Fort Worth hires public engagement director

Posted Friday, Apr. 05, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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FORT WORTH -- Michelle Gutt, who works for Charlotte, N.C., as its communications and marketing director, has been hired as Fort Worth's new director of communications and public engagement.

City Manager Tom Higgins, who announced the hire Thursday, said Gutt will be responsible for the city's print, digital, cable and media communications. She will also oversee public engagement and internal communications. She will start April 29.

"In the 21st Century, organizations such as the city of Fort Worth have a responsibility to communicate with their citizens and Michelle will ensure that Fort Worth citizens are informed," Higgins said.

Mayor Betsy Price said in her recent state-of-the-city address that one of her priorities is to make City Hall more accessible and transparent, and she set those responsibilities on this new position. At that time, Price said she wants a mobile application and a new website that makes it easier to do city business online.

Gutt has 25 years' experience in communications and is the corporate communications and marketing specialist for Charlotte, a city similar in size and character to Fort Worth.

She is responsible for strategic communications, marketing and public relations, and she directs outreach and communications for areas including light rail, streetcars, the NASCAR Hall of Fame and the city bond program. She joined Charlotte in 2006.

A native of San Antonio, she earned a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of North Texas, did advanced communications studies as an Air Force representative at the University of Oklahoma and recently earned a certificate from the International Association of Public Engagement, Fort Worth said.

She has also worked for nonprofit arts organizations and Dayton Power and Light in Ohio.

She began her communications career in the Air Force as a public affairs officer and served in various capacities, including directing the Air Force Office of Youth Relations, before retiring as a captain in 1992.

Sandra Baker, 817-390-7727

Twitter: @SandraBakerFWST

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