FORT WORTH: Texas Christian University has tapped Witherspoon & Associates' former PR director to refocus its publicity operations.
Kelli Horst has joined the university as its new communications director and has added two PR pros to a five-person staff. The TCU team will handle media relations, internal communications, and other PR functions for various academic departments.
Filling two of the vacancies this week are communications specialist Chad Lorance, a former local spokesman for the Texas Department of Transportation, and assistant director Tracy Doctson, previously of the Birmingham, AL YMCA.
Under her direction, Horst said TCU's communication functions will operate more like a PR agency. 'What you are starting to see in higher education is that people are thinking more along those lines,' she said, adding that more strategic marketing is necessary as universities struggle to attract the best students.
TCU is a private university attended by about 7,000 undergraduate and graduate students.
Horst worked at Witherspoon for four years, serving the last nine months as PR director. She holds a BBA in marketing from the University of Houston.