On April 25 and 26, an impressive collection of subject matter experts from around the country assembled in Knoxville for UT’s first Social Media Week presented by CCI’s School of Advertising and Public Relations & Dell. Keynote speaker, Adam Brown (BS/AdvPR ’94), executive director of social media for Dell, provided attendees and the web audience with return on investment (ROI) road maps for successfully utilizing social media strategies. In another session, Brown and Melissa Lentz, senior vice president and managing partner of MR YOUTH, detailed the mechanics of how to use social media management and listening tools to mainstream social media with traditional methods of reaching clients and audiences.
Other Social Media Week sessions included: How UT’s Athletic Department uses social media to educate and monitor student athletes; HGTV’s social media strategy (Scripps Networks Interactive); Using social media to transform how brands interact with consumers (Cox Communications), Best practices for business use of social media (Information International Associates, Mary Beth West Consulting, Ackermann Public Relations and Marketing, Moxley Carmichael Public Relations); “Why social media” (Dell); and the Generation Media Project (The Tombras Group).
Ed Patterson (BS/ JEM (PR) ’89), senior director of public affairs at Cox Enterprises served as a catalyst for the formation of Social Media Week by providing a targeted gift to enhance CCI graduates’ knowledge of social media to better prepare them for the growing demands of twenty-first century jobs. Patterson brought in Adam Naide, executive director of social media for Cox Communications, to conduct the session on transforming how brands interact with consumers. “Ed has been leader among our alumni helping us to establish this first Social Media Week,” said Margie Morrison, professor and director of AdvPR. “We are truly appreciative of all his help and assistance!”
The two-day program, put together by Assistant Professor Courtney Childers and her planning team, culminated with the 490 Social Media student competition. The students presented their social media campaigns for the Dell XPS 13 Ultrabook to a panel of judges: Adam Brown, Melissa Lentz, Michael Palenchar, associate professor, and Margie Morrison. The winning team was “Team Social Impact” (Melahnie Springfield, Yuxi Li, Courtney Kovacs and Charles Primm). Each member of the winning team received a new Dell SPX 13 Ultrabook.
Web streamed sessions are available at http://www.ustream.tv/channel/utsmw. Planning for the second annual Social Media Week is already underway.