LIVE at CUPRAP: Community Building on Higher Ed Social Media

Digital communities for higher ed marketers and social media pros have become a haven for personal and professional guidance over the last year.

70 minutes
By: Higher Voltage
featured-image

Social media became both hell and haven for the people working in it for higher ed institutions over the past year. The people working on these front lines – let’s stop thinking of them as mere social media managers – are multi-tasking strategists, often undervalued by their institutions, but with invaluable communication skills and unparalleled exposure and familiarity with the audiences that marketers seek to reach. 

This week’s episode of the Higher Voltage podcast, recorded live during CUPRAP’s virtual Spring Professional Development Series, explores the communities that these social media professionals created and leaned into over the past year, including #BHESM (Black higher ed social media), and #MarketingTwitter, to ideate and commiserate – among other things.

Jamila Walker, of Old Dominion University, and TaQuinda Johnson of Eastern Michigan University discuss their experiences, including their work to establish #BHESM on Twitter.

Dr. Josie Ahlquist — our first repeat Higher Voltage guest. Josie is a higher ed digital leadership expert, known particularly for her Facebook groups uniting higher education professionals. And finally, the #MarketingTwitter queen, herself, Christina Garnett, known for driving driving that social community, and who advocates strongly for higher ed leaders to be realistic about what they are asking of social media teammembers.

“You want a magician, but you want to pay for a juggler,” she said.

Read the full transcript

Heather Dotchel:
Hello and welcome to Higher Voltage. What you are about to hear is a recording of a live discussion that took place as part of the Spring Professional Development Series for the College and University Public Relations and Associated Professionals, better known as CUPRAP. After this, everything you’re going to hear is the first live episode of Higher Voltage. Enjoy.

Heather Dotchel:
Hello all and welcome to Higher Voltage. Our podcast explores the ins and outs of higher education marketing and touches on all aspects of the business of higher education. My name is Heather Dotchel. I’m a Philadelphia-based marketing and communications professional who most recently led the MarCom divisions at two area colleges.

Heather Dotchel:
Today is a very special episode of Higher Voltage. We are recording live during this session opener for the Annual CUPRAP Spring Conference.

Heather Dotchel:
Housekeeping tip: if you have questions for our panelists, please enter it into the Q&A function. Gab amongst yourselves, of course, in the chat, and feel free to take bets on how quickly someone will have to tell me I’m on mute.

Heather Dotchel:
Today’s topic: building community on social media. We have some spectacular guests to share their work with you all. First up is Dr. Josie Ahlquist, our first repeat Higher Voltage guest. Josie is a higher ed digital leadership expert and community building icon known particularly for her Facebook groups uniting higher educational professionals.

Heather Dotchel:
Joining her is the hashtag marketing Twitter queen herself, Christina Garnett. Not only does Christina encourage and shape one of the best communities on Twitter, she is currently also building community on HubSpot. To complete our panel, we have Jamila Walker of Old Dominion University and Taquinda Johnson of Eastern Michigan University here to talk about their work to establish #BHESM, Black Higher Education Social Media on Twitter.

Heather Dotchel:
That is enough of me talking. Let’s start with our communities on Twitter. Jamila and Taquinda, can you each give us a little bit about yourselves and why you decided to cultivate BHESM?

Jamila Walker:
Sure. I guess I’ll go first. So during the time of the shootings, which is still continuing, I was looking for a decent community where we can talk and discuss things that not only were going on in our community, but just overall in our careers. I had thought about this even before things went left.

Jamila Walker:
I had sent the Facebook message to Taquinda and I was like, “Hey, what do you think of this idea of having this community for Blacks in higher ed?” because we are our own community also. There’s not a lot of us, but we do lean on each other. She said, “I just literally tweeted this, that I wanted to start this group.” So I didn’t even see that he had tweeted this at all. It was just kind of [crosstalk 00:03:16].

Taquinda Johnson:
Because we stay up on each other’s Twitter feeds.

Jamila Walker:
I know. That day, I just was not on Twitter. Just everything is aligned perfectly. I was like, “Well, then let’s do it.” So we started the group on Facebook, and it’s thriving. We’re getting more members. We can’t wait to see what this community does. So we also make sure that when we are tweeting or anything, we do use that hashtag. A lot of the members that are currently coming into our groups is because they saw the hashtag on Twitter. So we’re getting there. Taquinda could take over also.

Taquinda Johnson:
Yeah. Like Jamila said, her and I have been friends for quite a while now and we check in with each other on a regular, and dealing with the climate of today’s society and what we’ve been dealing with, especially in light, as Jamila mentioned as far as the murder of George Floyd and racial injustice, and to be completely transparent and honest, being a minority within the field of communications, period, there’s a need for community.

Taquinda Johnson:
Not to say that the higher ed comm groups, hashtag and such, aren’t great, because they are and they serve a magnificent purpose, and we’re honored to be a part of this space, but we were finding out, like she mentioned, there wasn’t a place for us.

Taquinda Johnson:
That’s one of the things that … And what we struggle with is not what our counterparts struggle with. A lot of times we don’t feel safe in spaces in order to properly say like, “Hey, this is what I’m dealing with.” That’s where we were dealing with that. We had to craft messaging that we honestly had to put on … As I said, put on the PR hat and let Taquinda be off on the side because I need to think and talk as my institution. But I can’t scream because I’m sitting here crying because of what I’m going through right now emotionally and things like that.

Taquinda Johnson:
So we were able to have candid conversations, not just using the hashtag but also having a safe space on Facebook where people can say like, “Hey, I’ve had a rough day. This is what’s going on. I don’t think my leadership understands,” or whatever the case may be, or, “How would you handle this type of situation?”

Taquinda Johnson:
I’m not saying that we can’t share that within other higher ed groups, but it just hit a little differently, as we said. Like it just hits differently when you can have a safe space for people who are dealing with the same exact thing you are dealing with.

Jamila Walker:
Right, and especially when seeing comments and racial slurs. That’s something I don’t think people oftentimes realize, that even though we do social media, we’re also humans and we’re also dealing with the same emotions, especially as a Black woman, African American, and being in this profession. It was hard during that time, especially with the George Floyd. That just put the nail in the coffin, literally. Just even dealing with that. So just even having that space to talk about our feelings, emotions where we may not feel comfortable talking about that with our counterparts. At least we have each other to talk about that.

Taquinda Johnson:
When it came to the hashtag, another thing I want to bring up too, like Jamila mentioned, is that there’s individuals who honestly did know that this space existed and the hashtag allows for them to be able to say, like, “Oh, man. This is cool because now there’s a space specifically for us.” It brings light because sometimes we’re in the shadow. We’re looked at as like, “Oh, this is the profession.”

Taquinda Johnson:
Of course, this is what we do as far as higher ed comm, but realizing that there’s other folks that look like me. As Jamila knows, I say it as being the chic behind all the accounts. There’s somebody that looks like me that’s behind these accounts dealing with other issues that we deal with as far as communications in higher ed is concerned. So that’s how the hashtag started and that’s how we’ve been moving since. Honestly, it’s been a blessing who.

