University reveals new media tools

Florida A&M University is launching new media that will broaden the lines of communication between all its stakeholders, as well as serve as a recruitment and marketing tool.

Stated in a press release from FAMU’s office of public relations, FAMU’s Board of Trustees approved the new media and publications policies Feb. 12.

On-Hold System, the FAMU e-newsletter and the FAMU Board of Trustees Report will each serve as new means to increase communication among stakeholders.

“The Office of Public Affairs is committed to maintaining an open line of communication between all of FAMU constituents and ensuring that the campus community is aware of activities, issues and opportunities,” said Sharon Saunders, FAMU’s chief of communications. “The new media we have launched will serve as a means to increase the flow of communication and grab the attention of computer savvy Rattlers.”

FAMU public relation officials stated in a press release that the official FAMU MySpace page,, will feature up-to-date news on the institution; photo galleries showcasing campus activities; alumni and student achievements; and promotional videos.

The official FAMU YouTube channel,, will feature news updates, promotional videos, documentaries from students in the FAMU School of Journalism and Graphic Communication, and video from the SJGC student “Live at Five” newscast.

Both the YouTube channel and MySpace page were constructed and will be maintained by Angel Suri, a FAMU information and communication specialist. The media act as ways to communicate with students and alumni and market prospective students.

“The YouTube channel and MySpace profile kills two birds with one stone,” Suri said. “Prospective Rattlers are a product of the digital era, and new media is a great way to attract them to the Hill. Students and alumni have expressed serious interest in keeping abreast on just what is going on at the institution, and this is a fun and interactive way to keep them informed.”

Pamela Tolson, FAMU’s director of media relations, echoed Suri’s sentiment as it applied to the FAMU Message On-Hold, e-newsletter and BOT Report, which she is responsible for maintaining.

“Every day thousands of individuals step foot on this campus and we have a responsibility to find new and efficient ways to communicate with those individuals who all lead very busy lives,” Tolson said. “We have to reach the FAMU community where it is most effective and we have to realize that all constituents should be knowledgeable of what is occurring here at FAMU. The new media will do just that.”

The FAMU Message On-Hold plays when an individual calls the University and is placed on hold. The message will reflect the most current and up-to-date news, special events, student, faculty and alumni achievements, and information for students, faculty, staff, alumni and the community.

Both the FAMU e-newsletter and the FAMU BOT Report will be distributed via the FAMU email system to students, staff, faculty, administration, alumni, board of trustees and foundation.

To better introduce the new media FAMU Office of Communications will sponsor a workshop for faculty, staff and students to provide an overview of the new media and publications policies and provide information on photography and graphics.

The workshop is scheduled from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m., March 20 in Lee Hall Auditorium.

Part of the workshop will include a forum titled “Local Media’s Commitment to Providing Fair Coverage to FAMU.”

Forum participants include Bob Gabordi, executive director for the Tallahassee Democrat; Angeline Taylor, Tallahassee Democrat reporter; Kisha Ferrell, assignment manager for WTXL ABC 27; Claudine Cleophat, WCTV-TV 6 reporter; Mike Smith, vice president of News, WCTV-TV 6; and Stephanie Lambert, associate editor for the Capital Outlook.

“This is the first of a series of workshops we will sponsor to improve media relations and improve communications with our stakeholders,” Saunders said. “We encourage staff to attend and be prepared to ask media those tough questions that they always wanted answered.”