07
Apr 15

Oh The Places You Will Go. #HireThisGrad

It seems just like yesterday when I wrote the post about students in the Fall 2014 Marketing Capstone class and their Professional Digital Identities. And yet, here we are a few months later and it is time to highlight another crop of outstanding soon to be professionals.

If you follow this blog you know that each semester that I teach Capstone, the students are required to build their online Professional Digital Identities. Essentially they are creating/building/maintaining their online brand. As a marketing professional who will have to utilize online tools to be successful, being able to showcase how they used some of those tools to promote themselves is an important challenge.

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What have these students learned?

  1. How to find their voice. This is not easy, as many of us know. It takes practice and time to figure out the right balance between personality and professionalism.
  2. Which online channels have the biggest reach and impact on SEO. For some students ego searches on their names are easy and spit back all their results, for others (like myself) there is always one or more “alter-egos” that get in the way. Producing content on multiple channels allows students to learn which channels help raise their content faster.
  3. Managing multiple channels is not easy. It takes work. It takes time. It takes dedication.
  4. It takes a village. Linking to one another, sharing each others content, supporting one another, enables students to increase their visibility in positive ways.

I really can’t wait to see the places these students will go…and just maybe you might get lucky enough to hire one of these amazing graduates! In this group we have several who are already employed, others who have amazing travel aspirations, ones who plan to move on to graduate school, and a few others who are actively seeking opportunities. So without further ado, may I introduce you to the Spring 2015 Marketing Capstone Students:

Mikayla Caprio

Mikayla Caprio

Meg Carrington

Meg Carrington

Steven Charnley

Steven Charnley

Melissa Chase

Melissa Chase

Luke Garnet

Luke Garnet

Julia Haass

Julia Haass

Sarah Hebert

Sarah Hebert

Katherine O'Neil Murphy

Katherine O’Neil Murphy

Julia Nittler

Julia Nittler

Casey Reagan

Casey Reagan

Kayleigh Vespa

Kayleigh Vespa

Christian Williams

Christian Williams

Jake Wollman

Jake Wollman

Emily Zelko

Emily Zelko

So check them out and connect with them on LinkedIn. Watch them launch and be ready for the great things these Champlain Graduates will accomplish. And as always don’t miss your opportunity to #HireThisGrad.


23
Oct 14

Hire This Grad: Fall 2014

unemployed-lol-cat4I love this time of year. It’s the time in my Marketing Capstone class when the seniors have been working on their Professional Digital Identity (PDI) projects enough for the “big reveal”.  We are past midterm and in just a few short weeks (six to be exact) they will be presenting their final PDI to the class and to professionals in the field.

The PDI project is one that we’ve been doing in the Marketing Capstone for some time. The guidelines are pretty straightforward and are based on the fact that to be a marketing professional in a digital age, a student must show that they are more than proficient with social, blogging and analytics tools.

This semester there are nine outstanding seniors, three of which are graduating in December, who are getting ready to transition into the professional world. This is your opportunity as potential employers to get a sneak peak at their awesomeness!

Like what you see? Better reach out to them right away! I’ve got students who have had three – four internships, studied abroad in China, held down full time jobs, managed projects for clients and know social media tools, analytics, event planning, promotions, video, digital marketing, and can communicate clearly, professionally, and confidently.

In other words…you better move quick employers because they are going to take the world by storm!

Time for you to #hirethisgrad


Chrissy Delphia: Event Planner
chrissydelphia.wordpress.com

Chrissy Delphia


 Taylor M. Downs: Community Manager and Dog Lover
taylormdowns.wordpress.com

Taylor M. Downs


Jenna Giguere: Arts Marketer and Dancer
jennagiguere.wordpress.com

Jenna Giguere


Mikey Gongwer: Event Promotions, Copywriter, Avid Skier
skiitswitch.wordpress.com

Mikey Gongwer


Alex Greenberg: Videographer, Storyteller, Skateboarder
Alexandergreenblog.wordpress.com

Alex Greenberg


Kyle Judd: Digital Marketing, Event Management, Beer Aficionado
kyle-judd.squarespace.com

Kyle Judd


Jake Keohan: World traveller, International Foosball Champion
jakeohan.wordpress.com

Jake Keohan


 Wylie McKenzie: Digital Marketer and Homebrewer
wyliemckenzie.wordpress.com

Wylie McKenzie


Isabelle Monticolombi: Fashion Maven and Community Manager
themonticolombi.wordpress.com

Isabelle Monticolombi

 


And there you have it. Nine awesome young professionals ready to take on the world. For those of you looking, Taylor, Alex and Isabelle graduate this December. Everyone else graduates in May.

