News | October 10th, 2018

Students Strive for Storytelling

By: Amiracle Grant
Students Strive for Storytelling

Students at Florida A&M University were in for an eventful, yet informative day on Thursday, Oct. 4 during the School of Journalism and Graphic Communication’s annual “Grads Are Back” event.

Among the events was a public relations panel detailing “The Art of Storytelling,” moderated by SJGC alumni Will Ayers, who currently serves as the activation and communications manager for Red Bull’s southern division.

As the panel commenced, Ayers briefly introduced the panelists and quickly jumped right into the panel’s discussion on why public relations is more than just a press release.

The first panelist, Latoya Chambliss, executive director of Bliss Consulting Services commenced.

“Since being in the industry and owning my own company, I can honestly say that press releases just aren’t as important as they used to be in the field of public relations.”

Chambliss then explained the importance of pitching to the media and effectively communicating within the industry, which she believes many young, public relations professionals struggle with.

“In my opinion, it’s more than just press releases because we work on the behalf and behind the scenes for our clients,” said Loren Lyons, a junior public relations student. “We [PR specialists] take care of the little things that are often missed but easily noticed.”

Among the notable panelists was Monique Mitchell, a publicist representing Cartoon Network, Adult Swim and Boomerang. Mitchell spoke about her seven-year career path in the industry and how she transitioned from having a broadcast journalism degree into public relations. Mitchell also noted that within her transition, she realized how the public relations field is much more broader than she anticipated.

“I rarely have to write press releases,” said Mitchell. “When it comes to my position, I am more so concerned about effectively reaching our target audience and getting people to watch our shows and view our content,”

Also speaking during the panel were Daniece Brady and Dantarious Brown, both project managers for Slip-N-Slide Records, as well as Account Executive Brinton Flowers, and Chief Communications Officer Melanie Newman.

As the panel came to a close, students were able to part with more insight on the public relations industry.