When I was asked to teach at UNC’s Journalism School, I jumped at the opportunity. Not only was it where I received my undergraduate degree, but it’s a top-5 school, the students are all amazing and, of course, they’re all Tar Heel fans! The prerequisite for THE BRANDING OF ME is my other UNC course, New Media Technologies and It’s Impact on the Future of Advertising, Marketing and PR – and that forces me to evolve the class in real-time as the tools in the new media environment change dynamically.
For example, in 2009, we had class the day after the USAir flight landed in the Hudson River (NY) and, all of a sudden, America realized what Twitter was as passengers Tweeted LIVE standing on the wing of the plane – IN THE RIVER. Of course, Twitter was a course topic, but we elevated it’s importance int he new media world.
And, in 2010, we were able to evaluate Toyota‘s use of new media technologies in their response (to their customers) to their potentially devastating recall of million of cars.
In 2012, we witnessed a presidential election where social media predicted the winner well before the TV pundits did – and in most cases, weeks before the polls closed.
That’s the dynamic world we live in. In fact, in the past two years, there hasn’t been a major news story that didn’t appeared in Twitter or on Facebook Feed well befroe appearing on the so-called traditional “news”.
Gone are the days where we can grow up, go to college and easily get a job in corporate America right after graduation. Now, you have to have “experience” to even land your first job. How’s that even possible? Isn’t that what college was for?
Generations Y and Z are leveraging new media tools like none before them. Seven of the of the top 10 earners in YouTube are under the age of 22. A 27-year old currently has more followers on Twitter than any other human in the world. And a 12-year old made a video of himself playing the piano and singing and ended up garnering more than 30-million YouTube views — and got on the Ellen DeGeneres Show. And, is now a multi-millionaire. Even a 13-year old singer who recorded and posted a video of her singing what was widely regarded as a terrible song (think: FRIDAY) pocketed enough money to pay for her college as well as her siblings from YouTube ads from people who hated it, but played it anyway – over 50 million times.
What have you done to brand yourself?
YouTube is awesome, Twitter is cool and Facebook is entertaining, but leveraging them all in a calculated plan with other new media marketing tools can help you land that first job — the one that now wants you to have “experience” by the time you’ve graduated from college. Sometimes it can even help you skip up the ladder to jobs that in the past you’d only have dreamed of getting right out of school.
On the job learning is a thing of the past. Students graduating from the nation’s top universities and colleges can no longer get by just on their GPAs and the prestigious seals on their diplomas. They’ve got to demonstrate they can be an asset to any company from Day 1.
Well, that’s EXACLTY what we’re going to do in The Branding of Me.