Low Carb Pizza Thursday Rundown

Peace be with you! I hope you have had a nice week and that you are fully recovered from your Super Bowl parties. Let’s get started with tonight’s five topics.

Keto Snack – I usually don’t eat anything keto-related, but I made a recent exception. What you see below is tortilla pizza, a dish that Sid made from the keto cookbook that Sloan gave her as a birthday gift. You simply take a low carb tortilla and layer it with sauce and cheese. Sid then cooked it on the stove. Although this is too light for a meal, it sure made for a great snack.

This is the tortilla pizza that Sidney made.

The Claw – This morning I saw a story about a unique situation in Alabama. A toddler managed to trap himself in a claw arcade machine. Do you know what I mean? I am talking those games where you position a three-pronged claw to grab a stuffed animal or other toy long enough so it is dropped and dispensed. The boy crawled up through the dispensing door, finding himself right in the middle of toy land. He required rescue assistance from the fire department.

I remember when I was 7 or 8. I was at a Safeway with my mom. As we were leaving, I watched an adult woman play a claw machine. She put a dollar in and failed at both attempts. She put another dollar in. No luck. Then another dollar and another dollar. Still another dollar. After what seemed like $20 (far more than any of the prizes in the cage), she managed to capture a stuffed animal, the claw successfully grasping it long enough to dispense it. Without saying more than two words, she grabbed her hard earned prize and handed it to me as she walked out into the parking lot.

This boy trapped himself in a claw machine.

Sloan Update – Just the latest ramblings on Sloan…she is turning into an accomplished singer. She has about 6-7 songs in her repertoire that she will perform for us. She has her ABCs down and her favorite letter is S. She can finally say her name after learning the names of everyone else in her life first. Her daycare has taught her so much, including animal sounds and table etiquette. She constantly says “church” but sometimes she can’t stay still once we actually arrive and sit in the pew. She loves cats but dislikes dogs. She lives a good life.

Some recent Sloan photos…the top image is with her friend, Riley.

Getting GIPHY With It – At #CCUSocialMedia, we know GIFs aren’t going anywhere. In fact, we realize they are as popular and versatile as ever. We have plunged head first into the new brand accounts offered by GIPHY. Thanks to our new social media specialist, Anthony Bowser, our presence on the platform has been felt. Anthony created an entire selection of unique CCU GIFs, quickly racking up over 1.4 million views on our account. The best part is that these Chanticleer-inspired GIFs are available for use on Instagram Story and Snapchat. Want to add some teal to your Story? Simply type “Coastal Carolina University” in the GIF bar.

Make sure to add these Coastal Carolina University GIFs to your Instagram Story.

Happy Birthday, Monopoly! – The game of Monopoly turns 84 today. I think all of us have memories of games that lasted for hours. For me, playing Monopoly as a kid made me feel sophisticated and grown up. We certainly didn’t play by all the official rules (we seriously sweetened the Free Parking jackpot) but we grasped the lessons that Monopoly teaches – buying/selling, managing money, strategy. As long as I got to be the cannon game piece and didn’t land on Broadway when it was owned by someone else, I was a happy camper. Happy birthday to this classic game!

Happy birthday, Monopoly!


I appreciate your time this evening and I hope you enjoy your weekend. Remember that the Grammy’s are on this Sunday night. Don’t Blink.

Unicorn Thursday Rundown

What a fun week it has been! I can say that we definitely got the maximum bang for our buck with Sloan’s $25 Target unicorn costume. Let’s get straight to the Thursday Rundown.

Instaween – Yesterday, #CCUSocialMedia presented its fourth annual Instaween. It was fun to once again put together this event. Students in costumes have their picture taken in our gigantic Instagram frame and then our social media audience votes for their favorites. However, the event just isn’t about generating cool content. We pass out candy and treats to all students, not just the ones in costumes. You see, we spend so much time communicating with our students behind the @ccuchanticleers handle that we don’t always get to interact with them face-to-face. This event helps us to bridge that gap and I couldn’t be more thankful for the assistance that my #CCUSocialMedia intern, Katie, gave me to make sure Instaween was a success.

