Ease your student supervision speed bumps.

Eight Types Meaningful of Content for Campus Leaders

In the midst of a global crisis (or two), an intense lead-up to the U.S. presidential election demands for racial justice, and ever-dwindling resources on many college campuses, you might be tempted to tune out your social media channels. But this is when we really need your leadership. Do not go dark. But I don’t mean filling your feed with canned campus announcements and promotions. This shorty episode explains (with lots of examples!) the 8 Types of Meaningful Content higher ed digital leaders are posting right now. Not only are they sharing authentic messages, but they are also effectively building trust and community across channels. And you can do it too!

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Notes from this Episode:

Josie Ahlquist:

Hello and welcome to Josie and The Podcast. This is a shorty episode and I am Josie Ahlquist, your host. Today we are going in deep with another framework from my new book, Digital Leadership in Higher Education: Purposeful Social Media in a Connected World. But before we dive into today’s super timely topic, here’s a message from our sponsor, Campus Sonar. Every higher ed campus should treat social media as a high profile, high potential communication channel it is. Campus Sonar is on a mission to help higher ed social media managers approach their work strategically and persuade their bosses to recognize the value and impact of their work.


Their new book, Fundamentals of Social Media Strategy: A Guide for College Campuses offers strategy, research, and best practices for social media managers. CEO and founder, Liz Gross, along with many expert contributors had so much to say they are releasing it in two volumes. Sign up now to receive Volume One when it’s released on October 19 at info.campussonar.com/social-strategy-book.


And talking about books, it’s been a couple of weeks now since my book came out. I am still coming off of cloud nine, and the book is slowly being shipped. Unfortunately, if you bought it on Amazon, it’s just taken a little bit. Amazon does its own thing sometimes. But I am pressing on with a little book tour in a series that I started called the #DigLead Book Club, that’s #DigLead Book Club, which I’m doing every Tuesday at 4:00 PM East Coast Time. And that streams live on all the socials where I talk with one featured leader from the book. A little bit of coffee talk mixed with a little workshopy education, and a whole lot of resources in between.


The other type of book tour that I’m doing lives in a digital community that’s part of the book, and that’s at the Digital Leadership Network, which is hosted on a platform called Mighty Networks. And I’ll include a link in the show notes if you would like to join us there. Whether you have the book or not, we’re going to be having conversations and dialogue about leadership in 2020 and beyond. And now, another exciting announcement related to the book and digital leadership and online connections is, in early November, I will be kicking off a course called The Connected Exec Course, which will be especially helpful for those that are preparing for a transition into an executive role, would like to take on a public facing leadership position very soon, or currently serve one, and are ready to make a big pivot in how they use digital platforms with the intent to build community. I’ll make sure to include some info in the show notes to get on the early list to find that course.


And then, for the end of this podcast episode, make sure you stick around when I talk about the future of this very podcast. Now, into today’s topic pulled from my book, Digital Leadership in Higher Ed, is a framework to help campus leaders look at the type of content and conversations and community they’re building to see if it’s well-rounded. You could call it holistic. As we look at curriculum and programming, a lot of times, there’s different models we follow, from having the core curriculum to a programming model. So, why wouldn’t we look at how we approach social media the same? So, from research and practice and possibilities, I found the eight meaningful types of content for campus leaders. You see, digital leadership means showing up consistently online and posting with a clear purpose, which should be at the center of the model.


And I specifically use the word meaningful because if you’ve been listening to the pod for a while, you know how quickly social media can turn into just busy work as well as promotions. And so, contributing meaning to your community means it is useful, important, timely, and it’s going to be authentic to you. Now, developing a strategy might feel like it’s going to take a lot of work. To create these eight different types feels like it’s going to be another checkbox or rubric. But these will actually save you time in the long run, and will probably open you up to more connections and relationships for impact than you have today. As a hint for those reading the book, this shorty, and this framework starts to open up solving ROI, return on investment, which in digital leadership, relationships is our ROI. So, we need to solve the relationship equation as it relates to social media.


