Gate Staff Profile: Charlie Melichar

Gate Staff Profile: Charlie Melichar

In the field of Public Relations, the internet has emerged as an important tool in higher education. Public Relations, or PR, emphasizes problem solving. It involves understanding the needs of an enterprise, the challenges it faces, its objectives and the methods in which its problems would be solved so as to meet its goals. PR therefore focuses on achieving results that help the concerned enterprise solve its problems and meet its needs. Planning and enforcement of certain guidelines is an important aspect of it. PR is also a form of communication with the public, which means the team involved also needs to understand who the target audience is, and what idea they need to communicate to the audience, in a manner that can be most receptive to the idea. Media relations is only one aspect of the field of Public Relations.

The change and excitement in the field of Public Relations is something that Charlie Melichar thrives on. His experiences in this field so far have been anything but monotonous.

Dean of the College Adam Weinberg served as the chair in the search for Jim Leach’s replacement as Vice President for Communications and Public Relations. The nationwide search was in a very competitive field that involved faculty and staff members from many universities. The search for the position lasted from September through mid-March this past year. After careful deliberation, the position was offered to Charlie Melichar, who is currently the Director of Media Relations.

An unabashed web nerd, Charlie Melichar left University of Maryland at Baltimore County (UMBC) as Director of News and Information two years ago to become Colgate’s Director of Media Relations in the fall of 2003. Along with his work at UMBC, Melichar has also held previous positions at PR Newswire and ProfNet. Melichar has been in the ProfNet loop for approximately eight years now, first at Marist College, then in Long Island and now at Colgate. He has designed, built, and managed websites for universities, businesses, and nonprofit organizations.

Melichar arrived here at a time when the University was integrating web development with communications in the age of personalization. He is a true believer in integrated communications and in the “don’t make me think” model of website design and architecture.

Melichar and his coworkers in Communications work with the Offices of Admission in writing and designing the Colgate Viewbook for interested parents and prospective students.

“We feel lucky to have Charlie at Colgate University,” Weinberg said. “Charlie is probably one of the most talented persons in public relations of his generation. He is vital to Colgate. It’s hard to find anyone not to have respect for him. It’s rare to find someone with talent like Charlie, who will be replacing Jim Leach at the end of this year.”

Charlie Melichar came to Colgate University with a lot of experience in Media Relations and web development.

“Charlie Melichar has been a real leader to our staff and Media Relations area,” Leach said.

Leach, who has been with Colgate for 25 years, will be retiring at the end of May to pursue writing and his own interests.

“It’s time for a change, and what I want now is less management and more writing,” Leach said.

Melichar has real interest in the field of Public Relations, and Leach has all the confidence in the world that Melichar will carry on the Vice President position with vigor, well-rounded knowledge, and passion. “Charlie has tremendous capacity to get things done. He is an organized and good writer, works fast and smart, and gets along with everyone,” Leach said.