What are you waiting for?

#hirethisgrad


26
Sep 14

EPIC 2015. Welcome to the Future.

I started teaching Internet Marketing in Y2K. Yep, I’ve been teaching this topic since:

  1. Google was a fledgling little company — they filed for incorporation in 1998.
  2. Before Facebook existed — they launched in 2004, and opened up to more than .edu in 2006.
  3. Before Twitter came on the scene – they started gaining popularity with a launch at SxSW in 2007
  4. Prior to YouTube — which had it’s first video uploaded in 2005
  5. Amazon started selling things other than books — which began in 2000 when they opened their kitchen store

I’ve been around long enough to see many things come and go, and to build curriculum that I believe will help my students to leverage the good side of all of this tech.  I’ve also been around this stuff long enough to see the dark side. To watch, and wonder, and worry about where it all taking us.

Like many people I watched Minority Report which came out in 2002 with fascination and thought…there is our future.

 

But perhaps most prophetic of all was a little film created in 2004 by Robin Sloan and Matt Thompson as part of a presentation they gave that year as they considered the future of journalism. They released a second version in 2005.

I began showing this video in my classes as soon as it came out. It sparked a great deal of conversation because it was future looking. Students were often skeptical of the concepts raised and didn’t really see the issues with a network that is built to show just those things that are relevant to someone based on their browsing and reading history.  The history of the early start of social networking sites, Google, Amazon, and RSS feeds is fascinating. And then somewhere in there…they move from what they know…to what they envision.

You can watch EPIC2105 here:

And so here we are. 2014.

We have Facebook which serves up maybe 10% of the content an individual is subscribed to. We have retargeting of advertising. We have Twitter which is rumored to be planning an algorithmic timeline approach based on individual interests. We have Amazon which feeds us up recommendations and content based on what we’ve searched for both in Amazon and on the web. Google results are personalized to location and ads are served up to us based on our browsing history. We have multiple “Buzzfeed” type sites that serve up snippets of information that we share to our friend networks, influencing what they see. News items come through our Facebook feed, or on Twitter. Our newspapers are getting smaller, many of us use the Daily Show and Colbert Report to get our news.

We are tracked, data mined, and put into content buckets. We are segmented. We are wearing technology that monitors our every move, and Apple has provided us with an Apple Watch that will make our days more convenient and will make sure our heart still beats.

So you tell me? Are Minority Report and EPIC 2015 just works of fiction or are they prophetic works that envision our world today?

Judge for yourself.  I already know what I think.


19
Sep 14

Teaching Twitter at #WEOC14

I will be presenting tomorrow at Senator Patrick Leahy’s 18th Annual Women’s Economic Opportunity Conference. My topic is Twitter. I’ll be kicking off the afternoon with a beginners workshop and then ending the day with an advanced workshop.

The challenge, of course, is that there is only one hour for each workshop. However, I think I’ve captured the basics in my presentation decks.

GETTING STARTED WITH TWITTER (1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.)

Learn the basics of Twitter from crafting a strong bio, to navigating the interface, and constructing meaningful content. We’ll debunk myths about followers, learn how to manage the settings and get you ready to start Tweeting like a pro! This workshop is for those who are getting ready to kick off a Twitter profile. Either you’ve never used Twitter before, or you have just started and are not sure what to do next.

