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Getting the Social Treatment

A little background from Kimberly Stern, Director of Social and Digital Media

During our #CSUSocial summer 2015 strategic planning sessions (that we fondly dubbed #SummerCamp), one initiative that rose to the top of our list of key areas to focus on in the coming year was to intentionally and strategically come alongside our eight college communications collaborators to develop college-specific social media content.

The CSU Social and Digital Media team is centrally located and dedicated to producing content for institutional channels. Each of the directors of communications for our eight colleges is responsible for creating and managing their social channels.

In an effort to assist the colleges in hosting an engaging and social-friendly campaign, we launched the Social Treatment where each college would work with my team to create social assets (videos, graphics, photos) that the college and CSU channels could share. In its beta year, we are offering one Social Treatment voucher to each of the eight colleges.

Jason Kosovski, director of Communications for the College of Agricultural Sciences takes it over from here…

I am an early adopter.

I was one among the first users to embrace satellite radio which means I have several satellite radio receivers that no longer work. I owned several ReplayTV boxes, which were early competitors of TiVo – they no longer work now and ReplayTV is out of business. And I bought a Nomad for DirectTV almost the day it came out, which allowed me to download my DVR shows to my computer. It proved to be non-functional almost immediately.

Despite these obvious let downs, I chose to be an early adopter once again and cashed in my chips for a “social treatment” from Colorado State University’s Social Media Team. Each year, our college and the other colleges at CSU, can have the Social Media Team take something happening in the college and make it social-friendly, engaging, and easily shareable. I was first in line.

This time, my propensity to be an early adopter paid off! Our college, along with CSU’s College of Natural Sciences, hosts the Thornton-Massa lecture, a lecture focused on plant bio-diversity. This year’s speaker was a world-renowned entomologist from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Dr. May Berenbaum. I asked the Social Media Team to create a short video promoting Dr. Berenbaum and her talk. Get ready to be wowed – here’s what I got:

YouTube / Colorado State University – via Iframely

Making science fun, interesting, and accessible is part of what earned Berenbaum the National Medal of Science, so presenting her research and background in a “social” way seemed not only appropriate but ideal. The video was a hit throughout our college, across campus, and back at the University of Illinois. Our tweets of the video were retweeted by the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the American Entomological Society as well as the University of Illinois and that university’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Both of the talks held on campus had record-setting audiences, shattering attendance records in the 16-year history of the lecture series.

From a PR perspective, promoting events is easy when you have such an outstanding speaker – but the task is made even easier when you have a team willing and able to put such a cool social piece together.

I am already thinking about how I can cash my chips in for next year.

Jason Kosovski

About Jason Kosovski

Jason Kosovski is the Director of Communications for the CSU College of Agricultural Sciences. He manages all of the college’s internal, external, and strategic communications including print, web, and social media. He has taught courses in public speaking, gender and language in popular culture, and film theory. His research interests focus on gender, race, and class as depicted on reality television, and he worked for The Jerry Springer Show.