Enjoy Your Thursday Rundown

Good evening to you all. I absolutely love these late October days. How about we get right to my latest Thursday Rundown?

Lee Brice Concert – Last Friday I worked the Lee Brice concert here at Coastal Carolina University. Although Brice has put on some pounds, he performed as best he could. I took some sweet photos and enjoyed listening to a couple of his major hits but it didn’t stop me from leaving early. I was tired from the week and the energy in the venue just wasn’t enough to keep me until the encore. After I had gathered enough content for our social media outlets I bolted.

This is one of the photos I took at the Lee Brice concert on Friday night.

This is one of the photos I took at the Lee Brice concert on Friday night.

Happy Birthday, Chauncey! – Tomorrow night the Coastal Carolina community will celebrate Chauncey’s (our mascot) birthday. We are holding the bash to coincide with the Chanticleer volleyball game that evening. April Betsch offered me the opportunity to work on this project with her and for the past couple months we have put the program together with Nathan Marcus, the marketing assistant for Chanticleer Athletics. Pre-match there will be a tailgate for students and a birthday party for children. At halftime of the contest there will be a special birthday skit. Of course the whole evening itself will be a birthday celebration devoted to our favorite mascot. If you live in the area please come out and eat some cake with Chauncey.

You are invited to Chauncey's birthday party tomorrow night.

You are invited to Chauncey’s birthday party tomorrow night.

Count Brentula – I am always looking for an excuse to dress up. This past Monday I stretched that excuse just a little bit as I decided that I needed to get in costume for my monthly #CCUSocialMedia Dream Team staff meeting. The night before I bought the cheapest vampire costume I could find at Wal-Mart. It did the trick as I was the cheesiest Dracula on the Coastal Carolina University campus that morning. Of course I was caught on social media…

I was Count Brentula on Monday.

I was Count Brentula on Monday.

Boomerang – Thanks to a counterpart at the University of Arizona, I was alerted about Instagram’s brand new app that was released today. Called Boomerang, it is a bare bones service that creates one second GIF-like videos…yes…ONE SECOND. You press the main button and the app will take a burst of photos and mash it into a video. Although the app didn’t take my breath away upon playing with it for the first time, I won’t write it off just yet. I need to think about how Boomerang’s super short videos could possibly enhance the experience of #CCUSocialMedia users. (Make sure to click on the below image to see what Boomerang is all about)

Messing around with Instagram’s newest app, #Boomerang.

A video posted by Brent Reser (@brentreser) on

Wedding Update #10/Golf Update – Sidney and I enjoyed our second Pre-Cana class on Tuesday. We talked more about our upbringings and family traditions. It is important that two of us understand how we were raised and how that has shaped us into the people we are today. The main takeaway lesson is that we can’t focus on changing each other, rather, we need to concentrate on changing ourselves.

Golf wise, we hit the Par-3 again. We went to the same course but played a different nine holes. On a gorgeous morning I played much better than the previous week and pulled out the victory over Sidney.

Me swinging the club this past weekend.

Me swinging the club this past weekend.


That is all I got for you tonight. Remember to wish Chauncey a happy birthday tomorrow. Have a terrific weekend. Don’t Blink.

Those Who Do Facebook Right

Recently I wrote a blog post about unstable Facebook users. Not so recently I have also authored blog posts criticizing other ways in which people utilize the world’s largest social media network. Tonight I felt I should put an end to my negativity and shed light on a few of the people who use Facebook really well.

I have admiration for those people who use Facebook to convey life experiences in either an interesting, humorous, or helpful way. These folks, who really are few and far between, don’t leave a one sentence cryptic status or ramble on for 500 words. They don’t share a thousand memes a day or share their newest lame blog post on a nightly basis (self-deprecating humor). Rather, they usually write a paragraph (or sometimes two) of engaging content on a consistent basis, usually 4-5 times a week.

To me, these people have perfected the art of using Facebook. They have made their page almost like their own mini blog. I find this method to be effective. I think the users who practice this style come across as more intelligent, more honest, and more human. They receive better results as well. Look at anyone who posts short, informative/humorous content consistently on Facebook and you will quickly see that they are receiving above average comments and likes.