As I record this episode in October of 2020, we sure are facing some challenges, some crises, and a whole lot of unknown, and sometimes it feels darn right dark. So, that is also why it is so important to have a framework that is holistic for you to take into challenging times as you build and carry out a strategy online, from the election to the pandemic, and protests, and all types of crisis response constantly. Sometimes it might feel like your actions that you have to enact online are only going to fall under certain categories. So, I hope the framework of eight types of meaningful content will open you up for a holistic review of your online strategy and impact. And the good news is I’ll be sharing examples of digital leaders across higher ed for you to learn from, see as a role model, but also reflect to see if their activity would really fit for you and your institution, or not. Because there is no one way for digital leadership.


This episode is meant to inspire, not to constrict. The eight types that I share are from my research and practice. You may find you want to come up with different definitions and evaluation metrics for you, and I encourage you to do that. Think of this shorty as a guide, but not a rule book of what you should or shouldn’t post. I hope the eight types of meaningful content shine light on opportunities where gaps might exist, that you can fill in with more meaning. So, a little bit more about where this framework came from as it started. A number of years ago, I started to notice a lot of commonalities of really engaging leaders in higher ed on social media. And I first categorized them as six types, which were first featured by the American Marketing Association of Higher Ed in a blog post that I’ll link, and then I collaborated with Campus Sonar, who’s sponsor of this podcast, on a social listening research report that looked at highly engaged presidents, provosts, and vice presidents.


And we took those six types to see how they were actually being enacted for over 200 leaders over six months. And in the 2019 report Examining Twitter Influence of Campus Executives, we found two more content themes that brought us to a total of eight. And those eight types of meaningful content are educational, community, promotional, inspirational, your story, day in the life, advocacy, and industry. Now, keep in mind, one post type often goes across multiple content categories. To get us started, why don’t you open up your last post from Twitter to Instagram, or Facebook, or LinkedIn, and as I go through these, see what category or categories that post would fall under. And again, I think it is a good sign if there is a crossover to multiple categories. But again, it also is not a checklist that it should fit all eight.


After you do the exercise of looking at just one post, we want to take a holistic view over time, the type of content that you’re posting, and I’m talking three to four months. Because the goal would be that your feed would be made up of a variety of different types of meaningful content over time. What we don’t want is to look and see that you’re only really posting one or two types of content especially if it’s promotional. And that was the other reason why I wanted to create this framework, and then go out and do research to see how it was being enacted. Overall, I do find a lot of campus leaders and university accounts primarily fall in only a handful of these categories, and are missing out on opportunities when it relates to the others that lean a little bit more into relational and community building.


Okay, so without any further ado, let’s get talking about these eight meaningful types of content. Number one is educational. And this one… Gosh, we work in higher education, so why wouldn’t our content that we put out there, our stories, be for the intent to educate? Educational is different than promotional. Educational content contributes knowledge and understanding. It answers questions that you’re getting asked a lot, or shares what you wish your community would know. It can also be shared through articles and videos, and can really come alive with digital storytelling, longer form content like maybe a blog post or a podcast, or a more reflective piece on Instagram or Facebook. As we look at what we’ve been through with COVID-19, you most likely have been pushed into posting a lot more educational content for your community, helping your audience make sure that they are the most informed as it relates to your campus and the pandemic.


One example from Jenny Hall-Jones, she’s a Vice President at Ohio University, she put out, “What should I do if I think I’ve been exposed to COVID-19?” And she links to a video produced by her very own expert at their campus at Ohio University. So, if you think about your types of educational content, think about how you can teach your services knowledge, or even mentorship into small bites online. I’ve seen this with campus leaders going live in Instagram stories to doing Q&A’s or AMA’s maybe on Reddit or on Twitter to provide those quick amounts of education.


The next type of content is called community, which many times we see as celebrating and driving connection for your community. This one I actually find for campus leaders is easier, because it’s not really posting so much about you, rather being a bridge and an amplifier to community, like congratulating staff or awarding faculty, shoutouts to alumni, or connecting with students. We need to be the storytellers of all the things going on in our communities. And then, connecting the dots how those relate to our strategic goals that we’re working to accomplish. Now, some ways you can think about community type posts aren’t just for celebrations and when you earn big milestones, this could also include posts where you’re asking questions, taking polls, and seeking feedback.