Jamila Walker:
You’re muted.

Heather Dotchel:
Who had approximately eight to 10 minutes for the bet? Christina, your call for marketers on Twitter with fewer than 1,000 followers to respond to you and then you would retweet them to your larger audience really reverberated throughout the community. It’s actually been months, I think, at this point, and I still see that coming through daily. You get people responding to that thread that you retweet.

Heather Dotchel:
Clearly community building is an integral part of you. You yourself, you. Please introduce yourself to our listeners and share with them what prompted you to consciously work at amplifying fellow marketers on Twitter.

Christina Garnett:
Absolutely. Thank you so much for having me. My name is Christina Garnett. I live on Twitter rent-free, basically. If you follow me, you know that’s true. I don’t sleep. I just tweet. But I currently work as a senior marketing manager for HubSpot. My specific niche is offline community and advocacy. So I do a lot of community building and social listening. Audience intelligence is incredibly important to me.

Christina Garnett:
Because of everything that happened last year, the structure of how we connect, the structure of how we communicate, the intimacy and the lack of intimacy that happened during that year really brought social listening and community building into the forefront. It’s existed. There’s people who’ve been leading the space far longer than I have.

Christina Garnett:
But I left an agency last year and was completely burned out. At that agency, what I loved most, apart from my clients, was going into our chat and sharing, like, “You need to read this new feature,” “You need to see this blog article,” “You need to talk about this person,” “You need to know who this person is.”

Christina Garnett:
And so, when I left, that was such a big void in my life. And so, I took all that energy and put it towards Twitter instead, because I firmly believe that social media can be used for good. It democratizes information.

Christina Garnett:
And so, we’ve all been in a situation where we’ve been to a conference and we’ve seen the same person stand up on the stage. You know they’re getting like $10,000 to $30,000 a spot. They’re going to try to pitch a book to you and you’re going to learn nothing, like nothing, versus there are accounts on Twitter that have 300 followers and are some of the most brilliant people I’ve ever seen. The only thing they’re lacking is someone to give them a microphone.

Christina Garnett:
And so, over the course of that, I started really kind of … I’m not the type of person to be like, “That person’s bad. You shouldn’t listen to them.” I would much rather amplify the good I see instead. And so, I’m not going to amplify the bad. I’m going to purposefully make sure that the people who were doing good work get that microphone. They don’t have to work at a Fortune 500 company to be amazing at what they do. They don’t have to work for the Nikes and Googles of the world to create impact. They don’t have to be verified to create impact.

Christina Garnett:
And so, I slowly started amplifying others, really sharing that messaging. By that time, my amplification curated my own feed. So now these people who had smaller accounts that I’ve been amplifying, now they’re in my feed. And so, my feed …

Christina Garnett:
Last year, there was so much negativity, there was so much violence, there was so much hatefulness. But over the course of those months, I turned my feed into my friends. So when I opened my Twitter that morning, it was just like the most beautiful marketing people who didn’t want to tell me how bad something was. They collectively were making our industry better tweet-by-tweet, character-by-character.

Christina Garnett:
And so, I opened up a social media channel seeing friends, which, as we all know, if you live on social, that’s very rare. It’s a very toxic place. And so, I tweeted that not expecting it to go viral, not expecting it to have the impact it had. What I expected was I really want to share this. If more people had that same kind of experience when they opened an app for a social media channel, the user experience will be completely transformed.

Christina Garnett:
So I created that tweet, wrote with it being under a thousand, because most social media managers, some of the most brilliant people I’ve ever met, have incredible imposter syndrome. If they don’t have the right number beside their name, they feel invalidated. They don’t feel worthy. And so, those people, they needed an invitation. It had nothing to do with their worth, but they needed to be reminded that number means nothing.

Christina Garnett:
And so, I went through. I broke Twitter twice. They kicked me off because I guess I had bot energy. They’re like, “You’re retweeting too much or liking too much.” The kicked me off. I’m like DM’ing people and be like, “No, no, no. I’m alive,” just let them know, like, “I’m still here. I just can’t do anything.”

Christina Garnett:
And so, it turned into this thing where marketing Twitter existed before that. Some of these connections existed before that. If you look at the responses, a lot of it was, “I was lurking,” or, “I didn’t feel worthy,” or, “I do this. Does that count? Does that mean I get to be a part of this?”

Christina Garnett:
And so, they were there. They knew this community existed. But sometimes you just need that personal touch of, “We want you here. We want you to be a part of this. You’re valued no matter how many followers you have.” And so, it created this new groundswell. The thing that I really liked about that tweet was how people behaved with it, because then it turned into because of how it made them feel, they reciprocated that for others.

Christina Garnett:
So some of the first people who responded to that tweet, those are some of the most vocal people welcoming others, because they knew what that meant to them. They’re like, “This was my door. I want to open this door for others.” And so, it’s become a really powerful thing, and I’m very proud of it. I like to say I’m the godmother because I will protect it at all costs. I’ll get very protective.

Heather Dotchel:
Thank you. Josie, you are also a leading voice on Twitter. But I’d actually like to focus on your work with Facebook groups and the amazing sharing communities you’ve built there. So tell us about you first and then more about the journey you’ve had building some of the best professional development communities on Facebook.

Dr. Josie Ahlquist:
Well, first, I just have to also spread some magic pixie dust to my panelists who just are so darn inspiring and, again, that we’re a group of women pointing the microphone to those that also need lifted up and amplified. I believe strongly it’s work like this that there is soulfulness part of social because we follow the spirit.

Dr. Josie Ahlquist:
Like all these examples are coming from we see a need and we quickly move to amplify others. You could call that being a lighthouse, because some of these can’t be built in committee work. And so, again, I just want to give a shout out to that.

Dr. Josie Ahlquist:
So my name is Josie Ahlquist. I’m based in Los Angeles. I started in student affairs. I absolutely love college. Quickly, though, in marketing, I found, and still today, unfortunately, we are some of the … We get in trouble often for promoting too much, maybe using lots of flyers, and not seeing those possibilities to use a platform like Twitter or Instagram for community building.

Dr. Josie Ahlquist:
When I started to get my doctorate, that’s where my research took off around 2015, to start to amplify the work of colleges, presidents, and students that were doing work like that. So today I’m a consultant and speaker, and I birthed a book, a baby, a book baby. I don’t know what it is, but it’s out there in the world. It’s on the bookshelf back there. I won’t sell it to you, I promise. I’m just so glad it is out there in the world.

Dr. Josie Ahlquist:
It’s talking about how leaders need to position themselves not just to put out their platforms and speak other truths, but we really do need to bring others and build communities into the fold. I grew up in a really, really small town, like real, real small. Anyone on my block, like if I needed anything, they would still be there for me in a heartbeat.