Katie and I worked the 2018 #CCUSocialMedia Instaween event.

Halloween Night Fun – Last night, Sloan had an absolute blast trick-or-treating (as did her daddy). I had never seen a neighborhood as insane on Halloween night as ours. Think of any Halloween movie that shows exaggerated scenes of kids trick-or-treating and that was our neighborhood last night. Neighbors distributed candy from their driveways, police vehicles cruised the streets, lawn decorations were outrageous, non-traditional “treats” were passed out, and the neighborhood overflowed (people came from near and far) with costumed kids and their parents. We live on a very long street so we stayed on it the whole time as I pushed Sloan in her little car from house to house.

Sidney and Sloan hanging out on the driveway on Halloween night.

Meeting Rachel Swindler – Many of you know that I am a huge “Big Brother” fan. Thus, it was a thrill for me to meet “Big Brother 20” houseguest Rachel Swindler this morning. Rachel actually graduated from Coastal Carolina and today she stopped by campus to chat about her time as a Chanticleer and her experience on Big Brother. I ate up every word as she took us behind the scenes of the show. Once our talented team edits and releases the video, I will include the link in a future Thursday Rundown. Rachel was extremely gracious and open and of course Robin Russell was once again an absolute professional as she conducted the interview.

It was a pleasure to meet Rachel Swindler (thanks to Judy Johns for the great photo).

All Saints Day – Today is All Saints’ Day, a solemn feast in which we honor all saints who served as such dedicated disciples of God during their time on earth and who now look down on us from Heaven. I attended 6:30 a.m. mass at St. Andrew this morning and as is custom, the gospel reading was the Beatitudes passage from John. Saints lived out the Beatitudes as by Jesus Christ and we are called to do the same so that one day we can join them in paradise. Rejoice and be glad!

I attended All Saints’ Day mass at St. Andrew in Myrtle Beach today.

Delicious Pizza – Last year, I wrote a blog post listing my top five favorite national pizza chains. Well, if the category didn’t have the “national” designation in front of it, I would be updating that list. On Friday night, we tried Gino’s pizza here in Myrtle Beach. It markets itself as a place that offers authentic New York pizza and it doesn’t disappoint! If you like flavorful and fresh pizza with quality toppings, give Gino’s a try. It is now my favorite pizza restaurant in Myrtle Beach.

This pizza from Gino’s looked so good that I couldn’t wait to take a photo until I had ate a couple pieces.


Thanks for reading my post! Time now to sign off for the evening. Have a great month of November and don’t forget that Christmas is next month. Don’t Blink.

The Abu Thursday Rundown

I have a genuine appreciation for my readers so thank you for returning to Don’t Blink. You picked a good day to do it because it is the Thursday Rundown. If you are a rookie, that means five random topics are about to come your way.

Cup On Head – I want to start the Rundown with a cute photo of Sloan. On Sunday, my daughter managed to put a Cookout cup on the top of her head. Not only did she look absolutely silly, but my sister-in-law made an interesting observation, saying that she looked like Abu from “Aladdin.” I don’t think the comparison was that far off.

Sloan with a Cookout cup on her head. Does she look like Abu to you?

Coin Dance – Earlier this week, my sister and brother-in-law celebrated their seventh anniversary. As I looked through Timehop I saw many photos from the reception, including one from the best wedding reception tradition ever: The Coin Dance. An Italian custom, the coin dance occurs during a designated bride-groom dance. Wedding guests shower the dance floor with coins and all the kids in attendance rush to pick up the silver (don’t think about throwing pennies). Not only does it break up the monotony of a reception while giving the children something to look forward to, it also provides good luck to the bride and groom. Judging by my sister’s marriage and my own (Sid and I did it at our wedding reception), I would say those Italians got it right!

