Award-winning CEO, communications expert and author Sabrina Horn ’83 on her career in public relations, success in Silicon Valley, and the importance of integrity and authenticity in leadership.
On the latest episode of the Pulteney Street Podcast, President Joyce P. Jacobsen sits down with Sabrina Horn ’83 to discuss Horn’s career in public relations and strategic marketing in the tech world, and her new book Make It, Don’t Fake It: Leading with Authenticity for Real Business Success (Berrett-Koehler, June 2021). Horn reflects on what she learned from founding one of the first tech communications firms in Silicon Valley, as well as what brought her to HWS and what she tells students who want to know how to prepare for their own careers.
Horn was on campus on Wednesday, Nov. 10 to discuss Make it, Don’t Fake It. She also visited classes to discuss her career journey and the central themes of her new book, and was presented with the Alumna Achievement Award by William Smith College Alumnae Association President Kirra Henick-Kling Guard ’08, MAT’09. The Association’s highest honor is awarded to an alumna who, by reason of outstanding accomplishments in her business, profession or community service, has brought honor and distinction to her alma mater.
Horn’s career is highlighted by 25 years as Founder, CEO and President of Horn Group, the iconic U.S. tech communications agency she founded in Silicon Valley at age 29. Her firm counselled thousands of tech executives and their companies through rapid growth, category creation, brand transformation, global expansion, IPOs and acquisitions, pivots, and crisis matters.
In 2015, she sold Horn Group to Finn Partners, a global marketing agency, and was appointed Managing Partner of their Technology Practice. She is currently CEO of HORN Strategy, LLC, a consulting firm focused on helping entrepreneurs and CEOs navigate the early stages of their start-up companies.
Horn currently holds board member and advisory seats for: 4CRisk.ai, Boston University Alumni Council, Dieu Donné, Dogly.com, Illuminate Ventures, KloudGin, and The Jordan Edmiston Group. Horn has a B.A. in American Studies from Hobart and William Smith Colleges and a M.S. in Public Relations from Boston University. She has two daughters, Grace and Christina, and two very large golden doodles.
In 2016, Horn was a Professional in Residence at HWS and the featured alum speaker at the HWS IdeaLab, where her talk focused on “Building a Brand” to help students with their early-stage approach to marketing and brand development. In 2015, she served as a judge for the Pitch Contest.