Dr. Josie Ahlquist:
Actually, I just stumbled into my hometown’s Facebook group, which small town Facebook groups are fascinating. Someone posted, “Hey, my Amazon package didn’t come. Did anyone receive it?” and it got replied to immediately, like, “Yes, Jessica. I have your package. Come on over and let’s have coffee.”

Dr. Josie Ahlquist:
I have community and knowing your neighbor in my DNA. At the same time, I’ve always believed the internet, we don’t give enough credit. Yes, there is some dark parts and frustrations in ethics we need to tackle, but Twitter got me through my darkest days in my doc program with different Twitter communities and people that I met that are now some of my closest and dearest friends.

Dr. Josie Ahlquist:
So when it comes to Facebook groups, which, again, we know are not perfect, and I put on my cap of educator … My mom’s a kindergarten teacher, which also explains a lot about me … is I want to almost infuse curriculum into the ways that we create some of these digital communities, not all of them, so there is purpose, because there’s a lot of them.

Dr. Josie Ahlquist:
You know there are some Facebook groups or Slack channels where it’s very busy. It’s a lot of problem solving, maybe some frustrations and celebrations. And so, the one community I think Heather is talking about is the Higher Ed Digital Community Builders Facebook group, which I started just a week when we went into lockdown, at least here in Los Angeles. Eventually, I brought on a crew to help me, and we produced panels every other week or so on timely topics, especially for community builders in higher ed, whether if that’s about Reddit or how to bring student leaders into the fold as social media managers, and again just having a space.

Dr. Josie Ahlquist:
So I remix the idea of strategy into curriculum when you think about professional development. Again, I don’t think your community needs to be everything for everyone. If you were to go to that space, it’s actually not as active and interactive versus, let’s say, higher ed social, which is almost too busy for me sometimes that I’ve got to get out of their super quick because I don’t know where to start.

Dr. Josie Ahlquist:
So thinking even about the emotion, the tone, and the timing of your communities is also another strategy for you to think about. My business coach, because I am a business, I had claimed this for myself because I am independent, she says I need to stop making digital communities, which at first really hurt, but it just comes. I see something and I want to bring people together around it.

Dr. Josie Ahlquist:
My latest is a Peloton Facebook group for higher ed writers. We accept non-people in higher in ed, too. It’s honestly my favorite Facebook group now because I have my Century ride coming up, if anybody wants to ride tomorrow at 4:30. That’s what these groups are for, just all kinds of different intersections to bring us together in different ways.

Heather Dotchel:
You Peloton people, you all are a cult.

Dr. Josie Ahlquist:
We’re just excited.

Heather Dotchel:
So one of the things that you’ve just mentioned, Josie, was that Twitter got you through the darkest days of going through your doctoral work. The title of this panel connects community building to finding inspiration and avoiding burnout, which is something I think all of us need in general, but particularly over the past year or so as we’ve faced insurmountable … Or maybe surmountable, but challenges that have a whole bunch of cliched terms associated with them that we’re going to avoid saying at the moment.

Heather Dotchel:
So do you all have either personal examples or anonymous accounting of somebody else’s experience that you’re aware of of how your communities fostered one or the other that you can share?

Christina Garnett:
I can speak to one. When I left my agency, I wrote a piece about social media manager surviving 2020. For me, it poured out of me because, and I think anyone that’s written, the more intimate something is, the more powerful and painful it is. You don’t write at your finger. It falls out of you.

Christina Garnett:
And so, I submitted it just thinking it was going to be I’m just going to put this out in the universe. No one’s probably going to read it, but it was healing for me. It was a very selfish act. I needed to take this tumor out of me, put it somewhere else so it was no longer mine.

Christina Garnett:
The social media community, especially on Twitter, has been incredibly powerful over the past year. Yes, we’ve all been there, but just like you were saying earlier, and it’s helping you survive, there’s been this commiseration that’s happened and this very open dialogue about just the suck, just having to be tied … Like being tied into something that you were being paid to like, yes, it’s a 9:00 to 5:00, but anyone that works in social knows that it isn’t and knows that you have to be on alert and knows that, especially last year, we had like five or six breaking news items that would have broken in the span of a month any other year.

Christina Garnett:
And so, the people who are at the helm are constantly being stabbed with bad news. They’re constantly being hit, and they are in a position where they can’t turn off. Whereas there’s like a national unplug day. The people who need to unplug most don’t have that luxury.

Christina Garnett:
When you try to explain that to others, not all of the responses, but the majority of the response is, “Well, if you hate your job so much, da, da, da, da, da,” not thinking we’re literally here because we love this. We’re literally here because we’re passionate about this, because it would be so much easier to walk away. It would be so easy to walk away. But we stay and we do the work, and we love it. And there’s bad things.

Christina Garnett:
I think that there was such this loneliness last year where people felt this way, and in the midst of what Jamila was talking about and what Taquinda was talking about, there were some amazing times for the community to come together, but there were also some incredibly dark times.

Christina Garnett:
And so, when you are at your desk crying and suffering, you think, “Well, I’m not a victim of one of those crimes. I didn’t die of COVID.” So you almost feel like your pain isn’t legitimate because it’s not that bad. I think that over the past year, it took all of us to come together to be like there’s so much pain happening. And so, one of the first things you can do is acknowledge it and know you’re not one of those victims and know you didn’t have someone maybe directly who passed away from COVID. But your pain is still very much real and you were not alone in that feeling, because I feel like that was a part of it.

Christina Garnett:
Whereas if you were in an office and you were having a bad day, someone could walk by you and know immediately by the look on your face that something’s wrong. How do you do that when you just talk through email? How do you do that when you’re just in a Slack channel? You can’t. Even in Zoom, you can always hide your face. It’s like, “Oh, I’m just tired. I haven’t done my hair yet,” and meanwhile you’re on mute crying.

Christina Garnett:
And so, those conversations. There was so much vulnerability last year. Like having those really uncomfortable conversations, like, “I love my job, but I can’t stop crying,” or, “I love my job, but I don’t sleep at night.” I’m checking Google Alerts at like 2:00 in the morning hoping that someone new didn’t get shot and that there wasn’t any case in my area or that, “What’s going to happen to my kids? What’s going to happen to their schools?”

Christina Garnett:
And so, a lot of that Instagram thing of like we’re all perfect, we’re all happy, we’re all everything, it faded last year where we’ve just had to be forced to be like there’s so much suck. We have to talk about it. We have to be very honest. For me, that was very powerful because as soon as someone else opens up, it makes it so much easier for you to open up.

Heather Dotchel:
Thank you for sharing that. Any of the other panelists have something to add?

Dr. Josie Ahlquist:
I think on that vulnerability piece, as community builders, it’s that willingness to even give a little of that insight into you that sets the table or the picnic basket or whatever that is. So then others might not speak up right away, but then they feel like there’s a resource here, there’s a space, because you’ll quickly find, like Christina shared, a lot of others saying, “Oh, me too,” where I feel validated.

