Anne Marie Mitchell

Public Relations

Anne Marie Mitchell is an Associate Professor in the Communication Department. She has experience in journalism, as a public relations expert, and in social media, and has worked everywhere from non-profits to Fortune 500 companies. She is also a world traveler with expertise in culture communications. At Columbia, she helps students construct careers that resemble their vision for a successful, fulfilling life.

For Mitchell, a rewarding, exciting life begins with a clear understanding of the importance of mindfulness, patience on the journey, and a willingness to acquire an evolving perspective. “I love this quote from Henry Miller,” Mitchell says. “'One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.'” For Mitchell, there’s never been a danger of personal or professional stasis.

From the beginning, Mitchell has been willing to throw herself into the unknown: as a college-age intern with Amoco (which has since been acquired by BP), she produced a well-received speech for her department manager about the benefits of a recent merger for community partners that was delivered at that year’s NAACP convention in Detroit. She was, as she remembered, “hooked.”

That experience, among others, cemented the importance of “solid writing…knowing the ins and outs of AP Style, writing on a deadline, being skilled at asking research-based questions and knowing how to edit my writing.” To this day, Mitchell prioritizes inquiry-based work: she is currently working with Assistant Professor Grace Choi on YouTube apology research. It is, as she says, “a topic that’s especially fascinating to me as a PR professional who has spent many years training corporate leaders on crisis communications.” With YouTube as a new platform of choice, this research speaks to a new generation of consumers, advocates, and researchers interested in approaches for moving the needle on any number of hot-button issues that may arise in their work lives.

Aside from her work as a researcher and her work in journalism, PR, social media, and crisis communications, Mitchell dedicates her time to teaching and mentoring future PR professionals studying at Columbia. She says, “I always wanted to teach…since I started teaching in 2008, I have seen hundreds of PR students graduate and become quite successful PR professionals, making a good living, and leading the industry. They live and work in Chicago, across the country and around the world. I want the students to come away knowing that my colleagues and I will help them get their careers started any way we can, but we also expect they will come back to campus to mentor students. We have a pay it forward mantra in the PR program. It's a beautiful thing.”