It’s not every day where you get to meet key professionals in person at a conference. Well, I was able to do so this week while at the AEJMC Conference in Montreal. I had a chance to meet two professionals associated with Hootsuite. I was very excited to finally meet Dr. William Ward (or otherwise known as Dr4Ward) and Kirsten Bailey.
I first corresponded with Bill a few years ago when I first started teaching social media. If you are not following Bill yet on social media or his blog, you definitely should! He’s pretty much the leading voice and presence for social media education – he was the first to be part of Hootsuite University and is now the Director of Education for Hootsuite. Congratulations on your new role, Bill!
So, after many years corresponding on social media, I had a chance to meet Bill in person. We had a great conversation over coffee in the coffee bar at the conference hotel. We discussed new trends in social media education, our enthusiasm for coffee, and how the AEJMC PRD and Hootsuite could continue working together for future conferences. This was the first time Hootsuite was a sponsor at AEJMC.
The time seemed to just fly by – and Bill is not only a leading expert in the field, but his energy and enthusiasm to help others was awesome to see first hand! He’s the real deal and a wonderful colleague and friend to have in the business.
Kirsten and I have been actively corresponding over the years as well. She is the Director of Hootsuite University, which is a program of course I heard about from Bill. Kirsten and I had a chance to talk with fellow PR professor Carolyn Kim (another must follow professor in social media) before our panel session. I was truly amazed and excited to share with Kirsten my thoughts on social media education – she listened and wanted feedback from both Carolyn and I about our experience in HSU and what Hootsuite could do for educators.
Wow – how cool is that? That is what I thought and made me realize – this is what Hootsuite is doing that is separating themselves from other brands. This level of commitment, engagement, and support for education is superb and leading the field.
The team Hootsuite has for the program is unlike any other I have seen over the years from social media companies. I have had the pleasure speaking and working with great professionals at Hootsuite (Taylor Loren, Paula Cusati, and Kimberly Jang) along with Kirsten to incorporate HSU in my social media classes at the University of Louisville.
Kirsten did an AMAZING presentation at AEJMC as part of a teaching mobile panel session. Her presentation was wonderful and insightful for fellow PR professors – here’s a mini clip of her presentation on the panel.We had a chance to not only learn more about Hootsuite University, but also get some ideas for how it can be used in the classroom for various assignments.
I was sitting on the panel myself (did a presentation on Google Glass), and I was able to see the excitement and focus of everyone in the room. The room was standing room only, and the buzz on social media definitely reflected this.
In summary, I would like to thank both Bill and Kirsten for coming to AEJMC and presenting all about Hootsuite to the PRD. We are thrilled with the results and feedback we have gotten – it’s exciting to see everyone getting ready for the fall semester and saying – HSU is going to be a must have for my classes!
I thoroughly enjoyed our conversations as well – I was a huge fan of Hootsuite of course before the conference, but the energy and kindness shared by both Kirsten and Bill at the conference really stood out to me and made me even a bigger fan. Taking the time to talk with professors, asking our feedback on the program, and being willing to share resources and help educators in social media education – I can’t think of any other company in the social media sector that has done this like Hootsuite. In fact, I can’t think of any! 🙂
Again, it was a pleasure meeting you both at the conference, Bill and Kirsten. This was a true highlight for me and I know many of the PR professors and students in Montreal. Thank you and the rest of the team at Hootsuite for being such a leader in social media education – this is not only making a huge impact and difference for our students, but for all of us who are professors as well. #ThanksAMillion. 🙂
Thanks and have a great day!