Bringing in guest speakers is one of the things I think is great to do for classes, especially in social media.  I felt there were some defining professionals who came to my PR classes in all of my degrees (UF, USC, and Tennessee) that provided with real-world, strategic, and insightful best practices. This is what I did this past week in my social media class at the University of Louisville.  We had two great guests come to my class this week with strong connections to the UofL.

We first had Jeff Rushton, who is the Director of Digital Media for the University of Louisville, and Steve Von Gerlauchter, a graduate of UofL and now is an Internet Marketing professional for Blackstone Media.

Jeff Rushton talking to UofL Social Media Class

Several students blogged about Jeff’s presentation on their personal blog. Lizelle wrote about how Jeff discussed the prominence of understanding data both on social media and online (web analytics) to connect with the activities online among key audiences. Understanding the power of engagement was another theme that emerged from the presentation by Jeff, and this was what Heather focused on primarily in her blog post about the presentation.

Highlighting also what UofL did for the Sugar Bowl in terms of social media engagement with athletics / academics and  now with interactive fan posters with pictures from social media was also discussed and shared with the class, so the students got a chance to see an actual campaign tied in with engagement and to the presentation itself as Jake discussed in his post.  Jeff was also described as being the “man behind the social media curtain”  for University of Louisville by Sarah in her blog post. Natasacha discussed several points that were key takeaways from Jeff’s presentation by highlighting the need to experiment, engage, and blog.

Steve talking to students about the importance of creating a strategic plan for social media campaigns

Our second guest speaker for this week was Steve Von Gerlauchter, who is an Internet Marketing Specialist for Blackstone Media in Louisville as well as a graduate of the Communications program here at the University of Louisville.  Steve talked with the students about the elements that need to be taken into consideration when you are working with clients and creating a strategic social media plan.  This was a perfect tie in for the students since they are working on their social media campaign proposals for real UofL clients.

Several students also wrote about Steve’s presentation as well.  Sarah highlighted the key points Steve shared to the class about important things to consider when creating a strategic plan for a social media campaign for a client. Aaron discussed in his post about how it was key to have structure to a social media plan for a client – starting off with research and figuring out what needs to be done for them in terms of strategies and tactics is key.  The issue of creating, curating, and commenting on content was also a key focus in Steve’s presentation to the students as well. Audience is also an important component to consider as well.

Of course, during this week the students had the opportunity to write about blogging, microblogging, online personas,  as well as additional posts that interest them in particular.  From neuromarketing to creating great breakfast food and sharing these on Pinterest, it has been interesting to see what inspires students and what their various interests are in beyond social media and the classroom.  I have shared with each of them I usually write about social media, PR, and crisis – but you may see some travel photos, family trips, and food blog posts as well. 🙂

By sharing these various perspectives, you are creating your own voice and online persona online to share with the online community, which is what employers and others are looking for in young professionals.

I would like to thank both Jeff and Steve for coming to my class this week and sharing their great insights, expertise, and perspectives on social media.  Our class really enjoyed your presentations! 🙂 Thank you.

Hope you all are having a great day!

Best Wishes,