Leona Long began her career at a Los Angeles public relations and marketing communications agency specializing in health. She learned the ins and outs of placing her clients’ stories into news by working at three Los Angeles television stations. As a lead writer for Long Beach Magazine, Long wrote cover stories about Cameron Diaz, Snoop Dogg and Billie Jean King.
Long has more than 15 years of experience in public relations, including six years specializing in rural Alaska public relations and outreach. Since 2016, she has placed more than 400 positive news stories, Voice of America Network, Native America Calling, front-page stories in the Alaska Dispatch News, as well as more than a dozen front-page stories and editorials in the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner
Long is the public information officer for the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) College of Rural and Community Development (CRCD). She designed and executed the university's first outreach for the five rural campuses that geographically serve nearly two-thirds of the state, representing more than 160 primarily Alaska Native communities. She also serves UAF’s Indigenous programs including: Rural Alaska Honors Institute, Festival of Native Arts, Rural Student Services, Alaska Native Language Revitalization Institute, and Alaska Native Collaborative Hub for Research on Resilience.
Long’s media relations, writing portfolios, and public relations campaigns have won 17 statewide from the Public Relations Society of Alaska Chapter and the Alaska Professional Communicators. In 2017, she won three first place awards from the National Federation of Press Women.
Long has volunteered more than 300 hours to help rural Alaska Native communities share their stories in the news. Her strategic storytelling advocacy and PR counsel helped ensured that Beaver’s Cruikshank School stayed open after losing state funding in December 2015. A year later, she arranged for the New York Times to share the community’s story. She also helped Allakaket take a public no tolerance stand against methamphetamine in their community. She co-presented at the 2016 First Alaskans Elders and Youth Conference’s plenary session. Long also writes for First Alaskans magazine.