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2020 Social Media Week: Q&A with Andy Bowers (CS ’17)

The 2020 UT Social Media Week was held Feb. 18-20 and featured social media and news professionals from near and far, including four CCI graduates.

Andy Bowers (CS ’17) is the social media manager for the Philadelphia 76ers and shared his team’s approach to branding, content, and appealing to a mass audience in the  session “#OnBrand.”

Bowers, a native of Elizabethton, Tennessee, interned with Tennessee Athletic Communications as a senior. He also interned with Morris Creative Group and Tombras before working as a digital and social content associate with the Atlanta Hawks.

Catch Bowers on social media @andybowers_.

What does a typical workday look like for you?

Every day is very different which never makes it boring. Always long and late hours but very rewarding.

How do you plan and strategize social media coverage on game days?

We have a great system and calendar that we use in regard to any game day needs. After having 82 games in a season, you find a rhythm and repetition into what you know can go out throughout the whole day.

It’s one thing to tweet for yourself and your ideas, but how do you develop a voice for your company’s social media platforms?

You have to have constant communication and understanding from your executives on messaging. This goes from a marketing perspective to a public relations one. Throughout time of the organization/team, you will see differences in voicing and content creation.

Why did you choose the University of Tennessee – and CCI in particular – as a student?

I went to ETSU for my first two years, and it wasn’t for me. I visited a friend here at UT and stayed the weekend where, at that point, I could see myself coming here. Then from meeting people from the school and from the first class I had with Dr. [John] Haas, I saw the potential for my career and where I could see myself going through communications.

What are some skills you learned or experiences you had at Tennessee that have helped you on the job?

I think being open-minded and looking at every opportunity as a learning experience. Whether positive or negative, it’s all about learning.

What advice do you have for students interested in going into social media professionally?

Understand what actually goes into it. The time commitment, the effort, and ultimately not putting yourself in a box on a specific location or part of the industry.