Teens, Visual Storytelling and Higher Education Communications


It is no surprise that young people are fleeing Facebook in favor of other social media sites. In fact, Facebook even announced their concern about this during an earnings announcement last year.

It seems like there are new studies out on a regular basis showing the most used social media sites among particular demographics. The latest one I came across is from Piper Jaffray, an investment bank and asset management firm. Their study of 7,500 teens in the US shows that Instagram is the most used social site among this age group. Continue reading

Posted in Communications, Content Marketing, Professors, Public Relations, Social Media, Thought Leadership, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Podcast # 8: Interview with Professor Amanda Sturgill on How to Teach Digital Communications

AUGUST 23, 2010 -  Amanda Sturgill directory photo. (Photo by Kim Walker)Odds are that if you studied communications more than five years ago in college / university, much of what you learned then is now completely outdated. There is a good chance that communications students today will say the same thing years from now.

With digital communications changing so fast, what is the best way to teach it to students so that they have the necessary skills to enter the workplace and then the mindset to evolve with technological advances? I asked this question to Elon University professor Amanda Sturgill in FIR on Higher Education episode 8. Amanda provides best practice on building curriculum within a university environment, and also shares insights on how professionals can educate ambassadors within organizations.

In our reports section, I provide an overview on why every communicator needs to be an educator, while technology correspondent Harry Hawk reviews the educational tool Voice Thread.

Download the podcast and subscribe to FIR on Higher Education.

Posted in Content Marketing, Education, Learning and development, Podcasting, Professors, Public Relations | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Integrating gamification in the classroom: Professor #FollowFriday 5, Steven Johnson

Screen Shot 2014-04-11 at 5.25.19 PM“Professor #FollowFriday” is an editorial series focused on academics’ best practice in digital communications. Every Friday, I highlight one academic who is strategically leveraging the power of digital communications. The goal of this feature is that if you are an academic or thought leader looking to establish an online presence, you will be able to draw on this archive and use it as a source for inspiration in creating / refreshing your own personal brand presence.

#FollowFriday Professor 5: Steven Johnson

Title: Assistant Professor at Temple University’s Fox School of Business

Where on the web: Blog, Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook, YouTube, FlickR, Google Plus and LinkedIn

Content focus: Social media, online communities, gamification and health information

Noteworthy communications tactics from Steven Johnson
I was curious to find a professor who has integrated digital communications tactics into the classroom. Steven Johnson seems to be doing just this. Particularly of interest is the way he has integrated gamification into the classroom (gamification is the use of game thinking and game mechanics in non-game contexts to engage users in solving problems). He seems to be taking his research on gamification and applying it directly in the classroom. For professors looking to integrate gamification in their courses, studying Stephen Johnson’s approach would be a good investment of time. Regardless of the subject being taught, gamification has potential and can serve as a valuable means to students’  learning different concepts.

From my reading, Johnson has set up a leader board to recognize students completing different social media related tasks. This particular blog post explains in more detail.

Johnson is communicating his expertise in gamification and his other research interests through his different owned media channels. I particularly like his YouTube videos that show how to use different social media tools in approximately two minutes (though it would be nice if there were a bit more thought leadership content posted there regularly. Overall, it is surprising to see so few professors actually communicate their thought leadership through their own branded YouTube channel.) Johnson also seems to be effective at communicating his approach in the classroom to the media. Check out his site for more information.

ARCHIVE

Academics leveraging Instagram: #FollowFriday Professor 4, Karen Freberg

The blogging machine: #FollowFriday Professor 3, Mark Anthony Neal

Using your blog to showcase press coverage: #FollowFriday Professor 2, Bill George

The art of integrating interviews into thought leadership: #FollowFriday Professor 1, Karl Moore 

 

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Academics leveraging Instagram: #FollowFriday Professor 4, Karen Freberg

Karen FrebergEvery Friday, I highlight one academic who is strategically leveraging the power of digital communications in the editorial series “#FollowFriday Professor” . The goal of this feature is that if you are an academic or thought leader looking to establish an online presence, you will be able to draw on this archive and use it as a source for inspiration in creating / refreshing your own personal brand.

