Friends’ Council on Education Workshop

In November, I took part in a major section of the new employee orientation at Friends’ Central – a trip to Pendle Hill, a 2-day Quaker retreat and conference center just west of Philadelphia in Wallingford, PA.

The workshop, Friends Council on Education‘s “Educators New to Quakerism” was an overnight trip with a number from faculty at Friends’ Central, William Penn Charter, Princeton Friends, Abington Friends, and others from around greater Philadelphia.

It was a great introduction of how a Quaker principles can be put into practice. (For an excellent primer, see Sidwell Friends School’s explanation.) An important facet of Quaker education is that it is a place in which “teachers acknowledge their own continuing growth, and discovery can be collaborative“, which leads to more seminar style/discussion-based classes you’d find in college classrooms.

In educator-friendly language this means that “Quaker practice is not an authority-centered, instruction-based transmission of doctrine but rather a dialogic encounter, a mutual grappling with questions, a subtle blend of self-directed and peer-assisted cooperative learning.”

The fact that Friends’ Central not only allows for but insists that new faculty and staff attend the retreat speaks to how much the school values this teaching and learning style. As one of the few non-teachers there (there was a dean, a development associate and an admissions representative from peer schools) it was one of the first insights I had into what happens in the classroom, and how it differs from well-performing local public schools and other private, progressive educational models.

In addition to insights on what makes Quaker education distinct, the discussions led me to thinking of how to market Friends’ Central and why parents would choose to send their child to Friends’ Central rather than our competitors (including a number of other Quaker schools in greater Philadelphia). At FCS (and at many non-Quaker schools), natural competition between students is often re-framed to competition against oneself (think racing against your personal best as opposed to other runners). In my mind then, an important focus is not only on ranking (on which FCS has done quite well), but more so on how our strengths match can match your child’s passion.

It got me thinking of my decision go to Mount Allison University, the feeling of connected, student involvement in student groups, and connection to professors. While the feeling of ‘yes, this is the right place for me’ felt personal there are only so many factors students take into account when choosing a school. Parents deciding on where to send their students focus on a few factors, with a special focus on the school’s programs, the environment/facilities of the school, academic performance, and teacher quality.

School communications office doesn’t have control over these aspects of the school, rather, they focus on highlighting what makes the school competitive. As then NAIS President Patrick F. Bassett noted, schools compete on price, brand, or uniqueness.

Friends’ Central is highly competitive in all three areas. Our tuition is the lowest amongst our competitor institutions, we have a strong nationwide reputation and many highly successful/influential parents and alumni in the Philadelphia area, and have a number of signature programs that set us apart from other area schools.

My job is make sure as many as possible of potential parents (and, to a growing extent, future students themselves) not only find us easily in search results and add us to “The List“, but that they are met with engaging content that encourages them to inquire/create an admissions account. It’s no secret many good options for private Quaker education in greater Philadelphia but focusing the ‘yes, and’ of the school is the next step of private school marketing. Yes, our school is among the best in the region, yes, students from here will be well prepared for college, yes Friends’ Central provides a foundation for future success AND … well, the “and” is in the details. It’s the job of the communications office to tell (and help others tell) the story of the school.

Over the year, I’ll be sharing some of the emblematic moments and compelling content that illustrates what makes FCS a special place to be.

Seeking Work in Higher Ed

Geoff Campbell

I’d like to announce a bit earlier than I need to that I’m looking for a full-time job starting Monday, June 3rd, 2013.

I could simply post my resume and explain why in 100 words or less why you, a manager in a higher education communication office, should hire me but I can do better.

Here’s a little Storify presentation about me and why I’d be a great web writer/public relations specialist at your college or university this summer.

  1. To start off, my name is Geoff Campbell. Here’s what I look like:
  2. I’ve lived all over North America.
  3. I earned my bachelor’s degree at Mount Allison University, the best undergraduate university in Canada.
  4. While I was there I studied International Relations, eventually being published in an Undergraduate Academic Journal.
  5. As part of the program I had to learn a language so I chose French and took advantage of an immersion program.
  6. On the advice of a professor I started writing outside of class. I started writing about what was familiar to me.
  7. then I branched out a bit into the unfamiliar.
  8. I started writing for the admissions office and continued writing until I graduated in 2012.
  9. While I worked there I wrote about my life there through words,
  10. photos,
  11. and video.
  12. Student Voices: Why did you come to Mount Allison University?

