Lewis & Clark Welcomes Interim AVP of Public Relations Lois Davis
Last month, PubCom welcomed Interim AVP of Public Relations Lois Davis. Davis was the vice president for public affairs and chief of staff at Portland State University (PSU) from 2009–19. Prior to PSU, Lois spent 22 years at Oregon Health and Science University, first as director of government relations, then as director of corporate relations, and ultimately as vice president for public affairs from 2000–09. Before OHSU, Lois served as press secretary and then chief of staff to Senator Ron Wyden. She has a degree in journalism from the University of Oregon.
Get to know Lois in the following Q&A:
You’ve had an extensive career in PR. What is the key to success when communicating with the public?
To be successful in communicating with the public you need to be able to put yourself in their shoes. How does a story you are trying to communicate relate to their day-to-day lives? How could it change their lives - or the lives of others they know - for the better? If you can’t answer those questions, the story is not ready for prime time, at least for that particular audience.
What is your favorite part about working in PR?
The most interesting part of PR for me has always been the opportunity to meet incredibly interesting people and to learn about the new discoveries they’ve made, the books or articles they’ve written, or the new ideas they’ve brought to the classroom or other forum.
What do you find has been the most challenging part?
I can’t imagine a more interesting place to work as a PR person than at a college or university. That said, the kinds of accomplishments achieved in higher education are often very challenging to translate to the public.
What kinds of hobbies and interests do you have outside of work?
Writing, especially creative writing, has always been my greatest passion. My other loves are travel and reading. I especially love curling up with a good book that can transport me to a country or culture I know little about.
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
After three decades at public universities, I am excited to have the opportunity to learn firsthand about the daily workings and amazing contributions of one of the nation’s leading private liberal arts colleges.