The magic of studying Mass Communications is the embellishment of a creative identity and the fulfillment of creating art fueled by the soul of that identity.
A journalist changes countless lives through an addiction for untold stories, a television personality inspires masses with their platform, a cameraman captures the world’s majestic secrets and moments, and those in public relations progress the realm of business by thriving in rabbit holes. Whichever one pursues, it is inscribed to their personality.
However, the wacky stables of cultural media spare little room for one-trick ponies. Chris Adamson, the former founding President of UWG’s National Broadcast Society (NBS)-AERho Chapter, shows that real work in this industry demands a swiss-army knife approach.
“Learn as many skills as you can in this ever-changing media madhouse,” said Adamson. “You’re gonna wear a lot of different hats out there in the real world, you might as well have a bunch of different facets to do the work.”
Adamson is Atlanta to his core, lavishing in music festivals, suffering through the city’s sports curses, lollygagging at Lake Lanier, and he just so happens to lead the #1 event producer in the city as the Marketing Manager for Premier Events.
He arrived at UWG in 2008 thinking chemistry would be cool to study, and by the time he finished core classes he stepped in as the Remote Coordinator for The WOLF Internet Radio. Adamson eventually served as The WOLF’s Program Director from 2011 to his graduation in 2013, and in that frame he and the Mass Communications Department Chair, Dr. Bradford Yates, collaborated on a massive radio breakthrough.
“I was proud to be able to take that experience and learn the ins-and-outs of how the radio station worked,” said Adamson. “It was right up at the last year when Yates approached me and was like ‘Hey I really wanna get an organization going for broadcasting students to be able to connect to other people. We started NBS, not only as a way for West Georgia to get awards and get the name out there but to connect students with people in the broadcasting industry.”
UWG’s NBS-AERho holds legacy as the first college honor society for electronic media students and accumulated tremendous success during and after Adamson’s reign, spray-painting the Humanities halls with a mass of awards. The spry seeds of the society’s foundation were fertilized by Adamson’s experiences interning for iHeart Media in Atlanta, where he’d eventually spend the first seven years of his career as a Promotions Coordinator overseeing six different radio stations.
“He was able to go to the internship at iHeart, in a top-ten market, and bring that programming back here for us to do the same things at this little college radio station,” said Yates. “That’s the cool thing about what we offer here, we do it at the newspaper and the TV station, that was the whole goal when we put together the radio station, it’s gonna run like the stations that people work at.”
Many Wolves alumni can attest to that notion. Several graduates that have spoken at Media Day over the years assure that the media resources UWG offers teach students advanced aspects of the industry that make them instructors even when they first walk into legitimate media outlets as interns.
“When I went to iHeart and started on their street team, they had one other person that knew how to do a live broadcast,” said Adamson. “I walked in fresh, 21 years old like ‘I got this’ and that turned me into their go-to person for broadcast.
“You have to have a certain demographic you wanna hit, and that wasn’t something that we had narrowed and tuned into,” continued Adamson. “We were running like a radio station but we didn’t know who we were going after. So we sat down and figured out ‘Who is the person for the Wolf?’”
That would officially be crafted into the iconic figure known as Jessica Brooks-Smith. Adamson has been settled at Premier Events since Feb. 2019 operating all the festivals, concerts and events, helping the Atlanta market grow into the media empire that it is on pace to become.
“Our company calendar has been involved in over 300 events this year.. And it’s early February,” said Adamson. “For example we’re playing for the Taste of Alpharetta, I hired on a graphic designer and I’m facilitating her in the right direction, we gotta get a press release out there and I gotta start putting it out on all these different calendar listings (which is essentially writing a blog post for every single one of them), then there’s audio pieces with it and there’s ads that go in the newspapers and we have to make sure all of that comes together.”
Adamson will be one of the guest panel speakers for this year’s Media Day. Just like every other professional that will be in attendance, he’ll be there for the benefit of us: the students.