Juan Singleton has worked for the city of Hardeeville since 2009. The city’s communications director, with more than 25 years of radio and television broadcast experience, answers questions about his longtime experience and how the position has evolved. The responses have been edited for length and clarity.
- What’s the most rewarding part of your job?
Meeting and working with some amazing people, which includes the community – the people who have lived in Hardeeville for generations or those who have recently moved here in the past few years. Being able to give those people information on several different topics about the city is very rewarding.
- Your position sometimes requires you to be on-camera leading the conversation; what do you like or dislike about that part of the job?
One of the reasons I leaned toward journalism is that I'm inquisitive. I find out a lot of information by talking to people. People can be very interesting if you take time to speak with them, especially if it is a topic that they want to discuss. That's why when I interview people, I tell them, ‘Forget the camera is there and just talk to me.’
- Tell us about being named Jasper County Employee of the Year in 2014 and what you gained from that experience.
Receiving that award was a great experience and a surprise. It feels so long ago now because of the way we have grown and changed since, when it was only myself and Brandon Sligh. We had an opportunity to make our mark. It is interesting to look back and see how much we have evolved and continue to do so. Streaming and social media were not on the radar at that time for the city. Now, that's where most people see us first.
- How have digital communications impacted the city’s ability to get information in the right hands?
Social media (of which we have at least eight accounts for the city) has opened our reach. Internationally, people can look us up and see what is going on in Hardeeville,.
- What do you love to do that is specific to living in the Lowcountry?
I am big on backyard events in the fall months. Just sitting around a fire pit on a fall night with the right company can be a great night in the Lowcountry.