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.

A Job I’m Qualified for Now but Can’t Have

One of the most frustrating aspects of being in a master’s program after already having worked full-time in a communications office and knowing what I want to continue working in is the realization that there are a lot of jobs currently being offered which I’m qualified for but which won’t be available when I can work full-time on June 2nd, 2013.

Take, for instance, this Communications Coordinator position at Manhattan College in Riverdale, NY.

With a refresher in HTML and some practice with CSS I think I could convince Manhattan College to hire me today. But alas I have just under seven months left here before I’m free full-time.

The Manhattan College Marketing and Communication office seeks a communications coordinator to assist in various communication and administrative efforts/projects within the department. The communications coordinator will play an integral role in supporting branding development, media relations, multimedia/social media, preparing budgets, publications and special events.

The position will be the gatekeeper of the department interfacing regularly with the President’s Office, Board of Trustees, deans, distinguished alumni, faculty and media.

In this role, the communications coordinator will have the opportunity to attend special events, conduct research, fact check, plan photo shoots, write magazine and web articles, and manage interns and support other marketing and communications initiatives as needed.

This position has growth potential for the right candidate and if interested in a particular area (graphic design, feature writing, special events, social media, video editing) within the office, the communication coordinator can have increased exposure to special projects within this area. Some evenings and weekends required for special events.

Qualifications:
Education: Bachelor’s degree in communication, English or journalism Experience: Two or more years of related experience
Skills: Proficient in Microsoft Office Suite and Google apps (Gmail, Google calendar, Google docs); Familiar with Adobe Photoshop, InDesign, Illustrator and/or Bridge
Candidates must supply a portfolio of writing samples

Preferred Skills:

Basic Knowledge of HTML/CSS and Drupal CMS
Experience with Vocus Media Database software
Knowledge of copyediting and Associated Press Style Guide
Photography experience
Proficiency in Adobe Photoshop, InDesign, Illustrator and Bridge

I’m now a “Hootsuite Certified Professional”

After getting an offer for free “Hootsuite University” training via Klout Perks I spent a few hours going through the certification process to become a “Hootsuite Certified Professional“. Shortly thereafter I got an email from a potential Hootsuite University student asking if employers valued the certification. I don’t have any firsthand knowledge but my feeling is that it wouldn’t hurt and the extent to which it might be helpful is the extent to which you have demonstrated or can demonstrate your knowledge.

The certification itself demonstrates that you know how to use the software to engage on multiple social media platforms strategically but I think discussing how that would inform how you would  manage social media for an organization would be more valuable during an interview.

I earned the certificate because it may have a positive impact on my prospects of getting hired for a social media-related position. There’s a lot of junk “certifications” out there but Hootsuite is an industry leader so at the very least it’s not a negative indicator.

What do all of you think of the certificate?

Starbucks VP Speech at Newhouse

On Friday, James Olson, Vice President, Global Public Relations for Starbucks Coffee Company, came to campus to present his talk, “Enlightened Leadership: How to Turn a Company into a Movement”.

It was a story about how the company, according to media reports, was in dire straits in October 2008. The stock was tumbling so Howard Schultz came back to take charge.

The company held a giant meeting of store managers in New Orleans to try to reboot Starbucks’ brand identity and increase employee morale.

He showed a video about the national training event that ended with the message “People started coming back to the stores and we showed up again.”

The company at the same time introduced a new mission statement: “To inspire and nurture the human spirit: one person, one cup, one neighborhood at a time.”

The company’s sales and stock price improved and crisis was averted.

Olson then discussed Howard Schultz’ campaign to pressure other corporate CEOs to not give contributions to political campaigns until Congress made progress in helping improve the economy. One hundred and forty CEOs signed on but it was largely a failed exercise. Schultz then wanted to help bring jobs back to the US and Starbucks started the Jobs for USA campaign to get people to donate to an organization that finances small businesses that couldn’t get loans from banks. It raised $50 million in donations and helped create thousands of jobs.

