Lipscomb’s Department of Journalism and Communications kicked off its first Media Masters of the semester by hosting Tom Adkinson on Monday evening in Ezell.
Adkinson had a plethora of advice to offer students as he relayed his 40 years of experience in both journalism and public relations in a talk lead by Professor Jimmy McCollum.
Graduating with a journalism degree from the University of Tennessee, Adkinson began his career as a copywriter for a local newspaper. After a short time in the journalism industry, which included writing for Southern Living and working as a freelance writer for newspapers, Adkinson was offered a job in public relations with Gaylord Entertainment.
He worked with the Opryland Theme Park for the next 22 years, cementing his career in the PR world. After his time with Opryland, Adkinson went on to work at BOHAN advertising in downtown Nashville.
“You will be astounded that the ability to write is the ticket to a job,” Atkinson said, adding that being able to write a simple, declarative sentence was the key to opening many doors for him in the communications industry.
Atkinson cited observational skills, remembering to write thank you notes and owning an Associated Press Stylebook as tricks of the trade for students. He also noted that the best thing anyone can do as a journalist is to value honesty.
“To tell the truth, tell all of the truth and tell it quickly,” he said.
Adkinson also stressed the importance of checking facts and abstaining from speculation when releasing information to the public.
Spending time in PR for both the corporate world and in an agency, Adkinson touched on the differences of working in both. He said that working in an agency is much more volatile as the payroll is dependent on how many clients you have.
The Department of Journalism and Communications will host another Media Masters event featuring a career professional at a later date in the spring semester.