A look back at the Coin Dance at both receptions of Sid & I and Miradan & Jay.

Summer Social Media Campaign – This week I was thrilled to introduce our summer #CCUSocialMedia campaign. With the PopSocket craze still going strong, I came up with something called PopCHANTet Texts. I am asking current students, alumni, and faculty/staff to describe what Coastal Carolina University means to them. However, they have to do it in 280 characters and I am encouraging them to write it as if they were sending a text message. For the visual component of the campaign, I am supplying each participating person with a CCU PopSocket to put on the back of their phone. The volunteer will then have a person snap a photo of them as they “text” what Coastal means to them. See below or click here for what the final product looks like. My goal with PopCHANTet Texts is to encourage the CCU community to be frank and to the point about why they are proud of their university.

I am excited about #PopCHANTet Texts!

Lemonade? – I got wrapped up in a debate with Sid and one of my co-workers about a tweet I sent out a year ago. I had expressed my opinion that I don’t think lemonade really goes with any food item or meal. I concede that it is a thirst quencher on a hot day, but I would never pour a large glass of lemonade to go with my Mexican food or a steak. Geoff, my co-worker, believes it naturally goes with Chick-fil-A and apparently Sid thinks it goes with anything but I can’t agree. What do you think?

This tweet that I sent on June 3, 2017, was debated again this week.

Knockoff vs. Premium – One of my personal favorite blog posts of all-time was written exactly three years ago when I had Sidney do a blind taste test of five products. Each product was represented by its premium version and a generic version. From snack foods to breakfast favorites to macaroni and cheese, I had Sid try all products and give me an honest assessment on what tasted better. I will say this: my wife’s taste buds are on point. I encourage you to read the post!

Sid sampled a popular cereal as part of the Knockoff vs. Premium showdown.


To everyone attending the Carolina Country Music Festival this weekend, have fun! To all those who don’t live in Myrtle Beach and who have no idea what I am talking about — you have a good weekend too. Catch up with you soon. Don’t Blink.

The Latest #CCUSocialMedia T-Shirt

As a marketer, I am a firm believer in branding. My affinity for “establishing a brand” filters down to the social media program I am in charge of. When I arrived at Coastal Carolina University, I wanted the campus community to know that the engaging and memorable content they were seeing came from an overarching source that stretched from our Facebook page to our Snapchat account to our LinkedIn profile to our various other channels.

We confined our brand to a hashtag, #CCUSocialMedia. It didn’t take long for people to realize that if a piece of content was stamped with the tag, it meant that it was created by the University specifically for #TEALnation.

It was important to develop a brand for our social media program at Coastal.

But how did we get word out about the brand? Well, we developed a website, came up with creative content, utilized brand ambassadors, and followed an organized plan.

Oh yeah, we also created t-shirts…

We announced our new #CCUSocialMedia t-shirt today. Thanks to Katie, my social media intern, for being a great model!

Yesterday, I picked up our newest #CCUSocialMedia t-shirts. Designed to reflect the current social media climate, this shirt is the third version in our program’s history.

Me sporting the new #CCUSocialMedia t-shirt.

The front is our brand. Actually, it is a 2-in-1. Not only does it contain our University’s social media logo but it also boasts our #CCUSocialMedia hashtag. Tricky, right? A logo that is, for all intents and purposes, your hashtag.

The front of the shirt features our logo/hashtag and is to the point.

But the back of the shirt is where it is at. Ron Walker, a designer in our office, polished the concept I gave him and created something really cool. In a live streaming world obsessed with “likes” and “loves,” we knew this shirt would need plenty of hearts and smiley faces. He placed our increasingly popular Chants Up sign inside the screen of a phone marked with our social media handle (@CCUChanticleers). He then let the instant gratification flow as the reaction emojis begin at the bottom and hover upwards to the top of the shirt.

