Creative Virtual Program Highlights: Utilizing Social Media

virtual program

Universities are getting creative with virtual offerings. And we want to highlight them! Check out these “Virtual Program Highlights” from the University of Pennsylvania (Penn) and Florida State University (FSU).

The Quarantine Chronicles

When Patrick Shank, the coordinator for Intramurals, Programs and Special Events for Penn Recreation, was on a video call with his programs’ team about what content to put out during this time, they decided they wanted to switch it up from only offering home workouts on their social channels, to something unique. He proposed “The Quarantine Chronicles.”

As part of the Remote Resource Hub offered by Penn Recreation, staff have been creating videos at home on varying topics under The Quarantine Chronicles on their social media channels such as:

  • Abs Circuit
  • Watching TV
  • Donating Gloves
  • Full Body Circuit

“At the beginning of each week, we touch base as a programs team and discuss what we want to put out and on what platforms,” said Shank. “Everyone is kind of on their own in terms of recording video, but then it all gets sent to me and I put it together. I’ll always send it to everyone and ask if there’s any changes they think should be made before we post it, then I’ll let everyone know when I plan to post the content.”

Shank’s advice for creating unique social media strategies is to use your resources and offer variety. “Use your colleagues as resources,” he said. “Recreation is a field where it’s encouraged to share and adapt ideas from others. See what other schools and departments are doing during this time. This caught us all off guard and we’re all trying to figure it out as we go – you don’t need to take this challenge on by yourself.”

Find What Moves You

To continue encouraging the “Find What Moves You” mission for their campus community at home, FSU Campus Recreation created a social media strategy, in addition to virtual programming, to share:

  • A workout of the day
  • A yoga pose of the day
  • 100 ways to get outside

Kate Blosser, the assistant director of marketing and special events for FSU Campus Recreation, said their content is a team effort, and staff from sports, fitness and outdoors each brought ideas and content to the table.

“From there, the marketing team created graphics and a schedule for posting that was shared as a calendar with the rest of the team,” said Blosser. “Now that we’re working remote, all of our programmers regularly hop on a Zoom to discuss how to match our offerings to our students’ needs.”

Blosser emphasized that because the vast majority of the community is out of their regular routine and trying to build a new sense of normal, everyone has something to offer. “Lean into your program areas and their banks of knowledge,” she said. “Keep your student audience in mind and aspire to create programs and content they would find valuable.”

Brittany Howard
Brittany is an assistant editor at Peake Media. Reach her at brittany@peakemedia.com

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