What would you call a young professional with 10 years of experience in advertising, reporting and writing? What title would give someone who has held various positions including, but not limited to, social media specialist, mobile producer and online editor?
I chose Communications Specialist because regardless of the medium (newspaper, magazine, blog, twitter feed, etc.) the goal is the same - communicate the message effectively.
My name is Jerriann Sullivan and I’m a reporter, writer and travel lover. I’m a passionate woman with a strong, positive presence and an endless supply of energy for all things creative. I have been blogging since 2008 and my writing focuses include journalism, traveling, politics, art, cooking and dining out.
After five successful and award winning years in advertising, I decided to return to the newsroom. I discovered my passion for the news when I was fortunate enough to become the managing editor of the student newspaper at the Dreyfoos School of the Arts, which led to an invitation for a summer educational internship at Columbia University in New York.
I’ve worked for newspapers, magazines, websites and television studios owned by Gannett, Hearst and the Chicago Tribune. At the Chicago Tribune, I helped the web team on their Blagojevich on Trial site, which can be viewed here. At the Orlando Sentinel, I overhauled and streamlined the social media outreach and engagement program, while assisting the breaking news team cover the Casey Anthony trial. Additionally, I redesigned the mobile site and iPhone apps and launched their first iPad app.
My social media campaign paid off and I grew the Sentinel’s online reader engagement and audience by 317% in less than 18 months. At the same time, I freelanced and lectured at colleges and universities across the state of Florida on topics including journalism, social media, technology and the challenges facing current and future students.
I left the Sentinel in May of 2012 to take a full time position as a Communications Specialist at the University of Central Florida (UCF), which is the second largest public university in the United States. You may have heard about the school from former President Bill Clinton. I have written over 700 blog posts for our site, which you can view here and have overseen the creation of marketing materials from concept to completion. Additionally, my position at UCF involves social media engagement, press relations and event planning.
Based on the strength, quality, and quantity of previous work and the enthusiasm I have for what I do, UCF offered me an incredible position with an unimaginable level of flexibility that allows me to continue freelancing, attend conferences nationally and internationally on writing, journalism, social media and technology, give invited lectures, and provide guidance and advice for the next generation of students.
My goals for the next two years, outside of my current commitments, include starting a Master of Arts in Communications degree, teaching social media classes, writing a book and traveling to Dubai.