Dr. Josie Ahlquist:
As a researcher, I’m always also going into social spaces with my radars up of what patterns are we seeing. This industry is actually still quite new. Unfortunately, many positions that these fall under are further down into access and power, and they need advocates. So that could be another role within building community, especially at a macro level, that I’ve seen especially this past year in higher ed, that not only do we need a lot more research in order to advocate for these types of roles for resources, but the wellness piece is critical.

Dr. Josie Ahlquist:
If you don’t say, many of your most senior leaders would have no idea the amount of weight that comes into even your DMs until you take a screenshot of it and actually share it. Sometimes it needs to be that clear. And so, being part of some of these communities might give you some of those tools to know how to advocate for yourself, but also help others around you to move along the way.

Heather Dotchel:
Yeah, I find that in all sorts of cases, the first thing I do is run to Twitter because there is that community there that has been curated, and whether it’s good or bad, I know that I have those people there that we can go and we can talk. I personally find processing difficult situations via text, via letters, and not necessarily video or audio, to be very useful for myself.

Heather Dotchel:
And so, there’s that comfort level of both the people and the way you’re ingesting the crazy media all around us right now that I find particularly comforting in community building.

Taquinda Johnson:
Yeah, I just want to piggyback off of what Josie was saying, like having … That’s really key about figuring out how to advocate for yourself, because it’s unfortunate that our senior level, C-suite folks or whatever, they don’t know. It’s kind of like if you don’t tell them, they won’t know exactly the weight or even the decision makings that, unfortunately, they make and how that trickles down to you. It’s just like, “Oh, well.”

Taquinda Johnson:
I’ll put it out there. I had a situation where a decision was made and I was like, “Wow! I really wish that they would’ve talked to me about that before it was made,” because now I have to have the repercussions of the decision that was made or a statement that was given or something like that, and the drive that we develop on social as far as community is concerned is huge.

Taquinda Johnson:
I love the fact, Heather mentioned it, like you need to text it out versus call. There’ve been times where I have legit sent Jamila and sent Nikki over at [inaudible 00:28:31] a text in a minute to say, “Help.” Then immediately they both pick up the phone, like, “All right. What’s going on?”

Taquinda Johnson:
It’s because of having that tribe, like Josie mentioned, just being able to research and know, like, “Okay. How do I handle this? How do I advocate for myself? Or how do I deal with it now that it’s done?” You know what I’m saying? So I just wanted to know share about that. That’s a real thing. It just really is.

Jamila Walker:
I think it’s so important to advocate for yourself and just thinking more like, with everything that you guys have been saying, like usually at the end of the year, we have to do an evaluation, your goals. I never once put in my goals. It’s always work-related. I think it’s so important to have one of those goals to be your mental health or I’m going to take some time to do this. I never put that down. It’s always mostly like, “Oh, I want to reach this many followers or this,” but it’s never anything personally for myself.

Jamila Walker:
I think that’s just something to think about in this role in social media is to think about your mental health as well. Even though we have this digital community, it’s also important to speak up to your higher ups or your supervisors and let them know what’s going on, because it does take a lot of your energy and sometimes you do feel overwhelmed.

Jamila Walker:
Luckily, my supervisor used to have my role, so she understands exactly what’s going on, and that’s important. But even during the times of the George Floyd and we had to send a message out, I had to say transparency, I was like, “Yeah, I can’t post a social today. I can’t do it. I’m mentally not there. I can’t do it,” and they understood that. I always say a closed mouth don’t get fed. If you just have to say what exactly is going on, and it’s okay to ask for help, it doesn’t mean that you’re less than. It’s just you can’t handle it today.

Jamila Walker:
Even while you’re thinking of that, it’s also using your role to also be a comfort to others. That’s something I was thinking of during the time of Black Lives Matters and all that stuff, like how can we be a comfort to our community? How can I use my role? Because I’m hurting, I know they’re hurting, too. So how can we bring that together?

Jamila Walker:
So just thinking of along those lines as well. But, yeah, also advocate for yourself. Mental health is important. Be transparent and let those know that this is how you’re feeling.

Taquinda Johnson:
There’s something to be said when we reach out to our communities, that there’s that short hand there for us, because we’re all doing if not similar very related jobs. You don’t have to explain that, “Well, this is a problem because … ,” and then go into the whole explanation of why. Our communities know when you say, “So I got a flyer.” That’s enough enough said for us right now.

Taquinda Johnson:
So we have a question. We have a few questions that are coming in. This seems a good place for one from Gail, because really what she’s talking about here is how supervisors become part of that community or become support for community. So she asks, “How can those of us who manage social professionals but are not on Twitter or Facebook in the wee hours with the trolls and the crazy better support our staff?”

Dr. Josie Ahlquist:
I think supervisors need to be just as attuned to the tone and the tenor of platform. So it’s not always the social media manager coming, them already knowing, or having the forethought to know that a post might go a little south and they might need more support. So it isn’t always that person having to do the speaking up, like thinking around those.

Dr. Josie Ahlquist:
That’s just being tapped into the platforms, doing your own homework to pay attention to where things are going. Then sometimes also maybe being the one to ask the question of how are you doing? Do you need some time? But then to really mean it. Don’t say, “Yeah, totally log off at whatever time,” and then you’ve got an email or a DM to them. You really have to practice …

Dr. Josie Ahlquist:
I mean I know for me, sometimes I just send things or post things without thinking, but those messaging are role models that can go … Honestly, be harmful especially to social media managers who do care. Already, I don’t want to call it addiction, but we are put into patterns of behavior where we have to stay logged on. It’s already very difficult for us to not look.

Dr. Josie Ahlquist:
It’s almost like that one Netflix show, that bird show, like don’t look at the demons or … Not that far. But, anyway, do your homework, pay attention, and really mean it when you say that you’re going to give them time.

Heather Dotchel:
Christina, did you have something to add? You had your raised hand up.

Christina Garnett:
Yes, but I’ll make it brief because I know Taquinda wanted to answer this, too. The Suez Canal meme that went around. if you didn’t see this, there’s like the little engine that could trying to get it out. That little backhoe is all the social media managers and the Suez Canal blockage is all the problems that have been created in meetings that the social media managers were never invited to.

Christina Garnett:
Your social media manager is the Dr. Strange of your Avengers team. They’re going to know instinctively and in their gut what’s going to perform well and not and they’re going to instinctively be able to tell you … Honestly, if you’re going to pitch them something to post, respond with one question: what is the worst possible scenario if you post this? Because they’ll tell you and they’ll be right.

Christina Garnett:
And so, they know those channels back and forth. They know the people who are going to yell at them the first. They know which one’s going to love it the most. They know who’s going to … They live in those ecosystems. That’s saying these social media channels are filled with humans. These are ecosystems.

Christina Garnett:
So you need to know the channels, but you need to trust those people who are going to be fixing that problem. So if you have any doubts, invite them to those meetings where those conversations or decisions are being made because they’ll be the first person to be like, “This is a great idea in theory, but when I press this button, all hell’s going to break loose,” and they’ll be right. Treat them like Dr. Strange. They know. That’s it.

