Social Media Channels

As I mentioned in my previous post about blogs, I implemented the idea that each social media channel should be used as a specific broadcast channel, pushing a particular flavor of content on each one. This idea first developed when I worked as a Producer/Director for the eMedia department at UC Blue Ash. With my team of interns, we developed content for the UCTV channel. Our local college tv channel was always in need of content to put in its line-up and it was a great way to get students hands-on experience while still learning the craft of electronic media. A lot of the content came from live recordings of performances held in the theater, but some of them were collaborations with faculty members, like the Cheeto Experiment I worked on:

When I moved on to the College of Education, Health and Society (EHS), I started to envision each “channel” where we communicated with our audiences as a broadcast channel, like channels on a television. Since I was the most familiar with Facebook, I started with that channel. I worked with stats on Facebook and the history of how it was used and determined that most of our audience was alumni. But I knew that current faculty and staff members also peeked in from time to time. I started using Facebook to post informational content that would appeal to alumni and current employees.

ehs-fb-01The content varied: articles I found during research about topics that I thought would be interesting to employees in our various departments, blog posts about current or former students (or divisional accomplishments), organic posts about presentations and opportunities offered through the division. Anything that might appeal to that target audience. I also spent some time interacting and commenting on posts by all the schools and businesses in the area as well as popular educational Facebook pages. We saw our audience grow and our stats go up:

2015-2016 FB Likes

I started in July, so you can see it can take a little while to develop an audience, especially organically.

Once I had a handle on the Facebook media channel, I started to grow our Instagram account. This was a bit more dramatic increase, from 37 followers to around 580 followers. Mainly, I did this with free eye candy photographs depicting our division and our university.

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A sampling of divisional photos posted on the Instagram account.

I did this mostly by connecting with as many people, places, and local businesses as I could. I would follow other college pages, our own university pages, every single local area school district, area business and visitors bureaus–anyone that I thought might be interested in following us. In addition, we gained a lot of photographers and artists as followers. The key audience here were mostly potential students and a some current students. So, for potential students I wanted to show what a beautiful place the division was, what a fun place to be, and an overall great environment. For current students, I was showing activities they were experiencing and hyping up accomplishments experientially.

The next media channel I was to tackle was Twitter. I was unable to really get a good start on this channel, but I envisioned using it as a place where current students could go to get information about current events, deadlines and announcements. I think because of the speed of Twitter and the brevity of the posts, it would be a great place to put reminders, announcements, and other various opportunities.

ehs-2015 12-16 ehs-vision-01Lastly, I include the digital display system of the division. I’ve mentioned this before in my post about branding, but I didn’t really get a chance to talk about the purpose of that media channel. The digital display system was not being used when I arrived in the division, so I got it up and running and developed a system to make posting images successful. My first goal was to improve morale in the division and increase visual appeal of the items displayed there.

ehs-2016 01-20 ehs-grant-release-01The target audience for the display system was internal employees and current students and sometimes outside audiences. This is where we posted new class opportunities, events, internships, accomplishments, etc.–anything that would be of interest to (a mostly) internal audience.

ehs-2015 12-16 nz-blogger-01I received many compliments from the employees of the division who told me they actually stopped to read what was on the displays and they liked to see what was going on from the slides. I also received positive feedback from employees in other divisions complimenting me on the style and visual appeal of the slides. This was great feedback to get on a seemly small channel of communication!

ehs-2016 01-13 ehs-gradschool-winter-01When using media “channels of communication”, I like to think about the audience that I am targeting through that channel. This not only allows me to organize the information into logical outlets, I can also drive the right audience to the right channel. Instead of pushing out all communications on all channels, I can tailor the content to a specific audience making my communications more effective. The audience will watch and listen to the channel with more attentiveness because the information coming from that channel has a higher probability of being useful and pertinent to them. In this way, I can use these outlets together in a larger more comprehensive campaign instead of it all being one massive data dump.

Action Shots

One of my goals working for the College of Education, Health and Society was to build up an image library of experiences of every day college life. These photos would be used in print, on the website, and on Instagram. They worked in conjunction with the Miami branding principle of showing authentic situations.

