Veteran journalist Geoff Larcom takes the reins of Eastern Michigan's media relations department
But today, Larcom was the newsmaker himself as Eastern Michigan University named him executive director of media relations.
“It certainly is different. I’m usually reading press releases or deciphering press releases,” he said.
“But this has been pretty gratifying.”
Larcom has a total of 26 years experience working as an editor and reporter for print and online newspapers. After 12 years as sports editor at The Ann Arbor News, he covered higher education for the newspaper from 2000 to 2009. Most recently, he was a columnist for AnnArbor.com.
His experience made Larcom uniquely qualified for the job, which pays $84,000 annually, said Walter Kraft, vice president for communications.
“Geoff is a talented and successful reporter, editor and columnist," Kraft said in a news release. "His background covering higher education, including Eastern Michigan University, gives him a unique perspective of our campus community.
“His experience and abilities will help provide strong leadership and focus to our media relations efforts."
Larcom said it’s strange, but intriguing to find himself on the other side of the media fence.
“Suddenly my relationships change,” he said. “Instead of trying to find the conflict, now I have to figure out how best to tell the story in a way that is not trite or predictable.”
One of the biggest challenges he faces, Larcom said, is finding the best way to get his messages out in a world where the print newspaper as a source of information has receded in importance.
“It used to be the newspaper was the bright point of light, but now there are several points of light,” he said. “You factor in Facebook and other (Web) sites that have come to the fore, and it’s a completely new world.”
Larcom recently completed a Knight-Wallace Journalism Fellowship at the University of Michigan. He was one of 20 journalists from around the world selected for the mid-career program that involves a year of academic study and travel. Larcom studied leadership and Spanish and traveled to Argentina and Russia, among other places.
Larcom has a master's degree in journalism and a bachelor's degree in political science from U-M. He lives in Ann Arbor with his wife, Kristen, and their two children.
And in case you were wondering, Larcom says he'll be rooting for the EMU Eagles when they play the Michigan Wolverines this Saturday.