I must say that Ron Walker did an extremely creative job designing this shirt.

Will this shirt be as popular as our Chauncey inspired Twitter design? Talk about a difficult task! We didn’t re-order those shirts TWICE for no reason. But judging by the reaction on social media, I think these shirts will rival the past ones in terms of popularity.

The past two #CCUSocialMedia t-shirts.

I know you want a shirt. All you have to do is participate in #CCUSocialMedia to win one. Sorry, they won’t be available in stores to purchase. As for me, I am excited to wear my new #CCUSocialMedia shirt and continue to spread the brand! Don’t Blink.

Two Special Students

This afternoon at around 3:30 p.m., our social media team at Coastal Carolina University will decrease by 66%. At that time, President DeCenzo will be telling the students gathered in the HTC Center to move their tassels from the right to the left. When Eddie Harris and Monica Trepiccione follow the President’s instructions, they will effectively conclude their time with #CCUSocialMedia. I am a little sad about that.

I was very lucky to have Eddie and Monica serve as my social media interns.

Although I am lucky to work with incredible content creators within our University Communication department at CCU, I only have two people working directly in the social media program with me. Eddie has served as my intern for two years and Monica for one. They have both contributed to our social media program immensely and their services will be sorely missed (click here to watch the tribute video we made for Monica and Eddie).

I am going to miss these two!

When I speak to classes, I always tell them my job is awesome. I brag that I have the privilege of interacting with thousands of people via their computer or smart device each day and that I get to represent a first class university in a very public/visible manner. However, I then add that while both of those job duties are cool, nothing is better than the opportunity I have to work with students. Working with Eddie and Monica has reinforced this incredible perk even more.

This is Eddie and I at a senior recognition event in April.

I don’t know where our social media program would be if not for Eddie and Monica; surely not one of the best in the country. Both of these young people brought creativity and perspective to the office each day and helped keep CCU current and fresh in the higher education social media world.

Monica and I (and Ethan) at a #CCUSocialMedia event in October.

Don’t think they hung out and tinkered around on Facebook for the duration of their internships. They did the dirty, grassroots work needed to keep a social media program afloat. I had them running around campus each day, recruiting students for campaigns, covering events where they stuck out like a sore thumb, stringing together lengthy Snapchat stories, perfecting content for me to post on our major channels, and much more. They worked non-business hours, they covered events that I couldn’t attend, and they even worked from home.

I wish both Eddie and Monica the best of luck.

But besides just excelling at their jobs, both were genuine and compassionate people. They asked me about Sloan, inquired about Sidney, patiently explained trends, joked around, and always asked what they could do to further assist. What more could I ask for?

Eddie and Monica didn’t just have an impact on #CCUSocialMedia, they had an impact on me. I can’t wait to watch them graduate today and then keep tabs on them as they find plenty of success in the future. I am extremely appreciative for all they have done and I will always remember them fondly. Don’t Blink.

Mid-November Thursday Rundown

Today is significant because it marks the two week countdown until Thanksgiving. Today is also a big deal because it is the Thursday Rundown. As I like to say, let’s get started!

Underwhelming Trump – I have to lead off the rundown by getting this off my chest: my admiration for Donald Trump is starting to wane a little bit. Four months ago, I wrote a post that was complimentary of the campaign he was running. Fast forward to the present and while I still respect what he has done, it has become apparent to me that major substance is lacking. I have watched all the GOP debates and it really seems like he says the same things over and over. He bypasses on the details. He drifts into irrelevancy when he talks about past business deals. Each debate I have watched I have paid close attention to Trump and each time I came away underwhelmed. However, more power to the guy for still leading the polls!

Fritos Chili Pizza One Year Later – As it is the one year anniversary of when I ordered the Papa John’s Fritos Chili Pizza, I thought I would just state my opinion that I am not surprised that 365 days later no other pizza franchises have followed suit with their own version of it. Despite good intentions, the pizza just didn’t work. Sure the taste itself wasn’t spectacular but the worst part about the experiment was eating a slice the next day. Soggy chips that are then refrigerated never turn out good.