When I think of folks who practice the techniques I just briefly mentioned, I automatically think of three people on my friend list. If the Facebook algorithm isn’t already serving me their content on my newsfeed, I am manually typing their names in and checking out their pages. Let me briefly identity each one.

Rob Oviatt – No questions asked, I find no one’s Facebook page more interesting than the one maintained by Coach Oviatt. A man who served all over the country as the head strength and conditioning coach for numerous college football programs, we crossed paths when we both worked in the athletic department at the University of Montana. Because of Oviatt’s storied athletic history, he has come in contact with just about every big name not just in college football but really the whole sporting arena. Additionally, he has coached in hundreds of different football stadiums. He shares his experiences and insight on his Facebook page in a humble and honest way. One post he will talk about meeting Randy Johnson in an airport and the next he will share how Nick Saban showed him humility after his staff was fired at LSU. He just doesn’t cover encounters with famous people, however. He addresses lessons he learned and accomplishments of lesser-known athletes he knew over the years. I look forward to every post.

Coach Oviatt has hundreds of really cool stories to share. When he tells one on Facebook, his friends gather around the "virtual" fire to listen.

Coach Oviatt has hundreds of really cool stories to share. When he tells one on Facebook, his friends gather around the “virtual” fire to listen.

Jenna Holloway – The wife of my cousin, Jenna uses her Facebook page to discuss life raising five young kids. She routinely posts about the joys and challenges of raising a large family. What separates her from millions of other moms on Facebook, however, is that she doesn’t take every opportunity possible to boast about her three daughters and two sons. Of course she recognizes their achievements but it isn’t a deal where she is constantly laying it on thick. She has a terrific sense of humor that always comes through in her posts and I can always visualize exactly the scenario she is describing. Her Facebook content is always on point in length and in clarity.

Jenna discusses the challenges and joys of raising five kids.

Jenna discusses the challenges and joys of raising five kids.

April Betsch – When it comes to documenting one’s adventures in a funny and non-overwhelming way, I think no one is better at it on Facebook than April Betsch. Coined “BETSCHventures,” April often writes about the good times enjoyed by herself and her husband of a little over a year, David. She injects a funny twist into her content and does a great job at adding relevant (and hilarious) photos to tell the story. Believe me, just being friends with her on Facebook is a “BETSCHventure.”

You never know what is going to happen during the "BETSCHventures" of April and David.

You never know what is going to happen during the “BETSCHventures” of April and David.


Great work to these three on maintaining terrific Facebook pages. Once you become a Facebook friend with one of them, you will never press the “unfriend” button. Although some thought a couple years ago that Facebook would die, it really has just continued to get stronger. It pays to run an account that is engaging and authentic. Don’t Blink.

An Unexpected Visit and Gift

This morning I received a very nice surprise. A co-worker of mine who works in a different department on campus paid me a visit. The fact that she came to my office was a treat in and of itself. Since Singleton Hall is currently under renovation, I am now working in an area that is tucked away inside a building that isn’t very well known. But having someone other than my Media Services friends swing by my office wasn’t the only joy. My visitor brought with her a gift.

The person who visited me and brought me a gift today was April Betsch. This is the two of us at a social media meeting in December of 2014.

The person who visited me and brought me a gift today was April Betsch. This is the two of us at a social media meeting in December of 2014.

In a gesture of true thoughtfulness, April Betsch, our Associate Director of CHANT411*, presented me with something that every social media marketer should have. Handing me a box, I looked at the front to realize that she had gotten me a 13.5-inch tall HASHTAG LED sign. Not only did she purchase a perfect gift for someone like me, she also cared enough to stock it with batteries before handing it over. April had found the gem at Michael’s and immediately thought of Coastal’s goofy social media guy. Not only does the sign fit my personality and career choice like a glove, it also provides an aesthetic touch to the uninspired way I set up my office.

