New Mt. Juliet resident Jenifer Wisniewski has a complicated title, but a simple goal, as the new Communications & Outreach Chief with the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency.
Getting the positive messages, latest news, and other information distributed to the state’s hundreds of thousands of outdoors-persons.
The best story in the world is lost if nobody knows about it, and Wisniewski’s mission is to spread the word.
“Tennessee has so many great outdoors opportunities,” Wisniewski says, “and we want to make everyone aware of them and how to be able to enjoy them. Our effort is part of a nation-wide movement to recruit and retain hunters, fishermen, boaters, campers and others to the outdoors.”
Wisniewski, a native of Anniston, Ala., and graduate of the University Alabama, joined the TWRA after gaining widespread recognition for her work with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources.
During her six years in the communications department, Georgia was one of only a few states in which the sale of hunting and fishing licenses increased. That success attracted the attention of the TWRA, which lured Wisniewski away from the Peach State.
“I was poached,” she says with a laugh.
The TWRA over the years has enjoyed excellent public relations, thanks to some of the best in the business, including recently-retired Doug Markham, Agency veteran Don King, Lee Wilmont, Barry Cross and Tennessee Wildlife Magazine editor Austin Bornheim. All are media-friendly, efficient and accommodating.
Therefore, Wisniewski doesn’t see her task as re-inventing the Agency’s various communications outlets, but more a matter of enhancing them and expanding them to serve a constantly-changing landscape.
She plans to emphasize up-to-date news and features on the TWRA’s website, pod-casts, e-mailings and TV programs, and utilize social media to its fullest.
While enhancing the various “new media” components, Wisniewski says she will not abandon the TWRA’s traditional print outlets, such as the popular Tennessee Wildlife Magazine and the Tennessee Fishing Guide and Hunting & Trapping Guide. Many Tennessean outdoorsmen – especially those of an advanced generation – are not internet-connected or social-media savvy.
Wisniewski promises they will not be left out.
“We don’t have to sacrifice one outlet for another,” she says. “We will utilize them all.”
Wisniewski grew up hunting and fishing in Alabama with her dad. As a little girl she went with him on dove shoots, and one of her duties was to collect the birds.
“I was the retriever,” she says, again with a laugh.
Wisniewski and husband Jason – who joined his wife on the TWRA staff as a fisheries biologist stationed in Gallatin – selected a home in Mt. Juliet because of its quality of life.
“It’s a great area, we love our new home, and we both have jobs we thoroughly enjoy,” she says. “We couldn’t be happier.”
Larry Woody is The Mt. Juliet News’ outdoors writer. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.