He then showed a video of American Mug & Stein which Create Jobs for USA helped to reinvigorate which led to many jobs being saved in the US.

He ended with a video about the company’s investment in a Leadership Lab to help make its front-line employees into brand evangelists.

Overall it was a pretty compelling talk. As a teenager I worked at the company for about nine months as a Barista at a very busy location (that’s the point, isn’t it?) so I knew about the company. His presentation was successful, by measure of crowd applause and reaction on Twitter in turning a roomful of people who may have just been dependent on coffee into people who were convinced in the worth of the company and some who said they wanted to work there because of his presentation.

W2O Group Creates Center @NewhouseSU

This morning Jim Weiss announced the opening of the W2O Group Center for Social Commerce with the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications. Here’s how it went.

  1. W2OGroup
    The Next Generation of Communications : Excited to announce Center for Social Commerce with @NewhouseSU #W2ONewhouse http://w.cg/TeX5yL
    Fri, Nov 09 2012 05:13:48
  2. WeissWord
    Excited to announce the @W2OGroup Center for Social Commerce with @NewhouseSU #W2ONewhouse http://w.cg/TeX5yL
    Fri, Nov 09 2012 05:34:15
  3. JennGottlieb
    Syracuse alum & @W2OGroup founder and CEO @Weissword announces Center for Social Commerce w/ @NewhouseSU #W2ONewhouse http://w.cg/TeX5yL
    Fri, Nov 09 2012 05:36:59
  4. WCGWorld
    The Next Generation of Communications : @W2OGroup announces Center for Social Commerce with @NewhouseSU #W2ONewhouse http://w.cg/TeX5yL
    Fri, Nov 09 2012 05:37:19
  5. In the morning he gave a few interviews about his $100,000 grant project.
  6. HillCommPR
    Students helping with the big @NewhouseSU and @w2ogroup announcement! #W2ONewhouse http://pic.twitter.com/AVDbRq5P
    Fri, Nov 09 2012 05:43:05
  7. At around 9am an e-mail was sent from PRSSA to “influential” tweeters at Syracuse University about a “W2O Group Social Media Contest” in which two people who follow @W2OGroup and tweet about the event will be chosen at random for two $50 gift cards. It seemed to be a pretty effective contest because most of the tweet were promotional and using language identical to their sample language.
  8. twist_mktg
    Announcing… The @W2OGroup Center for Social Commerce with @NewhouseSU #W2ONewhouse http://w.cg/TeX5yL
    Fri, Nov 09 2012 06:20:39
  9. deannap09
    SO cool! @NewhouseSU new home of @W2OGroup Center for Social Commerce – preparing students for real world! #W2ONewhouse http://ow.ly/f9If3
    Fri, Nov 09 2012 06:21:05
  10. NewhouseSU
    @WeissWords of @W2OGroup preparing to give a presentation on Social Commerce and make an announcement #NHPRDay #W2ONewhouse
    Fri, Nov 09 2012 08:31:08
  11. SUPRSSA
    Jim Weiss of @w2ogroup #w2onewhouse #NHPRDay @NewhousePR http://pic.twitter.com/jm1PSEOn
    Fri, Nov 09 2012 08:31:40
  12. vbklyn
    Our own @WeissWord takes the stage for #W2ONewhouse #socialcommerce talk. @W2OGroup http://pic.twitter.com/DFSydKCg
    Fri, Nov 09 2012 08:34:13
  13. He began by discussing the importance of big data.
  14. NewhouseSU
    “Micro targeting powered by big data can make something really big happen.” – @weissword #NHPRDAY #W2ONewhouse
    Fri, Nov 09 2012 08:34:59
  15. NewhouseSU
    – @weissword calls Obama campaign “micro targeting on steroids” #NHPRDAY #W2ONewhouse
    Fri, Nov 09 2012 08:36:31
  16. NewhouseSU
    @WeissWord: Usung data is critical to doing communications jobs better #NHPRDAY #W2ONewhouse
    Fri, Nov 09 2012 08:38:30
  17. He then moved onto describing the changing media landscape.
  18. lysmiron
    @WeissWord discussing how we’ve changed the way we consume media: more online, more channels of receiving information #w2ONewhouse #NHPRDay
    Fri, Nov 09 2012 08:40:01
  19. Olivia_Farnham
    “Are you creating communication that can live on a device? Does it have impact on that device?” -Jim Weiss #W2ONewhouse #NHPRDay
    Fri, Nov 09 2012 08:41:16
  20. Olivia_Farnham