A look at my hashtag sign shining brightly in the dark.

A look at my hashtag sign shining brightly in the dark.

April’s visit and gift did more than brighten my day, however. It got me thinking that I need to take her lead and do more nice things for others. I feel like I do a good job of showing my loved ones that I value and appreciate them but what about people outside of that circle? I surely would not live the life that I do if not for co-workers, service folks, students, and others. While I do try to go out of my way every now and then, it probably isn’t to the degree that April does it or the degree that countless other humanitarians do it.

Thanks for the great gift, April!

Thanks for the great gift, April!

Some call it “random acts of kindness” and some call it “paying it forward,” but for me I can’t look at it that way. In my head, those terms are too strictly equated with one time deeds and Starbucks drive-thru gimmicks. I need to just do a better job of being kind and thoughtful 24 hours a day. I need to seize more opportunities and recognize more people.

I hope to take the inspiration I gained from April today and use it to be a more consistent and better person. As long as this means that I still don’t have to like Tom Brady I think I can do it. Don’t Blink.


* – CHANT411 is a very unique service at Coastal Carolina University staffed entirely on the ground level by students. The campus community can contact CHANT411 with a question through phone, text, e-mail, in-person visit, etc., and receive an answer promptly. In addition to providing information, the organization also undertakes numerous initiatives to make the campus a better place and to boost morale of the CCU family.

Reflections on My First Year at Coastal Carolina University

It is funny. Often times you can look back on a period of time and not quite know if it flew by or seemed to last. If you are like me, sometimes you end up deciding it was a little of both. Today I celebrate my one year anniversary at Coastal Carolina University. For the most part, the last 365 days passed quickly. But then I realize that next week I will cover my fourth commencement and it makes me feel like I have been around campus for a little longer.

This is my one year anniversary photo!

This is my one year anniversary photo!

On May 1, 2014, I reported for my first day at Coastal Carolina. I spent that Thursday in new employee orientation learning about policies and procedures. It was an uneventful and low key day. That would be the last one of those. From the end of that initial day on out I had the opportunity to go full speed ahead and that is exactly what I did. I arrived on campus just before the start of graduation week and went right into covering the craziness of it. I covered a lot of events and met a lot of people. Those first ten or so days really helped set the tone for my first year.

My rookie debut at CCU was a good one. Yes, it was successful. Our social channels grew exponentially, #CCUSocialMedia became a brand, we won an award, and we received far more media coverage than I could ever imagine. But that is all I want to say about job performance. My one year reflection blog post is much more than that.

What I want to really hit on is what a good fit this position has been. I came from a job where I wore a ton of different hats and had little free time. For the past year I have showed up for work at a place where my focus is much more defined and my time out of the office much more adequate.

From the start I said I took this job because I could concentrate on social media. However, that doesn’t mean I haven’t grown in other areas. Although I might not have 15 different responsibilities to tend to on a given day like at Montana, I have been able to embrace a diverse set of opportunities that improved me as a professional. Encouraged to create my own news show segment, assigned to write for our alumni magazine, requested to serve on working groups, and asked to help out on search committees, I was enabled to expand my reach. Aside from running our social media program, I relished these additional roles.

Another part of the fit has been the energy and culture at CCU. Our university is growing, both in terms of physical structures and student enrollment. We are an institution on the rise and I wanted to be a piece of that. Additionally, and I truly mean it when I say this, Coastal is just different. We are built on customer service and this attitude is reflected from the top down. There is a pride and a vibe here that is special, one that I relate to and embrace. Our “Feel the Teal” mission motivates me at work each day.

Most importantly, this arrangement has worked because of the people. It all starts out with our Vice President of University Communication who had the guts to hire me. Bill Plate brought me from Missoula to Myrtle Beach and I am so glad he did. He had the vision and rationality to know that a social media position was needed at CCU and he made it a reality. So many other people helped me (and continue to help me) after Bill and I wish I could recognize them all. Although this is not possible I do want to thank a few people really quickly. Thanks to our administrative assistant Kim Harper for helping me with pretty much every office task and organizational logistic you could think of. Thanks to April Betsch for reaching out to me at one of the first events I worked and taking me around to meet many of the key people I would end up working closely with. Thanks to Eileen Soisson for teaching me what it means to Feel the Teal and for going out of her way to support me. Thanks to Matt Hogue, Seth Horton, and Kevin Olivett from athletics for treating me so well and for genuinely caring about my ideas and input.