    Fri, Apr 15 2011 17:13:52
  13. My blog writing caught the eye of the Communications and Marketing Office who hired me as a paid intern.
  14. There I wrote news articles
  15. and created other written and photo content on behalf of the school.
  16. More importantly, however, I conducted a social media audit and drafted the school’s first social media strategy and guidelines.
  17. I also did much of the planning, interviewing, and promotion of the school’s 20-video series designed to reduce summer melt.
  18. I then moved onto doing videography myself and with a student volunteer, created a video of graduating students discussing their future to give prospective students an idea of the worth of the Mount Allison University experience.
  19. Mount Allison Class of 2012 Graduating Students

    Mon, Nov 26 2012 18:24:58
  20. When I wasn’t studying, writing my blog or working for the communications office I kept busy.
  21. I represented Amnesty International Mount Allison at the national conference and Human Rights College where I received training in public speaking, public relations, and effective event planning.
  22. I then organized a visit by Craig Benjamin, Amnesty International Canada’s Aboriginal Rights Campaigner.
  23. Over one summer, I interned in Student Affairs at Berklee College of Music
  24. During my final year I worked as the first Online Editor for the student newspaper, The Argosy, where I helped migrate the website from WordPress to Drupal and helped improve their online and social media presences.
  25. I did all of the technical support for a regional conference
  26. including live-streaming/live-tweeting a Skype conversation with Canada’s most respected news anchor, Peter Mansbridge.
  27. Peter Mansbridge on Social Media for Journalism

    Wed, Nov 09 2011 16:09:46
  28. I represented the paper at the Canadian University Press National Conference in Victoria, BC.
  29. I brought back insights from more experienced web editors which helped tremendously in improving our Facebook engagement
  30. and website statistics.
  31. I also covered digital technology use by the University
  32. the student government
  33. and students.
  34. After graduating from Mount Allison University with an Honours B.A. in International Relations I decided to pursue a career in communication and accepted an admissions offer from the Newhouse School.
  35. Here, so far I’ve improved my resume
  36. by creating a full media kit in a PR writing class accompanied by work in graphics, including a poster for the fictitious event
  37.  and other work culminating in the creation of a fully functional and interactive iPad magazine section.
  38. when I haven’t been doing schoolwork I’ve worked as a graduate assistant where I’m helping a multimedia professor do research for his book.
  39. staying abreast of social media trends and best practice
  40. and writing for Syracuse University’s School of Information Studies
    (iSchool) Blog.
  41. I’m currently finishing courses in PR Writing for Digital Platforms, PR Theory, PR Research, and Media Law. In the Spring semester I’ll be working at two internships and auditing a videography class on top of PR Campaigns, PR Management and two finance classes.
  42. I’m seeking full-time work in communications beginning June 3, 2012. I can be reached at any time via @GeoffBCampbell and geoff@geoffbcampbell.com.

Geoff Campbell, storified

Hey,

So if you’re familiar with my experience you may know I’ve been using this cool social media curation service called Storify.

I’ve used it to collect reactions to the 20 tips for first-year students video project I worked on at Mount Allison University. I also put together a little story around creating NPR’s Facebook page, a polar bear’s visit to Mount Allison, a conference I did all the tech work for at The Argosy, tracking a norovirus outbreak in Victoria, BC (a study in crisis communication), and a number of speeches and discussions.

However, I didn’t really used it to tell a story about me. After a couple months working at a Multimedia Storytelling Research Assistant here at the Newhouse School I figured I’d give it a shot. Ideally (if I had more time), it would be about twice as long and include a bit about my change in self-identification as American while living in Canada, about moving around North America while growing up, shifting gears from International Relations to social media communication, and other meaningful influences. Nevertheless, it was interesting finding things online with which to tell the story of who I am.

So, here’s Geoff Campbell, storified. Feel free to let me know here or there what you think.

[Fall 2012] M.S. in PR at Newhouse

Maple Leaf and Forest Canopy, Gatineau Park, Quebec. Ron Watts / Getty Images

This semester is different than last. No more graphic design and no more day-long classes. I’m taking what actually seem to be graduate-level courses in communication – Theory, Research, and Law – in addition to a course that helped persuade me to come here: PRL 614: Advanced Public Relations Writing for Digital Platforms.

In Theory we’ll be writing a theory and original research-based case study.

In Research we’ll be performing research for a local client that (ideally) will inform our PR Campaign activities in the Winter Semester.

Media Law is a more traditional course comprised mostly of course readings and exams on expression, obscenity libel, privacy and IP laws and court cases.

For Adv. PR Writing we’ll be presenting a PR/social media case study, a crisis communication mock press briefing, an online press kit, and regular writing assignments.

