Following a nationwide search for the replacement of longtime public relations director Richard Culver, Salisbury University has its new spokesperson.
After almost 16 years working with SU's Public Relations Office, Jason Rhodes was named Culver's successor. As the new PR director and spokesperson, Rhodes now steps up to serve as an important face of the university to the media and more.
Vice President of Advancement and External Affairs Jason Curtin put the value of having a quality PR director into perspective.
“If you think about [Salisbury University] as an institution, we are one of the largest organizations in the Salisbury area,” said Curtin. “Having a well-qualified PR spokesperson to not only promote all the great things that are happening at the university but when crisis’ do occur it’s vital that we have a person who can handle the responsibilities.”
Curtin also expressed his appreciation for Rhodes' dedication to SU.
“I think he is a consonant professional and his ability to represent the University across the spectrum [of media] ... I have the utmost confidence in Jason,” Curtin said.
According to an official press release from SU, Rhodes obtained a bachelor’s degree in mass communication from Towson University before he spent several years working with Eastern Shore print and broadcast media.
Rhodes had previously served as an assistant director at the SU Public Relations Office since 2003.
“I’ve been working under Richard Culver for almost 16 years now,” Rhodes said. “I have seen the office evolve and grow and I look forward to being a part of that as it continues.”
Rhodes has been involved in many fundamental university processes such as writing public service announcements, press releases, the weekly SU e-news newsletter, recording radio broadcasts, planning media events and planning and managing press conferences.
Through his consistency with the university, Rhodes holds important experience moving forward having been a part of many key changes that have come during his time here. Through announcements of new colleges, the passing of the presidential torch last year and many other moments at the university, Rhodes serves as another key change under President Charles Wight.
Rhodes will maintain previous duties but in an expanded manner such as overseeing “setting media policy.”
Rhodes will also take on the roll as Salisbury University’s official media spokesperson meaning he will be the “go-to” contact for media outlets. When media outlets would contact SU in the past, the PR department would be tasked with “finding the right person” in the certain department.
Today, in his new position, Rhodes will work with those offices to cover the topic in question and then prepare an official statement.
Rhodes believes that this will allow his office to “serve the media quicker and better” than before.
“(I’m) looking forward to being a part of Salisbury [University] as it grows,” Rhodes said.
By SAMANTHA SETLZER
Featured photo: New Director of Public Relation's Jason Rhodes (Salisbury University Office of Public Relations image).