Karen Freberg // Social Media Professor Running on Coffee

Is it possible that university curriculum can keep up with the ever-changing speed of social media? My guest today believes so, with a lot of coffee and commitment. In this episode, Dr. Karen Freberg discusses life as a social media professor, from developing lesson plans to partnerships with companies like General Motors and Louisville Bats to Hootsuite and Adobe. Karen shares the ways that her time as a record-setting college athlete helped shape her career path in sports marketing, where her digital storytelling skills started with her first website gifted from her parents and how she taps into communities on twitter and facebook to build a community of social media professors.

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Notes from this Episode

International Coffee Day

University of Florida

Southern California University

University of Tennessee

University of Louisville

West Virginia University


The rise of emojis & potential uses for them in social media classes

General Motors

Chevy goes emoji campaign

Plank Center Fellowship

Val Kilmer

2004 Olympic Trials

Shotput Record

Florida State University

Pat Summitt

Churchill Downs

Marion Jones

Louisville Slugger

Louisville City FC

Louisville Bats

Cincinnati Reds

Clemson Athletics

Atlanta Falcons

College Gameday


Hootsuite Certification

Louisville Bats- Snapchat Feature

Jason Falls

Kentucky Derby



A Roadmap for Teaching Social Media


Ai Zhang

Chris Wilson


Jeremy Lipschultz



The Teacher’s Lounge


Minnesota Vikings + Tagboard




Karen and Hootsuite


Adobe Max

Creativity is Truly Contagious for this PR professor: Reflections from EDUMax and Adobe Max

Adobe Spark

@kfreberg (Instagram + Twitter)


Coffee + Social Media


More about Karen

Dr. Karen Freberg is currently an Associate Professor in Strategic Communications at the University of Louisville. Along with teaching, she is also a research consultant in social media and crisis communications and has worked with several organizations and agencies such as Firestorm Solutions, Hootsuite, Kentucky Derby Festival, IMC Agency, DHS, CDC, National Center for Food Protection and Defense (NCFPD), Kentucky Organ Donor Affiliates, and the Colorado Ski Association. This experience led Dr. Freberg to be a 2015 Plank Center Fellow for General Motors (GM), where her responsibility was to work with the PR and social media teams forming best practices and recommendations on social media measurement strategies and influencer marketing practices.

Dr. Freberg has coordinated and advised various companies on the areas of social media pedagogy and certification programs, such as Hootsuite (Advanced Social Media Certification and #HootAmb), Meltwater (certification program), Adobe (EDUMax Thought Leader), and Hubspot (Education program and podcast).

Along with teaching, Dr. Freberg’s research has been published in several book chapters and in academic journals such as Public Relations Review, Media Psychology Review, Journal of Contingencies and Crisis Management and Health Communication. She also serves on the editorial board for Psychology for Popular Media Culture, Corporate Communication, Marketing Education Review, Journal of Public Relations Research, and Case Studies in Strategic Communication (CSSC). I am also professionally active serving on the executive committee for the PRSA Entertainment and Sports section and is a regular contributor and a young professionals award judge for Front Office Sports.

Connect with Karen

LinkedIn: LinkedIn.com/in/karenfreberg

Twitter @kfreberg,

Snapchat @karenfreberg,

Instagram @kfreberg

FB page www.facebook.com/drkarenfreberg

Blog: http://karenfreberg.com/blog/

About Josie and The Podcast

In each episode, Dr. Josie Ahlquist – digital leadership author, researcher, and speaker – connects tech and leadership in education. This podcast will bring you leaders on-campus and online. From Senior Vice Presidents on Snapchat, YouTubers receiving billions of views and new media professionals. All through the lens of social media and leadership.

Josie hopes you will not only learn from these digital leaders but also laugh as we all explore how to be our best selves online and off.

Thanks for listening! Please subscribe to receive the latest episodes, share widely and let me know you’d checked it out! Tweet me @josieahlquist – I would love to hear from you!

Digital hugs, loves, and waves!


Catch past episodes here: www.josieahlquist.com/podcast

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