    Four drivers of change: Newsflow, human behavior, media consumption patterns, and the social footprint #W2ONewhouse @W2OGroup #NHPRDay
    Fri, Nov 09 2012 08:43:06
  21. Lfoti
    Awesome crowd in the Herg for @WeissWord announcement on Center for Social Commerce #W2ONewhouse @W2OGroup #NHPRDay http://pic.twitter.com/WyylBrFt
    Fri, Nov 09 2012 08:43:50
  22. zoeytopper
    Four drivers of change: newsflow, human behavior, consumption patterns and social footprint #w2onewhouse #NHPRDay http://pic.twitter.com/2sQQ07yy
    Fri, Nov 09 2012 08:46:53
  23. ..and finally came the unveiling of the new center.
  24. DR4WARD
    – @NewhouseSU @W2Ogroup = #W2ONewhouse Cntr for #SocialCommerce http://ow.ly/1Ptker #NHPRDay http://twitpic.com/bbr211
    Fri, Nov 09 2012 08:47:04
  25. He spoke about what PR professionals need to focus on and he specifically mentioned how people are more interested in photo and video than text-only press releases.
  26. NewhouseSU
    Stories must be told in different ways to succeed – words only won’t get far – people are visual learners #NHPRDAY #W2ONewhouse
    Fri, Nov 09 2012 08:50:49
  27. MelanieKussell
    65% of people believe they are visual learners- use video and pictures to tell stories @WeissWord #NHPRDAY #W2ONewhouse
    Fri, Nov 09 2012 08:50:12
  28. anmarino46
    News flow drivers: blogs, Twitter, FB wall, mainstream media and video #W2ONewhouse #NHPRDay
    Fri, Nov 09 2012 08:52:20
  29. He then discussed the change from having a ‘media list’ of 200 contact to targeting 5 whose content really reaches your target audience.
  30. KWVesty
    Do a ‘surround sound’ for the person you influence- look at who they influence and who influences them #W2ONewhouse
    Fri, Nov 09 2012 08:55:32
  31. SUPRSSA
    50 key people drive conversation about your brand – @weissworld #W2ONewhouse #NHPRDay @NewhousePR
    Fri, Nov 09 2012 08:53:24
  32. juancpedreira
    The evolution from advertising to storytizing…The ability to match passion and actiok with new content #W2ONewhouse
    Fri, Nov 09 2012 08:56:06
  33. MelanieKussell
    “@WeissWord #NHPRDAY #W2ONewhouse “what is cool about Newhouse is that it is a business school,don’t forget that”
    Fri, Nov 09 2012 09:00:56
  34. There was a lot of support for the center
  35. SUPRSSA
    The @W2OGroup Center for Social Commerce will help put our students ahead of the curve and the competition #W2ONewhouse #NHPRDay @NewhousePR
    Fri, Nov 09 2012 09:08:58
  36. But nobody had yet explained what the center will actually do.
  37. mmcleven
    Can someone explain exactly what it is? #W2ONewhouse #centerforsocialcommerce
    Fri, Nov 09 2012 09:08:03
  38. In the press release though, it says,
  39. This partnership will provide opportunities for Newhouse students and professors to rotate through the various W2O Group offices in San Francisco, Austin, Los Angeles, New York and London, interact with the firm’s clients, and learn from experts in analytics, digital, social, corporate, technology and research areas. In return, senior W2O Group leaders will guest lecture at Newhouse and work with the University’s faculty to create new courses and update existing ones.
  40. Weiss said the center opens now and that students would benefit but there doesn’t yet seem to be any concrete plans in place for lectures or other events that will benefit current students.
  41. Question period was short but there were some helpful answers.
  42. lysmiron
    “You learn more from failure. So I hope you fail. Fail fast and move on.” @WeissWord #w2ONewhouse #NHPRDay
    Fri, Nov 09 2012 09:17:31
  43. I asked given that Newhouse prides itself on being innovative and using a curriculum that meets the needs of the real world, if photography and videography should be required part of the curriculum for all PR students.
    Weiss answered with an unambiguous yes. He said despite some recent arguments about whether that should be left to advertising or creatives he said brands, including larger ones like Hersey need PR people to create visual content on a small budget, meaning it falls to public relations professionals.

Multimedia Storytelling Research

As I’ve mentioned earlier, I started working at a Graduate Research Assistant here at the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications in September.

I’m working for assistant professor Seth Gitner (@sethgitner), (Newspaper and Online Journalism) for the Multimedia Storytelling Book he’s creating for COM 117 Multimedia Storytelling, a required course that all undergraduate in every program at Newhouse must take.

It’s a little difficult to explain in say, a tweet, what I’m doing for this project. Working on a Google Drive Doc 40+ pages long, I’ve been collecting the very best examples and discussions of multimedia storytelling in advertising and public relations. Here’s some of what I’ve found…the following is more of a collection than a narrative so bear with me.

Without any hesitation I can say that charity:water has the best and most compelling storytelling videos. Look at their 5-year-anniversary video.

[vimeo http://vimeo.com/28104222]

Another great non-profit example is Tom’s Shoes. Watch just the first two minutes of this video and you’ll see what I mean.

If it hasn’t become apparent to you yet, the future of public relations for large organization will rely on what GolinHarris refers to as Holistic Transmedia Storytelling, that is, telling your brand’s story full through multiple channels. The key isn’t to replicate content and put it on every platform but to use each channel most effective way to tell part of the story on that channel. It’s not about media silos for the consumer but telling the brand message through different media.

Even Etsy, the hippie shop, is trying to tell things through stories.

Even bands like OK GO have realized that there is an alternate model for content creation that includes sponsorship directly from companies.

One example of the use of this type of storytelling is for retail. Ralph Lauren created a children’s story with in-story shopping capabilities.

In terms of public relations, one should keep in mind Edelman’s Media Cloverleaf, that is, the idea that in order for companies to reach their publics they have to do so through traditional (mainstream), owned, hybrid (new media), and social media.

Companies have been getting more and more creative in reaching consumers beyond “our product is cool, buy it”. They’ve used what seem to be homemade videos and help to spread them virally.

Red Bull has been a pioneer in branded content (remember the Red Bull Stratos space jump?).

In addition to huge history-making productions, they’ve been doing things on a much much smaller scale for a number of years. See “Way Back Home” which is really just a cool video of Danny MacAskill riding his bike around the British countryside, and, you know, off castle walls. The only catch is that there’s a couple seconds of the Red Bull logo.

One company even lied to the public, saying they knew nothing about a video showing ‘athletes’ using their shoes to walk on water.

Coca-Cola, one of the world’s leading brands has even caught on that they need to keep up and adjust to changing media. They released a video explaining their model for content creation which is 70% safe, 20% building on what works, and 10% “high-risk”. They’re aware that most content about them isn’t made by the company but by the public so their strategy is to “provoke conversations” based on “liquid and linked” ideas to earn a disproportionate share of pop culture. I can’t do justice to the video by explaining here. You really need to watch it.

That’s what I have for right now. I’ve been really busy working on pretty interesting class projects and other things. Hopefully in December I’ll have enough time to really be caught up on explaining what I’ve been doing here.

For now, here’s a video of Professor Gitner discussing what he likes about students at Newhouse, classroom innovation, and out-of-the-classroom interaction.

It’s the use of fresh ideas that is part of Newhouse’s constant efforts at innovation, especially when it comes to journalism.