LOMBARD – In 2009, Bridget Doyle graduated from college with a bachelors degree in journalism.
Leaving college during a time of economic depression and attempting to enter a tumultuous media industry was difficult, but she remembered the advice from a professor who recommended new graduates find a way to get themselves noticed, and get noticed she did.
Twitter was new at the time so Doyle began connecting with a slew of suburban newspaper reporters and did her best to engage them. Her efforts paid off when she was offered a reporting job with the Chicago Tribune covering suburban communities.
“It was a really tough time to graduate,” she said. “I really fought my way in.”
Now, after more than four years in journalism, she’s learning a new side of communications as the new communications coordinator for the village of Lombard.
“I want to do something where I still feel like I’m serving the community,” the 26-year old said. “I want to do something where I’m still doing good and I think local government has the potential to do good in the community.”
Doyle started with the village at the end of May, replacing Joelyn Kott, a 23-year veteran of the position. Picking up where Kott left off was one of the intimidating things about starting the job, she said.
“Everybody’s been really nice and helpful,” she said. “There are lots of people who have been here a long time who are good resources.”
During her first months with the village, Doyle is working to build relationships with elected officials, village staff, schools, community groups and residents. She’s also getting some of her first experience with event planning, a component of the job she said she enjoys.
She plans to help grow the village’s presence on social media, predominately by focusing on Facebook and Twitter, and she wants to communicate with residents using video storytelling. Down the road, the village might even consider the feasibility of communicating with residents via email, she said.
“That’s one way to connect to people that we haven’t tapped into,” Doyle said.
Many days, she takes advantage of her lunch breaks to drive through the village and become better acquainted. She’s enjoyed many of the businesses in the downtown district and said she’s impressed by the passion the residents have for the community.
“I like how engaged the community is,” she said. “It’s a community that is really invested in the place they live. People here want to see the community continue to grow.”