Goodbye higher education marketing, hello public broadcasting

I’ve just finished my second week as communications coordinator at a public broadcasting affiliate. After almost five years in higher education marketing, I was hungry for a bigger challenge and experience in a new area of marketing, and it’s turned out to be a great decision. (And a busy one: I’m ashamed that in not blogging for more than two [er, three…?] weeks, I’ve broken one of my cardinal blogging rules.)

While my higher education marketing position was focused mostly on media relations, my new position is a combination of traditional media relations (plus bloggers and online writers, of course) and social media. That is, I’m in charge of the success of the station’s Facebook and Twitter accounts, among other SM outlets. Now that’s the kind of challenge I’m talking about.

In 2006, I worked for another public broadcasting affiliate. I attended graduate school in New York, and I decided that I wanted to volunteer at the PBS affiliate in the city. I e-mailed the volunteer director, introducing myself and submitting my resume. She responded that she didn’t think my skills were quite right for volunteering…but they were looking for an editor for their internal newsletter, and would I like to come in and discuss that possibility? Yes, please.

My first visit to the WNET/Thirteen building on W. 33rd Street in New York is one of the best moments of my life. I got the gig, after several meetings with executives, and I literally skipped the 15 or so blocks to class that night. I had an official Thirteen e-mail address, an I.D. card, even a cubicle. I caught glimpses of Bill Moyers in the hallway. I was on top of the world. And I decided that one day, I’d work fulltime in public broadcasting.

I love the higher education arena, and I now consider myself somewhat of an expert in higher ed PR. It’s also good to experience marketing and PR in different contexts, so I’m happy to be where I am today. On a hope that she’d remember me, I recently e-mailed my former boss at Thirteen, who not only remembered me, but also recalled a story I thought maybe she wouldn’t. When we were working on an issue of the newsletter, she needed to retrieve something from my office e-mail, and I had to confess my password: pbsceo2b. Mortifying.

I don’t know about CEO, but becoming part of a marketing team for a public television station has been a great move. As with any niche of marketing, some things are similar, some are different. For this blog, it means fewer posts about college and university marketing, certainly, but also exploration of the differences between private, public and goverment sectors, and how that affects PR and social media. One topic I really want to explore is the idea of media relations and social media being in the same job description. A lot has been said on the topic.

For my loyal readers, or for those who just happened to drop by, this new PR journey is going to be an exciting one!

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5 thoughts on “Goodbye higher education marketing, hello public broadcasting

  1. Cindy Long says:

    Boo…yea; I must love your blog from far away.

  2. Gloria says:

    How could I forget pbsceo2b? It’s great to see you following your dream. I am woefully behind the times when it comes to social media so I will be following your blog more closely to see what you have to say about its relevance to public broacasting. Gloria

  3. Always exciting to make a change in industry as a marketer! Good luck!

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