Me holding the Fritos Chili Pizza from Papa John's.

Me holding the Fritos Chili Pizza from Papa John’s.

Two Interesting Documentaries – Sidney bought me an Apple TV for my birthday. Lately I have taken full advantage of the device, watching movies and documentaries. When it comes to the latter, I want to share the names of two decent ones I watched this week. I got a thrill entering the world of sleep paralysis with “The Nightmare.” The film interviews numerous folks who suffer from sleep paralysis while depicting their horrors as they share their experiences. As someone who has had sleep paralysis experiences before, I found it very interesting.

Ever wonder if you have a long lost twin? The documentary I watched last night, “Twinsies,” tells the story of two twin girls who were adopted out of Asia. One went to France and one went to the United States. The French girl happened to see her American twin, who she had no idea existed, on a YouTube video. The two connected and started to Skype. The documentary chronicles the DNA tests that ensued, the endless questions that were raised, and the reunion that took place in Europe.

Another Great Graphic – Last week I shared the stellar Halloween graphic that was made for our Coastal Carolina University social media accounts. This week I want to show off the Veterans Day graphic that was created. Once again, our graphics team did a phenomenal job. Thank you Ron for designing this, it was very well-received by our #CCUSocialMedia audience.

This fabulous Veterans Day graphic was made by designer Ron Walker.

This fabulous Veterans Day graphic was made by designer Ron Walker.

Wedding Update #12 – We are in the process of trying to choose the venue for our rehearsal dinner. Sidney and I want to get our restaurant selected so we can make a reservation and beat out the swarm of engaged couples that will sprout up over the holidays. Best way to make a quality decision? Treat yourself to dinner at each prospective location! Last Friday we ate at Sea Captain’s House, a Myrtle Beach favorite that is on our short list. After we ate we were able to ask questions. To all my Myrtle Beach readers, Sidney and I would LOVE suggestions on other good places to consider. Keep in mind that we want a restaurant that isn’t too far from St. Andrew Catholic Church.

Also, we had our fourth Pre-Cana meeting on Tuesday. We only have one meeting left but that will be on hold next week. Why? Well, our sponsor couple is graciously having us over solely for dinner! The books will be put away as they prepare a meal for the four of us. Sid and I love our sponsor couple!


Have a great Thursday night! As always, thank you for reading. Don’t Blink.

Sponsoring a Student and Taking a Chance

I have become a broken record stating that the part I like most about my job is interacting with college students on a daily basis. They help me reach my goals for our social media program and I do my best to help them as well.

In an effort to attract more people to their services, especially students, many social media apps have a “college rep program.” The makers of these apps will recruit and train students to grow their social media service on their respective college campuses.

A few weeks ago I met with a student at Coastal named Emily. She had recently become one of these social media reps. However, she wasn’t a rep for one of the many apps that pop up for a few weeks and then disappear. Instead, she signed on with a popular app that has proven to have a little more staying power. I am talking about Yik Yak.

Yik Yak is an app that makes a lot of folks working in higher education very nervous and uncomfortable.

Yik Yak is an app that makes a lot of folks working in higher education very nervous and uncomfortable.

Emily needed my help. Up until our meeting, she was fulfilling her Yik Yak rep duties by catching up with students as they walked to class or entered the dining hall. It was an unofficial, hit-and-miss, guerrilla type strategy. Not that there was anything wrong with what she was doing, it was just that she was limited. She came into my office and asked that #CCUSocialMedia sponsor her.

What does it mean to be sponsored at Coastal Carolina University? It means that a third party individual or group (such as Emily working for Yik Yak) must be backed by an official office on campus. The official capacity watches over the sponsoree and does what they can to help the third party reach their goals. Perhaps the most coveted advantage of a third party that is sponsored by a Coastal entity is that they receive tabling privileges out on Prince Lawn.

