Communications professional Carolyn Farr Shanesy says networking helps expand career

Carolyn Farr Shanesy was the co-chair of this year’s NFPW conference in South Carolina. Her presentations focused on social media. She was also the go-to person for the presentations and equipment used during the conference. She is a talented communications professional and an awesome member of Media Women of South Carolina and NFPW.  I hope you will enjoy getting to know more about unbelievable member Carolyn Farr Shanesy.

Name: Carolyn Farr Shanesy

Carolyn Farr Shanesy and her son Steven.

Carolyn Farr Shanesy and her son Steven.

City and State: Greenville, SC

Affiliate and any leadership positions: South Carolina affiliate, most recently served as co-chair of 2014 NFPW Conference

Years a member of NFPW: I think it has been 15.

Tell us a little about you.

I am thrilled to be working at my Alma Mater, the University of South Carolina Upstate, as a public relations specialist. I have worked in Upstate, South Carolina, media for nearly two decades. During my career, I have served as a freelancer, newspaper reporter and editor, an assignment editor for a local television station, and as an editor and writer for an online news service.

My mother always said I was born to be a journalist. She said if new neighbors moved into the neighborhood, I knew what color the couch was, how many children they had and where they had lived before the move, even before they had gotten in the house good.

I miss traditional journalism when a good story is breaking! But I consider myself very fortunate to be able to tell the stories of students, faculty, staff and alumni at my University.

I married my best friend Todd Shanesy during a private ceremony along the shores of Palm Coast, Fla., on Dec. 31, 2013. Todd, a sports reporter at the Herald-Journal Spartanburg, is the actual talent in this family and gives you more than just the scores by telling a great story about every game. We have three sons, Steven, Tyler and Brandon, and a grandson, Andrew.

Steven, 8, keeps us on our toes and is a great storyteller, too. He’s already keeping his own journals, so I’m excited to see if he will become a writer later in life.

Since the zip lining adventure in September with NFPW, I have wanted to go back again and had the opportunity to do so a few weeks ago with a group of international students. We went to The Gorge in Asheville, N.C. Great fun!

Any career advice you would give?

After two layoffs at two different media companies, you learn to overcome and adapt and even to recreate myself along the way!

Don’t let your toolbox get out of date! In the last seven years, I’ve learned to tell stories in a quicker, shorter and better way. Social media and video and a 24/7 news cycle have made me change the way I think about a news story.

Carolyn Farr Shanesy in a wedding photo with new husband Todd as son Steven gives his approval.

Carolyn Farr Shanesy in a wedding photo with new husband Todd as son Steven gives his approval.

Which talent would you most like to have?

To freeze time, even for just a few seconds. To live in those happy moments, even chaotic moments, that help us to grow and change as a person.

If you could live anywhere, where would it be?

I love South Carolina! But, I would like to have a getaway home at the beach and in the mountains.

What book are you reading?

I just finished, “Gone Girl,” by Gillian Flynn! I haven’t seen the movie, yet, but hope to once school is out for winter break. Next on my list is Jodi Picoult’s, “Leaving Time.”

What would people be surprised to learn about you?

I can quote lines from “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation,” “Steel Magnolias,” “The Breakfast Club” and “Sixteen Candles.”

Why is your affiliate and NFPW important to you?

I have met some incredible women through NFPW! It was through those connections that I landed on my feet and found my current job at USC Upstate. When I heard that would begin layoffs, I immediately reached out to the members of my South Carolina affiliate. Within minutes, I had words of encouragement, a few job posts that I should inquire about and even an offer to freelance. That’s a great support system when your world is upside down!

Way to follow you on a website, twitter, Facebook, etc.

On Twitter — @cfarrwrites;

on Facebook —,

LinkedIn: Carolyn Farr Shanesy

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