Karyn Barber (B.A. Media & Communication Studies ’07, M.A. Integrated Marketing & Communication ’11) recently accepted a position as the Community Information Coordinator and Public Information Officer for the City of Palm Bay, Florida. After working as the Marketing and Outreach Coordinator for the city for about a year, Barber was offered the new position as an interim but was soon asked to stay permanently.
Her new job has introduced her to the world of media, the fast-paced action of emergency services and the political arena of the government.
While this was an entirely new environment for her, Barber explains, “I have been able to fall back on my education as I have navigated through my new role.”
Barber spends a lot of her time creating media releases, developing a bi-monthly news column and coordinating several other media efforts. As the emergency services Public Information Officer for police and fire, she also receives calls from the media daily regarding developing stories. In addition to that, she serves as the city photographer and documents different city events every week. Clearly, her position has her wearing several different hats – but the variety is exactly what she loves about it.
She says, “At times it can be overwhelming, but it also makes each day interesting which is exactly what I was hoping would happen in my career.”
Being liable for such a wide span of responsibilities has been quite the learning experience for Barber. The most valuable lesson that she’s learned is that it can be a challenge for others to understand what she does since it doesn’t result in a tangible product. However, this doesn’t slow her down.
Barber explains, “The communication field offers you the opportunity to develop things with a broad stroke and it allows you to fill a lot of different roles with a diverse array of opportunities.”
When she isn’t busy working all around Palm Bay, Barber serves as the chair for the Membership Development Committee of the Junior League of South Brevard, Inc. This organization of women promotes voluntarism, develops the potential of women, and improves the community. Additionally, as members of Seminole Boosters and season ticket holders for the football games, she and her husband attend almost every home game and at least one away game each football season.