posted October 12, 2015
The University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown opened the region’s first lab, Mountain Cat Mission Control (MC2), dedicated to training students in developing social media campaigns for regional partners as part of the Business and Enterprise’s marketing program. The Mountain Cat Mission Control will offer resources for students to strategize and implement social media campaigns for our clients as part of a social media marketing course initiated this fall by Assistant Professor of Marketing, Skip Glenn.
“Through support from the Robert M. Hull Foundation, which funds advancement of dynamic education , Pitt-Johnstown is working to meet the needs of business and the community in generating talent for social media and content marketing positions,” said Business and Enterprise Division Interim Chairperson Raymond Wrabley. “Our objective is to provide academic and Real World resources through client projects and industry partners to create students ready to take the driver seat in the digital marketing space.”
Development of the program and lab has benefited from the expertise and talent of Scott Rogerson, CEO of Community Elf, a social media agency based in Pittsburgh, in integrating UpContent, their powerful curation tool that allows our students to track relevance, recency and shareability of their content. In addition to UpContent, students all have pro accounts with Hootsuite, a social media management system and are also enrolled in Hootsuite University which provides education and certification on the platform.
In addition to Rogerson’s support, Sarah Buchanan, Lead Content Strategist for Sullivan, Higdon and Sink, is serving as a guest lecturer and judge for the course. As a past Senior Analyst for Gatorade Mission Control in Chicago, she has helped guide the development of Mountain Cat Mission Control and the team project for the course.
The lab contains two workstations and six monitors that have data and television feeds for managing and monitoring the progress of social media campaigns. Student teams will use the lab to work through strategy and tactics as they build their skills consulting with real clients to produce earned media for their campaigns. This year’s client roster includes, Apex Air Ambulance, Martin Beef, The Greater Johnstown and Cambria County Chamber of Commerce, WPA Medical Staffing, LLC, and Safari Contract Cleaners.
Throughout the course, teams will have volunteer industry mentors who will serve as guides and sounding boards for the development of their campaigns. At the end of the campaign, students will finish the semester by reporting to their clients on the success of their campaigns as well as present to a panel of industry judges. The hope is that the lab and teams will create a new understanding of how social media and content marketing can build their brand and recruit more talent and evangelists for their enterprise.
Founded in 1927, Pitt-Johnstown is located in the Laurel Highlands of Western Pennsylvania and is the first and largest regional campus of the University of Pittsburgh. The University is the regional leader, educating for the Real World. The distinctive combination of our people, programs, and place results in exceptional performance in preparing students for career and professional success. Pitt-Johnstown is recognized by the Princeton Review as a “Best in the Northeast” college, by G.I. Jobs as a “Military Friendly School,” by AC Online as one of the “Highest ROI Colleges in Pennsylvania,” and by Pennsylvania Business Central as a "Top 100 Organization.” Additionally, Pitt-Johnstown has been presented with The Seven Seals Award by the US Department of Defense’s office of Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR).