Starting all over again

It’s been ages since I’ve published a blog, but I promised my students I would write one to help get the process started, so here goes…

I’m in my 10th year at WKU, which is hard to believe. I guess time really does fly when you’re having fun!

Doing marketing for the University is a privilege, and every single day I enjoy what I do – yep, even on the not-so-fun days when challenging issues arise. I work with a great team of marketing and graphic design folks who are incredibly talented. My job entails overseeing marketing and communications to internal and external campus audiences, the WKU website, and WKU social media accounts on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. (there is a LOT that goes into that last three letters – “etc.” I could bore you with all the details, but I’ll spare you for now).

My husband works in WKU Athletics, my oldest son is in his senior year here, and my youngest is a senior at South Warren High School. The hubby and I are both WKU grads (a couple of times over), and soon the oldest will be as well. Mason, the youngest, has already decided to be a Hilltopper, too. And in case you were wondering – the answer is yes – they really did get to make that choice on their own. I would have been OK if they had chosen to go elsewhere (even if it was that blue school in the state – what’s it called again?), but I’m glad they picked WKU!

I’m really happy to be teaching a class this semester, although, to be perfectly honest, it does become a little stressful, especially when things with my “real job” get incredibly busy throughout the year. I do almost all of my class prep work in the evenings and on the weekends, so I don’t have a ton of free time left over for other things. It’s a rewarding experience, though, so it’s worth the time and effort.

A new semester is always exciting, and this fall is no exception. I look forward to getting to know my students a little bit better as we go along. The semester will fly by as they always do, and it’ll be Christmas break before you know it!

Heads up…the first home football game is in just a few days!  We renew an old in-state rivalry with EKU on Saturday, September 2 at 6pm at The Houch. Show up and wear RED!

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It’s the most wonderful time of the year!

The holiday season has come and gone, so you may be thinking that the timing of that title is a little off. While it may seem strange to those who don’t know me well, the reason for my excitement is because the looming spring season means that baseball is back!

I loved watching my sons play Little League, and I still get to enjoy my youngest playing for South Warren Baseball. I get to cheer on the Toppers at the college level, and the major leaguers are getting back into the swing of things (see what I did there?) in the Cactus League and the Grapefruit League.

The whole family loves the sport, and our summer vacations typically revolve around major league baseball parks. Last season we saw the Cubs, Braves, Blue Jays, and Indians play at their home fields. This summer we’re debating between heading to Boston, Houston or Seattle. We try to visit at least one park each year that we haven’t been to before, and we have an MLB map of all the parks that gets flagged once we’ve been there to see a game.

wrigley   toronto   cleveland

This week I asked my Social Media Marketing students to blog about the best video they ever saw and why it’s the best. There have been some great responses so far. It only seems fair that I should post one of my favorites as well. While this may not be the best video ever made from a production standpoint, I enjoy it because it’s cute, and it’s catchy, and it celebrates my favorite team. Good luck getting this song out of your head the rest of the day! #GoCubsGo

College Sweethearts

hearts  #HeartsOnTheHill hearts

We’re in the midst of the #HeartsOnTheHill social media campaign, and I enjoy reading everyone else’s stories, so seems like an appropriate time to get a little “mushy.”

Craig and I were college sweethearts at WKU, but we had actually started dating even before we were students on The Hill. I’ve known him since elementary school (although I always thought he was quite the snob, which I still love to tease him about). He was a year ahead of me in school, and his senior year he was actually dating one of my very best friends, while I, too, had a steady boyfriend. Once we were both out of those respective relationships, we became very good friends, and eventually started dating. He went to Lindsey Wilson College right after high school, and I finished my senior year. Of course, when I decided to go to WKU, he transferred, because he just had to follow me (I love to tease him about that, too).

We got engaged in the spring of my sophomore year at WKU and married a few months later at the ripe ol’ ages of 20 and 21. I still wonder what our parents were thinking letting us get married when we were practically babies! And, in case you were wondering, the friend he had dated in high school was one of my bridesmaids.

We both graduated and landed jobs here in Bowling Green. A few years later, “Biggs, party of two” became a party of three when Alex came along. And four years after that, we became “Biggs, party of four” when Mason made his grand entrance into the world.

Now…24+ years after we married, we both work at WKU, our boys are Hilltoppers right alongside us, and I guess you could say that we’ve “matured” from college sweethearts to middle-age sweethearts. And that’s just fine with me.

