Lorena Inclan took over as St. Johns County’s director of public affairs in the summer. She has brought a unique perspective to the position after spending 11 years as a news anchor and reporter. Informing people is still something she strives to do in her current role, but now she is telling the county’s story and helping inform the residents of its vision and the steps being taken to achieve it.
Tell us a little about yourself and your background?
I'm originally from Miami and I’m a first-generation American in my family as the daughter of Cuban immigrants. I've called Northeast Florida home since 2012.
Before joining St. Johns County government, you may have seen me on your TV.
For more than eight years, I worked as a news anchor and reporter for CBS47 and FOX30 Action News Jax, and before that, I worked in Spanish-language news in Orlando and the Texas panhandle.
What is your role with the county, and how long have you been in that position?
I'm the director of public affairs for St. Johns County and have been serving in this role since June.
How has the transition been since stepping into your current role?
It's been exciting! I believe that change is good. When I decided to step away from my successful journalism career, I knew I was ready for something different and challenging yet rewarding.
It was a blessing to be selected to lead the Office of Public Affairs for St. Johns County. Our county is growing, and our communications strategy is adapting along with it.
I spent 11 years telling stories; this time, I have the unique opportunity to tell the county's story.
While my new role is outside of the newsroom, I still use the skills I learned as a journalist to gather accurate information to help the public understand how their local government works.
What do you enjoy most about the job?
I'm a people person, so I enjoy interacting with the community and understanding their needs, which helps us develop ways to enhance our message in a rapidly changing media and technology landscape.
I also really enjoy the creative side of my job. As a communications professional, it's my job to figure out the best way to reach our intended audience.
Nowadays, there are so many ways to do that, but it all starts with understanding your audience and meeting them where they are.
A solid public affairs approach is crucial to local governments. I get a lot of satisfaction when someone tells me that the information I shared helped them make a decision or helped them understand a complex issue.
My goal was to inform when I was a journalist, and it remains my goal now as a public affairs director.
How is St. Johns County unique from other places you've been?
St. Johns County is so diverse. We have a robust agricultural community, a thriving tourism industry, 42 miles of coastline and 200 years of history as a county.
In fact, on July 21, St. Johns County celebrated the 200th anniversary of its founding. It was the first county, along with Escambia, established in Florida in 1821. You can't get more unique than that!
What do you enjoy most about living in the North Florida area?
Of course, the weather but, more importantly, the sense of community we have here. We have some extraordinary people doing amazing things for our community. I've been blessed to witness and document some of the inspiring work happening in our area over the years.
What do you like to do in your free time?
There are so many fun things to do in Northeast Florida. I love exploring the local arts scene, going to festivals, shows and concerts in my free time.
My husband and I also love exploring new places, so whenever we have the opportunity, we like to travel to a place we've never been.
No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here