Tag Archives: communication

hoot hoot, i am certified!

Having the opportunity to become HootSuite certified while taking this course with Dr. Karen Freberg was incentive enough to sign up to be a part of her social media class. Developing the basic knowledge for using social media in the proper way was something that I already possessed, having been the administrator on many Facebook pages, however, being given a tool that could help in running these pages was something that I was lacking. Upon logging into the site I quickly breezed through the videos and the exams – quickly becoming certified within a matter of a couple of weeks after starting the process. I contribute that to the fact that the videos were easy to understand and get through, but also I was interested in the topic and learning more about what I could do with it.

HootSuite, according to Wikipedia, “is a social media management system for brand management created by Ryan Holmes in 2008. The system’s user interface takes the form of a dashboard, and supports social network integrations for Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, Foursquare, MySpace, WordPress, TrendSpottr and Mixi.” By possessing the knowledge to now have the know-how on operating a HootSuite dashboard, I am able to stay ahead of the competition in my current field and ensure that I am capable to help whomever I am working for, or with, run an accurate and timely social media plan.

After completing my certification I took the time to browse the lectures that were also available to us. These I found extremely informative and useful, especially the section that highlighted the specific industries. In this area seven industries were highlighted, and explained how social media was a tool, could be a tool, or should be a tool. The various industries that were noted included: nonprofits, real estate, higher education, finance, entertainment, and healthcare. What I found to be lacking in this was the area of sports, and to me that seemed odd. While it could very easily be lumped in with entertainment, and the concepts from each industry could be manipulated to fit a sporting strategic plan it was still odd that HootSuite University did not incorporate something more specific to this industry. I felt that this is something that they are lacking, and can improve upon.

Though I would ask HootSuite the question on how they would tackle, or suggest, using their interface for the sports market? Is there room for them in the industry were the content is time sensitive? That everything, for the most part, is needing to be streamed live? Perhaps there is a new venture out there that they can incorporate something along those lines for integrating the importance of scheduled content versus that of live streaming?

Regardless, I gained an great new insight by becoming certified and I am much appreciated to Dr. Freberg and HootSuite University for giving #Freberg14 the opportunity to become familiar with such a tool and resource!

HootSuite Certified Professional


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Weirdo. It’s a term that I have been called for the vast majority of my life, and while I never took it as a negative, I could see my peers using it in that sense. While I openly embrace the fact that I am weird, or unique as my mother often told me, not many people want to be seen as that. They want to be normal. Whatever that means. But Mark Murdock, who works for Bandy Carroll Hellige, came into Dr. Karen Freberg‘s social media class and started off his presentation with the fact that he’s weird, he knows he’s weird, his peers know he’s weird – and well, that is just fine by him.

Because weirdos outperform the normals. Or at least that’s what Michael Lazerow, CEO and Founder of Buddy Media, says in this great video from a panel discussion from SXSW Interactive Festival.

This is what stood out to me the most out of Murdock’s presentation today. That it’s okay to embrace being weird. That as long as you are passionate about what you are doing, and you have a little oddness thrown in there, you can do anything that you set your mind to – working in the social media world you have to have a bit of both to be successful. In this ever-evolving world of technology, new platforms are constantly popping up and original ideas are becoming fewer and further in-between. You almost have to have a bit of weirdness to stay in this industry and be innovative with what you do. He rhetorically asked in class: “is social media a job or a skill?” If you are passionate about it, and this goes with just about any career path or thing in life, the answer is pretty much obsolete.

I commend those who are “weird” or “crazy” or as Steve Jobs calls them “the round pegs in the square holes” – because it’s those of us who have those attributes that do the unthinkable, who are not afraid to color outside of the lines.

So I’ll take it.


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passion meets innovation

The spring semester will be complete in just a mere 3 weeks or so; one of the perks of being enrolled at the University of Louisville is their hastiness to get students off campus prior to Derby weekend. This semester was an interesting one, to say the least, causing myself to reevaluate who I was as a student and who I wanted to be as a professional. Luckily, I have meet some great mentors while in the Communication Department and they helped make some of those tough calls easier for me.

Other than our happy go lucky advisor Steve Sohn, I am lucky to have yet another faculty member as a new trusted advisor – Dr. Karen Freberg, whose class I am currently also wrapping up as this semester comes to a close.

