October 10, 2012 10:10:19 AM
STARKVILLE -- Sidney Salter, current journalist-in-residence at Mississippi State University, will soon begin shifting his focus to his new role as MSU's director of university relations, but he plans to remain at his current post until the completion of several ongoing projects.
Salter, who has 37 years of journalism and media management experience, said he is confident he can handle both roles as he makes the transition.
Prior to arriving at MSU in March 2011, Salter held two full-time positions in Jackson, writing for The Clarion-Ledger as a syndicated columnist and devoting three hours a day to a statewide talk radio show.
"I am used to keeping a lot of plates spinning," Salter said. "The trick is the stakes are high in terms of the university's branding and marketing efforts. That's not a part-time job."
The Philadelphia native said he feels no need to reinvent the wheel in his strategies and operations for university relations, and he praised the efforts of previous director of university relations Maridith Geuder, noting the success of the college's branding and marketing campaigns.
But Salter said he sees opportunities to improve and strengthen the university's social media efforts, including developing a plan to make MSU's television commercials resonate outside the state and across the nation.
"We want to really hone in on the land-grant mission of the university and be sure we are telling our story to our own people," Salter said. "We have 425,000 alums, and there are some wonderful stories about work being done on this campus, doing great things, and we want to tell our own people about that as a means of enhancing our private endowment and fundraising efforts among our Bulldogs."
In a statement to the press, MSU President Dr. Mark Keenum backed Salter's credentials, especially those in the state and with the university, saying he is anxious to see the visibility Salter will bring the university.
"He understands and values our university's historic land-grant mission," Kennum said. "Sid's deep love of this university is obvious and he backs up that passion with creativity and hard work."
Salter begins his duties Oct. 16.