Taquinda Johnson:
Listen, if you’re watching this, and I know some people are listening, I really wish you could’ve seen my gestures when Christina was going in, because that right there is a huge way that you guys can help us, by all means, even if you feel like, “Hey, I don’t think this is social related.”

Taquinda Johnson:
I think that’s another question that goes in the minds of those who don’t do social. You think like, “Oh, well, it isn’t social related.” Whether you realize it or not, a lot of things are social related. I would rather sit in the meeting versus not being invited to the table in the first place. So invite us to the table, please, and thank you. We would love to be brought.

Taquinda Johnson:
Another thing is, again, like Christina said, trust us to do our job. I always, and Jamila knows this, am a really big … I believe the people are called to operate in the area that their called to operate in. I’m not a doctor because I’m not called to be a doctor. I’m not a therapist. I mean if you want to come sit in my couch, you can. I’ll let you vent, but I can’t tell you X, Y, and Z this is what you’re supposed to do.

Taquinda Johnson:
But this right here, this thing called public relations and social media and comm is my world. I’m the doctor in this work. So allow for us to be able to freely share and be able to freely say like, “Hey,” like Christina mentioned, “I think this does look good. However, we thought about X, Y, and Z or what may happen,” or even not so much what may happen, but possibly areas that may have slipped through the cracks, like we should do A before C. But you want to start at C, but you forgot about A and B. But let me bring A and B to the conversation. So I think that that would help us out tremendously because then we won’t have to fix it afterwards.

Jamila Walker:
Sorry. It is so true. It’s so true. I think, to what everyone’s saying, bring social media managers or social media specialists when it’s happening, because there are so many times where the meeting has happened. Then when things hit the fan, it’s like, “Oh, can you post this to social fast?” Or, “Can you monitor this?” What am I monitoring? I have no idea what’s going on.

Jamila Walker:
So just bringing them to the table first is so important. Then even asking, like Josie said, how can we help you? I even hate this word, but I’m just going to use it already. Treat them like the experts that they are. If it’s even like a training or a workshop for your team, having that social media person explain and show the day-to-day or what they are doing so you get a better understanding of what’s going on.

Jamila Walker:
A prime example, our VP. Real quick backstory. We had cut our wrestling team and that was just hell. That was just terrible. I had no idea that was happening. So that was just another instance where I was not brought to the table. The next thing I know social media is just going haywire about it.

Taquinda Johnson:
Then that community does not play. Sorry.

Jamila Walker:
No. [crosstalk 00:39:05].

Taquinda Johnson:
That community does not play, because that was one of the first things that I had to deal with at Eastern coming into the position. They cut our wrestling, too.

Jamila Walker:
Oh, yeah. They come for your gut and they don’t care who you are. And so, for anyone, school, university, that is about to have your wrestling team cut, be prepared because they come in droves.

Taquinda Johnson:
[crosstalk 00:39:28] later, we’ll help.

Jamila Walker:
Oh, and they’re still coming, and we cut that a year ago. They’re still, every other time, like … I’m like, “Happy Friday,” and they’re like, “Well, what about wrestling?” So you just never now. But our VP, she had to post something on social about wrestling. They came and she was like, “Oh my gosh. I didn’t know that this was going to get this kind of conversation.” I’m like, “Well, welcome to my world, because if you discussed this, I would say that might not have been the best move or let’s revamp this.”

Jamila Walker:
So I just think making sure that the social media person that’s on your team, have them as a leader. Make them feel like they are the leader. If you have any questions, just ask and be transparent. Let them do a training or a workshop so you can see exactly what goes on in our day-to-day.

Jamila Walker:
Also be open … The last things I had to … Like be open if we tell or we say to you I may not know, but let me get right back to you, because I think that that’s really key because of the simple fact that some managers do come to us or supervisors do come to us and expect an answer right then and there. But just like it takes you a while to answer a question, it takes us a while, too. So allow for us to nicely do our due diligence in that area in order to ensure that you have everything that you need on your end, too.

Heather Dotchel:
So I just want to change focus a little bit to talk about some of our professionals who are really new to this area. We all have enough experience here that we’re all creating communities and participating in communities, but we do have a question. [Joe Master 00:41:25] asks … I think there are some folks joining us today who are new to higher ed and their roles. What advice do the panelists have for someone trying to network and build community during these mostly remote times?

Taquinda Johnson:
Yeah. So I’ll kick it off. One, lean in. Lean all the way in. We have all been there. We have all been there. So whatever leaning in looks like for you, that might be following a hashtag, that may be joining a Facebook group, don’t just join the group, join the group and talk to folks. You see the hashtag, tap into the conversation that’s been going on. Even if the conversation ended yesterday and it’s still there, still tap in, follow, introduce yourself. Just lean in as much as possible and realize you are not alone like Michael Jackson would say.

Dr. Josie Ahlquist:
Well, I would say welcome to the club, to higher ed. Also, again, some of these spaces can be intimidating, whether it’s Twitter or a Facebook group. So like the Peloton example, I swear again not hashtag ad, that’s something I wanted and I thought I need so I just did it. Even if it was going to be a group of five of us, that was going to be great.

Dr. Josie Ahlquist:
So you don’t have to wait for a community to start. Some of my favorites, not necessarily that had been my own, but are just really small. So maybe that’s going to be great for you is you just happen to see four other people that are brand new or different roles that you’d be interested, like, “Hey, do you want to create a group meet?” Now you have your people for when you can celebrate or when things are hitting the fan.

Dr. Josie Ahlquist:
So sometimes you have to do a little bit of the ask out there, but like was also shared, sometimes you just have to say hello. Christina’s example was so great. It was such a simple way. If you have less than a thousand, say hello. That can, again, open up a lot of sparked opportunities.

Dr. Josie Ahlquist:
I also, as far as associations and other communities out there, I do think there needs to be a lot more mentorship programs. Some of these things do need to be formalized to create a stronger pipeline for those that what are we looking at beyond social media or furthering the industry. And so, that’s my little pitch then. Beyond just these open spaces, there is some program opportunities, I think, out there for mentorship.

Jamila Walker:
I agree. I think networking, whether that’s using the hashtag or finding the Facebook groups. But even start one on your own campus. Maybe there are other social media administrators on your campus, and you guys can create like I have on my campus is a lunch and learn. We bring all the social media administrators on our campus, now virtually, and we just have a discussion. We have guest speakers. So just having that community.

Jamila Walker:
It helps a lot because there are some that are just brand new to social media and then there’s those who are veterans in social media and can just bounce ideas off each other. So even starting a space right where you are could help as well.

Christina Garnett:
I tend to compare community to gardening quite a lot. I find that it comes down to mindset. So one of the first pieces of advice I would give is give more than you take. It’s very clear when it’s a pitch versus a request to belong somewhere. It has a very different emotional response.