I have also been known as the innovator to my group of friends – my father is sort of a nerd and thus the gene has been passed down to me. My siblings and I had an Apple 2 growing up, we had iPods before discman’s had even thought of being obsolete, my folks were on the first waiting list for the first iPhone, and it’s a running joke in our family that Apple is our favorite fruit. Hell – I have the Apple logo tattooed on my wrist. Anything that is deemed the new coolest tech toy, my dad has it, has bought it, or is on the waiting list for it. So when Dr. Freberg walked into our Cohort Seminar in the fall sporting a pair of Google Glass I knew that I had to be in her course! Luckily enough, I was able to snag a seat in her social media course (which by the way is another one of my favorite past-times, to the point that my mentality is if you didn’t Instagram it, tweet it, or post it – did it really happen?!).

What I grained from her course was just amazing – an incredible experience!

Right away I was named team leader to work with Joey Wagner on his upcoming event Thunder Lounge. Where my team and I had a blast! We created, and served, real cocktails to him and his associates in a business meeting. We brainstormed with his team to come up with ways to brand the event. We are running his Twitter and Facebook accounts – our strategic plans being turned into real life content as we go along. It’s been great working with Joey, and I hope we can work together again in the future. (And a big ol’ thank you to my team Maggie Cunningham, Katie McDaniel, and Kate Vance – couldn’t have done it without ya!)

Dr. Freberg also brought in multiple guest speakers from all faucets of the industry. From crisis communication to Facebook analytic specialists to previous students of hers. Though the one that I was must interested in was with @ULFlyingCard – the social media guru for UL athletics. Having already talked to me, repeatedly, about my future goals and what I was passionate about Dr. Freberg knew that sports was were I wanted to be. And before Nick Stover‘s presentation was even over, she was whispering that I needed to go ask him for an internship – tell him I am a designer, I knew social media, I’m a graduate student. The class ended and she pretty much ushered me to his side to ensure I got the opportunity to talk with him. She even helped me finalize the draft to this post that I sent to him, along with my resume.

It is because of her and her encouragement I was able to land an internship of a lifetime.

And I cannot thank her enough.

From the lectures on branding oneself, to the guest speakers, to personally letting me take her Google Glass to the UL/UK Sweet 16 game, to always just being a tweet away – I just want to say thank you to Dr. Freberg. She has taken my passion for sports and social media and has turned it into an innovated career path. I look forward to more classes with her and am proud to be a #FrebergGrad!

My boss & I rocking Glass before the start of the UL/UK Sweet 16 game in Indy.

My boss & I rocking Glass before the start of the UL/UK Sweet 16 game in Indy.

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a hiatus & a thank you

And I am back. After a hiatus from social media starting at about 12:37am this past Saturday morning. It wasn’t a real hiatus; I still checked my emails and occasionally got on to Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram – but I didn’t post much and it usually only took me a few moments before I tossed my phone to the side once more.

Why, pray tell? All because of a little basketball game.

But you see it wasn’t just another game. And before you jump to conclusions that its just because I “hate” UK – let me stop you right there. That’s not it at all. (Granted I don’t like UK – at all. The majority of their fans are annoying, but so are some UL fans, they both exist – yeah, yeah, I know.) Rather it had everything to do with the fact that fans have watched Russ Smith, Luke Hancock, Stephan Van Treese, and Tim Henderson grow up at UL – from transfers, to walk-ons, to sitting on the bench; these guys cared deeply and wholeheartedly about the name on the front of their jersey. That’s who they played for. Kentucky players – c’mon it’s a one and done environment, yes it works for them and yes they are in the Final Four because of that but that doesn’t mean that they deserved that win. Because they didn’t. Those seniors at UL, the ones who sweated day in and day out at the gym, who kept their grades up, who stayed to finish school, they deserved that win.

That’s why I took a hiatus from social media (sort of) for the last few days. I didn’t want to read the snide statuses or the flip flopping of the fans. I was an athlete for the vast majority of my adolescence – I know the pain and the let down feeling that is associated with not winning a crucial game, and I can only imagine what it felt like for them.

With all of this being said, I think it is now somewhat safe to return to being active on my social media platforms. And thank you UL seniors – you will be missed.


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a Glass like view

My family isn’t from Kentucky. We relocated here for my father’s job a couple of decades ago, but we weren’t from Kentucky. And because of that I never had an opinion on whether I belonged in Cardnation or Big Blue Nation (though, from a young age, I thought it was silly that folks said that they bled blue…right…). I graduated high school in Oldham County, a neutral zone, and was accepted into Western Kentucky University for my undergrad – I was a Hilltopper. It was as simple as that.

