John Carlin, who left Access Public Relations recently in something of a high-profile, surprise move, has landed at Ferrum College, where he is the new public relations director.
Carlin replaces Natalie Fuance, who left Ferrum to start a noon interview program with WSLS TV in Roanoke, Carlin’s long-time employer.
He was news anchor at WSLS before retiring from broadcasting in November 2008 to enter public relations with Access. Since then he has established himself as a PR strategist, having won three Gold Summit Awards in 2009 from the Public Relations Society of America. He announced his own public relations agency, John Carlin Public Relations, shortly after leaving Access.
“We are excited to have John join the staff,” says Vice President for Institutional Advancement Lee King. “His 28 years of experience in broadcasting give him the type of background and understanding that we were looking for. In addition he lived here in Franklin County for more than a decade so he knows this community well. John will make an immediate, visible impact, and we are so excited about that.”
Carlin’s reporting career was highlighted by a Peabody award for the station’s coverage of the 2007 shootings at Virginia Tech. Carlin has also won three Emmy awards and his newscasts garnered three National Edward R. Murrow awards as well.
Carlin serves on multiple boards and commissions in the Roanoke Valley, often chairing publicity committees.
“Ferrum College is a great fit for me,” says Carlin, who also served as adjunct faculty at Virginia Tech from 1996-2007, where he taught news writing. “I enjoy the campus environment, and Ferrum is in the midst of some intriguing projects. I’m ready to roll up my sleeves and get started.”
Ferrum College has enjoyed admissions growth in recent years, under the leadership of college President Jennifer L. Braaten. Applications have more than doubled since 2002, from 1,312 to 2,672 last year. In addition the campus has seen more than $20-million dollars in capital improvements since 2005.
“When you have growth you have an exciting, dynamic environment,” says Carlin. “This is a pivotal time in Ferrum’s history, and I’m thrilled to be here during this time.”
Among the items on Carlin's agenda, developing the college’s social media “footprint” by creating or enhancing its presence in places like YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter.