For the past year, every industry has had to respond to the pandemic. PR professionals and communication experts have continued to guide their organizations into the light – creating online messages, adjusting to online services, and helping clients and customers adjust to their new normal. Samantha Hargrove, director of marketing at The University of North Carolina System will discuss how higher education has responded to the changing times and how well they’re communicating the right messages to their customers. She’ll discuss from a PR perspective, what went wrong, what went right, and areas where we had to pivot. She’ll share examples of reputation management and how as professionals, we’ve had to lead our leaders during peak times of this crisis.
Samantha McKenzie Hargrove is a marketing and communications director for the University of North Carolina System. She has worked in the field of communications for more than 25 years, early on in her career as a journalist, and later as a communications director in higher education. Samantha has worked at two of the UNC System institutions serving in various roles as public relations coordinator, special events manager, and as media relations director.
At the UNC System, Samantha has led a $1M affordability statewide campaign and serves as communications lead for the UNC Board of Governors Racial Equity Task Force and Historically Minority-Serving Institutions Committee. She earned a bachelor’s in journalism from Norfolk State University and master’s in Strategic Public Relations from George Washington University. She’s an avid TED Talks viewer, a parti-time caterer, and when free time avails itself, she writes a blog. She lives in Morrisville with her 16-year-old daughter and black lab named Oreo.