Thursday, January 11, 2018

A "Department of One" Moves On

Hampton Roads Naval Museum Public Information Officer Susanne Greene displays a model of USS Seawolf (SSN 21). (HRNM Photo)
By Joseph Judge 
Hampton Roads Naval Museum Curator

This month the museum is bidding farewell to Susanne Greene, who has ably and single-handedly been the public relations and marketing face of HRNM for several years. Susanne came to the museum in December of 2005, and now in 2018 she is leaving us to continue supporting the Navy at the Naval Safety Center.

On arrival, Susanne was immediately turned to managing public events for the museum, a job which at that time was heavily focused on USS Wisconsin (BB 64), which the museum operated from 2000-2009. She developed marketing plans for the battleship and the museum.

Susanne also embarked on a series of long and successful relationships with media outlets including WTKR NewsChannel 3, WAVY-TV 10, WVEC Channel 13, The Virginian-Pilot, The Daily Press and The Flagship Military Newspaper. Susanne also initiated an ambitious series of visitor analyses to determine the museum's marketing strategy. She has been seen conducting visitor evaluations at military family events on Naval Station Norfolk, at local YMCAs, and at local festivals in downtown Norfolk as well as on-site at the museum.

Often her plans were hamstrung by very low (or non-existent) budgets, but she patiently carried on.

Susanne was also part of our special events team, advertising the events and urging the media to turn out at our latest exhibit, lecture or Lego Day. When a dramatic news event would wipe out our coverage she would smile and say, “I’m sorry the television stations couldn’t come, but you there’s nothing we can do when a giant hurricane is lurking out there!”

Susanne also witnessed the museum’s migration to the Naval History and Heritage Command and has been an invaluable liaison the headquarters’ robust public affairs staff. She has been a valuable member of the command’s marketing committee and web design team. These roles went hand-in-hand with maintaining the museum’s own web site which underwent numerous transformations during her tenure. Susanne also worked with United States Fleet Forces on media for the Stewards of the Sea exhibit and with our partners at Nauticus regarding media policies for the battleship Wisconsin.

Her press releases and media kits are legendary products around the museum. Many the flag officer, author, or VIP has departed HRNM with one under his or her arm.

Susanne accomplished all of this activity while, at different times, serving as the museums budget officer, purchase card holder and civilian timekeeper. Oh, and shipping millions of brochures and changing the museum’s telephone messages.

Susanne completed the Defense Information School’s Public Affairs Qualification Course and is a proud holder of two degrees from Old Dominion University, and is an avid follower of the Monarchs football team.
(HRNM Photo)

More than anything else, Susanne, a true “department of one,” carried a positive attitude and a cheerful smile to work every day. For this gift we thank her and wish her the best in her new assignment. 

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