KSU draws top experts in social media integration
Just 24 hours after National Public Radio’s controversial firing of news analyst Juan…
Georgia (Oct 26, 2010) — - Natalie Godwin
Just 24 hours after National Public Radio’s controversial firing of news analyst Juan
Williams for admitting on Fox News his fear of flying with identifiable Muslims, KSU
Center for Sustainable Journalism Executive Director Leonard Witt posted the video
of an impromptu interview he recorded with Vivian Schiller, the CEO of NPR on YouTube.
“I was there with my little point-and-shoot camera and able to record the interview
as she was getting on an elevator,” Witt said after he snagged the interview following
her speech at the Atlanta Press Club on October 21, 2010. “I posted the video and
within 24 hours almost 2,000 people watched and commented. It’s the perfect case of
a story going viral.”
illustrates the power of social media, and his view that all media will become social.
That was the premise behind the Center for Sustainable Journalism’s two-day conference
on Social Media Integration that drew approximately 150 communicators from around the country to KSU to learn the latest trends and strategies
in social media.
“Much of the Internet, particularly the way we consume content is becoming social,”
Witt said. “We use YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Flickr and all those other great social
media tools to not just spread our message but to engage our audiences – because they
often produce the content, not just consume it.”
Conference speaker James Andrews co-founded Everywhere and creates digital strategies
so that companies can connect better with their audiences. “Social media ismedia and
it’s the railroad tracks for empowering new forms of communication. It’s where people
with digital lifestyles are looking to get their information,” he said. “When you
create a community, you don’t need a gatekeeper and you don’t have to wait for the
media to tell your story. You are connecting directly with the people who care about
what you have to offer.”
Whole Foods Markets, the most popular retailer on Twitter, uses social media for customer
service. “Our customers know they can reach us online,” said Marla Erwin, the Whole
Food’s interactive art director. “We answer their questions, but we also ask questions.
You can’t just broadcast your products anymore; one-way communications doesn’t work.
It’s the conversation and the interaction that drive your success.”
Erwin taught the social media beginner’s boot camp and demonstrated some of the strategies
Whole Foods has used to become one of the most recognizable and respected brands online.
Olivier Blanchard of BrandBuilder Marketing taught an advanced boot camp focused on
social media’s return on investment. He gave participants examples of how to manage
and measure social media campaigns that will increase their organization’s bottom
line. “Always use social media campaigns to drive a larger strategy. It can’t just
stand alone, it needs a community,” he said.
Keynote speaker Shiv Singh, director of digital engagement and social media at PepsiCo.,
manages one of the most popular social media projects, according to Forbes. He said
the success is based on responding to consumer experiences instead of relying on traditional
marketing. “Companies need to spend more time providing value to existing consumers
and their lives rather than building brand awareness for products and campaigns,”
Singh said. “We’re making a difference in real communities, and social media allows
us to reach them through the communities they create online.”
Participants praised the content and networking opportunities at the conference. Marie
Peagler, who owns a small firm, traveled from Jasper, Ga., to learn how to create
effective social media campaigns for her clients. “Now I can develop specific strategies
with budgets ranging from $500 to $5 million,” she said. “This conference has been
Lori Boyer, a communications professor at Texas Tech University, came to see KSU’s
campus and discover the latest trends to keep up with her students. “In order for
me to teach them, I need to stay current,” she said. “It’s also important to have
all your social media outlets working together to ensure you’re getting the most for
Many of the presenters tweeted where participants could find their PowerPoint presentations
on SlideShare, and attendees tweeted more than a thousand Tweets by the time the conference
Annette Ogletree-McDougal, a marketing director at the University of Georgia, wanted
to learn more about phone-based applications such as Gowalla and foursquare. “I learned
some new tools, so now I’m going to be like Nike and just do it.”
A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers more than 150 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its more than 35,000 students. With 13 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia and the third-largest university in the state. The university's vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the region and from 92 countries across the globe. A Carnegie-designated doctoral institution, it is one of the 50 largest public institutions in the country. For more information, visit kennesaw.edu.