Another Season of #CCUfamily in the Books

Quite frequently, I accept invitations from professors to speak to their classes about social media. Often, a student will ask me why I love my job. I will reply that I enjoy formulating a social voice for CCU, that I embrace working in an industry that is growing each day, and that I thrive off the pressure of communicating clearly and effectively when it matters most. I will usually end my answer by saying that, best of all, I get to work with college students daily.

I enjoy speaking to CCU classes about social media.

Today we wrapped up filming the third season of #CCUfamily, a social media campaign that I pitched way back in 2014 when I interviewed for my job. The current incarnation of #CCUfamily debuted during the 2016-17 academic year and over the course of those three years, we have featured 270 students.

#CCUfamily has been a very successful social media campaign for our University.

Ah yes, the key word is students. Out of all the ways I have the privilege of connecting with students on campus (internship program, social media advocate council, speaking engagements, etc.), nothing introduces me to a larger or more diverse group as #CCUfamily.

The goal of #CCUfamily is to develop engaging digital profiles of our student body. We publish three profiles per week that are published in unique ways on our website, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram channels – an integrated campaign at its best! But of course the content doesn’t create itself. In order to be successful, we need full cooperation from the students we feature. There is a lot of coordination that goes on with the students prior to filming but the interview day is definitely the most satisfying part. This is when we meet our talented Chanticleers and catch them at their best. Connections are always developed that last until they graduate and beyond. It is rewarding.

I would not be able to do #CCUfamily without Geoff Insch. This afternoon we took the below photo after our final shoot to celebrate the end of a great season.

Notice how I keep referring to “we” in context of this project? Aside from our subjects, I don’t do this alone. Geoff Insch, one of our production managers, is the guy who keeps this campaign afloat. He films the interviews and then edits each one into an enticing package. This semester, a third member joined our #CCUfamily team. Anthony Bowser, our social media specialist, does behind-the-scenes work and writes some of the student profiles.

The three of us really enjoy doing these shoots. As I mentioned, meeting the students is awesome. However, it is also fun for our little production gang to converse about the students after they leave. We marvel about how talented they are and how further along (at least compared to me) they seem to be at that age than us (me). Students are nominated to participate in #CCUfamily, thus ensuring that those profiled are high quality individuals. It is a pleasure to meet the best and brightest of Coastal.

It has been a pleasure working on #CCUfamily. Here is an example of one of the profiles we did last month.

After three years of interviewing 270 students, Geoff and I have a lot of stories! Every now and then, we reminisce about the unique moments of our #CCUfamily journey. Good memories have been made and even better work has been produced. On Friday we will release the final #CCUfamily profile of the 2018-19 academic year but don’t get too sad – it will be back in 2019-20. Don’t Blink.

Pumpkins and Etiquette Lesson

I have a confession to make: This might be the most lame Thursday Rundown ever. I don’t have any significant developments to write about but if you know me, you know I am good for carrying on about the most uninteresting and pointless topics. As per Thursday usual, I got five of them for you tonight! So how about we get this disaster of a blog post started?

Today’s Dining Experience – It took me all of six months to do so, but I finally ate in Coastal Carolina University’s main dining hall today. This following bit of information will puzzle all of you even more on why I hadn’t dined at Hicks Dining Hall sooner…for staff members, the admission price is just $5 for the delicious all-you-care-to-eat spread. Today was the Mongolian grill lunch and even though I stood in line for 25 minutes, it was great to get a bowl of the stuff. Interestingly, Mongolian grills aren’t big in the south so I made sure to get it while I could. I also had a slice of pizza and a brownie.

Pumpkins – I talk a lot about how I love Halloween. However, if there is one part of the holiday that I don’t care too much for it is pumpkins. I don’t really like carving them, I hate cleaning them out, and I don’t care for eating the seeds. Nothing is worse than when pumpkins start to rot. However, there are two aspects I do like about pumpkins. I love pumpkin pie and I also enjoy taking a couple seeds from a carving session and then depositing them in the ground. The seeds sprout really quickly and even if you have no intention of letting/watching them grow, it is funny to plant seeds in random spots and see them poke through the earth in just a couple days.

#CCUfamily Update – A quick update on the #CCUfamily campaign I launched at the beginning of the semester: As of the end of today I have featured 48 students. That is 48 interviews, 48 write ups, 48 videos, and 48 web editing jobs. It has all been so worth it. In just the past couple months I have had the opportunity to connect with almost 50 students here on the CCU campus and develop small relationships. The “hellos” I get from them on campus and the e-mail notes of gratitude I receive have made me become that much more invested in Coastal Carolina. To check out the #CCUfamily website, click here.