Christina Garnett:
And so, think about just like a garden, where is it going to live? Is it going to be in a Slack channel? Is it going to be in a Facebook group? Is it going to be in person? Then make sure that that soil or that home has what it needs. What kind of nutrients does that specific community need in order for it to thrive? Does it need opportunities to talk to each other? Does it need opportunities for education or mentorship? Does it need opportunities for field trips or whatever? But what are the needs of that specific community and then constantly nurture it.

Christina Garnett:
As community is blown up as this topic, in one to two years, especially six months after the world opens up, there’s going to be a very interesting conversation in community, because the growth hackers in the community sector are going to be quiet finally. They’re going to move on to the next hot topic, because they’ve realized that it didn’t move as fast as they wanted.

Christina Garnett:
So if you’re trying to create community from a collector standpoint of like, “I want a thousand members and I want 2,000 members and 3,000 members,” it’s never going to happen fast enough. You’re going to get lost thinking about that core number than you are these individual relationships.

Christina Garnett:
Community is built off of these one-to-one. As you’re building it from the very beginning, that’s what you need to be focusing on is this one-to-one relationship. What are their needs? Why are they here? Why would they stay? Then just continually watering those flowers.

Christina Garnett:
From a comms perspective, that’s a very interesting shift because comms, and tell me if I’m wrong, they’ll listen to you when there’s a fire. They’ll listen to you when they’re battering down the door. But they don’t care if you’re like, “Look at all these people who love us. Can we do something special for them?” They don’t respond to those emails as quickly.

Christina Garnett:
So the same water that you’re going to use to put out those fires is the same water that you can use to water those flowers. That same attention that you could take these fans and turn them into super fans. Now when you have trolls on your Facebook and your Twitter account, you’re going to have those super fans come for them.

Christina Garnett:
You can be as nice as you want, you have fans who will cut them for you. You don’t have to say a word. You don’t have to tell them to do it, because now they’ve been offended because you’ve come after their school, you’ve come after their people, you’ve come after their state or their program or whatever. But it all comes down to gardening.

Heather Dotchel:
I do want to emphasize the point that was brought up I think across the board here for the young professionals out there, don’t be afraid to reach out. MarCom people in general, I have found, are very collegial. They’re always happy to help, even when technically you would consider them your competitor at a school across town. Don’t be afraid.

Heather Dotchel:
I think most of us maybe aren’t so keen on managing the day-to-day stuff, but we love coaching. So don’t be afraid to raise your hand and say, “Could you talk this through with me?” because I’ve never met anybody at MarCom, especially in higher ed and especially in CUPRAP, who’s not willing to say absolutely.

Heather Dotchel:
Then the one other thing I would say too for young professionals is look at community across platforms. Facebook versus LinkedIn versus Twitter are very different in their feel and what they’re good at for community. So give yourselves some broadband there to build because you’ll find they come in handy in very different circumstances. That’s it.

Heather Dotchel:
Okay. So we have a question from [Peter Holleran 00:48:59]. “Any thoughts by any of the panelists about how we can do a better job of encouraging the development of social communities among prospective students? It seems like an underdeveloped but high potential opportunity for colleges and universities trying to build in prospective students’ conviction to come together to their schools.” Any brainstorming on this?

Taquinda Johnson:
So I …

Heather Dotchel:
Go ahead.

Taquinda Johnson:
I’ll be completely honest. It’s great that we want to do that, but I would rather do it on their own versus asking one of us or asking your admissions team or someone else to do that. One, it’s a huge responsibility for the upkeep of that particular community.

Taquinda Johnson:
That’s one of the things like the past, what, over three years that I’ve been at the university, I’ve been at Eastern, is that we’ve had consistent conversations about that and about providing these outlets for prospective students, as well as those who have been admitted and parent groups and all of that. Although it’s a great idea, you have to honestly look at the manpower that it takes for you to manage those groups. Then also what the content looks like that you’re going to post that.

Taquinda Johnson:
So even after orientation is done in August and they all moved in or they’re commuter students or whatever the case may be, what is your content going to look like from fall to the end of December? Then what’s the content going to look like after that?

Taquinda Johnson:
Of course, there’s, oh, yeah, [MU 00:50:48] for such and such groups. I would advocate for them creating their own space and managing that space versus putting it on your comm department and your social teams in order to do that. Now if you have a smaller institution and it’s a little bit different for them, then, by all means, if that’s what floats your boat and it works for you guys, then by all means go for it.

Taquinda Johnson:
But I’ve literally had conversations with our admissions team and even our campus life department, and we had a family life department and at one time there were parent groups that were a part of that. Then the university decided to pull that particular department. So the group just sat there and nobody’s managing it. So then you get into that type of deal as well.

Taquinda Johnson:
So you have to realize, one, do you have the manpower to actually keep the content flowing the way that you want it in order for it to be great? Then, two, advocate for individuals to create their own. Believe it or not, there are individuals out there who are creating their own groups.

Taquinda Johnson:
I have seen them and I’ve seen them pop up. So if you want to do anything, tap into those groups, and just check in every once in a while, share information every once in a while, even if it’s just a student staff member or something like that. But don’t put on yourself more than what you can bear when it comes to building community.

Christina Garnett:
Completely agree, [crosstalk 00:52:29].

Taquinda Johnson:
Sorry. I hope that didn’t totally back down your idea. I think it’s great. However, you’ve got to take a scope of everything.

Jamila Walker:
I agree, especially if you’re a team of one like myself. Hello teams of ones. Don’t do it yourself because even if you’re a social media for the entire university, you have all these buckets that you need to hit. And so, for me, it’s military, it’s alumni, it’s everything. So you don’t want to take on too much where you’re overwhelmed.

Jamila Walker:
So if you have admissions, like our admissions has their own social media, happy to share, happy to share what they post, happy to collaborate, but I’m not going to take on that whole project. But if you’re looking to, I guess, promote more content for prospective students, then I suggest maybe working with students on campus and creating a student ambassador program.

Jamila Walker:
So we have one called The Digital Monarchs, and they help a lot with admissions in different other colleges and departments to showcase life at ODU and answer questions as well. But that would be my idea of creating this community or group is maybe work with admissions, but not necessary take on this huge project yourself if you don’t have the manpower to do so.

Christina Garnett:
Completely agree. I would also add that by having it on one of the own channels, you are accepting a higher level of liability. So how many times has there been a student who’s been kicked out because they’ve said something inflammatory or racist and then the college has to respond? It’s very different if you had like an own channel that that lived on and you didn’t catch it in time. By the time it goes viral, it was on the own channel. So now the level of liability is significantly higher.

Christina Garnett:
I think from this perspective, a better opportunity would be to … In the admissions packet, I’m sure a lot of colleges are already doing this, but provide opportunities for UGC and give them opportunities of what you would do.

Christina Garnett:
So what you’re wanting from this from content is you want to use your students as influencers. Then I would treat them the exact same way I would hire an influencer. So I would give them examples. “Hey, this is the hashtag we would love you to use. These are the kind of images that we would like to share. If you want to be featured, this is what that would look like.”

