Advertising-Public Relations

PCC graduates and students use their training in remarkable ways. Read about how God is using them in their field of study.

PCC’s advertising/public relations concentration trains students to write, design, and communicate effectively. Graduates receive a built-in graphic design minor and a comprehensive skill set to serve their communities.

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David Ryan ’95

David Ryan

  • Founding Partner of High Resolutions

Doing business in one of the most historic districts in Knoxville, starting in a building with 1,100 square feet and only five employees—that was the recipe that launched the success of High Resolutions over twenty years ago. When it began, this small startup business focused on the graphic production needs in the local community.

One of the first team members was PCC graduate and newlywed David Ryan (’95). He and his wife, Julie Cross (’95), decided to move back to Tennessee, her home state, to be closer to family. “Little did I know, when I made the decision to attend PCC, that this step of obedience to God’s leading would be the beginning of so many blessings in my life,” David said.

High Resolutions
David’s Company Building

When he first joined the team in 1996, David started as a production assistant, but soon after, the founding partners offered him a share in the company. “God continued to regularly provide me with amazing opportunities,” he said. The most amazing of those occurred this past year when David completed the buyout of his last partner and claimed sole ownership.

Now, a leading force in graphics and printing production, High Resolutions partners with clients that have both a local and national presence. With a 35,000 square-foot production facility packed with state-of-the-art equipment, they are able to provide solutions for hundreds of clients in a wide variety of industries, including restaurants, retail stores, schools, universities, banks, and hospitals, just to name a few.

PCC Employees
From L to R: Eric Anderson (’93), Danny Simmers (’00), Steve Vaught (’98), Justin Ellis (’06), Colin Hoffman (’00), Rich Daniels (’99)

“We are always working on creative projects that span so many industries,” said David. “It is rewarding to see projects develop from a concept to digital design, and then through print production to full completion.” None of this would be possible without a team of approximately thirty talented employees, six of whom also graduated from PCC. “God has continued to bless us with fantastic employees that have an attitude of excellence, as well as wonderful clients that we are privileged to serve,” said David.

He believes his preparation and training at PCC have aided his success in High Resolutions. “I am constantly drawing from, and building on, things that I learned at PCC. My classes provided excellent training for my field. Some classes provided valuable relationship training, as well. Whether we are working with employees, vendors, or clients, each is an opportunity for ministry.”

Ryan Family
The Ryan Family

Turning out high-quality brochures, banners, car-wraps, and logos on virtually any 2-D or 3-D surface, their business continues to grow and prosper. In response to this growth, David could only say, “God has given us vision, direction, and protection every step of the way.”

Megan Norton ’09

Meg Norton

It’s hard to imagine bartering for a camel figurine in Jordan or going on a 7th grade field trip to Italy, but for Megan Norton (’09) growing up as the daughter of a diplomat meant she was always on the move. “Growing up overseas, I never considered myself American; I considered myself a mix of all cultures and lifestyles I had been exposed to and immersed in,” she said. By the time she reached college, Megan had lived in nine countries and three states, but her thirst for culture and travel was just beginning.

At PCC, she gained insight through her advertising/public relations major and an understanding of interpersonal relationships through her double minor in graphic design and missions. Megan believes that her classes helped her “explore public relations through different lenses, including anthropology, sociology, public diplomacy, and marketing.” While in college she cultivated “the ability to appreciate different perspectives and integrate faith-based conversations into cultural discussions. These are critical skill sets I developed at PCC,” she said.

After finishing her undergraduate degree, Megan earned a master’s in communication from the American College of Greece. There, she was awarded the highest graduate student achievement award for maintaining a 4.0 GPA.

After graduation, she immediately earned a certification to teach English as a Second Language (ESL) and moved to Hungary. “There, I was recognized for outstanding contributions to the local community and to the English language curriculum,” she said. Teaching English in a foreign country awakened a new thirst to learn more about international education, so Megan returned to the States to earn a second master’s.

The international and intercultural communication program at the American University (AU) in Washington, D.C., has given her many opportunities to help international students and “Third Culture Kids,” children like Megan who have grown up in a variety of different countries throughout their childhood. “I have been privileged to be a part of several ‘Third Culture Kid’ panels and conference presentations,” she said. “The most significant conference I have attended is the National Association of Foreign Student Advisers Conference in Boston where I was recognized by the president-elect for my contribution to the ESL field.”

While earning her degree at AU, she also works as a program supervisor for graduate enrollment. Because of her background with foreign cultures, she has opportunities to share the gospel with people from numerous nations in ways they will understand. “I am able to critically evaluate and consider how worldviews shape perspectives and inform cross-cultural communication,” she said.

Looking back, Megan can’t help but see the Lord’s hand guiding her each step of the way. “God has led me to this position to help others challenge their perspectives, open their worldview, and have the courage to explore other cultures.”

Sergio Castillo ’11

Sergio Castillo

With a notepad, pen, and cup of coffee in front of him, Sergio Castillo (’11) sits at a conference table with his problem resolution team, discussing ways to provide innovative solutions for customer issues. With a bachelor’s in advertising and public relations from PCC, he is comfortable in his position as manager of a team of specialists created for handling complex situations that require in-depth research and follow-up.

Last September, Sergio accepted a promotion to be the first Solutions Center Team Leader; then he helped select which employees should be part of the team, which is divided into three groups located in three different states. He is thankful that God has led him each step of the way from his start as a Region’s relationship banker in Pensacola to his recent advancement to a Consumer Banking Officer in Birmingham, Alabama.

As soon as Sergio graduated from PCC, he began looking for a local job to support his wife, Liz (’11, MS ’13), as she finished her graduate studies. When Regions asked him for an interview, he didn’t realize that the entry-level position he was being offered could lead to a career he was passionate about. Looking back, he said, “I’ve been blessed to not only have a job [at Regions], but grow in the company.”

Although he didn’t originally consider Regions a long-term employer, he soon realized that he was already using the public relations aspect of his degree and could advance in a company he wanted to support. “God has opened the doors all along the way,” he said. Although he has been with Regions only three and a half years, he has already been promoted four times.

In his position, one specific challenge that Sergio faces is the inability to talk face to face with customers dealing with complicated financial issues. Sergio explained, “Being able to communicate effectively, efficiently, and clearly when working with a situation that is the opposite of those things, isn’t easy. It’s when we take that challenge and make communication our strength while providing an innovative solution that we are set apart from the rest.”

Sergio appreciates how PCC prepared him to communicate effectively. Not only did his classes train him for conducting interviews, working in team settings, and doing presentations, but his extracurricular activities at PCC helped as well. “Even the not-so-obvious Student Body planning sessions and Fine Arts rehearsals are things I lean on every day,” Sergio said.

Even after an occasionally long day of meetings, managing, and problem solving, Sergio is happy knowing that he is right where he’s supposed to be. “I know it sounds silly, but I want to ‘be all there’ in my job,” Sergio said. “One of my favorite Jim Elliot quotes is ‘Wherever you are, be all there. Live to the hilt every situation you believe to be the will of God.’ In my experience, if I do that, God will fill in the blanks of what’s next.”

Learn More

See PCC’s advertising/public relations concentration.