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Integrating Social Media

October 21, 2012

Well, it’s time to get back at it. After taking an unexpected hiatus from my blog while I’ve been building my team and marketing program, I have thoughts, perspectives and ideas that are begging to get out, and I need to make good on a promise to share some of the ways in which we’ve been building marketing strategies at Concordia University Irvine.

photo courtesy of @adam_thedad

On Friday, I attended day two of the Explore Orange County conference, thanks to Bryan Elliott of Linked Orange County. Explore Orange County is a product of Social Media Explorer, and features its CEO, speaker and author Jason Falls, and a stable of experienced and talented professionals. The conference was excellent, full of good content, and easy to digest.

The last panel discussion was on the topic of Social in traditional media. The panel, moderated by Nichole Kelly, president of SME Digital, included Ann Glenn, director of social media marketing at Sony Pictures Interactive; Jamie Kennedy, director of social media marketing at Cendyn; Suzanne Broughton, vice president of digital at Churm Media, and co-founder of BlogCrush; and Corinne Baldassano, senior vice president of the Dr. Laura radio program.

The overriding theme of the discussion was that all media are now Social. Or as @KatFrench tweeted at the conference (#gotoexplore):

“The (social) media panel discussion confirms what was stated earlier: social isn’t a channel, it’s a layer across all media.”

I couldn’t have tweeted it better myself.

It’s something about which I wrote  in March 2010, but Social within traditional media has evolved since then as we’ve evolved with the new tools available to us today.

Whether it’s the use of congratulations tweets backstage at the last Emmy show, leveraging online conversations during a television program, tapping into the blogging community to support both print and online media, or using social media to connect with audience members away from a radio program, panel members expressed how media today are more integrated than ever, and that Social is indeed a layer, not just a separate channel.

But what’s that mean for a marketing leader and his/her team? It’s simple, but significant. What it means is that I can’t just relegate Social to one staff member; that all of my teams in marketing and communications need to be utilizing Social as a tool.

At Concordia University Irvine, Veronica Steele is our social media manager. We’re fortunate to have her on our team. She’s an up and coming social media professional who serves us well. But Veronica isn’t the only one who does Social for us. While Veronica works with community managers across the campus, our talented communications directors–Ann Ashmon and Lindy Neubauer–also use social media as a tool when they work to promote university programs. And when our innovative web team designs pages, they need to understand the state of the art in integrating Social into a website. That’s not Veronica’s job. It’s theirs.

All of this has huge implications for hiring and building a MarComm team, which I’ll get to next. But for now, where’s Social for your campus or organization? Have you distributed it across team lines, or have it all under one young Millennial who “understands” this social media stuff?

It’s no longer 2009. It’s time to integrate Social.

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. October 21, 2012 8:11 PM

    Rick,

    It’s great to “have you back” in the blogosphere after ten months away! You raise a strong point which applies to nearly any business, institution, or enterprise … when it comes to moving forward, it’s “all hands on deck”!

    While representing a consortium of counseling centers a couple years back, I used to challenge the therapists to not merely depend upon the “marketing professionals” to represent their practices and services, but to constantly look for ways to market themselves.

    To your specific point, everyone in an institution of higher learning … from the administration, to faculty, even to service personnel … should vigilantly look for ways to represent the positive, life-changing activities that are occurring.

    Looking forward to digesting more of your posts!

    ~ tr

  2. October 24, 2012 12:42 PM

    Hey, Rick. Happy to hear you got good value out of the conference (plus I always like it when my tweets get quoted.)

    In your team, Veronica is the “pace setter” for social, but not the entire team. That’s how it should be, IMO. One person can definitely be the point person, the innovator, but until the whole team gets behind the effort, it’s like a dogsled where only one dog is pulling. Good stuff!

    • October 24, 2012 1:11 PM

      Nicely stated, Kat! We do find that as our social media manager, Veronica is most attuned to the social media field, so she is able to give input to the other teams on their use of Social. We’ve discovered that we just have to be fluid and take advantage of the ways in which our roles are complementary to each other. Thank you!

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