How Life Lessons from Jane Austen Helped a One-person Communications Team

MPD12 Management and Professional Development

Location: 102C, Wisconsin Center

TUESDAY, 3:00 - 3:45 p.m.

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single-person communications team must be in want of efficiency tips and commiseration. And coffee. Lots of coffee. In an era of declining budgets and expanding duties, many of us alone manage significant portions of the communications efforts at our campuses. While there is value to the flexibility of being responsible for everything yourself, it can be highly stressful and may lead to inefficient multitasking, losing track of tasks, or even worse, burnout. When I get stressed out, I often turn to Jane Austen and her brilliant stories and characters. I’ve found that her classic stories provide valuable life advice that is applicable to those bearing the burden of being a one (wo)man team. Pulling from my experience as the campus-wide media relations and social media expert for a mid-sized public university, I share suggestions for how to work smart, how to get support from others and how to...gasp...say “no” on occasion. Regency attire heartily encouraged.

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Lisa Catto
Public relations specialist, Western Oregon University

Lisa Catto has been a one-person communications team managing the media relations and social media efforts at Western Oregon University for more than ten years. While working at WOU, she discovered a passion for archaeology, and is currently completing a master's degree focused on public archaeology -- a perfect marriage of her PR background and archaeological interests. Lisa lives in Oregon, and while she loves it, she dreams of the day when teleportation is available so she can commute to work from her (yet-to-be purchased but oft dreamed of) country cottage in Scotland.