Then something strange happened. After graduation I moved back home, though instead of camping out in the country side of the OC, I moved to the city that was just up the road – Louisville. And my allegiance began. I live five minutes from campus. I date a guy who is a UL fan first, and a UL student second. What sealed the deal – I started working for the University on a grant project and then was admitted into their Master’s program. There was no longer any doubt – I was Cardnation’s newest citizen and I couldn’t be more stoked.

I’m not one of those fans who just woke up and decided that red looks better on me; I have a real investment with the University of Louisville – I have met great mentors on this campus and am continuing my education within it’s Communication department. Within that I have gotten an amazing opportunity to intern with the university’s athletic social media director, @ULFlyingCard, who is on the cutting edge of everything hip and trendy. Which, and if anyone really knows me, knows that this has geeked me out more than anything. I was raised as an early adapter, the coolest tech toy sat under my Christmas tree, and I live and breath anything Steve Jobs has touched.

Technology is rapidly changing around us all; continuously evolving passed society’s wildest imaginations. The first computer was created in 1939 by David Packard and Bill Hewlett – the HP 200A Audio Oscillator, which was mainly used by engineers and Walt Disney who wanted to use the machine in the 1940 movie Fantasia. This was roughly 45 years prior to Steve Jobs dropping out of college and creating the Apple computer, and Bill Gates starting Microsoft. Another two decades passed before the dream of a smart phone is in consumers hands. By this point, technology wasn’t taking years and decades to advance, but rather snippets of time – months, weeks, days – the newest and greatest things are constantly outdoing their competitors and trying to race to get the latest piece out there.

The Google start up was no different. Created by two twenty-somethings fresh out of college, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, and wanting to be a part of the technological conversation, touching every facet that was available to consumers and creating innovative ideas that were not yet even conceived by the very same demographic. This ranged from Google Docs to Google Wallet to Google Play to tablets and smart phones. And now they have tapped into a market that is quickly becoming a hot item of demand – wearable technology. According to an article by Wired, this technology is creating a revolution; “In many of the most cutting-edge applications for wearables, the time between intention and action is actually negative: The device knows what users want before they want it.”

While businesses are trying to find ideal ways to implement Glass into their strategic plans; athletic departments for teams such as the Sacramento Kings and the Indiana Pacers are already using it to their advantage. The Kings teamed up with CrowdOptic to produce a vantage point that fans had never before seen. Players, coaches, dancers, and others who are right along the court side are wearing Glass and, with the help of CrowdOptic, were able to produce that coveted view on their arena jumbotrons.

But you know who also has Google Glass? The University of Louisville.

And you know who gets to be a part of pushing the bounds? This intern!

That’s right – the biggest rivalry in college sports is meeting up at the Sweet 16, and I, along with @ULFlyingCard, will be there, Glass on head and ready to show the nation a unique perspective – one that has not yet been seen yet – the fan perspective! I will be traveling to Indy tomorrow morning, attending the J. Wagner Group and ESPN 680 big pregame party, and I will be sitting with the fans – all the while I will have Google Glass on my face capturing the experience.

This piece of wearable technology is going to change the sports, according to an article by Albert Costill in Search Engine Journal. It will enhance the way players train and referees officiate. Scores will now be updated live, instant replays readily at hand. Yet, the University of Louisville is already taken it upon themselves to be a big player in the conversation, connecting with fans in a way that has not been done thus far.

So, come tomorrow – make sure your phones are charged, you’re plugged in, and you’re following @ULFlyingCard for a court side view, and that you are following me @samanthahughey for a new take on the fan perspective.

Rocking the Google Glass - though I will be in my red & black tomorrow! Go CARDS!  Be sure to follow me for an exclusive fan perspective (@samanthahughey)!

Rocking the Google Glass – though I will be in my red & black tomorrow! Go CARDS! Be sure to follow me for an exclusive fan perspective (@samanthahughey)!

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it’s social media, babyyyyyy

Conference play has ended, and the teams have been selected – the 2014 NCAA tournament is hours away from beginning and while the players and the coaches are strategizing fans are taking to their smart phones. Whether it’s filling out brackets or sizing up their team’s opponents social media has continued to prove to be a vital resource for fans. But in a digital world were content is king and snackable content is being demanded at a faster rate – how are teams beating their competition on the virtual court?

It seems that last year’s article done by Mashable was taken seriously by those schools who didn’t  have a strong social media presence. A few of the key players, both in the sports world and the social media world, offer their insights on who should be crowned this year’s Social Media Champion.

