Ann Davis, Texas Wesleyan University’s strategic communications manager, has made getting the university noticed her mission.
Davis, a Fort Worth native, graduated from the University of Arkansas in 2001 with a bachelor’s degree in communications and a minor in business.
After teaching English in Argentina for a few years and spending time raising her two daughters Alice (7) and Bess (5), she joined the communication department at Wesleyan in December 2013, when the university began launching the Smaller. Smarter. campaign.
Davis chose Texas Wesleyan because she wanted to be a part of something she could be passionate about and still be close to home, she said.
“I love my job and I am very passionate about PR and Wesleyan,” Davis said. “I grew up in Fort Worth and graduated from Paschal High School, I want to see the school succeed.”
Davis spends her days at Wesleyan dealing with internal communications, writing and editing, placing stories in various media outlets, talking with reporters, and monitoring news and events that could benefit Wesleyan.
In 2013, when the School of Business Administration and Professional Programs at Wesleyan received its accreditation, Davis got the Dallas Morning News to cover it.
“It is important to put a face to a name,” said Davis, “and to build relationships with reporters.”
Wesleyan made a splash on Channel 8 during Good Morning America in December 2013 after Davis pitched a story to WFAA’s Laura Cates. The station aired a story about the university’s underwater graduation ceremony for students who minor in scuba.
Scott Geer, Wesleyan’s customer relationship manager, said it is exciting to see the work Davis does and getting the scuba team recognized in the media was a milestone in her work at Wesleyan.
“To see the exposure she was able to give the scuba program was both impressive and exciting,” said Geer. “It is amazing to see Ann in action.”
Before joining Wesleyan’s communication department, Davis worked with big companies such as Pier 1 Imports and Oakley. Davis said she gained valuable media relations experience from working at these companies.
“I learned the value of building relationships from working at Pier 1,” said Davis “and how to pitch a story from my time at Oakley.”
Davis said her prior knowledge and experience from the corporate world has helped her in promoting Wesleyan’s vision.
“I came from a high pressure agency environment to education,” said Davis. “I have been able to take some of that intensity and pitch it toward great things that are happening here at Texas Wesleyan.”
Her enthusiasm for the school has made all the difference in strengthening the school’s recognition in the media, said Shelly Jackman, Wesleyan’s art director for the communication department.
“Ann is one of the most positive and energetic people I have ever worked with,” said Jackman. “She is defiantly knowledgeable in her filed.”
Darren White, director of marketing and communications, said he knew Davis would be good when she interviewed for the job.
“When she came in I knew she was going to be a super star,” White said. “In less than a year Ann has done an amazing job in her position. She’s really close in getting almost a million dollars in earned media, That is an amazing accomplishment at a corporation, so for someone to be doing that here at Wesleyan is a big deal.”
Davis helped Texas Wesleyan’s Smaller. Smarter. Promise scholarship get recognized by the Fort Worth Star-Telegram when it launched spring of 2013. Davis said this was a fun project to talk about and share with the journalist at the Star-Telegram.
“I remember calling and telling the reporter we have the coolest scholarship,” said Davis. “This is a perfect example of how I get to tell stories about other people’s great work.”
Davis enjoys being what she calls the school’s cheerleader and loves promoting something she is proud of.
“I have the honor of pitching these great stories to the media,” said Davis, which is easy because I naturally have enthusiasm for this school.”