Christina Garnett:
But if you want to use them for content, then I would make it very clear what’s allowed and what’s not allowed. Then there’s going to be those people who want to create their own community. You’ve got to think about it, too. Who’s your audience? You have these 18, 19-year-olds who are finally leaving their home. The last thing they want is to, like, “Oh, goodness. I get to be a part of this community that’s created by another adult.”

Christina Garnett:
No, they want nothing to do with that. They want to do their own thing their own way. You don’t want to be that college that creates to be like, “Here’s our TikTok channel and here’s all the community for it,” because then it just feels like what are you doing? Why would you do that? You’re better off empowering these students and be like, “Use this hashtag. You can do it on Instagram. You can create videos on TikTok. You can use it on Twitter. You can use it anywhere. That way we can find your content and we can share it. This is what that could look like.”

Christina Garnett:
Then you could have opportunities for that. What happens if there’s a really great content creator? Then you get to do what Jamila was saying. Now you get to handpick and be like, “This person is already doing great content. They would be a great ambassador,” and maybe the ambassadorship is a part of work study. So now it gets to financially benefit them in a way. Then they can work with the comms team or they can work with the social team to be able to facilitate …

Christina Garnett:
And also now that helps them. There are so many influencers who might be at your college right now for marketing. Why can’t they be a part of a work study program so now they get to help the comms team? They get to be able to take pictures and be able to create UGS for your college. They get to be able to spread the word for what a hashtag campaign would look like for a specific UGC. They encourage others to do it and you get content, you get community, but you don’t have the liability.

Christina Garnett:
You’re able to curate what’s shown and what’s not shown. And like they both said before, you’re also not drowning your staff with just one more thing that they have to monitor and babysit. Honestly, it would be babysitting.

Dr. Josie Ahlquist:
Well, it goes back to the why just creating a Facebook group is not a digital community. Just having a hashtag isn’t one either. And so, do we just keep creating Facebook groups for the next incoming class because that’s what we do? Well, what’s the longevity of that? What do we actually want to happen? Do we want every single freshman in this group or do we want to make an impact and influence and change lives? So starting with that first rather than jumping to the platform. Like Christina said, using students as those influencers in those communities that we want to create is also really powerful.

Heather Dotchel:
I want to jump in here too with my parent hat on, because I am the parent of more than one child in this demographic, and they are already building their own communities. They’re on Discord. They’re not interested in being on the official school Facebook page.

Heather Dotchel:
The Discord for my current senior is so organized that they have their own hierarchy of moderators that they’ve put together from the students, and they are on that all the time. So that might be another way to get at it too is to figure out where they are of their own accord and see if there’s possibilities there.

Heather Dotchel:
Okay, so we just have basically a few minutes left. If there’s any other questions, please put them in the Q&A so we can get to them. But in the meantime, let’s take it back to the panelists. I always tend to ask at the end of the podcast, which gets edited out through the magic of post-production, which we don’t have here, if there’s anything that we haven’t talked about related to the topic at hand that you really think needs to be said. There is something in here that either the flow of the conversation passed by or that you came into this discussion thinking, “Oh, if I make one point, I need to make this point.”

Heather Dotchel:
Do we have that at this point? Anybody have anything that hasn’t been covered yet that you’d like to bring up. Taquinda? Getting that it’s all okay.

Taquinda Johnson:
Yes, absolutely. I’m good. I’m so full. After everything that Christina says, and Josie and as well as Jamila, I am full. I think we covered a whole lot in this time period.

Heather Dotchel:
We did, indeed. All right. Well, then I am going to actually take the last question that’s in the Q&A here, which I skipped because I know the question asker, but also because it wasn’t quite in the flow. This tags back into what we were talking about with supporting our social media, our internal community really, our social media staff. So [Tom Durst 00:59:49] wants to know how can we best manage up on behalf of the social media managers that we supervise?

Jamila Walker:
I don’t know if there’s a best answer for this for me. I think it was touched on before that you just have to ask and how’s everything going? What do you need from me? How can I help you? And also, again, putting that trust in your social person because you hired this person for a reason. There was a reason why they’re here, so let them do their job to do so, and giving them that autonomy and trust and leadership to handle the social for your institution. I’m just trying to think.

Jamila Walker:
For me, I think my supervisor and my team overall does a great job in supporting me and asking me if there’s anything I need and just ready to put their hand in. But, again, I think for me personally, it’s a different situation because my supervisor was in my shoes. So she already knows what I am dealing with and maybe the challenges of it. But I think really just honestly asking for me is the best thing. I like transparency and just honestly asking, “Is there anything that you need or resources or anything that will make your job easier?” put that in quotes for those who can’t see, and how they can help.

Christina Garnett:
I would add to advocate for them outside of that department, sadly, because it is young, there’s this misconception of youth associated with social media. So basically if you’re young and just graduated from college and you have an iPhone, you can do social media. That is incorrect. Age doesn’t dictate … Also sometimes education doesn’t dictate either because there’s so many people who’ve gravitated towards social and have a nonlinear path. But that doesn’t make them any less a professional.

Christina Garnett:
So if you’re talking about your marketing team and you’re talking about your comms team, you need to be putting your social media manager in those same conversations, and being held to the same level, because you’ll see … And do this in your job descriptions, too.

Christina Garnett:
So what you’ll do is, in one side, you’ll say, “We need a social media manager.” “Oh, we can describe someone from college,” and then be like, “What do you need them to do?” “I need to be able to create a content calendar. I need them to be able to do copywriting. I need them to be able to do graphic design. I hope they know how to do it. That’ll be sweet. I need them to be able to do videos.” You want a magician, but you want to pay for a juggler. That doesn’t make sense.

Christina Garnett:
So you need to, when you’re hiring and when you’re talking about your team, think about what you’re asking them to do. Make a punch list of every single thing you would want them to do and every single tool you would ask them to be able to be proficient or even like an expert on and then think about that, because a social media manager is a big cat hiding about 50 hats inside of it.

Christina Garnett:
The people who are not doing the job don’t realize it. They think you’re just pressing buttons. I live on Twitter all day or I used to live on Facebook all day, and there’s so much more of it.

Christina Garnett:
So to manage up, be very clear about the people who are doing that. Also, I would love more conversations about hierarchies for social media managers. Where is there room for them to grow and what does that look like? Because when you think about a social media person, maybe your first inclination is that this person just lives on social. But what I need you to see is that that person is highly adaptable.

Christina Garnett:
They’re working in a high-pressure situation at all times, They literally never know what’s going to be in their inbox next, but they have to handle it all the same. They have to be able to read the room quicker than anybody else. They are the first person who can identify and prevent a crisis, but they’re not treated that way.