Coastal Carolina University Student Body President Eliana Padron was today's #CCUfamily featured student.

Coastal Carolina University Student Body President Eliana Padron was today’s #CCUfamily featured student.

Etiquette Lesson – I feel this issue should be reserved for a Dear Abby column but I do want to briefly address it. If someone gives you an item for you to personally use such as tickets or a pass, use it for yourself or kindly give it back. I have recently seen people I am close to get burned by this. They will make a very nice gesture and give someone something and that person will in turn just hand it off to someone else to use. If you are the recipient of someone’s nice act, let them perform the nice act again (give back the item) if you don’t plan to use it for yourself.

Mikayla At Lucky #7 – Put another tally mark next to the amount of weeks that my niece has been on this planet. Can you believe she is seven weeks already? That is 49 days! I am now at the point where I am getting antsy to see her in the Coastal Carolina little dress I got her when she was born. She is almost to the age where she should be big enough to wear it.

Here is this week's montage of Mikayla photos.

Here is this week’s montage of Mikayla photos.

Last Friday was the busiest day of the month for Don’t Blink by a significant margin. Thank you readers for all your support! I enjoy writing for you. Don’t Blink.

A Social Media Campaign Months in the Making: #CCUfamily

Yesterday, #CCUSocialMedia officially kicked off an ambitious campaign called #CCUfamily. Designed to run every single school day of the semester, the campaign will thoroughly spotlight a Coastal student each day through our various social networks and website. Believe it or not, #CCUfamily has been in the makings for five months.

Yesterday, the #CCUfamily campaign made its debut (graphic created by the talented Daniel Mableton).

Yesterday, the #CCUfamily campaign made its debut (graphic created by the talented Daniel Mableton).

When I came to Coastal Carolina University in March for my on-site interview I was instructed to devise a social media campaign for the school and present it to the hiring committee. It was in my Missoula apartment that I drafted #CCUfamily. I worked hard to plan the campaign and work out how all the pieces would compliment each other. When I pitched my idea to the hiring committee I won points for the feasibility and organization of it. I promised that if hired I would follow through in implementing the campaign exactly how I presented it. I am now making good on that promise.

Inside my vision for #CCUSocialMedia was a section devoted to #CCUfamily.

Inside my vision for #CCUSocialMedia was a section devoted to #CCUfamily.

Camille Hurley, a senior student-athlete from Chicago, was my first featured student on Monday when the 2014-15 academic year started. Scrambling to put the finishing touches on the website, Camille’s face was all over our Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Youtube channels by 3 p.m. Each different outlet features a different image and fact about the featured student. However, while the social media outlets present different information they all drive the user to the #CCUfamily website where they can get a complete profile on the student.

Camille Hurley kicked off the #CCUSA campaign on Monday. This was the Facebook post.

Camille Hurley kicked off the #CCUSA campaign on Monday. This was the Facebook post.

I have found out over the past two days that I might have underestimated the work load just a little bit with this campaign. For each day this semester I will have to play web designer, video editor, journalist, and of course social media manager.

And that is just for getting the daily feature up each day.

A lot of prep work has/will go into this as well. I receive names of students worthy of this recognition from fellow Coastal employees. I compile those names and send them through the Dean of Students for approval. Once given the okay I start reaching out to the students and asking them if they want to participate. After sending them a questionnaire I set up a time to meet with them. During those individual meetings I take photos and shoot the Youtube video. As of right now I have completed 10 of these meetings and have about 60 more to go.

To be 100% honest, my favorite part of this campaign has nothing to do with social media. Although the original intent was based solely on introducing something cool for #CCUSocialMedia I am loving #CCUfamily for an entirely different reason: I get to meet our students. Only 10 interviews through and I am already blown away and rejuvenated by the maturity, humility, and drive of the #CCU student body. These students call me Mr. Reser, act graciously, and express honor at the opportunity to participate in the campaign. I have walked away from each interview feeling so happy to be on this campus.

To follow the #CCUfamily campaign, click here. On Instagram and Twitter our handle is @CCUChanticleers. If Facebook is your thing, click here. Don’t forget to watch the short 90 second videos either. Our Youtube channel can be accessed by clicking here. I am excited to share the students of Coastal Carolina University in a very cool and descriptive way throughout the next several months. Don’t Blink.