So, I set up a series of photo shoots while classes were taking place and tried to capture as many learning situations as possible.

When they were used on the web, they were reformatted for banner size and slotted into revolving image banks. What was nice about accumulating these images was that every department could use their own photos to show what was happening in their classrooms.

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Lastly, I used the divisional Instagram site to show images of the campus and various images of the buildings in which our classes took place. We developed a great community following both within the college and university and from the surrounding areas.

Creative Client ideas

The following projects are examples of creative ideas that I was able to assist in bringing to fruition. I liked them so much that I decided to showcase them here.

DSC_0089-02Display Case

A colleague at a sister department of the University of Cincinnati was retiring and decided to donate a collection of books to the eMedia Department Library. To welcome his generous contribution and commemorate his accomplishments, the eMedia Director decided to create a display in front of the Library, where we also videotaped a small ceremony marking the occasion.

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The display consisted of many photographs, a printed storyboard, and simulated negatives along with various tangible items for the audience to view. I assembled the visual files in Photoshop and printed them out on our large format printer. Since the sister eMedia department offered the same types of classes as we did, the photographs were chosen to reflect the production processes in video creation. The storyboard mockup contained photos of everyone looking through the donated collection. I enjoyed this project because it was a larger culmination of smaller pieces and really put my photography, post-production, and display skills to work.

Stand Ups

When my colleagues in the Career Services division of our college came to me with the idea of creating life-sized cardboard flyer displays for their events, I jumped at the chance to help them! (Keep in mind, this was over 5 years ago, so cameras didn’t have the resolution they have today.) This presented an interesting challenge.

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Woman08In order to create the stand ups, I used a white paper backdrop in the studio and lit the subjects with a nice soft 3 point lighting. We took a number of shots with and without the poster board. And because of the studio setup, I was able to easily isolate the models from the background in Photoshop. After the clients chose which photos they wanted, I sized the images so that they could be printed at life size (around 5 feet tall) and handed over the files. It was fun seeing them around in the hallways–they really attracted attention!

My favorite tutorial for enlarging jpegs is from PhotoshopSupport.com. I’ve used it over many years to enlarge photos for these life-sized stand ups, posters, glossy photos and more.

Baby Announcement

This was one of my all-time favorite client suggested projects; I couldn’t resist including it here. I was contacted by a client to create a baby announcement in the style of the IronMan Marathon. She provided the photo and I provided the design. This was a quick and easy project to create and very rewarding!

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I always like helping out with the skills I have learned over the years, but when I have a client that has a creative idea it is really exciting! Not only does that allow me to work within the constraints of a vision, but as a creative I have a better idea of what a client wants. Keep those great ideas rolling in!

A Creative

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When I was a child I was lucky enough to be exposed to a whole host of multimedia-making tools. I grew up playing with still cameras, video cameras (tape based), cassette recorders, and eventually computers. I made crude digital drawings, audio recordings of my stuffed animals talking, and photographs of miniatures. Hey–everyone has to start somewhere!
about-photo-03In high school I enjoyed a plethora of extracurricular activities along with my academic rigor. I was highly involved in plays and musicals, which eventually turned into helping college friends make a homemade movie. After my stint as crew, makeup artist, sound recordist, and sound effects editor, I emerged wanting to participate in the professional creative world. I trained as an audio engineer at The Recording Workshop in Chillicothe and finished up by professionally recording the soundtrack to the movie. My professional path had begun.
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Over the years, I continued my education to gain an Electronic Media Technology Associate’s Degree, a certificate in Media Criticism and Journalism, and a Communications Bachelor’s Degree. I’ve worked with many clients creating print materials, taking photographs, creating videos, and telling stories. I’ve worn many hats, so to speak…

 

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And that’s what this blog is about: highlighting and talking about all the projects I’ve been involved with over the years. If you’re not into all that reading and discourse, you can head over to my smaller portfolios: Flickr, YouTube,  Graphic Design portfolio Facebook page or Instagram account.

But, if you’re interested, please stick around and read about where my passions have taken me. Leave a comment. Start a discussion. Inquire into bigger picture questions. I may not have an answer, but I’ll try and help in any way I can.

Thanks for stopping by! ~Andrea