University of Louisville‘s Nick Stover (@ULFlyingCard) looked at how teams were in fact measuring up – if their social media game could back up what was happening on the court. Looking at the three most used platforms, Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, the Elite 8 came down to who had the most followers and who was being the most active, appealing to their fan base. From there the race got a little heated and relying on the use of unique hashtags the Final Four came down to UCLA, Memphis, Wisconsin and, last year’s National ChampionLouisville – these were the schools that were creating content that was outside of the box, hashtags were consistent among all platforms – some were even using other avenues to promote their school (VIne, Google+ and YouTube). Though it ultimately came down to the two schools who were sharing behind the scenes exclusive photos and videos – UCLA and Louisville.

UCLA ultimately would take the crown as the Social Media Champ based upon the amount of fans that they were reaching and engaging with, amongst the innovative tactics that were set in place.

While others, such as HootSuite, focused purely on the followers that they had on Twitter based upon those who were enrolled in the university. Though they also incorporated key players, mascots, and coaches who had an active presence on the platform as well. The Final Four for schools with a mass Twitter following included: @KUHoops, @MSU_Basketball, @KentuckyMBB and @BlueJayMBB. The champion being @BlueJayMBB (Creighton University), with their following doubling the school’s enrollment.

The road to the finals in now underway; games being live streamed and live tweeted non stop, with the championship game being played April 7 – until then it’s nonstop madness.


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staying current

Newspapers. Radio. Television. Traditional media has been on the decline almost as quickly as it was developed, the next best thing being created and used almost immediately after the last. This pattern has only seemed to increase with the millennial generation taking hold and social media emerging at a much more rapid pace. Instead of spending hours sitting in front of a television waiting for the news to be delivered to us many are instantly logging into their Twitter and Instagram accounts to stay up to speed with the latest news. Smartphones are now the gate keepers for our information and luckily people like Scott Atkins from WAVE 3 is aware of this technological switch.

Atkins can be followed across all the crucial platforms – Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. Where he has intertwined his passion for creative story telling, news and social media to create an avenue that his followers can be sure to be kept up to date with the happenings in the community. Atkins talked about three vital principles that should be followed when creating content: it should make the audience feel something – one should laugh or cry, the audience should walk away having learned something, and the community should be made better because of the content that was provided. While these principles were pertaining to the news that is being created at WAVE 3, I found these to ring true when it comes to putting any content out there – especially when you are being a creative and attempting to be different and color outside of the lines compared to those who are considered your competition.

Other than the principles that were presented I found another aspect of Atkins presentation to be highly interesting. He made a comment that before too long text messaging would become obsolete. Hearing this got me thinking – with all the other communication vices slowly starting to become irrelevant is text messaging the next thing to go? After reading various articles (such as this one and this one, and this one) it seems that this has been the thought for the past few years, though it is still here and people are still interacting with their friends via this method. While we are constantly on our phones checking out feeds and Instagraming our lunches – I do believe that we will, also, still be texting.

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They once only infiltrated the Twitterverse, but since the popularity of them became apparent they have started to surface on every social media platforms. From Facebook to Instagram to Tumblr – hashtags are being used in a capacity that never has been done before.

So what’s the point? Are they just there to annoy those who seem to already have a disregard for social media? Where did they stem from? And what can we use them for?

According to About.com, the history of hashtags began as early as 1988 on a program called Internet Relay Chat for doing the same thing that they are being used for today – grouping topics into relevant categories that pertained to one another. When Twitter was created in 2005 the new social media site saw how something of this could be used in a unique way. And thus, the hashtag became it’s own entity.

The conceptual idea of hashtags is a genius one, and a lot of brands have increasing seen the potential that hides behind this little character. It’s a great asset when attempting to monitor one’s social media campaign – something that was not prevalent during traditional marketing plan implementations. Before there seemed to be an up-in-the-air mentality on whether or not a campaign was getting the traction that one wanted. Was that commercial being viewed? And by who? Did it have an impact? Now, and this was especially true in this year’s Super Bowl commercials – more than 57% of the ads used them, hashtags are being incorporated into the actual commercial – encouraging the demographic to get on their smart phones and have a conversation. Brands can then go back and just by clicking that link see what is being said about them. It really is creating monetary value in the usage of social media – investors AND clients like that.

There are tons of tools available to monitoring hashtags specifically. Steam Feed highlighted 21 of the Best #Hashtag Tools to use,  though the article was written back in November of 2013 new tools are being created everyday – as it is with the rest of technology and social media.

