North Texas-based strategic communications firm Cooksey Communications recently added Reyne Telles to its team as an Austin-based vice president and Public Sector Practice leader. Telles will draw on his more-than-two-decade career leading communications efforts and managing media relations in the municipal and education sectors to advise Cooksey’s numerous public sector clients statewide and beyond.
“Reyne’s unique understanding of high-level strategic communication best practices for public sector entities, as well as his extensive experience designing and executing robust community engagement programs, makes him the perfect person to lead our highly regarded Public Sector Practice Group,” said Colby Walton, president of Cooksey Communications. “His skillset, coupled with the relationships he has built across Texas and the U.S., will bring new expertise and a guiding hand to clients and future groups in need of critical counsel on complex issues.”
Before joining Cooksey, Telles was the executive director of communications and community engagement for the last six years at Austin Independent School District (Austin ISD), consisting of 130 schools, 81,000 students and 12,000 employees. While at Austin ISD, Telles reported directly to the superintendent, advising on aspects of institutional planning, serving as a member of the administration’s executive cabinet, and devising and implementing district-wide communication and engagement approaches. In addition, Telles deepened stakeholder relations, recommended multicultural outreach strategies and pioneered empirical research on public perception for the district’s first award-winning marketing strategy.
Telles joined Austin ISD after serving as the director of communications for the office of Austin Mayor Lee Leffingwell, a position Telles was appointed to by the Austin city manager to help build executive-level communications strategies during the mayor’s second term. This director role resulted from Telles’ six-year tenure as the manager of media relations for the City of Austin, where he worked as an advisor to and spokesperson for then City Manager and current International City/County Management Association (ICMA) Executive Director/CEO Marc Ott and his executive team.
Telles is currently a board member of Communities in Schools (CIS) of Central Texas, the nation’s largest and most effective dropout prevention organization. He was also a contributor to the “Toolkit for reopening schools after COVID-19” by the Council of Great City Schools, the only national organization exclusively representing the needs of large, urban public schools. Additionally, viewpoints from his presentation, “Community Engagement: Creativity and Courageous Conversations,” were featured in the recently released book, “50 Years of Closing Gaps, the Proceedings of the 22nd Annual Conference of the Mexican American School Board Association.”
Telles received his bachelor’s degree in communication and political science from Eastern New Mexico University and his master’s degree from the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at The University of Texas at Austin.
About Cooksey Communications
Founded in 1994, Cooksey Communications is a Texas-based, strategic communications firm specializing in issues-related communications for government/economic development, transportation, water, energy and education clients, and strategic communications for professional services, real estate/development, retail/hospitality/consumer and nonprofit clients. Cooksey repeatedly has been named one of the top public relations agencies in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex by the Dallas Business Journal. For more information, visit www.CookseyPR.com.