Rachal accepts media director position

The university named a new director for Public Affairs and Media Relations Nov. 17.

Bryan Rachal served as interim director since March before being selected for the full-time position.

“I’m very excited about the job,” Rachal said. “I’m looking forward to getting everybody excited about what we’re doing here at UNA. This is a great place to work.”

Officials filled the position left vacant when former director Terry Pace left UNA for medical reasons in March.

“This is a very critical position because the university is constantly wanting to communicate to the public and its constituencies significant events and activities,” said Vice President for University Advancement Dan Hendricks. “Should crisis occur, the director of media relations becomes the university’s spokesperson.”

Hendricks said the internal search for a new director was conducted by a committee within the university.

Rachal served as college gift officer since February 2013, raising funds for the Colleges of Business, Education and International Affairs.

“We had a number of applications, including three very strong finalists,” Hendricks said. “From the moment Bryan took the interim position, he seemed to develop a passion for the work and was especially successful in forging relationships with local media and our academic units.”

Rachal said his former experience working in TV, radio and print media benefit him in the position, and his work for UNA helps him with understanding the needs of the university.

“The thing about doing the fundraising is you have to learn all facets of university,” he said. “You have to know what’s going on with each department.

Working with people as a fundraiser, you learn what they like or don’t like, and that helps with crafting press releases.”

He said he hopes to increase the university’s exposure, expanding it out of North Alabama.

The way to accomplish this is by letting the community know what is happening on campus, he said.

“Our students, staff and faculty are doing what other schools are doing and getting recognition for,” he said. “I want us to get that recognition.”