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New manager of media relations hopes
to focus national spotlight on UConn
January 25, 1999

David Bauman has been appointed manager of media relations, responsible for making stories about the University available to the national and regional media.

He joins UConn from Gehrung Associates, a New Hampshire-based public relations firm serving clients in higher education. Bauman has worked with senior administrators and public relations professional s in colleges and universities around the country to increase media coverage of their institutions.

He previously spent 16 years as a reporter and editor for the Gannett news service, beginning as a general assignment reporter for a small newspaper in Louisiana and working his way up to Capitol Hill correspondent. During his 10 years as a Capitol reporter, he wrote hundreds of articles for Gannett newspapers in the New England and Mid-Atlantic regions on legislation and legislators, medicine and health, and military and transportation spending.

Bauman also brings an international perspective to the job. He grew up in Venezuela and also has lived in Mexico, England, Spain, Greece and the Philippines. In the early 1980s, he spent two years as a foreign desk writer for USA Today, where his assignments included covering military conflicts in El Salvador and Nicaragua, the U.S. intervention in Grenada, and a variety of other U.S. foreign policy initiatives.

"David possesses a unique combination of skill and experience that will be extremely helpful to us in placing the University more strategically and more frequently in the national and regional media," says Scott Brohinsky, director of university communications.

Bauman's appointment is part of a broader initiative to promote the University and increase its visibility. "We are committed to implementing an aggressive and comprehensive strategic communications plan for the University," says John Barry, associate director of university communications. "David Bauman's appointment is a crucial piece in continuing to advance that agenda."

Bauman says his experience in Washington and with Gehrung taught him that "the academy in this country needs to do a better job of selling itself," both in order to secure funding for higher education and research and to ensure passage of legislation that is favorable to higher education. "Washington is a competitive place with all kinds of needs, one of which is higher education," he says.

Positive coverage in the media can also support the University's recruitment efforts, he adds, and can enhance its reputation among its peers. For an individual faculty member, an article or commentary in the press "may generate unanticipated phone calls that may further the research," he says.

Bauman will use his skills as a journalist and publicist to identify stories that may be of interest to the media and bring them to the attention of reporters and editors at the national level. "Our job is to hit all the top-tier national media, both print and electronic," he says.

"Researchers do their great research, and my task is to translate the research for the body politic so that people can understand and appreciate that what faculty are doing is valuable to society at large. There is an art to dealing with the media," he adds.

Bauman says he hopes to work with recently hired faculty members, as well as those who are more established. "There is so much going on at the University, there's a great pool from which to draw stories," he says. He expects to hire two additional staff to assist him.

Bauman holds a bachelor's degree in history from New York University and a master's in journalism from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Elizabeth Omara-Otunnu