Media Specialist Visits A-State in Speaker Series

by Tucker Crain
Delta Digital News Service

JONESBORO – A media relations specialist returned to Arkansas State University as a speaker in the Joel Gambill Alumni Speaker Series during Homecoming Week to talk about his media experiences.

Aaron Sadler, who graduated from A-State in 1999, currently works at Ghidotti Communications in Little Rock. As a third-generation A-State graduate, Sadler said his family’s history with A-State steered him toward the university.

“I’d heard so much – as someone who had an interest in journalism – of the College of Communications, and how well-received a diploma and a degree from ASU’s College of Communications and the journalism department was across the world,” Sadler said.

Before making it to Ghidotti, Sadler worked for various attorneys general in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Pennsylvania. During his time at these offices, Sadler came to the forefront of consumer-awareness initiatives.

Sadler’s love for all things media and communication began at a young age. When he was only 5, Sadler said he asked for a typewriter for Christmas instead of more conventional toys.

Sadler’s grandfather was a justice of the peace in Arkansas, and his influence led him to initially pursue a career in law. After coming to A-State, Sadler said his interactions with department chair at the time, Joel Gambill, led him to instead pursue a career in media.

“When I was a freshman, (Dr. Gambill) asked me why I was majoring in political science. He said journalism is a more appropriate major for you, because you learn writing,” Sadler said.

As he became more involved in the department, Sadler said he realized journalism was indeed the right path for him.

While in college, Sadler said his biggest struggles came when he would try to cram before a test. Quoting Mark Twain, Sadler said if you must “eat a frog,” you might as well do it in the morning and get it over with.

Now, as a professional who interacts with clients every day, Sadler said he looks to John Brummett for inspiration. Brummett is a political columnist based in Little Rock. In addition, Sadler said he can always look to his boss, Natalie Ghidotti, for the know-how needed for accomplishing his goals.

Since Ghidotti is located in Little Rock, most of Sadler’s clients are based in the area. He said this location influenced how he interacts with the media, looking primarily toward Little Rock- and Arkansas-based news outlets.

Sadler said the most important evolution of modern media is the decline of newspapers.

“Reporters (need) to be fundamentally sound and comfortable in additional disciplines, like broadcast media and content marketing,” Sadler said. “Being a reporter in the 21st century involves much more than a pen, a pad and an ability to write.”

Editor’s Note: Sadler, pictured in tie, spoke with a Mass Communication in Modern Society class in the featured photo.