I’ll be writing some blog posts here as required for the writing course in addition to anything else that seems relevant. In addition to courses I hope to be elected to a graduate spot on one or more student representative committees through Student Affairs. Lastly, if have an interview this week for an amazing research assistant position that I’ll be sure to wrote about regularly if selected.

Side note: I just inputted all of my exam/due dates onto my calendar and while it would be a busy semester if I were chosen for both of the above positions, I’m not really nervous because I’ve done a good deal more work more many times over at Mount Allison University. Theory and Research may be covering concept that are foreign to me right now but I’m not concerned about my ability to master them and manage my time well if I’m fortunate enough to secure one or both of the above positions.

PRL 614: Advanced PR Writing for Digital Platforms Intro

Geoff Campbell
Geoff Campbell

Hi, I’m Geoff Campbell

Hi,

This post is the first in a series of required posts for PRL 614: Advanced Public Relations Writing for Digital Platforms course I’m taking as part of the M.S. in Public Relations Curriculum at the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications. Information about the course can be found here.

This post is meant to serve as an introduction to me, my interests in PR and my potential career.

If you’ve been reading this post for a while or are a carry-over from my blog writing about Mount Allison University in Sackville, NB, Canada. you’ll know that I’m a Canadian American who was born in Quebec but grew up outside Chicago. I studied International Relations at a small liberal arts school in Canada where, after discovering that my creating NPR’s Facebook page was for some reason worth mentioning at an NPR social media training conference in LA, I decided to pursue a career in communications.

I’m interested in human rights, sustainable development, and international travel so much so that I nearly applied to the Peace Corps before on deciding on a career in communication.

My initial experience in public relations was working as a Communications Assistant at Mount Allison University for just over a year. I worked primarily on improving the school’s social media presence by conducting an audit of the school’s accounts, best practices, and recommendations for improvement before implementing those changes. I also helped create a video series for incoming students. I have some interest in working in communication in higher education but am also considering work in a corporate environment or for a non-profit (once my student loans are paid off). My hope would be to some day be a communications director for a large nonprofit organization like Amnesty International.

Time goes quickly…

So my four years at Mount Allison are done but the work I did is still live. Although much of my academic writing isn’t very pertinent to what I’m doing next, the other work I did there will is relevant. Time goes quickly and so I thought it necessary to compile some the writing/photography, and videography I did at Mount Allison before I’m too swamped with what’s next to put it all together.

I was very active online throughout my four years, initially writing my blog for the admissions office (later adding photos and video), managed the social media accounts for the University and for the student newspaper. Here’s the blog I wrote for the school, along with photos and video I took for the school and various campus organizations.

Things I Did/Wrote for The Argosy

My Graduation at Mount Allison University

Geoff Campbell and Aja Cooper Graduating from Mount Allison University

On Monday May 14, 2012 I graduated from Mount Allison University in Sackville, NB. It was an incredibly bittersweet and meaningful moment in my life. Thankfully I have a few photos and video to document the day.

Geoff Campbell and Aja Cooper Graduating from Mount Allison University

Geoff Campbell and Aja Cooper Graduating from Mount Allison University

Geoff Campbell at Mount Allison UniversityGeoff Campbell at Mount Allison UniversityGeoff Campbell at Mount Allison UniversityGeoff Campbell at Mount Allison UniversityGeoff Campbell at Mount Allison UniversityGeoff Campbell at Mount Allison University
Geoff Campbell at Mount Allison UniversityGeoff Campbell at Mount Allison UniversityGeoff Campbell at Mount Allison UniversityGeoff Campbell at Mount Allison UniversityGeoff Campbell at Mount Allison UniversityGeoff Campbell's Graduation from Mount Allison University
Geoff Campbell's Graduation from Mount Allison UniversityGeoff Campbell's Graduation from Mount Allison UniversityGeoff Campbell's Graduation from Mount Allison UniversityGeoff Campbell's Graduation at Mount Allison UniversityGeoff Campbell's Graduation at Mount Allison UniversityGeoff Campbell's Graduation at Mount Allison University

Graduating from Mount Allison University

Hi,

I’m Geoff Campbell and this is my website. It’s designed to be a simple online resume, blog, portfolio of work samples. I used to write this blog but have since moved on for the most part. For more information on me see the about page.

Onto my first post:

In twelve days, I’ll be graduating with a B.A. with an Honours in International Relations from Mount Allison University, the top-ranked undergraduate university in Canada. It has been quite the amazing, challenging, life-changing four years. While I wish I could take my friends with me when I leave, I’m more than ready to be done being an undergraduate student. I’m grateful for everything up to the point and I’m looking forward to the future.

That’s really about it for now.

Until next time,

Geoff