QUESTIONS & ANSWERS: John Broderick

He'd love to get his hands on a couple of former POTUSes, though he'd better not invite them skiing. Meet Old Dominion University's John Broderick.

He'd love to get his hands on a couple of former POTUSes, though he'd better not invite them skiing. Meet Old Dominion University's John Broderick.

Where do you work? I serve as the VP for institutional advancement and admissions at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, VA. It is rare in higher education that the communications area would be responsible for admissions - at most institutions, admissions reports to academic affairs or student life. But we believe the admissions program is better served within an area where PR, communications, and publications are housed.

What do you do? I do everything from serve as our chief spokes-person with the media to representing our funding interests to members of the Virginia General Assembly. I'm the executive editor of our alumni and research magazines, I'm involved in student recruitment, I work with the alumni and visitors boards, and I ensure that about 200 campus events go off smoothly.

What is your greatest achievement? A few years ago, the retiring editorial page editor of Virginia's largest newspaper mentioned two people in his final column "who always knew their business. I was one of them.

What was your biggest screw-up? When I ran tourism activities in the Berkshires, I recall encouraging a couple of travel writers to try a resort's alpine slide one day. Neither wanted to, but eventually they relented. Once on the track, one of them then turned into Evel Kneivel and lost control of the sled, breaking his wrist.

What are you working on this week? What I like most and least about my job is the same thing - I never spend too much time on one thing. I'm involved with so many outreach areas and constituencies that it could be media at 8am, elected officials at 9am, prospective students at 10am, a magazine layout decision at 11am, lunch with prospective alumni board members at noon, etc.

If you could work for one company, what would it be? Being a New Englander and a Red Sox fan, I would enjoy working at Fenway Park the year the club finally wins a pennant.

What do you wish you hadn't said to the media? "Here's my home, car, and cell numbers."

Who would you most like to work with? Without question, Ben Franklin. He was a statesman, an inventor, and was thoroughly connected to various forms of mass media well before most people recognized the many ways to utilize and inform.

What's your party trick? It depends on the age level of the party participants. With my seven-year-old's friends it might be a card trick, but with my 17-year-old's group it might be the ability to vanish.

Which historical figure would you most like to represent? I often think Richard Nixon could have been one of the most significant people in history for all of the right reasons if he only listened and better understood all of the values associated with communications and PR.

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