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Amazing Alumni

Erin Bryce

Community Outreach Manager
City of North Port

Fall 2016

Favorite Project

I'm very proud of the work (and the continued work) of my Capstone Project, which was to brand the General Services Department of the City of North Port. We use the hashtag #SpreadingSunshine. If you search this on Facebook, you can find the posts. There are more to come. I'm working on some contests and other ways to spread the story. I also was part of the team to develop the City's website at www.cityofnorthport.com. I think its beautiful.... We just received a What's Next Award from Vision Internet.

My Career

As the Community Outreach Manager for the City of North Port, I oversee marketing, public relations, and communications. My office is located in the City Manager's Office. In my role, I wear a number of hats, including: the brand manager; the editor/publisher of the City's quarterly and monthly newsletters; the webmaster; social media manager and administrator; and so much more. I oversee the City's marketing efforts (advertisements, etc.); I plan City events (groundbreakings, ribbon cuttings); I produce many of the City's marketing and informational brochures and printed products; I lead information tables at City events and other outreach efforts; and more. It's the "and more" that keeps me really, really, really busy.

Hobbies

music (guitar, singing, festivals, concerts, and all activities related to music), reading (I read a lot), writing (writer's write, and I write)...

Previous Amazing Alumni

A southwest Florida native, Erin Bryce is currently the Community Outreach Manager for the City of North Port, the largest city in Sarasota County. She has been in her role for the last nine years, where she oversees marketing, public relations, and communications for an up-and-coming, vibrant community. Prior to working for the City of North Port, Erin was a journalist for the Sarasota Herald-Tribune. She has a master’s degree in mass communication from the University of Florida, which is also where she received her bachelor’s degree.

Hometown:

North Port, Florida

High School:

DeSoto High School in Arcadia, Florida

Undergraduate:

University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications

Graduated from Social Media Program:

Bachelor’s: 2002
Master’s: 2016

University highlights, achievements and awards:

Recently, I obtained my master’s degree from the University of Florida’s College of Journalism and Communications. My area of study was social media. At the same time I launched my personal goal of obtaining my degree, the City of North Port launched its social media strategy and began engaging on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. During this two-year program, I was able to take classroom lessons and apply them directly in my career with the city. As Community Outreach Manager, it is my job to tell North Port’s story, engage our residents, and increase community pride. Social media is a key part of our communications strategy. Some of the coursework led to creating a strategic social media plan for the City of North Port; implementing a monthly reporting system; creating a social media ethics policy; and much more. My capstone project focused on a social media branding strategy for one of our City departments. The City of North Port recently received a Silver Circle Award from the City-County Communications & Marketing Association for its overall social media strategy.

Current Employment:

I am the Community Outreach Manager for the City of North Port. I oversee communications, marketing, public relations, and community engagement for a municipality with nearly 65,000 people.

I chose to attend UF because…

…of the Independent Florida Alligator and the College of Journalism and Communications. As a high school student (in the late 1990s), I had stumbled on a Journalism Camp that the College offered. My passion had always been print news; I was the editor of my school paper. I spent a summer in the UF dorms and inside the College’s classrooms. I specifically remember the day when the Alligator editor came on campus and spoke to us about their student run daily newspaper. At that moment, in my mind, there was no other choice. I knew that UF, and its College of Journalism and Communications (as well as the Alligator newsroom) were going to be my home. And it was my home from 1999 to 2002. Later in life, my personal life changed and I found myself able to go back to school (something I had always wanted to do). When I learned about the online master’s degree program from my College – and that it focused on social media… Once again, there was no other choice. I just knew that it was what I wanted to do.

In my free time, I…

I love music. I play an acoustic guitar and I sing. I write songs.

My favorite thing about UF was…

The campus. It is so beautiful there – from Century Tower to the Student Union to Weimer Hall. I miss the campus life. There were always these awesome places to study and soak in knowledge. UF’s campus is so diverse, too. There are people from all over the world who go to school there.

I use my degree in my professional life by…

Thanks to what I have learned in the program, each month I measure our analytics in relation to our communication goals. This tells us what we did well, what we need improvement on, and what we can do next. My team then discusses these at length and we brainstorm tactics that can be implemented for the next month. I use all of the information that I’ve learned to help us be more strategic in our social media outreach.

My favorite class was…

Branding, which was Prof. Robert Hughes course in the master’s program. I truly enjoyed his lectures and the course materials. In fact, I’m now referring back to the books from his course for a project that I’m working on. This was not an easy question to answer though. Some of my other favorites included social media management; social media theory; social media metrics; social media research… the list goes on. I loved them all…

My favorite professor was…

Professor Robert Hughes

If I could have dinner with anyone, I would choose…

Chip and Dan Heath. And I’d quiz them about their theories for making ideas truly stick. I tend to get excited about story telling techniques and ways that I can improve.

If I knew I could not fail, I would…

Jump out of a plane. I hate heights. But, if I knew without a doubt that I would live afterward, I would love to experience seeing the world from that far up. They say that your brain doesn’t even register that you are falling. I wonder if that is true.

If money was not an issue, I would love to…

Travel more. There are places in the United States that I want to go see. That doesn’t even take into count the amount of places outside of the United States that I would love to go see.
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