Emily Little is a freshman from Mauldin, S.C.

Emily Little is a freshman from Mauldin, S.C.

During her pitch, Emily told me that her goal was not just to “recruit more members for the #CCU herd” but to also clean up our Yik Yak feed. Of course I brought up the Yik Yak Takeover I organized a year ago. I told her it worked great for the day but things went back to normal shortly thereafter. She countered that it would be a project she would be able to focus on for a much longer period of time as opposed to the one day we devoted to it. I then grilled her with questions about her role as a Yik Yak rep. I explained how tough of a decision it was for me to sponsor an individual who is working for a service that allows users to be so openly critical of CCU.

As one final vetting measure, I had Emily come in and talk to our #CCUSocialMedia Student Advisory Group about her plans. They interrogated her with more questions and comments than I did! With the approval of our Vice President for University Communication, I decided to sponsor her. For someone who had gone to great lengths to prove she wanted to help both Yik Yak and Coastal Carolina at the same time, I couldn’t refuse. After all, it was a great PR move. Students naturally think that all college institutions automatically despise Yik Yak. When they see a university actively working with the service, it sends a message of collaboration instead of fear and resentment.

This past Friday, Emily had her first event on Prince Lawn. Offering items such as t-shirts, pens, masks, and extremely popular socks, her table was packed for the full three hours. The merchandise was used to make both Yik Yak and CCU happy as students received the smaller promo items for signing up for the service and the more premium items for sending out positive Yaks.

#CCUSocialMedia was successful in sponsoring Emily, a student rep for Yik Yak.

#CCUSocialMedia was successful in sponsoring Emily, a student rep for Yik Yak.

As with our Yik Yak Takeover, the stream was filled with positivity. However, there was one major difference. Absent this time around was an effort by an unhappy minority to hijack the positive vibes. When we did the Takeover, we received pushback from some who hated the idea of CCU staff getting involved. With this a sole student-driven effort, we didn’t see anyone trying to combat the optimism.

Emily and I at the Yik Yak table on Friday.

Emily and I at the Yik Yak table on Friday.

#CCUSocialMedia tried to help out Emily more than just organizing her table and checking up on her. We devoted Instagram and Twitter posts on our main accounts during the event. I also sent our student videographer out to do a short story on Emily’s efforts. When I asked Emily at the end of the day if she was happy with how it all turned out, she said YES.

Emily's Yik Yak table was packed the whole day.

Emily’s Yik Yak table was packed the whole day.

When it comes to pushing your brand, it is important to think outside of the box. Sometimes this entails working with a rival brand that might seem counterproductive at first glance. We pulled this off by sponsoring someone working for Yik Yak. Of course it wasn’t just “someone working for Yik Yak”…it was one of our students. The fact that we got to help her was the best part of it all. Don’t Blink.

September 2015: A Month Worth Recapping

Every now and then when a month ends, I like to quickly reflect on it. These posts typically come just twice a year and usually cover March or December and a summer month. I have never focused on September before. However, there is a first time for everything.

September 2015 was great from both angles. When I say “both angles” I mean work life and personal life.

Even busier this September than last, I have had my hands full on the campus at Coastal Carolina University. The month couldn’t have started off with a bigger bang. On Wednesday, September 1, we announced that our institution would join the Sun Belt Conference. It was a historic announcement that made for a busy and fun day. Speaking of sports, our football team made its debut on the brand new teal turf. I was there to cover that first game as everything that went out socially that night seemed to turn to gold. I was then back on the #SurfTurf the following week for the second home game. Yes, football season entails that we all work weekends and many times don’t leave the office until late at night but I wouldn’t trade it. Lucky for me, the four game football home stand will continue for the first two Saturdays in October.

