AAN Hires Communications Director

Lyda Phillips will handle AAN News, PR effort.

Lyda Phillips was recently hired by AAN to the new position of Director of Communications. She will begin working at AAN on April 25.

Phillips’ primary responsibilities will be to handle public relations and write and edit AAN News in print and on the Web. Some of the industry news coverage appearing in AAN News will be reported by freelance reporters and edited by Phillips.

Phillips arrives at AAN just a couple of months before the Web site will be redesigned to provide a weekly digest of news from the alternative newspaper business. The digest will include coverage of important local stories published by AAN-member papers.

“We’ve always wanted to find a way to promote stories that have a significant local impact, but that fly below the national radar screen,” said AAN Executive Director Richard Karpel. “We’re counting on Lyda to help us do that.”

“Alternative newspapers give North American journalism a needed sharp edge,” Phillips said. “I’m looking forward to helping broaden their impact.”

Prior to joining AAN, Phillips was a senior analyst at Greenberg Quinlan Research, a firm headed by pollster Stanley Greenberg. From 1995 to 2000, she worked as a senior account executive for McNeely Pigott & Fox, a public relations firm based in Nashville. In the mid-90s, she served as research coordinator and communications director for the Tennessee Democratic Party and the Phil Bredesen gubernatiorial campaign.

Before she jumped to the dark side of PR and politics, Phillips was an award-winning journalist for 15 years, starting as an editor at a New York trade publication and ending as a reporter for the Nashville Banner, spending several years in between in Washington, D.C. with United Press International. She also did freelance work for the Nashville Scene, before her husband, Jeff Woods, became news editor of the paper from 1999 to 2000.

She received a BA in history from Northwestern University, and Masters degrees from Columbia University and Vanderbilt in Middle East Studies and public policy. We’re not sure yet how the public policy degree will play out, but we can only hope Middle East Studies has prepared her for the byzantine world of AAN politics.

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