This week marked not only the start of Derby week here in Louisville, but also the end of my sixth year teaching at the University of Louisville (my last as an Assistant Professor). Next fall semester, I will be able to introduce myself as an Associate Professor of Strategic Communications to my students at UofL.

I also finished my fourth year teaching social media at UofL. This class has certainly evolved over the years (along with all of the platforms out there!) We had our final client presentations last Friday and I couldn’t have been prouder of the work my students did this semester for their client, The Louisville Bats.

Each group was able to share their ideas, what they were able to do for their event (each group was assigned to do social media for one of the Bats games during the semester). What have been some of the takeaways here from the work that #Freberg17 did for the Louisville Bats? Here are some of the highlights.

  • One of the goals was to increase the social media presence and community for the accounts. All of the platforms increased their follower and community base, but the largest was on Snapchat followed by Instagram.
  • A new partnership with Snapchat related to geofilters for minor league teams.
  • Increased their social media rankings from the beginning of the semester to the end among minor league baseball teams.
  • Implemented new engagement strategies (ex. social care principles) and content creation initiatives (ex. live video, etc).
  • Integration of Snapchat Spectacles to showcase POV of players, team, and atmosphere at games. Each group had a chance to borrow my pair, and then the Louisville Bats purchased their own pair.

As a professor or even professional – you may be asking yourself – what does a final product of the social media class look like? I have had a few professors and fellow professionals ask me this question over the years, and the answer is this.

The proposal you see above you is from one of the groups (named Homerun Heroes). Just to give you all some perspective on this group’s work and how talented these students are, I wanted to share with you a few notable facts:

  • Each group member came in with different backgrounds and skills to offer to the class;
  • All were full time students and had jobs and/or additional internships outside of class to complete;
  • No one in the group had taken the capstone campaigns class yet for StratComm in our department yet (this was their first campaign they have done for class);
  • One group member is going to be heading to a prestigious marketing internship¬†this summer;
  • Two of the members are now going to be part of the social media team for the Kentucky Derby;
  • Only TWO members had social media internship experience (one for sports during the semester and one in nonprofit) before this class.

In summary, #Freberg17 was a very special group of young professionals. I was truly honored being their professor and I am really excited to see where they end up in their future careers and internships. Special thanks to TNTmarketing (Lacee, Abbie, Taylor, Betsy, Brooke, Ishmail, and Hannah) for the kind gift!

Major, MAJOR thanks to Tony Brown. Ryan Ritchey, Chase Kostellic and Franci Burton for all of your support, engagement, and help this semester. Really excited to work with you all again in Spring 2018!

Hope you all are having a great day!

Best Wishes,
Karen