Taking on a new challenge

It seemed like such a good idea when they asked…

What was I thinking?…

I can totally do this…

What if I can’t do this?…

This is going to be fun!…

Am I really ready because it’s almost time to get started…

These are just a few of the thoughts that have plagued my brain over the past few weeks as I prepare to teach a Marketing course this spring for the Gordon Ford College of Business. If I’m being perfectly honest, I must admit that perhaps I was slightly overzealous in taking on a class in addition to my regular duties as CMO (which seem to be anything but “regular” in 2017), my volunteer work, the upcoming high school baseball season, and generally trying to keep my sanity.

Ready or not, starting on Tuesday, January 24, there will be 30 students in my Marketing 331 class who will be looking to ME with the expectation that I know something about Social Media Marketing (SMM). Being in the trenches of SMM every day versus teaching it to others are two very different things. My goal is to present information in a way that provides a new perspective, that makes sense from a professional standpoint, and that gives students the opportunity to gain some real world experience.

As I’ve been working to build the content for the course (with a ton of help from Dr. Corie Martin and others), I realize that this is a great opportunity for me to evaluate the things we do in the Marketing & Communications Office, to read the latest research on the topics we’ll cover, and to really appreciate the value of an area that has become so vital to what we do every day. At a minimum, we rely on social media for WKU branding, for customer service, for engagement with current and prospective students, for communication of major news and events, and the list goes on. Other businesses and organizations use social media for their specific purposes, and – heads up to my students – those are all things that we will cover in class.

Even though this new endeavor is taking up a big chunk of what little free time I had, I’m convinced it will be worth it, and I’m looking forward to the challenge!

Happy Anniversary to my parents. Here’s to 50 more!

On Saturday we celebrated my parent’s 50th wedding anniversary with family and friends.  What a milestone!  I’m thankful to have wonderful parents who set a good example for my brother and sister and me, and for our kids, too!

So thinking back to 1962, the year they got married (yay for Google!)…

  • John F. Kennedy was the President
  • The first Wal-Mart store opened
  • The Rolling Stones made their debut
  • Lawrence of Arabia was the top grossing film
  • The Beverly Hillbillies struck black gold, Texas Tea

and…

  • Gas was $.28/gallon

Obviously a lot has changed in the half century since my mom and dad got married. Along came a son and two daughters, four grandchildren, and even a great-granddaughter on Friday (thanks Ashley for showing us all up with that gift!!).  But at least one thing is the same – they are still making googly eyes at each other!

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From something bad comes something good.

On Sunday, July 1 there was a pretty major fire in the Morgantown Road area in Bowling Green. Luckily no one was hurt and the only home that was destroyed was vacant.  Considering it was 104 degrees outside and they were out there for several hours, I can only imagine how difficult a task the 100+ firefighters had that day. How many of us would volunteer for that job?  Right…I didn’t think so, so the next time you see a firefighter, tell them “thanks!” for their service.

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I swiped this picture from my friend Anna Clardy’s Facebook wall. Not sure who to give photo credit to, so if anyone knows who took the original, let me know and I’ll update it!

While onlookers weren’t able to help fight the fire, they were able to help in another important way by donating bottles of water and bags of ice to keep the crews hydrated while they worked. These donations came from the Wal-Mart store and from many shoppers as well. Apparently they brought these items by the cartload. I just think this is an awesome gesture, and it shows a great deal of respect for the emergency responders.  I know it was much appreciated and it probably made the day a lot more bearable for those folks.

It’s heartwarming to hear of things like this happening, and it makes me proud of our emergency responders and the people of BG. What a great place to be!

Shortcut thank-you notes…no thanks.

I’m all for doing things efficiently, but there is a fine line between being efficient and just cutting corners for the sake of taking the easy way out.

While searching for new “productivity” apps tonight I came across an app called “Thank You Job Interview Note Email Generator.” My apologies to the developer, but I would never recommend such an app to anyone who is job hunting. Worse yet, the app instructed users to run the most recent upgrade which “Corrected numerous grammatical and spelling errors.” Really? I can’t believe a developer would launch an app of this nature with those kinds of errors in the first place!

If, after interviewing someone, I happened to get a so-called thank-you note that was obviously “generated” via a shortcut app, that job candidate would no longer be a candidate. Write a short note or send a quick email, but make it a genuine acknowledgement – not a canned response. Anything less will reek of laziness and may be just as bad as sending no thank-you note at all.

Would love to hear from others on this topic. Is a thank-you note after an interview important to help a job candidate stand out? Does it matter what kind of note it is, or is the fact that they sent anything at all good enough?