Learning how to correctly use this little character on your keyboard is a vital asset in this growing market tactic – it can physically allow you to watch your campaign grow and spread through the world wide web.

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impossible is nothing

In my bathroom there is an Adidas ad. David Beckham is celebrating a victory of some sort. And these words overlay on his image:

Impossible is just a big word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in the world they’ve been given than to explore the power they have to change it. Impossible is not a fact. It’s an opinion. Impossible is not a declaration. It’s a dare. Impossible is potential. Impossible is temporary.

Impossible is nothing.

I cannot tell you how old I was when I cut this out of my ESPN magazine, but this single clipping has followed me from my parent’s house to the dorms at WKU to my first, second and third house in Bowling Green back to my parent’s house and now continues to inspire me in Louisville. This quote sums up the intensity of what it means to live life and the power behind those who play sports or are sports fans – there is a magic there unlike any other.

Today in Dr. Freberg’s class Nick Stover came to speak to us about what he is doing with the University of Louisville athletics, to say I geeked out a little bit would be an understatement. The things that he is doing with social media at the university are out of this world – he has taken the idea of impossible, put a pair of Google Glass on it and has been a revolutionary figure in the college sports industry. Catering specifically to each sport offered as it’s own entity continues to prove to the nation that this school stands behind all of it’s athletes. Whether you follow Stover on Twitter (@ULflyingcard) or take the time to read his personal blog (nickstover.org) you can feel the passion for what he does in everything that he touches.

I joke (kind of, but not at all) that my favorite part of any sporting event is the beginning: when the team comes running out of the tunnel, when promotional videos and highlights start to play and the players are being announced, and when the fans get on their feet – hyped at the possibility of what these four quarters or what the next 90 minutes will bring. Nick Stover is amping up that experience with the use of social media.

And that’s where I want to be. That is what I want to be doing.

Every child growing up has a dream of what they want to be when they grow up. I was no different I wanted to be the next Mia Hamm – bringing home a World Cup trophy and being a role model for girl athletes all over the country. Somewhere along the way, however, my dream morphed into something a little more attainable – to work for some aspect for the sport industry. In everything that I have worked on I have always had that dream tucked away – the thought of when I grow up… being something that I was still working towards.

But now is the time. It’s the year – no, the decade – of the Cardinal. And I want to be a part of it.

So Nick – I want to work for you. I want my dreams to start being reality. I want to show the nation that UL athletics is more than just the name on the back of jerseys. I want to take on this dare and show that impossible is nothing.

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respect the trade

It cannot be stressed enough as to how much of a visual person that I am – to the point that I am currently a visual merchandiser for Forever 21. My background has continuously been in something that had a visual aspect to it, and a lot of this goes back to the mere fact that my father is in publishing and as a child I would sit in his office talking about the covers of his magazine, Fastline, and why that picture was chosen or why the colors were what they were. Terms such as bleed, DPI, color stories and schemes were integrated into my vocabulary – verbage that I used more than what some of my peers would have liked.

I was fortunate enough to have a part time job in high school at the family print shop (previously Fastline Printing and now The Fine Print Shop – yup, that’s a shameless plug! They do great work and I try to freelance and help them when I can). That’s when I learned the mechanics of the printing press – I was a 15 year old girl being yelled at by my cousin to put my hair in a bun because he was afraid I would lose it to the machine that he was having me run. It was in this moment when I was covered in ink, light headed from the chemicals that I truly understood the importance of a great piece of design work. And I fell in love.

Since then I have had many other experiences which have furthered my passion of the creative side. From interning at The Oldham Era to teaching black and white photography to my own group of sophomores while I was just a senior. I have won awards – for my writing, for my designs and for my photography. Statewide and national. I had taken the opportunity to study with the best in the industry when I went to Western Kentucky University and traveled to Malaysia with the nation’s only student run ad and PR agency – Imagewest.

Yes, I am bragging. But in a world of Instagram accounts and filters galore it’s important to understand that this craft, the craft of being a creative, is one that is dying out. And that’s sad. Just because you have an iPhone and 19 photo apps does not make you a photographer. And just because you have a pirated version of PhotoShop Elements does not make you a designer. More and more articles are popping up about not hiring real photographers for weddings and suggesting that your second cousin who took that one class that one time can do that huge project.

Now I am not saying that I am perfect. I am just suggesting that while the world is turning into visuals and wanting that snackable content it’s important to recognize and respect those who have studied the trade and have worked hard to perfect their craft.

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