|Rachel Elsberry, Founder|
Photo by Chad Harlan of La Pistola
Rachel Elsberry started journalism classes when she was 14 years old at Angleton High School in her hometown of Angleton, Texas. She owes her love for information to her parents who were avid news watchers and history buffs and to Linda Winder, her high school journalism teacher. Rachel has been involved in television and radio since she was 18 years old. Her most-recent experience in television was at WJBK, the Fox station in Detroit, Michigan from the late 1990s to 2001 and an 8.5 year stint as the Executive Producer of Special Projects at News 8 Austin, the Time Warner 24-hour cable news channel in Austin, Texas, from 2001 to 2009. She covered numerous large stories and events over the years including a week in Louisiana immediately following Hurricane Katrina, the Austin City Limits Music Festival and the victory of her Texas Longhorns in their pursuit of the National Title at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California. Rachel also produced and reported weekly lifestyle features from food to fashion and home décor, all areas of personal interest as well, including weekly cooking segments with Chef Jeff Blank of Hudson’s on the Bend, whom she credits with turning her into a foodie.
In the summer of 2008, Rachel was among one of 12 American journalists awarded a RIAS Fellowship (which stands for Radio in the American Sector) allowing her to spend two weeks immersed in learning about German media, the European Union, NATO and the critical relationship between the United States and Europe when it comes to world affairs. She is honored to be in the small fraternity of RIAS Fellows. Rachel has also received numerous awards for her work from the Texas Associated Press Broadcasters. She also has two Edward R. Murrow Awards and several Emmy nominations hanging on the wall.
During her career as a media insider, Rachel watched many public relations professionals and business owners struggle with getting their message beyond the newsroom gatekeepers. She left the news business to start her own business helping people effectively use media to promote their causes, events, products, services and businesses using the knowledge she gained as an insider. Thus, Pickie Pie Productions was formed to be a friend and asset to small and medium-sized businesses and entrepreneurs. No one can get you past the media gatekeepers like someone who once tended the gate.
The name Pickie Pie comes from a nickname given to Rachel as a baby by her maternal grandmother, Irenne Hoffmann Rennie. As the only grandchild in the family with brown eyes and as a picky baby, her grandmother started calling Rachel “My Brown-eyed Pickie Pie.” She referred to Rachel by that name in written correspondence and in person all the way up until she passed away in the summer of 2005. In return, Rachel called her grandmother “Nanny Pickie Pie” or just “Pickie.” The two had a special bond that still tugs at Rachel’s heart today. Pickie Pie Productions is a tribute not just to Rachel’s grandmother, but to all grandmothers who always see the potential and promise in their grandchildren just as Rachel sees the potential, promise and possibility in her clients.
In addition to her PR work, Rachel continues to work as a freelance journalist for media outlets such as Inside Edition. She also spends a great deal of time in Houston’s Medical Center where she writes and produces several cutting-edge medical stories per month that air on television stations across the country via a company called Medstar Television.