I love teaching a “getting started” workshop on this tool. I’ve been Tweeting since 2007 — I can’t believe it’s been over seven years that I’ve been working with this tool.

myfirsttweet

I get a lot out of introducing people to just how powerful and interesting this tool is.  In this workshop I’ll cover the basics. From what Twitter really is to understanding the interface and how to write your first Tweet. My goal by the end of the hour is to get people interested enough that they will jump in and give it a go!  View my presentation.

TAKING TWITTER TO THE NEXT LEVEL (2:15 p.m – 3:15 p.m.)

Move beyond the basics of Twitter and learn how to curate and leverage favorites and lists. Participate in Tweetchats to promote your brand and build connections. Manage multiple accounts with third party software, and track clickthrough rates. We’ll also cover basic Twitter analytics to measure success. This workshop is for those who have been using Twitter but want to take it further. Ideal for small businesses and individuals alike.

In this more advanced course, we’ll be covering some great features of Twitter. I’ve highlighted ways in which I use Tweetchats, will be talking about some tools that I’ve used to manage Twitter, and the new release of Twitter Analytics — which I’m really having fun exploring. twitterstatsnew

 

Here’s the presentation for this session.

This is my first year at the Women’s Economic Opportunity Conference and I’m looking forward to talking with the attendees about something that I enjoy so much.

Oh, and this is also a perfect opportunity for me to plug an upcoming version of the Twitter for Dummies series featuring former Champlain College student Brittany Leaning as one of the authors!

twitterfordummies


12
Sep 14

Providing Economic Opportunity for Women in Vermont

18th Annual Women's Opportunity Conference I love living in Vermont. Not only is it a beautiful state, we have amazing conferences and opportunities for individuals to learn and grow.  One such opportunity is looming on the horizon and I’m privileged to be one of the workshop presenters.

The 18th Annual Women’s Economic Opportunity Conference kicks off on Saturday, September 20th at Vermont Technical College in Randolph, VT.  This conference, sponsored by Sen. Patrick Leahy is designed to provide women in the state with a way to brush up on their skills, get support for entrepreneurial projects, and help them take their small businesses to the next level.

And it’s FREE.

And there is childcare!

Yes, at a time when conferences are available to people all over the country for big fees — often unattainable by many hard-working Vermonters — Sen. Leahy brings together individuals from all over the state who donate their time to help other Vermonters.  Then, he and his staff make the conference free for anyone and take down one of the biggest barriers for women by providing child care at the site.

Brilliant.

Donna Carpenter, President, Burton SnowboardsTake a look at some of the amazing individuals who will be presenting on topics that include Leadership, Financial Management, Entrepreneurship, Social Media and Marketing, and even Cyber Security (for a full list, take a look at the speaker’s bios):

  • Donna Carpenter: President of Burton Snowboards will provide the Keynote
  • Chris Herriman: Economic Development Specialist at SBA
  • Susan Palmer: Leadership Consultant
  • Heidi Krantz: Agricultural Business Advisor for VTSBDC
  • Carmen Tall: Teacher with Mercy Connections
  • Sara Munro: Director of Communication and Strategy at Vermont Design Works
  • Barbara Dozetos: Owner of Above the Fold Marketing
  • Kelly Walsh: Director of Girls’ Programs at Vermont Works for Women

There are many more individuals who are coming together to provide coaching, tips, and information to conference attendees.

I’m looking forward to presenting two workshops on Twitter — two out of the 30+ workshops that are being offered on this day (here’s a list of all the workshop offerings).

Getting Started with Twitter

Learn the basics of Twitter from crafting a strong bio, to navigating the interface, and constructing meaningful content. We’ll debunk myths about followers, learn how to manage the Twitter_logo_bluesettings and get you ready to start Tweeting like a pro! This workshop is for those who are getting ready to kick off a Twitter profile. Either you’ve never used Twitter before, or you have just started and are not sure what to do next.

Taking Twitter to the Next Level

Move beyond the basics of Twitter and learn how to curate and leverage favorites and lists. Participate in Tweetchats to promote your brand and build connections. Manage multiple accounts with third party software, and track clickthrough rates. We’ll also cover basic Twitter analytics to measure success. This workshop is for those who have been using Twitter but want to take it further. Ideal for small businesses and individuals alike.