Year #1 is in the books and it was great. I am appreciative of the opportunity Coastal Carolina University has afforded me and I can’t wait to improve. Don’t Blink.

Memorable Movies in the Theater

This afternoon I was standing out on Prince Lawn at Coastal Carolina University talking with my co-worker, April Betsch. We got to talking about “Dumb and Dumber To” and one thing led to another. Pretty soon she brought up the subject of shared experiences in movie theaters. April explained how cool it is to go to a movie theater and really feel connected with the rest of the audience during the film. I knew exactly what she was talking about but had never so eloquently put that movie-going experience into words before.

With April’s inspiration, tonight I want to write about the five movies I can easily rattle off the top of my head where I had a “shared experience” with the people in the theater. These movies are listed in no particular order. In the brackets after each title I have the city where I watched the movie and the year I saw it.

“Lone Survivor” (Missoula, MT – 2013) – The theater was completely packed when I went to this film on opening night. As I watched people walk in all I can say is it looked like they had their game faces on. You could just tell that no one would be talking or texting during this movie. Throughout the very well done film, you could feel the nervousness of those around you during the fighting scenes. You could feel the tension when the Taliban was in hot pursuit of the SEALs. Everyone laughed out loud together in relief during the very well-placed humorous lines. You could then feel the appreciation and pride of everyone in the theater when the air support came in and lifted Mark Wahlberg’s character to safety. The moment he thanked the tribe that sheltered him was indescribable. The second before the credits started to roll someone yelled out “YAH!!” and the whole theater erupted in applause, to this day the loudest ovation I have ever heard after a movie.

“The Ring” (Walla Walla, WA – 2002) – I saw this movie with my sister and when we walked out into the parking lot we were literally shaking. But it was what took place inside the theater that I really remember. “The Ring” ushered in a new era of horror movies so a lot of people were not really exposed (myself included) to what we were about to watch. Throughout the movie you heard a lot of shrieks and noticed most people with their hands over mouths in disbelief. The images of the girl really terrified a lot of people. The grainy video that was the kiss of death and center of the movmie made people uneasy. Then of course there was the final scene that had everyone in the theater crying out in horror (and of course approval…what an awesome ending!).

“Passion of the Christ” (Spokane, WA – 2004) – Walking into the theater for this movie I could sense from everyone else in the theater that they knew it was going to be a tough one. You could just feel the somber aura in the auditorium during the whole film. People were not there to be entertained, they were there to watch the most gut-wrenching aspect of their faith. When the movie ended, people just didn’t exit the auditorium in silence, they exited the movie theater itself in silence and proceeded to walk to their cars in the parking lot in silence as well. Ironically, because of the fact that everyone was so silent and so disconnected from everyone else, it actually made it seem like everyone was intertwined somehow.

“The Mask” (Spokane, WA – 1994) – You might think I am crazy for remembering a movie I saw in theaters 20 years ago this month but it seems just like yesterday. We hosted Thanksgiving at my parents’ house for my dad’s side of the family. They all came from out of town and on Thanksgiving night we went to the theater to watch “The Mask.” As my dad has a very large family, we had about 20 of us Resers in that theater. From start to end, my family was in tears they were laughing so hard. This energy transferred to everyone else in the auditorium as it was just a circus as Jim Carey put on a complete show. My aunts and uncles still talk about that night to this day.

“Fault of Our Stars” (Myrtle Beach, SC – 2014) – I wrote about watching this movie in June and the absolute tear bath that ensued inside the Myrtle Beach theater. Until that night, I had never heard such a collective cry from strangers inside an auditorium before. You could sense a thick cloud of agony inside the theater from the tears, sobs, and nose blows from the predominately female audience. Another movie I saw on opening night, you could figure that most people in the seats were diehards of the book. It was definitely an experience.


