Communications and Marketing Director
South Louisiana Community College
“Hit the ground running” may be an understatement when referring to Christine Payton’s arrival at South Louisiana Community College in 2012. After the college and multiple technical colleges in the region merged, Payton’s first task as a new hire was to unite the distinct identities of the institutions into one cohesive brand. Her second priority was to build a marketing and public relations department from the ground up. She did both and much more.
As communications and marketing director, Payton’s sharp branding, media relations and marketing skills have elevated her institution’s profile from a little known “trade school” to a dominant force in the region’s higher education landscape. Within five years, she has turned an office of one into a comprehensive marketing and communication team of four. With 18 years of higher education experience and proven leadership, Payton and her team are increasing student enrollment and producing measurable results.
Quintin Taylor, chief external affairs officer for the Louisiana Community and Technical College System, shares this about Payton, “As of one 13 colleges that make-up the Louisiana Community and Technical College System, SLCC’s overall communications and marketing efforts are among the best in our state and region. The success is due in large part to Christine Payton.”
Among Payton's many achievements:
A highly respected member of NCMPR and her peers, Payton volunteers in numerous capacities with NCMPR, including serving as the Louisiana representative on the District 2 Executive Council and as a frequent guest blogger. Outside of NCMPR, she is this year’s president of the Public Relations Association of Louisiana (Acadiana Chapter) and a founding member of the Acadiana Press Club. Payton has published articles in numerous periodicals and is a regular attendee and presenter at professional conferences.
Lana Fontenot, associate vice chancellor for institutional advancement at South Louisiana Community College, says it best when describing Payton’s contributions: “Christine is a wonderful educator and ambassador for the field of public relations and communications and clearly demonstrates her passion to advance the profession. I can think of no one more deserving of this award.”