This conference has been going on for many years, and it is uplifting and pretty cool overall that year after year Vermonters come together to offer up a wide range of workshops and coaching options for one another. The more we can do to encourage and empower women businesses owners, entrepreneurs, and employees in the state, the better off for all of us.

I hope I get a chance to see you on the 20th. Please come up, introduce yourself and say hi!


05
Sep 14

Developing your Professional Digital Identity

Each semester when I teach my marketing Capstone course, the students engage in a semester long process to build up their personal brand. We call it the PDI or Professional Digital Identity. Throughout the years it has been updated and tweaked a bit, but has primarily stayed focused on helping our graduating seniors show their expertise not just in digital marketing tools, but also in content development, while highlighting their passions and interests.

The results of their work have been outstanding and many students have been able to secure internships and jobs because of what they practiced and learned through this assignment. Just see for yourself and look back over the years on this blog by reading the #ccc410mkt tag.

I’m quite passionate about this particular project and over the years have seen first hand just how important it is for students to complete this work. And yet, at the same time, I see how it is becoming even more important for most individuals to take a hard look at their online identity and make sure it reflects them in a way that will help them professionally.  Don’t believe me? Check out this handy infographic posted at UndercoverRecruiter from Reppler that tells an important HR story:

How Employers Use Social Media to Screen Applicants

So here are five things I think everyone should do to develop their own PDI. Oh, and if you want to see what my students are required to do just take a look at the PDI assignment guidelines.

  1. Google yourself. You might be surprised by what you find.
  2. Assess your current social media content and “professionalize” it. Delete content that could get you overlooked, add content that will spark employer interest. Be sure to maximize the security and privacy settings on tools like Facebook and take control of the content that is posted about you.
  3. Make it easy for people to find you. Pick a username and use it across all your social profiles. Put links to all of your online content sites on all of your online content sites. For example from this blog you can find all of the social accounts I am active on. From my LinkedIn you can find my blog, from my G+ you can find all my accounts as well as my blog.
  4. Pick one or two online tools to create content with — and build quality content about yourself. A blog is a great way to start, but if you don’t feel you have time for that, then use Twitter, or tools like Medium to create smaller, more manageable content, or go visual with Prezi, or Instagram, or Pinterest. Make sure you do put quality effort into LinkedIn.
  5. Build your network. Use LinkedIn, Twitter, and Klout to find people to follow, read, and connect with. Share great content. Try to meet people in person when you can. Participate in Tweetchats that have to do with your chosen field.

It’s not hard to do, but in today’s digital workplace it’s becoming even more vital that you have a Professional Digital Identity that will help you … not hinder you. Want to see how you stack up? Try this handy PDI Rubric I created for my students.

Oh, and as a special BONUS: take a look at Brandyourself.com for a handy way to increase the visibility of several of your online profiles for free. You can also take a look at Reppler to help you as well.

 


24
Apr 14

Evaluating a New Technology Tool for your Family

Tuned-In FamilyWhat follows is an excerpt from my new book: Tuned in Family: How to Cope, Communicate, and Connect in a Digital World


One of the biggest challenges parents face when it comes to digital communication technologies is knowing which tools are the most appropriate for their children and for themselves.

Why?

Because the tools themselves change every day. New advances bring new conveniences and greater ease of use and sharing. Your children’s schools may introduce a new learning management system that allows you access to grades and information, a new video game entices your child, an upgraded cell phone operating system adds more bells and whistles. Keeping up is hard enough for yourself, but add in the responsibility of your children and it becomes even more complex.

Use PAVER

A simple way to assess the appropriateness of a digital communication technology for your family is to run it through the following test which I call “PAVER”. Think of it as paving your way to technology success.

