UF Ethics MMC 6936 Introduction

Hello to all! I’m looking forward to reading and responding to many of your blog posts (and reading reactions) again this semester, as well as getting to know some new “virtual faces” through this course. This is my third semester in the program (first using Canvas – eek, I think many of us are together on that one) and I truly enjoy the diversity that I have come to find among my peers. I believe this will be particularly interesting in an ethics class and can’t wait to hear all our differing opinions and share in some friendly conversations.

If you would like to learn a little bit more about me personally and/or connect on social media, hop on over to my About Me blog that was created at the start of the program. In a nutshell:

  • I’m a Gator grad (undergrad)
  • I reside in Gainesville where my husband of a year and a half is originally from
  • Our “baby girl” is a Goldendoodle named Bella
  • I’m the Marketing Coordinator (yes, it includes social media responsibilities) for an independent insurance agency in Gainesville, FL that sells home, auto, business and health insurance (McGriff-Williams Insurance)…thrilling, right?

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I’m all about transparency online, so please feel free to reach out or ask me questions. That being said, I’m not one of those people that posts all their opinions online because I feel as if we’re all entitled to our own…and shouldn’t be victim to others on a constant basis. Which brings me to why ethics interests me and why I believe this course will be incredibly insightful and promote open-mindedness, which I am a huge fan of. (I’m also human and guilty of being close-minded as well at times….and there’s the transparency).

As I continued to think about this blog post more I found myself often returning to religion and the various beliefs of individuals. To hopefully make a long story short, I had a friend in college that (at the time) had different religious beliefs than myself. Due to the fact that we had a mutual respect for one another and our opposing beliefs, as well as a certain level of open-mindedness, our conversations came to be some I have valued most in my lifetime and a friendship I treasure to this day.

I believe this class will ask us many question and provide various scenarios that we will have very different opinions about. I believe keeping an open mind and being willing to discuss a variety of viewpoints can facilitate growth, both professionally and personally…and that is why ethics is of interest to me, in particular this course and the discussions.

University of Florida Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation (CEI), Master of Science in Entrepreneurship (MSE)

Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation (CEI) at the University of Florida

Master of Science in Entrepreneurship (MSE)

The Master of Science in Entrepreneurship (MSE) program through the University of Florida is one of the nation’s premier graduate entrepreneurship experiences. The program is not parallel to typical business programs. The stimulating, experiential curriculum is designed with the entrepreneur in mind, and is intended to inspire, fund and launch the students’ ventures. The program is designed to be completed in one year, and consists of 36-credits. As of Spring of 2015, there will be an online option available, and according to Program Director, Laura Johnson, the timeline for completion is capable of being made flexible.

Target Audience: This integrated marketing campaign is intended to recruit applicants for the Spring 2016 semester. The target audience for the program includes undergraduate majors “from Finance to Fine Arts”. While no work experience is required, it is of the belief that having more seasoned individuals with a 2-5 year professional background may be most beneficial to the program as a whole and the peers within it. While the MSE program is launching an online component for the Spring 2015 semester that does not require students to step foot on campus, it is my personal belief as a Gainesville resident, and after performing further research, that our city provides a unique environment to facilitate the success of entrepreneurial ideas/ventures. For this reason, as well as others that will be covered in more detail throughout the following sections, I have chosen to market to young professional, college graduates in the local (Gainesville) market.

Strengths: The MSE program was awarded #1 National Model Graduate Entrepreneurship program in 2013 by the United States Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship. In 2012,  the program was awarded the Excellence in Specialty Entrepreneurship Education by the Global Consortium of Entrepreneurship Centers. In addition to the programs accreditations, the Academic Director of the Entrepreneurship Program, Dr. Michael Morris, is a leader within the entrepreneurial education industry and has been an asset to the program since joining in August of 2013.

Opportunities: The support from the Gainesville community to facilitate growth of the entrepreneurial movement within the university and the city as a whole is exceptionally optimistic, and provides positive opportunities for program growth and success.


 

Why use an IMC strategy?

Grooveshark,  Feathr, MonkeyWish…all are startup companies that incubated right here in Gainesville. What’s one thing all these companies have in common? They’re all tech related, in fact many entrepreneurial concepts involve technological advancements of some form. Entrepreneurial candidates for the MSE program can be found on social media, which is why an IMC plan including platforms such as Facebook and Twitter is essential to the program’s growth.

Integrated marketing and social media use is about building relationships. Not only can these platforms be used to find candidates, but also maintain relationships with alumni and build online relationships that enhance search engine optimization. As these companies grow to become more successful and increase their presence on the internet, the MSE program should leverage these relationships by including features about these Gainesville entrepreneurial success stories congratulating them on social media.