I hope to have more shared experiences in the movie theater in the near future. However, I don’t think it is going to come when I watch “Dumb and Dumber To.” Although a must see for me as I loved “Dumb and Dumber” as a kid, this new sequel looks utterly stupid. Don’t Blink.

#CCU Yik Yak Takeover

One month ago I questioned aloud on this blog how I could utilize Yik Yak effectively in our Coastal Carolina University social media strategy. At the time I didn’t have a concrete game plan. Well, after thinking about it a lot and reading about how other universities are handling this hot social media app, I realized two things: 1. I wanted to do something about Yik Yak. 2. I didn’t want to do what the other universities were doing.

This Thursday, October 30, #CCUSocialMedia will host a #CCU Yik Yak Takeover. From 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., the whole campus community within the 1.5 mile set radius is encouraged to send out positive yaks throughout the day. While many universities are attempting to block it, Coastal Carolina University is taking a big step to embrace it. This is a completely original idea, one that will catapult Coastal Carolina into the discussion of universities who came up with a plan to maximize the possibilities of Yik Yak as opposed to those who wanted nothing to do with it.

The #CCU Yik Yak Takeover will take place this Thursday, October 30.

The #CCU Yik Yak Takeover will take place this Thursday, October 30.

The #CCU Yik Tak Takeover is the brainchild of our “Social Media Dream Team” on campus. I have the privilege of working with a group of six other fellow staff members* who in addition to their university jobs are also social media leaders on campus. We have meetings and we talk often. At last week’s meeting we all committed to taking this on. Come Thursday, we will do what we can to generate positive yaks. Students will have the opportunity to find us on Prince Lawn (our campus gathering place) and send out an inspirational yak in our presence. If they do, they will receive a Coastal prize.

But make no mistake about it, the #CCU Yik Yak Takeover is not about, nor dependent on, the seven of us staffers. It is entirely a deal that will be driven and executed by our students. We could “Yak” until our thumbs turn blue but we would still be outnumbered 10,000 to 7. If our students buy-in, this will be one of the most successful social media feats seen on a college campus. So will they?

The #CCU Yik Yak Takeover caused a lot of buzz on Yik Yak today. As you can see, some of it was positive and some of it was in a mocking nature. The portions of text that are blocked out contained bad language.

The #CCU Yik Yak Takeover caused a lot of buzz on Yik Yak today. As you can see, some of it was positive and some of it was in a mocking nature. The portions of text that are blocked out contained bad language.

I bet they will.

When we announced our Takeover at 4 p.m. today, we had a lot of excited students. Many voiced on social media how much they love their school for doing something like this. Don’t get me wrong though, we also have some students who are going to oppose it as well. Just minutes after the announcement, the Coastal Yik Yak stream was buzzing about October 30. Lots of users voiced support, while other completely mocked the idea. Going in we knew that we would have people who would fight what we are trying to do. However, our plan come Thursday is simple…overwhelm the negative with the positive.

Some of the positive response we received on our #CCU Yik Yak Takeover.

Some of the positive response we received on our #CCU Yik Yak Takeover.

Wait one second though and throw strategy out the window. Sure we plan to outnumber bad yaks with good yaks. However, one thing is forever on our side: Pride. The students here at Coastal Carolina University are passionate and protective of their school. They know a big opportunity exists on Thursday to let that passion shine through for the social media world to see. The majority of students that make this campus great will show up on the day before Halloween and make the #CCU Yik Yak Takeover an epic success. Trust me, those of you outside of the CCU radius will want to “peak” on our community beacause we are about to do something pretty cool. Don’t Blink.


* Thanks to the Social Media Dream Team of April Betsch, Erika Pomerantz, Jeff Stone, Jennifer Sellers, Kevin Olivett, and Travis Overton for making the #CCU Yik Yak Takeover possible. Thanks to the #CCU student body in advance for making it successful.