Me standing in Brooks Stadium on our teal turf after the September 26 game. Moving to the Sun Belt and the first game played on this field with the new turf brought a lot of excitement in September to TealNation.

Me standing in Brooks Stadium on our teal turf after the September 26 game. Moving to the Sun Belt and the first game played on this field with the new turf brought a lot of excitement in September to TealNation.

With September being the first full month of the academic year, things were just busy in general. I got to fully implement the numerous social media campaigns I created for the year and evaluate their performance. I presented to a couple departments on campus, worked with several student groups, met with my CINO Legacy Mentee twice, and visited several different classrooms where I had the opportunity to capture learning in action. I staged the #CCU Periscope Marathon, an exhausting day where we broadcasted live for nine hours straight. I received recognition from a couple publications, including the student newspaper.

But the crowning achievement for the month of September was no doubt the establishment and inaugural meeting of the #CCUSocialMedia Student Advisory Group. This was a long time coming and one of my original goals so to see it come to fruition was the professional highlight of the month for me.

No questions asked, meeting with my #CCUSocialMedia Student Advisory Group was my favorite professional part of the month.

No questions asked, meeting with my #CCUSocialMedia Student Advisory Group was my favorite professional part of the month.

The overall highlight of the month for me, however, was having my brother come and visit me. As I mentioned in a blog post recapping Glen’s vacation here in Myrtle Beach, it can only be described as epic. Sidney and I had such an enjoyable time showing him around the area and just being able to have fun. It will be something that we will always talk about for a very long time.

Nothing was better this month than having my brother visit me in Myrtle Beach.

Nothing was better this month than having my brother visit me in Myrtle Beach.

September was also the month where I finally learned how to formally play golf. Sidney and I completed our fourth lesson last night and have really gotten a lot out of them. Living in Myrtle Beach, it was definitely time that I actually learned how to play. I also watched as my new favorite show came to a conclusion. It was an intense month of “Big Brother 17,” an emotional roller coaster as my two favorites (Vanessa and Austin) both had their ups and downs. Unfortunately it culminated with a major disappointment as Steve won.

Of course I will always have the lasting images of Pope Francis making his visit to the United States. Watching him make the tour through Washington D.C., New York, and Philadelphia was special. The way he conducted himself and the way the American people and media embraced him will always be cemented in my brain.

Tomorrow, October will begin. It is the month of my birthday and Halloween so it can’t be that bad. If I missed you in September, I hope to see you in October. Don’t Blink.

Two Victories: A #CCU Social Media Student Group and a Periscope Marathon

Today was very exciting for me. One of my goals when I arrived at Coastal Carolina University was to establish a student group focused on social media. Right before the start of this academic year, I received approval to form the #CCUSocialMedia Student Advisory Group. I had students apply by writing an essay on why they wanted to take part in it. After I had selected the members I worked with everyone to find a day of the week and time that would work for all (not an easy task when you are working with busy college students). Almost 16 months since I arrived at this university, we held our inaugural meeting at noon today.

The goals of the #CCUSocialMedia Student Advisory Group are to take the members behind the scenes of what I do, paint an accurate picture of the social media industry, diligently listen to/act on all feedback they provide regarding our social media program, and provide them with opportunities to gain experience. Today we pretty much did that all. After playing social media trivia I presented to the group and told them about what I do. I also scraped the surface of the job outlook for social media positions. We then engaged in a great conversation that dealt with the strengths and weaknesses of our social media program.

I was very happy that I got to meet with our #CCUSocialMedia Student Advisory Group today. This has been 16 months in the making.

I was very happy that I got to meet with our #CCUSocialMedia Student Advisory Group today. This has been 16 months in the making.

But what about the “experience opportunities” part? Oh, they got that too.

About 30 minutes before making the announcement to the general public, I revealed the next big #CCUSocialMedia event to this special group of students. I enthusiastically told them that this Friday we would host the #CCU Periscope Marathon. Going from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on September 25, our Periscope channel (@ccuchanticleers) will broadcast live for nine straight hours.

