The Town of Longview has a new spokesperson.
City Manager Rolin McPhee has named former multimedia specialist Richard Yeakley the city’s new public information officer, according to a statement on Monday. Yeakley succeeds Shawn Hara who recently became the city’s director of community destinations after serving as spokesperson since 2008.
Yeakley worked in the city’s media development division for three years, the statement said. He has previously worked with Christus Good Shepherd Medical Center, ArtsView Children’s Theater and Longview News-Journal.
As public information officer, Yeakley “will be the primary spokesperson for the city and will work with members of the media to provide information and facilitate interview requests,” the statement said.
Yeakley said Monday he knows his media skills might at some point lend themselves to the new role.
“Maybe at the end of the day I had hope, but when they offered me this job, I was excited to go for it,” he said.
Hara said Monday he enjoyed his more than 13 years as a city spokesperson providing information about things happening and what people are doing in the community.
“That’s something I’ve really enjoyed is talking to people about the good work that’s being done,” Hara said. “It has also been enlightening for me to see many different aspects of the organization of the city, but also of our community as a whole.”
Hara added that he was thrilled with the opportunity for Yeakley to move forward and had full confidence in Yeakley’s abilities.
“I think he has the background, the experience and the knowledge to do it, and he also has the organizational support … to make sure he has what he needs to be successful,” Hara said.
Yeakley said he aims to define a more focused set of duties for the spokesperson position, which he says will be helpful.
“I love telling stories, whether it’s writing them or being there, it’s part of who I am,” Yeakley said. “I’m especially thrilled to find those aspects of the town of Longview that perhaps haven’t been given the light they deserve.”