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Ennis has seen the works of Art

By Mark Warde

Detroit rapper Eminem dons a scarf under a cap turned sideways with a knit cap on top. The rest of us often have difficulty wearing a lot of hats. Then there’s Art Del Barrio.

Having arrived in Ennis more than two years ago as the communications officer for the Ennis Independent School District, Del Barrio knew the ground he would cover in that job is a bit like multi-tasking on steroids. At times the 46-year old single dad resembles the guy spinning plates on sticks at the state fair, moving from one to the next and to the next to keep them all a-twirl.

Hired by Superintendent John Chapman, the Rio Grande Valley native quickly set up shop in an office on West Knox Street. Out of the gate his first task was to build a new website for the school district. Eating an elephant one bite at a time, he got the job done in short order.

Art’s gig involves photography, videography, public speaking, page layout and design, writing for print, television and social media, media relations and crisis management.

To many he is the omnipresent guy taking pictures. The advent of social media has added the expectation: “this just happened, why isn’t it on Facebook yet?”

“Releasing information fast and honest is critical, especially if there is a crisis,” Art says. “Because the power of social media can turn against you if it gets out of hand, we work very hard behind the scenes to keep people informed.

“I have always been a very creative person and a decent storyteller,” he said. “I’ve worked in photography, been a television news reporter and a designer and reporter for a newspaper. All of these, together, are the tools necessary to be in school PR.”

Among his proudest achievements in his 27 months is creating the weekly Pride Page in The Ennis Daily News, witnessing the EISD’s social media analytics soar, creating the current website – which saved the district $54,000 the first year and about $22,000 in the year since then.

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Posted by on Jun 18 2016. Filed under City news, News, School news. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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