Dean, Faculty of Arts, Professor Lyn Gorman said Dr Tom Watson, who will commence his new role in March, brings with him extensive professional skills in both journalism and public relations, as well as broad international experience, after working in the UK for the past 20 years.
“Dr Watson was the first person in the UK to be awarded a doctorate in public relations, and he has extensive management experience.
“Since 1984 he has been the managing director of his own public relations consultancy in the UK, and from 2000 to 2002 he was Chairman of the UK Public Relations Consultants Association, representing the interests of over 125 consultancies in the United Kingdom – 70 per cent of the industry.
“Dr Watson is also actively involved in the relatively new research side of public relations, and this experience of leading research into new areas will be of benefit across all programs of the School,” Professor Gorman said.
Born at Bateman’s Bay, Dr Watson took his first degree at the University of NSW and worked as a journalist on The Australian before his career took him overseas. As a consultant, he has advised clients in the UK and Europe, North and South America, Africa and South Asia.
Dr Watson said he is looking forward to meeting staff and students, and working towards building on the School of Communication’s reputation for excellence.
“The School and its graduates have enjoyed an enormously high reputation. I look forward to leading the School during a time of change in our approaches to communication and the application of technology, so that we not only maintain our reputation for excellence, but set the standards by which other institutions are judged,” he said.