  • Purpose: First determine the purpose of the tool. Is it a word processing software? Is it an application that helps you check the weather? Is it a console game? Is it a social network?
  • Age Appropriateness: Then, is it age appropriate? Is your child mature enough to handle the environment and user interface? Can they manage the responsibility of the tool?
  • Value: Next, assess the value of the tool for the family. Does it provide entertainment? Is it educational? Does it allow for ease of connection for your family?
  • EULA: Then be sure to read the End User License Agreement (EULA). This is where the company that makes the product lays out the legal implications for use of their product/service and they tell you limitations as well as what they do with content. Be sure you agree with EULA and are willing to conform to requirements.
  • Reviews/Resources: Finally, take some time to read reviews, view videos, and utilize resources to learn more about the tool so you are educated.

Tuned-In Family: Technology Evaluation
Consider the different games, devices, and software you use throughout your day. Think about the same things your children use throughout the day. Have you ever really thought about the purpose of it in your life? In your children’s lives? What value does it bring to your life?  And of course, do you understand the End User License Agreement — all that wonderful legal stuff that comes with the apps and software we all use every day? This is what PAVER can help you with.

I highly recommend these resources to help you as you consider different technology tools for your family.

 


19
Apr 14

Tuned-In Family: Setting Ground Rules

Tuned-In FamilyWhat follows is an excerpt from my new book: Tuned in Family: How to Cope, Communicate, and Connect in a Digital World.


 

When it comes to managing the communication technologies and tools in your family, the rules of use are an important component to teaching best practices, respect, and appreciation for what the tools can accomplish. They are also useful for dealing with the issues that can come with these tools. From health issues caused by too much screen time, to user immaturity and misunderstandings of what content is private or not, individuals run into issues all the time.

Setting strong ground rules within your family is the fastest way for your family as a whole to better appreciate the tools and respect the boundaries you all set together. These ground rules will need to be revisited and discussed often, especially if you have teenagers in the home!

While each family will need to determine the ground rules that work best for them, I’ve compiled a list of recommendations that I have utilized within my family. I’ve also created a handy chart, which you can download here or from my resources section at Tunedinfamily.com in the resources section, that you can work with as you develop your own rules.

My five basic ground rules:

  • The “real friends” rule: When engaging in any online social context the rule for your children until they are older teenagers should be the “real friends” rule. Whether it is video games (computer or console), social networks, music services or even texting, making sure everyone in the family understands the difference between real friends and virtual friends is important. The sooner young children understand this, the better off they will be as they grow older.
  • Read the EULA rule: This one we all have to do a better job on. Often the “legalese” can seem overwhelming, and we just click the box and move on. However, there are many interesting things buried in the EULA, such as who owns the content you post, age restrictions, privacy information, and how they use data collection to manage marketing and advertising efforts. All of this information is very important in a society that is moving more and more towards 24/7, always-on access.
  • What’s the value rule/Tell me why rule: This rule becomes more critical as children get older. But start them young and have them explain why a new tool would be valuable for them or why they need it. This is one that I have employed with my daughter a great deal – the fine print on it is that “because my friends are doing it” is not a good reason. This is also a good way to ask them if they’ve read the EULA (reinforcing rule #2 above).
  • Ask my permission rule. As we take sharing for granted we often forget that each of us has a different threshold for privacy and sharing. Making this a family rule means that all of you must ask permission before posting images or information about one another in social contexts. This is another one that will become more obviously important as your children get older. Giving them a sense of control over what you post and where you post sets a great foundation for some good conversations. It’s how my daughter and I have been operating for quite a few years now. I respect her privacy and her wishes on what I post on my social networks about her, especially with pictures. She does the same for me.
  • Screen time rule. Rather than set time limits with the assumption that all screen time is “play time” emphasize the importance of walking away from screens for health reasons. Extended time in front of a screen, whether it is for homework, watching movies, or playing video games is not healthy for the eyes, mind, or body. Taking breaks, moving around, and changing your “visual inputs” are the foundations for this rule.

These five basic rules have been very useful with my daughter and me. Perhaps you as a family will come up with more rules that fit your needs better. Use these as a starting point, and talk through the consequences for breaking the rules. And remember, everyone in the family (including parents) need to adhere to the rules and take the consequences for breaking them. We’ve had consequences that range from permanent loss of access to a social network to having to removed content and posts from different social media sites.

What are some of your family ground rules?  Feel free to share them below in the comments section.