Magazine article Diverse Issues in Higher Education

Playing the Media Game

Magazine article Diverse Issues in Higher Education

Playing the Media Game

Article excerpt

"Sometimes you're going to get burned. No question about that."

That's how Dr. Dianne B. Suber, president of Saint Augustine's College, describes her risk-vs.-reward approach to dealing with local and national media.

But Suber says public relations is as important to a college as any other campus initiative, and her school has positive national television exposure to prove it.

In June, the college was featured in a three-part series called "Beyond the Dream" on the Fox News channel, which reaches more than 90 million households, according to Nielsen TV Ratings data.

Since Suber arrived at Saint Augustine's 10 years ago, she has developed a reputation as a driven leader. She instituted reforms at a school beset with financial woes, low enrollment, scant alumni support and poor faculty and staff morale when she joined. "Even in this economic downturn, we have not had to lose any faculty members, our enrollment is up, alumni giving is up and our students are heading off to graduate school in record numbers," Suber says.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

With a good news story to tell, the college's marketing and communications staff reached out to Fox reporter Kelly Wright, who, as a local anchor in North Carolina during the mid-1990s, was familiar with Saint Augustine's. …

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