Writers’ Bloc Social Media Management

The student board for Professional Writing is known as Writers’ Bloc and as any student group needs a fairly involved social media manager to convey messages to fellow students, organize media, and continuously post.  I was elected into the student board during the 2011-2012 school year as a representative for the Digital and Technical field with the Professional Writing program.  Following a good year learning the structure of the Board I was promoted to social media coordinator for the 2012 school year.  Since taking over the Facebook page I have been able to greatly improve the audience and reach of Writers’ Bloc through the metrics provided by Facebook. (See Below)

Along with Facebook I also have managed the Twitter account which unlike Facebook doesn’t have consistent metrics.  Managing both has taught me that there are numerous messages and voices even from the same organization.  Twitter constrains the abilities of people’s posts on purpose to force users to be as terse as possible while Facebook allows for great deal of information with links and events.  This has been a valuable learning experience since I have learned how to utilize HootSuite an online service meant for managing multiple social media accounts.  Also valuable has been learning how posts and regularity are key to growing audience, even if it isn’t necessarily original content. Reposts and Retweets for other organizations can result in very strong links with those organizations that will become your megaphone when you post your own content.  I will continue to grow this skill and plan on being a social media coordinator for whichever company I work for in the immediate future.

Middle of the Mitten Events Communications

For the past year I have worked for Middle of the Mitten Events (MOTM) in a number of capacities.  MOTM is a 5 year old group that has put on concerts focusing on mid-Michigan rock and folk music.  From the initial Middle of the Mitten concert to this year there has been immense growth from a one evening jam session of numerous bands to a three day festival spanning across East Lansing and Lansing. Last year I volunteered for the marketing team working on communications and viral marketing.  I also was able to garner over $100 in donations towards the cost of running the festival such as printing tickets, handbills, and t-shirts.  The festival, which is always held on the last weekend in January, was the highest attendance to date for MOTM. I also assisted in creating the press release for the organization for MOTM 4.

MOTM additionally works on a benefit show every spring for the past two years.  Using the bands we network with during the festival MOTM has held a tsunami relief concert called “Jam for Japan” in 2010 and a relief show for the victims of the Dexter tornado in 2011.  After the last relief show I was asked by Joel Heckeman, President of MOTM, to join the group as an official Board Member along with Dan Nufer, Jon Ritz, Kyle Brown, and new Board Member Alyson Gines.  During these past few months we have gone through the process of becoming a 501(c)3 nonprofit.  It is our hope as a Board that we will be able to expand beyond two main events and become a fully functioning concert organization that focuses on local music and won’t have to be constrained by profits to create amazing shows.

Since becoming a Board member I have worked with MOTM as a team leader managing the media team.  We have created numerous media pieces like the  logo you see here for MOTM 5 which will be held this year at the Record Lounge, S(CENE) Metrospace, and The Loft for the three days.  It has been extremely rewarding process and learning experience as I have been part of the festival from so  many vantage points – volunteer, social media coordination, viral marketing, Board member, and team leader.  I hope that from this experience I’ll be able to create my own version of MOTM in the future, or expanding it to a state wide festival.

More information available below:

Official Website

Facebook Page

Tumblr

The Ave Communications Strategy

The Ave

One of the most rewarding and research projects I have worked on was a comprehensive communications strategy for The Ave community project. The Ave is the brain child of professors John Monberg, Vincent Delgado, and designers at Red Head Design Studio.  Meant to do many things this project had three main audiences and purposes.

  1. Create a vibrant community between students at Michigan State and the corridor of Michigan Avenue
  2. Connect the artists of the greater Lansing area
  3. Be a major linchpin for the businesses of Michigan Avenue and build viral marketing

The Ave

This project was worked on by a fantastic and talented team consisting of Rebecca Zantjer, Jamison Sheppard, Emily Dixon,Laura Allen, and myself.  Using multiple methods of research we worked for two months straight on developing out this communications strategy.  Starting with ethnographic research and stakeholder interviews we were able to get a feel for the organization and where the stakeholders mentioned above wanted the project to move towards.  Taking this into consideration we developed a strategy that used the already existing goals but focused on creating personas, place-making, and network building.  The entire project culminated in the document you can view below and is one of the most comprehensive projects I have had the privilege of working with.

Graffiti Comic

Graffiti comic preview picture

In continuing with my fascination with hip hop and developing and more intricate understanding of the 5 pillars of hip hop I was involved during the fall of 2011 and spring 2012 in a study  and research project based around Lansing hip hop.  For my part in the project I created a comic detailing some of the finer details of graffiti culture.   We successfully entered in the Michigan State University  Undergraduate Research and Arts Forum (UURAF) where we presented a full catalog of multimedia work – our booklet with photos and my comic, a research poster, and a video in which we interviewed local graffiti artists in REO Town in Lansing.

Here you can view the entire Graffiti Comic

 

Video below

517 Theory: An Interview with Local Artists from Jessie Whitmill on Vimeo.

Turntable Lab Review

Preview Picture of TTL review

During the month I spent in New York City I was privileged to have an independent study based  around the hip hop culture currently in the city.  New York is and  always will be the mecca of hip hop, from its roots with Afrika Bambatta playing street parties, to the Brooklyn and Queens legends that have shaped our culture in America.  I have always been interested in the 5 pillars of hip hop:

1. BBoying

2. DJing

3. Graffiti

4. MCing

5. Knowledge and overstanding

For my independent study I was able to visit a number of places and conduct reviews and interviews.  Previous to visiting NYC I would shop endlessly on the Turntable Lab website and I had to visit and, admittedly, spend too much money. I wrote up a full review of the shop and created it into a full PDF article for easy distribution.  I hope you enjoy.

To read my entire review of the shop please click here for the PDF Turntable Lab Review