#FollowFriday Professor Feature 4: Karen Freberg

Title: Assistant Professor of Strategic Communications at Louisville University

Where on the web: Blog, Instagram, Bio, Twitter and LinkedIn

Content focus: Reputation management, social media and crisis communications

Noteworthy communications tactics from Karen Freberg
Do a search in Google for professors using Instagram and you won’t see many results. Truth be told, I personally don’t use Instagram as part of my communications strategy, but I do believe there are opportunities for professors to leverage the social channel to achieve the following:

-       facilitate a learning experience for students

-       disseminate research and thought leadership in a visual way

-       build community and network

-       promote a school and classroom’s culture

Karen Freberg is doing just this. If you take a look at her Instagram account, you will see a number of visuals that highlight Louisville’s culture, her thought leadership on strategic communications and images from her classroom. She posts daily, integrates hashtags for her particular classes and uses the tool to connect with others while building community. She has a good post on her blog that highlights how Instagram can be used by professors.

It is important to not join the channel with the goal of drawing significant followings overnight. Freberg notes in her blog post the following: I don’t have the number of followers of course on Instagram like I do on Twitter or Pinterest, and the number of connections I have is still lower than what I have on Facebook. However, like all platforms, it’s about growing your community and presence visually and sharing your stories.”

While not for everyone, there are surely more professors that can be using Instagram to achieve some of their goals. If you are just starting out, check out Freberg’s account as a reference point for best practice.

ARCHIVE

The blogging machine: #FollowFriday Professor 3, Mark Anthony Neal

Using your blog to showcase press coverage: #FollowFriday Professor 2, Bill George

The art of integrating interviews into thought leadership: #FollowFriday Professor 1, Karl Moore

Posted in FollowFriday, Learning and development, Social Media, Thought Leadership | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Why Individuals within Higher Education Need to Read Spin Sucks

spin sucks bookNeed a reference point for public relations done right? If yes, read the new book Spin Sucks, Communications and Reputation Management in the Digital Age by public relations thought leader Gini Dietrich.

For several years, Dietrich has been a respected voice on how public relations / marketing needs to adapt within the new digital communications landscape through her Spin Sucks blog. I had the opportunity to read an advance copy of Spin Sucks the book and highly recommend it, especially for my colleagues within the higher education space. Here’s why I think the book is a good read for not only communicators, but also individual professors / thought leaders and higher education administrators.

Continue reading

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Podcast 7 – Interview with Eric Schwartzman on How to Create Engaging Online Courses

Podcast_episode7What are the keys to creating an engaging and educational experience when producing online classes? In FIR on Higher Education episode 7, Comply Socially Founder Eric Schwartzman answers this question.

Continue reading

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The blogging machine: #FollowFriday Professor 3, Mark Anthony Neal

Screen Shot 2014-03-28 at 12.09.24 PM#FollowFriday Professor is an editorial series focused on professors’ best practice in digital communications. Every Friday, I highlight one academic who is strategically leveraging the power of digital communications. The goal of this feature is that if you are an academic or thought leader looking to establish an online presence, you will be able to draw on this archive and use it as a source for inspiration in creating / refreshing your own personal brand presence.

#FollowFriday Professor Feature 3: Mark Anthony Neal

Title: Professor at Duke University

Where on the web:  Blog, Google Plus,  Tumblr, Twitter, Huffington Post Blog, Facebook, YouTube / Webcast

Content focus: African-American studies

Noteworthy communications tactics from Mark Anthony Neal
In 2012, Mark Anthony Neal’s blog featured 1063 posts. That’s not a typo! He averaged almost three different posts per day. In 2013, that number shrank to a “disappointing” 821 – that’s still more than two posts per day over the course of a year!

While looking at this number can seem overwhelming and daunting and certainly this is not feasible for everyone, Mark Anthony Neal offers some insights on content creation that others can emulate. Whenever I talk to professors who are new to the concept of blogging and other forms of social media, I always remind them that posts can be short and sweet – this isn’t a research paper. Neal’s posts demonstrate this – some are as a short as one paragraph with a link to an interesting video. He also masterfully cross-promotes his content across his different owned platforms, interviews interesting guests related to his field and integrates pop culture into his content. Mark Anthony Neal’s content is also well-read because it is controversial. While not every academic needs to stir the pot to become noticed, it certainly does help to articulate different viewpoints on subject matters and to actually communicate an opinion on issues of the day.

ARCHIVE

Using your blog to showcase press coverage: #FollowFriday Professor 2, Bill George

The art of integrating interviews into thought leadership: #FollowFriday Professor 1, Karl Moore

 

Posted in Personal Branding, Blogging, Media Relations, Public Relations, Professors, Branding, FollowFriday | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment