Promoted at American University

Hi again,

I realize I haven’t posted in the last seven months since I’ve started working at American University. It has been a very busy time. Just weeks after starting my new job, my supervisor left the university. There was a lot of new work that still needed to get done and ultimately fell to me. I adjusted quickly and embraced the new challenge.

As time wore on, my colleagues and supervisor adjusted to me being the face of the marketing department. By the time the HR-mandated probationary period had ended, it was clear I was serving and would continue to serve the school in a much greater capacity than when I started. On January 1st (just over six months after I started), I was officially promoted to Assistant Director, Communications & Marketing. While it officially came with a greater set of responsibilities than my original position, I was ready for it because I had been taking care of many of those responsibilities in the interim period.

In addition to managing day-to-day outreach efforts across the school (spanning undergraduate, graduate, and professional studies programs), I recruited, hired, and now supervise two part-time staff members who ensure our school website’s compliance with accessibility requirements and write news and feature stories to help attract new students. Among other projects, I researched and migrated the school to a new CRM for contacting partners. I also completed an effort to create a print material with a consistent graphic design across our varied programs (soon to be translated to the website).


There have been a number of other projects in the works that I’ll be able to discuss when they’re complete. Suffice it to say, it has been and will continue to be busy in my neck of the woods.

Until next time,

Geoffrey Campbell
Assistant Director, Communications & Marketing

eduWeb Digital Summit #eduweb15 Recap

[Side note: I would normally use Storify for a recap like this but I didn’t capture the tweets at the time so it’s now easier to embed them manually. I used Storify to recap my first digital/social media campaign (in 2011) and other events. I’ve also used it as a resume of sorts back when I was looking for a job after grad school. More recently, I’ve used it as a sort of storage locker of things I’ve done that have gotten me to this point. My hope it that (even without any comments), it shows the progression of my experience in higher ed marketing starting with blogging for Mount Allison seven years ago to some recent posts on Analytics.

Anyways, all of that is just to say: Storify is a great tool, it just isn’t right for this post. Also, given the embeds, I’m not using standard English grammatical conventions so…sorry if that bothers you.]

So conferences can be pretty overwhelming with the amount of information offered in them. I’ve been to/organized a dozen different workshops/conferences/summits/whatever you want to call them (at different times/for different reasons) and I think so far #eduweb15 has matched my specific needs and interests the most specifically (as a web communicator/marketer). An important note is that I haven’t yet been to many other conferences (among them #heweb, #casesmc, and #pseweb, about which I’ve heard great things).

For this conference, I had done a lot of research and had put together a lot of the presenters in a Twitter list (this being the first time nearly everyone I interacted with used Twitter regularly).

The days were pretty jam-packed, starting early and going late (including organized events, including one by Ruffalo Noel Levitz.

Some of the most interesting sessions reviewed the history of video production from mini DV

to modern day drones

and included the planning stages of video production

At one point, a keynote speaker, @sree, noted that I was the only K-12 (N-12, really) person at the conference. I attended because higher ed institutions are generally more advanced in terms of digital marketing and are generally more willing to share their more advanced tactics, which seemed like a great reason to attend.

Independent school and higher ed marketing have a number of important differences, however, there is a lot of knowledge/skill that is transferable between the two. As evidence, independent school communication leaders, including Peter Baron, found information from the conference’s Twitter stream to be true for independent schools as well.

Many of the outreach strategies could be optimized with creating a content strategy beforehand:

There were a number of sessions (thankfully), that focused on Google Analytics and I was able to share my experience and suggestion for beginners to start with Analytics Academy

Others at the conference helped tell the story of portions of the conference, including this Storify by Jason Smith of OHO Interactive.

Day two began (at least for me) with many opening up about not using remarketing in their digital efforts.

The conference was to many (including myself) in part, a call-to-action to take full advantage the full range of social media marketing tools and featured. The insights from hands-on use add tremendously to even the knowledge that Facebook itself shares with advertisers.

The keynote lunch by Higher Ed web professional Mark Greenfield was a commiseration about issues caused by the structure/nature of institutions of learning.

There was also some immediately practical advice on advertising, for instance, making the most of your AdWords dollars

In addition to hearing from seasoned experts who had spent decades in the field, the organizers included fresh ideas, including many from Morgan Day (of OU’s Web Communications team).

She shared her thoughts on traditional communications work which, judging from the room’s reaction, resonated with many in the field:

As the communication habits of the target audience of college change rapidly, higher ed has to adapt. Despite some controversy surrounding reddit, recent developments (including many high-profile IAmAs and leadership/policy changes), reddit is now useful for sharing knowledge/expertise.

As the conference wore on, the changing nature of website use was discussed. The current reality is that users are less apt to do what higher ed professionals want them to do by default, and therefore inbound marketing and lead nurturing is becoming more and more necessary. This fact was illustrated more succinctly with this cartoon

There were many implications that affect both higher ed and independent schools, including so called “ghost applicants” or in Carnegie Communications’ vernacular (which I prefer), “non-compliant prospects”.

Carnegie Communications also shared insights from some anonymized reports because it’s not really the data that’s most valuable, it’s the ability to collect and interpret the data effectively which makes analytics so important.

One of the more novel talks included the input of a presenter’s daughter (a rising senior who has already made her college choice)

Next up was a session from LunaMetrics, a Google Analytics Certified Partner. I was a pretty big fan of the company already.

The talk was right to the point about which dashboards can be immediately helpful and some reports that would be helpful to have sent on a regular basis.

I’ve used/made custom dashboards for quite a while so I shared some thoughts that might be helpful

[It should be noted that sharing dashboards shares the layout/’queries’, so to speak, but not any actual data.]

The conference ended on a high note from Lee McCabe, Global Head of Travel + Education Strategy at Facebook. I think one of the most useful points he made was the ability Facebook has to find lookalike audiences similar to a defined set of people

and how quickly you want people to see your content after they’ve left your site

(hence the importance of remarketing).

So it was a great conference in terms of the sessions but also in the type of people it attracts. I made a number of contacts, including a fellow web communications person who just to happens to work at a school in Greater Philadelphia.

Anyways, that’s my recap. As future organizer Chris Barrows points out, there were many tweeting at #eduweb15. Mine is just one of many perspectives.

Community Relations @ UVA

Hi Everyone,

As I mentioned I’m not going to be posting on here as often as I’d like to but I’d like to provide a bit of an update. I’m currently working as a Community Relations Intern in the Office of University Communications at the University of Virginia from now until July 25th. I’m two weeks into my primary project of helping to update the University of Virginia’s community outreach directory known as Outreach Virginia. This is my second time working at a school at which I’m not a student so I’ve adjusted fairly quickly.

There are some things that I’ve gotten to understand (like what a Wahoo is, why graduation is called Final Exercises, why the quad is called a lawn). Here they denote years like in Canada (1st year, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, etc following Jefferson’s notion that you never stop learning..and it just makes more sense) which is nice.

People here are really nice in a way that reminds me of Canada. Campus is beautiful and I’ve explored the area a bit (which you can see on my Instagram account) and it’s a great combination of necessary amenities and being close to nature and hiking trails.

However, I can’t get too comfortable. I still have to send back two sets of journals discussing my experiences here and how public relations theories mesh with reality. I’ll done this internship (and all of my master’s coursework) July 25th and I’ll be looking for full-time work. I’m looking at listings across the US and Canada for positions at higher ed instituations that include social media outreach (be it in an admissions, communications, alumni relations, or individual college office) that begin as early as July 29th. I’ll update everyone here with any progress (and likely another “Hire Me” post) in the near future.

Geoff Campbell Prezi

Geoff Campbell Skills and Experience
Geoff Campbell Skills and Experience

Geoff Campbell Skills and Experience

I recently created a Prezi about my skills and experience related to higher education communication and public relations. Take a look here.

Quick Update

Hi everybody,

So I’ve been very busy finishing up work to complete my M.S. in Public Relations here at Newhouse, taking a Visual and Multimedia Journalism class, interning in the marketing and communication office here at Syracuse University, and seeking a full-time job starting in June. Given that, posting here has unfortunately gone by the wayside at times.

Today though, I had time to tone and upload some photos from a trip to San Francisco. I also uploaded a Syracuse University “Sense of Place” video to YouTube, and had my post on WCG rock star Chuck Hemann’s talk about social analytics published on Syracuse University’s social media blog which (for which I’m seeking submissions from all SU students).

I should have a few more posts up before too long.

I’ll be writing about my best practices paper on higher ed use of social media (which will be written after I attend Michael Stoner’s talk on exactly that at PRSA’s Counselors to Higher Education Senior Summit next week), the forthcoming Tobacco-Free campus initiative campaign book my PR campaigns class group is working on with our client the Lerner Center, and hopefully at least a couple digital literacy/job hunt videos I’m working on at SU. (I know AP style but I’m going to use it whenever I’m not forced to abandon it).

For now here’s my Syracuse University sense of place video

and my apology for not posting often by way of a picture of an adorable dog I found in Berkeley, CA who was nice enough to pose for me:

San Francisco Tourist Photo

Higher Ed / College Campus Photos

College Campus Photos

Over the past couple months, as part of my Multimedia and Visual Journalism course at Newhouse I’ve taken hundreds of photos. Here are a few from around campus.

Syracuse University in WinterSyracuse University in WinterSyracuse University in WinterSyracuse University in WinterSyracuse University S.I. Newhouse School Public RelationsSyracuse University S.I. Newhouse School Public Relations
Syracuse University PhotographySyracuse University PhotographySyracuse University PhotographySyracuse University PhotographyMike Swartz presenting at the Newhouse Tablet Magazine CompetitionTablet Magazine Design Competition
Tablet Magazine Design CompetitionTablet Magazine Design CompetitionTablet Magazine Design CompetitionTablet Magazine Design CompetitionSyracuse University PhotographyTablet Magazine Design Competition


Hire Me (Higher Ed Social Media Manager)


I’m Geoff Campbell and want to be your school’s next social media manager starting as early as June 3rd.

Here’s a bit about my experience.

I have hands-on experience managing institutional social media accounts, writing a comprehensive social media policy and drafting/implementing social media strategy.

In the last seven months, I’ve written in-depth (Case Study: Broadcast AND Engagement Triumph in Social Media) and on-topic (Want a Job Using Social Media? Work on Your Klout) web posts. I’ve learned graphic design using Adobe CS6 (InDesign, Illustrator, and Photoshop). In addition, I’ve improved my photography skills and will soon have HD video samples to share thanks to professional training here at Newhouse (today was a close look at Final Cut Pro X).

I’ve extensively researched (and will study and write further on social media and its role in higher education). I have a solid understanding (which will grow exponentially over the next three months) of the most relevant social media platforms, digital marketing/brand strategy, public relations, analytics, SEO, SEM, and monitoring tools that are relevant to higher ed.

If you want to know a bit more about my experience look at this Storify post, my Communications Assistant details, my writing and work samples, and my LinkedIn profile.

If you’re in a position to hire someone like me in June please contact me through this page, via e-mail, on Twitter, or even Google+ at your convenience.

PRSA CHE (Higher Ed PR) Senior Summit


Every year, the Counselors to Higher Education (CHE) section of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) holds a Senior Summit where practitioners can learn hear from experienced executives on best practices and learn from one another what they can do to improve the communication activities at their higher education institutions.

Thanks in large part to subsidies from the Newhouse School (specifically Associate Dean for Professional Graduate Studies Joel Kaplan), The William P. Ehling Chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA), and Syracuse University’s Graduate Student Organization, I will be attending the 2013 Summit in April.

The Summit bills itself as the “premier annual event on higher education communications” and this year they clearly set out to live up to that expectation.

This year’s Summit features the following:

  • A keynote luncheon by Michael Stoner entitled “Social Works: How #HigherEd Uses #SocialMedia to Raise Money, Build Awareness, Recruit Students and Get Results“.
  • A session discussing the first ever research on CHE members of duties and how practitioners “can  gain a seat at the table in order to practice truly strategic public relations” led by Rosalynne D. Whitaker-Heck from Hampton University and Jeanette DeDiemar from Florida State University
  • a panel discussion about hosting the 2012 Presidential Debates at University of Denver Daniels College of Business and Lynn University
  • A panel discussion led by John Morgan, associate vice president for public relations at Quinnipiac University entitled “The Next Time: Lessons Learned from Hurricane Sandy”
  • A National Media Panel on Higher Education, featuring
    Mary Beth Marklein, higher education correspondent, USA Today
    Liz McMillen, editor, The Chronicle of Higher Education
    Tim Goral, editor in chief, University Business
    Scott Jaschik, editor, Inside Higher Ed
  • A keynote luncheon by Jason Simon, director of marketing communications at the University of California entitled: “Marketing Blunder? Hardly. How Being “Boldly Californian” Brought Down a Logo and Left A Stronger University of California”

and many more discussions and opportunities for networking.

While I’m the only attendee currently registered who is not already working full-time I plan to get everything I can out of this investment of time and money. I’ll be taking extensive notes on what I assume will be insightful lectures and discussions in addition to the opportunity to hear from dozens of industry professionals. I’m very excited for this opportunity to learn firsthand insights from masters in the field I hope to enter in June.

There is a private list of attendees only for those attending but there is also a page on Lanyrd for the event.

.eduGuru: Broadcast AND Engagement

Broadcast and Engagement

I just wanted to share with you that I had my first guest post published on It’s a bit about my case study on Syracuse University’s Social Media use (Broadcast AND Engagement) that I wrote for my graduate PR Theory class at Newhouse. Here’s a snippet below.

As many of you know, Syracuse University is a school that is “smart” at social media. Kate Brodock, executive director of digital and social media at Syracuse University directs a student team that manages SU’s social media presence and they do an admirable job at spreading SU’s message effectively and engaging with a variety of stakeholders online.

The full article is available at