By Bethaney Lee
In the bustling world of the 21st century colleges rely on Public Information Officers (PIO) who are responsible for the development of ad campaigns promoting the college and facilitating necessary communication between the various department programs.
Typically the position requires an individual to possess a Baccalaureate Degree, be able to launch marketing campaigns, flawlessly exchange information between departments and expedite meetings with potential stakeholders.
No doubt a needed position but one that City College has operated without for five years and it shows.
Without the primary responsibility of a PIO as a liaison between the college and the public, it is no wonder City College’s enrollment has taken a hit. With accreditation battles behind the college and Proposition W money restored to its rightful place, City College has no further excuses if enrollment continues to dwindle come the 2017 fall semester.
The college actually expects a boost in enrollment for next semester because of its newly granted funds. But without a PIO to facilitate the new growth will we also see a rise in communication problems between departments?
Without a PIO departments are required to reach out and advertise themselves and their events by any means they can. Currently departments create their own brochures and fliers, taking a slice from their own department budgets. Some departments have become creative, making videos and posting them to YouTube in hopes to increase class sizes.
From floristry to astronomy, nearly all departments self-advertise on Facebook keeping their students loosely connected to other relevant information within their departments.
Awaiting the expected influx of students to fill the empty seats on campus, the college may want to come up with more reputable ways to enhance awareness of their programs instead of papering the campus with fliers and inconsistent social media posts.
In dire need of someone with a background in public relations, you would think the college would have tried harder to procure a PIO that could help soften the blow to the school’s shaky reputation but in the absence a marketing firm has been contracted instead. The chances of seeing a true officer of public information at City College look more and more like a pipe dream.
After so much attention being given to Free City and encouraging San Francisco residents to sign up for tuition free college, an individual responsible for relaying this information to underrepresented groups across the city is crucial.
The college needs a PIO to ensure our campus diversity remains strong and continues to become evermore balanced.
Here at The Guardsman we encourage access to information and consistent communications. Having an unfilled PIO position is counter to Guardsman ethics, puts City College’s reputation in further jeopardy and can affect our campus diversity.
The Guardsman isn’t asking for a lot but we expect what was always supposed to be provided to the students attending City College.