Our #CCU Periscope Marathon is a first of its kind.

Our #CCU Periscope Marathon is a first of its kind.

The best part about the #CCU Periscope Marathon isn’t that it will provide our audience with 540 straight minutes of our beautiful campus. It isn’t that it will educate the masses about the magic of Periscope. It isn’t that no college in the country has never come close to doing something like this. Rather, the best part about the #CCU Periscope Marathon is that it will be largely driven by students.

Yep, I am depending on the #CCUSocialMedia Student Advisory Group to provide most of the content and facilitate the majority of the Periscope broadcasts come Friday. At today’s meeting I flashed a slide that broke down 30 minute shifts for the students to claim. Upon volunteering for a half hour block and signing a contract, it will be all them during that specified time on Friday. Although I have improved my less-than-stellar Periscope narrating skills, our Periscope audience will be so overjoyed to have the fresh voices of college students guiding them through the marathon.

I hope you will tune into our Periscope channel (@ccuchanticleers) on Friday. The allure of watching an original and challenging social media event play out will entice many but the real draw will be the students. Don’t miss out on the fun. Don’t Blink.


This semester I started a social media campaign at Coastal Carolina University titled #CCUwisdom. It is very simple. I ask students to provide me with quotes and each morning I tweet out one of the quotes over our main account. I also film them saying the quote and post that on Instagram.

Follow #CCUSocialMedia for your behind-the-scenes pass to Coastal Carolina University.

Follow #CCUSocialMedia for your behind-the-scenes pass to Coastal Carolina University.

I am not much of a quote guy so I didn’t know how much personal enjoyment I would get out of the campaign. I implemented it primarily because quotes on social media generate retweets and favorites. Little did I know that I would be surprised. I must have listened to the wrong quotes growing up because the ones our students are providing me with actually contain a lot of substance and meaning.

I grew up in awe of John F. Kennedy and because of this I knew several of his famous lines from speeches. However, at the end of last week I met with a student to film her quote. In the small talk before I recorded her, I asked her who her quote was from and she replied JFK. I thought I knew what was coming but when the student recited the quote my brain raced realizing that I had never heard this particular line before.

Tess Emiroglu, a transfer student from Myrtle Beach, offered this bit of wisdom from our 35th President:
“Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.”

Tess brought us this insightful quote from JFK.

Tess brought us this insightful quote from JFK.

For all the faults I have, this is actually wisdom that I embrace and try to practice as much as possible. In under three decades of life, I have watched people react to change in different ways. The ones who I have watched accept this law of life thrive while those I have seen reject this law fall behind. I don’t really know if it is the positive or negative examples that have really motivated me to always be receptive of change.

Even though I am accepting of change it doesn’t always mean that the implementation is easy. Perhaps this is a reason, besides stubbornness, as to why many people fail to welcome life’s most sure thing. Change brings with it bumps in the road and a learning curve. The transition is definitely not seamless.

One thing I can’t do though is give myself too much credit for being open to change. If I want to eat, it is necessary that I am able to make 180 degree turns every day. When you have a career in social media you are constantly tracking the next trend and preparing yourself to react to the latest bombshell. You see, while some professions might allow for people to adapt a little more slowly, new media demands that you accept change RIGHT NOW. So basically my good habit of not hiding from change really isn’t because of my own merit but rather because of the job I work in.

The second half of Kennedy’s quote is equally important. Wayne Gretzsky said (paraphrasing) that he skates to not where the puck is, but where it will be. If you dismiss impending change and believe that things will always be how they are, it is tough to make necessary adjustments and be successful in the long term. Of course it goes without saying that those stuck in the past are in an even more troublesome state.

Change can be hard but it is absolutely necessary. Not only is it “the law of life” but it is also the key ingredient for progress and success. Don’t Blink.