Fontana, who graduated with a marketing degree, has made a successful transition to public relations, working as a public relations specialist for the Georgia Aquarium. The world’s largest aquarium, located in Atlanta, features more than 60 exhibits in excess of 10 million gallons of water. The aquarium has attracted more than 11 million visitors since its 2005 opening, employs more than 400 employees and has more than 2,000 volunteers.
Fontana says her experiences working with the Springfield Cardinals and CBS Radio helped to make a smooth segue into public relations. “At the core, I am taking a product or a service and making the public want to buy it, participate in it or just be engaged by it. I do the same thing with public relations. My job is to get our messaging and brand out to the public in new and creative ways.”
Fontana works with all types of media outlets to get word out about exhibits, programs and milestones at the Georgia Aquarium as well as sister attraction Marineland Dolphin Adventure, in St. Augustine, Fla. She has worked with ESPN, National Geographic, NBC’s “Today Show” and local media outlets. “I truly get to work in every area that public relations has to offer. I had a lot of success with an eight-month-long P.R. campaign for Marineland Dolphin Adventure … My stories covered numerous front-page papers and were even featured on Yahoo’s homepage.”
Fontana encourages students and recent graduates to not be too bound by what their diploma may say when exploring career opportunities. “Take time to get to know yourself as a working adult … You never know who you may meet and where they or the opportunity can take you.” During her time at the COB, Fontana says she enjoyed working on real-world group projects. “You do not realize how helpful those projects will be until you get in the work force,” she explains.
In her spare time, Fontana enjoys exploring her new home of Atlanta. She recently bought a high-rise condo and says she loves living close enough to visit the beach on weekends. Congratulations to Fontana on her success.