win.”

Alkhas wants to help the community in any way she can, she said, especially those who have been laid off from their jobs throughout the pandemic. She was in a similar situation before starting up PR by DRE earlier this year and knows how difficult it can be. 

For those looking to shift gears in their career as the pandemic hopefully retreats, Alkhas shared some advice.

“Find what you’re really good at and what you love to do. Focus on that,” she said. “In the meantime, even if you have to take on a different job quickly, you can still focus on something you love to do on the side. You never know, it could grow into something big.”