Journalists who write *really* positive news stories are better off in Public Relations. At least that was my experience while writing for The Maroon at Loyola University New Orleans.
A country mouse from Alexandria, Louisiana, I got to New Orleans as quickly as I could. It was the year 2000, I was 18. I was sure I was destined for a career in the newsroom, but majored in PR instead.
A flyer hanging in the Communications Department turned out to be the first page of my long love letter to New Orleans. “Writer needed for NewOrleansMuseums.com.”
What sounded like a week’s worth of writing ended up being three months of personal visits to 43 museums, a new-found love of New Orleans and a full-time job with New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corporation - the City’s Leisure Tourism Bureau, which hosts GoNOLA.com, NewOrleansOnline.com, HearNewOrleansMusic.com and (of course) NewOrleansMuseums.com.
In late 2004 I made friends with the Lt. Governor’s Press Secretary, which turned into a 6 month job working for Mitch Landrieu in Baton Rouge.
In April 2005, I returned to New Orleans and the tourism marketing gig, turned 23 and bought a house near The Fairgrounds just in time for Jazz Fest. By August 2005, the house and New Orleans were a bit of a mess, and I found myself in the middle of the biggest PR challenge one could ever imagine.
It was the best of times and the worst of times. I had a lot of museums and attractions to revisit. I fell in love with our city all over again.
In 2009 I was made the Director of Communications & Marketing at the New Orleans Museum of Art, one of the first museums I ever visited.
(Don’t you love it when life comes full circle?)
In 2012 I was hired away by NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune as a Community Engagement Specialist for Entertainment. I love the entertainment scene here. I know a lot of peeps in the community. Some people say I’m special. And I had recently gotten engaged. It’s like they made the job just for me.
And the best part about it?
I’m back in the newsroom.
I’m married now. Captain Christian and I live in the French Quarter with two orange cats. I love wearing silly hats, sharing Yo Mama’s burgers, living three blocks from Preservation Hall and riding my red bike around town.
I also love unlocking the magic of New Orleans for folks. Thanks for following.
Twitter & Instagram: @gracelovesnola