Christina Garnett:
So you need to make sure you’re taking care of them. You need to make sure that you’re seeing them for the professionals they are. And you need to provide opportunities for them to grow and what that looks like. So if you’re unsure of where would you put a social media manager next, strategy, because that’s all they’re doing. They’re strategically thinking every single day how does this look on Twitter versus Facebook versus LinkedIn versus Reddit versus YouTube. How do I make them better? Everything they’re doing is strategic thinking, they’re just not called that.

Christina Garnett:
So then what would a strategist be able to do for your community? What would a strategist be able to do for your campus? How would they be able to mold and move up in the marketing, in the marketing ladder of your university? That’s what I would do.

Dr. Josie Ahlquist:
As we think about managing up and hierarchies in higher ed, having a lens of potentially where your cabinet is coming from, your supervisor having to maybe manage up in that space. We had presidents that were chemistry, faculty, lawyers, like backgrounds all over the place, maybe also student affairs. And so, they also have different love languages that gets them and feels like you’re speaking their language, because social probably is not their language. Because of the rate of change, they may already have some resistance just based upon not feeling like that’s their domain or they know it.

Dr. Josie Ahlquist:
So that is why, again, I’m advocating for more research, because for some that come more from faculty, having that published data on the industry and the impact that social media managers are having on students and retention and all those things is going to speak volumes on this industry. But it also just opens up the dialogue again to be able to communicate again a little bit.

Dr. Josie Ahlquist:
Maybe that’s using a lot of what’s in the strategic plan, values, mission, things like that, but that has been a good angle, especially for me as I get into cabinets to know who’s at the table and how to interpret things a little bit differently.

Heather Dotchel:
All right. Well, we are just about out of time. On every episode of Higher Voltage, we’d like to end with something completely different to throw a little money python in there loosely. So what I’d like to do is go around and I’m just going to call you out based on where the magic video box is on this recording session for me, with asking you who your favorite superhero is. I did this for you, Christina, because we’ve got a lot of cross over there. Who your favorite superhero is and where can our audience find you on social media. So, Christina, you’re next to me. You go first.

Christina Garnett:
Absolutely. So even though my Twitter banner is Scarlet Witch, and I love her dearly, my favorite superhero is Batgirl. Uses an analytical brain, is able to read the room, just able to be a collaborator at times. I find that also, as a fake redhead, I can’t help myself but love Barbara Gordon. She’s faced some adversity.

Christina Garnett:
Then even after she was shot and paralyzed, spoiler alert, she then became Oracle and was still able to make a positive impact and be able to make Gotham a better place. So I would 100% go with Barbara Gordon/Batgirl/Oracle all day long. I hope that DC will let me consult because they’re a mess.

Christina Garnett:
Then that you can find me on Twitter, @ThatChristinaG. Same on Instagram, but my Instagram’s just nature. So don’t expect anything groundbreaking there. Then on LinkedIn, just follow me on Christina Marie Garnett. Then also feel free to check out on the HubSpot community. Just Google it and be able to join in, be able to start some conversations there as we grow our advocacy channel and network. And HubStars is coming up shortly, so keep an eye on that.

Heather Dotchel:
Taquinda, you’re up next.

Taquinda Johnson:
All right. So I’m not going to go into why because I think once I say this person’s name, then you’ll be like, “Oh, yeah.” So for me, superhero-wise, it’s Black Panther, plain and simple. Mic drop and there we go. You can find me on outlets, @TMariePR. Again, that’s TMariePR on all outlets. Thank you everyone for the opportunity.

Heather Dotchel:
Josie, how about you?

Dr. Josie Ahlquist:
Well, I love me some Wonder Woman. I’m just [inaudible 01:08:44] around my office, even though they did her wrong in this last movie. So if you do work with DC, please, they need your help, yes. It just needs some empowerment. The theme music … If I could have one song that people knew, “Oh, that’s Josie. Josie’s coming,” like Wonder Woman’s music right now. That’s pretty amazing. You can find me at JosieAhlquist.com and @JosieAhlquist on all those socials. This was so amazing to be invited into this conversation. Thanks for having me.

Heather Dotchel:
Thank you. And, Jamila, what you got for us?

Jamila Walker:
God, I’m stressing. My husband will kill me if he’s looking at this. I was going to say Black Panther, but since my husband made me WandaVision, and I actually really, really love Scarlet Witch, I will say Scarlet Witch because she was everything.

Jamila Walker:
You can find me on Twitter, @iamjamilawalker. My Instagram is me @milatiye. Do not judge on followers. I do have really good content. Just I revamped. But I use my Instagram as my gaming because I like to game. So that’s my Instagram. Then you can just find me on LinkedIn as Jamila Walker. This was a great. Thank you for having me, Heather. This was an awesome panel.

Heather Dotchel:
Thank you all so much for this and thank you to CUPRAP for having this incredibly fun opportunity to do this live. I didn’t even have to make horrible noises and start over any of the lines to say, “Bob, please edit this later.” So that’s exciting.

Heather Dotchel:
To our listeners, if you’d like to explore a topic further, and all our CUPRAP people out there, please feel free to reach out to me on Twitter, @HDotchel.

Higher Voltage

Higher Voltage

Higher Voltage is a periodic podcast covering all aspects of higher education, with a focus on higher education marketing. We talk to professionals in the higher education space across admissions, marketing, career services, alumni relations, and more.

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
1 Comment
Oldest
Newest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Emma
Emma
3 months ago

Good Post.


Newsletter Sign up!

Stay current in digital strategy, brand amplication, design thinking, and more.

Also in Admissions

Graphic design with orange background behind the word Volt.

What Should We Write About?

Tell us what topics in higher ed and higher ed marketing need to be talked about more, and what we should explore next.

Admissions /
By:
Graphic design showing an international student visa card on the left with an image of a woman in a mask looking at her smartphone on the right.

Tricky Territory: Navigating the Rising Demand for International Recruitment Agents

As schools target enrollment gaps, recruitment agents can be pivotal partners to reaching foreign students – if ethical guidelines are followed.

Admissions /
By: Charlie Harcourt
Woman with brown skin and black braids wearing a yellow shirt on a laptop.

HBCU Marketing in a Post-Pandemic World

COVID-19 and nationwide calls for racial justice continue to present unique challenges – and opportunities – for HBCUs.

Admissions /
By: Higher Voltage
Graphic design with orange background behind the word Volt.

What Should We Write About?

Tell us what topics in higher ed and higher ed marketing need to be talked about more, and what we should explore next.

Admissions /
By:
Graphic design showing an international student visa card on the left with an image of a woman in a mask looking at her smartphone on the right.

Tricky Territory: Navigating the Rising Demand for International Recruitment Agents

As schools target enrollment gaps, recruitment agents can be pivotal partners to reaching foreign students – if ethical guidelines are followed.

Admissions /
By: Charlie Harcourt
image of girl smiling with green background

‘The Most Important Work’: Increasing the Number and Diversity of College Graduates

Learn how the University Innovation Alliance’s mission to redefine the purpose and utility of a college degree for the next generation of students.

Admissions /
By: Higher Voltage