According to an Entrepreneur.com article written by Toren, “a solid marketing plan is key for any successful entrepreneur’s product.” Toren expands upon various social media marketing tools, within his article such as Hootsuite, $99Social (“created by entrepreneurs for entrepreneurs”) and Hubspot.

Even the greatest entrepreneurial ideas require marketing of some form. Many of which rely on social media. In a sense, the MSE program as a whole is rather innovative itself. What better way to market than on the same platform your potential candidates, program graduates, and target market of entrepreneurs are located.

While IMC plans can incorporate more traditional forms of marketing, the approach for the MSE program will primarily entail social media and internet, simply because of the target market’s use of these platforms. The messaging is to remain consistent across across all platforms. The goals for the IMC campaign are as follows:

  • Build a larger online presence through connections with successful Gainesville startup companies that have a significant social following.
  • Engage with local entrepreneurial geared programs and community organizations.
  • Strengthen recruitment, and thus increase enrollment, by creating a buzz about the program locally and online.

Seeing as the opportunity for the program is geared toward the city of Gainesville and its supportive environment, social engagement with local organizations is essential for building relationships online and within the community.


 

Conclusion

While I understand there is a limited amount of financial resources and staff to maintain the various social media accounts for the MSE program, I would recommend exploring social media management platforms, such as Hootsuite, that allow you to post on multiple platforms and schedule posts in advance. This would make repurposing Facebook content for Twitter easier, and would make posting to the two additional recommended platforms, Google+ and LinkedIn, easier as well.

In addition to creating Google+ and LinkedIn profiles, I would also recommend using email marketing, not only as a follow-up for the career showcase event, but for a more regular means of communication with potential program candidates, current students and alumni. All email campaigns should be mobile responsive, as all platforms should be (i.e. website, blog, etc.).

The CEI/MSE blog could improve drastically from an SEO standpoint. Tags and categories should be utilized and content should include entrepreneurial tips, success stories about Gainesville startups (as shown scrolling on the bottom of the MSE website), appropriate guest blogs, Gainesville news relevant to city’s support of innovation. In fact I would recommend setting up Google alerts for Gainesville start-up companies, in addition to following them online to receive the most up to date information.

Increasing engagement begins with listing. Below are some Gainesville organizations I would recommend finding on social media, following, engaging and sharing content. This relationship will likely become reciprocal, and they too will also share your content and help create a buzz about the MSE program.


 

Resource

Toren, A. (April 18, 2014). “3 Social Media Marketing Plans for Every Startup Budget.” Retrieved from http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/232798

 

About Me

This blog was created for assignment submissions for the University of Florida’s Online Master of Arts in Mass Communication (with a specialization in Social Media). 

I am thrilled to have been accepted into this program and look forward to getting to know my instructors and peers. Although I don’t intend to utilize this blog for personal use, one of the aspects of social media I am most passionate about is the ability to connect with people far and wide. That being said, I find it only fitting to share a little bit about myself.

I am a Florida girl through and through. Originally from Ormond Beach (Daytona Beach area), I am now an official ACR. (Alachua County Resident, for those of you that are unfamiliar with the Gainesville terminology.) After graduating from the University of Florida with my Bachelor of Science in Recreation, Parks and Tourism (specialization in Recreation and Event Management) I relocated to Jacksonville, Florida to complete a Marketing Internship at the Gator Bowl Association.

It wasn’t long before I was lugging all my stuff back to Gainesville, as many of us Gator grads do (much to everyone’s surprise). Not unlike most 22 year olds, I wasn’t sure what I was truly passionate about but I do know I ended up in an industry I never thought I would…insurance. I know…boring! It’s not the topic I love so much as the people and the way our agency does business. We believe in the power of relationships and I have some of the most amazing co-workers and bosses — so that doesn’t hurt either.

Social media has played a pivotal role in transitioning how we build and maintain relationships. One of the many aspects I love about my job is that I not only maintain and create relationships online, but I also get to do so face-to-face by participating in various organizations and networking within the community. To put it simple and spare you all the details of my professional responsibilities – I love working with people and getting to know them better.

Last but certainly not least… My husband, Logan, and I will celebrate our one year wedding anniversary on May 18, 2014. We met through a mutual friend while in our early years of undergrad and he is a born and raised “Gainesvillian.” We remained friends for a few years before we eventually started dating long distance when he was in Boone, North Carolina finishing his degree in building construction at Appalachian State University. In addition to his kind heart, it was also his Goldendoodle, Bella, that helped win me over (now our “baby”). We purchased our first house together in Gainesville at the start of 2013 and have been making Gainesville home ever since.

Logan, Bella and Kaitlin

Logan, Bella and Kaitlin

Connect with Me

Feel free to connect with me on any of the following social media sites:

Facebook

LinkedIn

Google+