It may also mean that you are the facilitator of a community conversation, like Tim Miller, who’s a Vice President at James Madison University, and he posts on Facebook this week, “On Tuesday Night Live, join graduate student host, Michael and special guest, Vic. This will be a fun night of news, hot seat questions and laughter. It’s open to anyone in the JMU community.” And Tim has been hosting these Tuesday Night Lives all through the summer and now into the fall. And other examples, Penny Rue, Vice President of Wake Forest University who congratulated a student leader who’s developing a student social compact. So, as you think about community, my reflection for you is, what are some major student achievements that typically get recognized? But what about the ones that might get overlooked? Both the people that serve the community, or those that aren’t getting enough attention.


We can even look to sports teams, to departments on campus, to colleges. Here is an opportunity for you to do your own little audit of how often you’re recognizing who online, and to see if there are any gaps. And again, community, that’s really the surface level of recognizing your community. I would say the advanced level then is thinking about how you are a facilitator of the community experience and building community online. Content type number three is promotional. Now, promotional needs to be used in small doses, and the best type of promotions is when they are packed in with other types of meaningful content that I’m going to go over. Because if it’s just one directional, flyers, bullet points, and just telling your community to do things over and over, that’s pretty much spam.


So, how can we integrate education and community building at the same time of letting our community know all the cool things that we are up to? Sometimes, you’ll need to make it super clear with a call to action. Sometimes, you have to go all in on promotions. But like I shared earlier, please do an audit to take a look at how often you are relying on that approach. One example to take a look at is again, leaning a little bit into that community-driven content. For example, Lamar Hylton, he is the Vice President for Student Affairs at Kent State, and he recently promoted a panel that he’s going to be the facilitator of. It was promoting that panel, but it was also highly acknowledging those that actually sit on that panel, and how honored he is to be the facilitator for that.


Adam Peck, is the Associate Vice President and Dean of Student Affairs at Stephen F. Austin State University, and he posted about a T-shirt sale to support his campus volleyball team. And posted a little bit more about why he bought one, and why it’s important to support the men’s club sports volleyball team. So, giving a little bit of your story into that very simple post. So, my prompt for you in promotional, how can you bring promotional content to life? Maybe in a photo or a video. How do you insert yourself? And why you are posting that piece of promotional content that’s connected back to you.


Content type number four is inspirational. I particularly love this content type. We can look at the traditional academic calendar, which we know this year looks a little squirrely. But we know in academics, there are some obvious moments and mile markers that have built into our calendar, where we know community members are either shining or struggling. What we know, there’s a difference between finals week, versus move in week, versus orientation, versus holiday break. Knowing what those emotions and experiences are, are you producing and putting out timely content that connects with where your community member is mentally, emotionally, physically and even spiritually? Now, I think inspirational content pairs really nicely with educational and sometimes promotional, if you can always bring in some resources and knowledge and your story, which we’ll talk about soon, that allows you to communicate those timely needs.


Now, inspirational content also needs to be genuine, or it feels forced or inauthentic. There are some methods of finding some really cool quotes that you love, and posting them out there consistently. But if you’re just posting those, let’s say on automatic, every Monday, Monday motivation, you’re going to post some quote, but you never interact with the people that comment on it, or maybe you don’t share why you posted that quote. That’s what I think is the important thing, what is the why into why you’re posting anything, especially inspirational? So, Terisa Riley, she is the Chancellor at University of Arkansas-Fort Smith, she noticed a lot of her students, faculty, and staff were struggling with exhaustion, and so she put out a post advocating for self-care.


She wrote, “My UAFS students are on Twitter talking about being exhausted. At the same time, my faculty and staff are on Facebook having the same talk. Listen, take care of yourselves. Emotionally, physically, and mentally, do what you need to do. #stayhealthy.” And Melissa Shivers, who is the Vice President of Student Affairs at The Ohio State posts on #highfivefriday to celebrate her campus community. She posts, “Happy High Five Friday. Today, I want to celebrate people who are performing tasks that they never expected to be. #COVID-19 has forced our attention to a whole new range of things, and our team has stepped up to meet the challenge. Read more…” And then, it leads to a link. Even that example, both giving community, shout-out recognition, some inspiration, and then promotional with that link to learn more about High Five Friday. That’s awesome. She also uses things like Wellness Wednesdays and Monday Motivation.


So, as you break down this content type of inspirational, what are some attributes that already come very naturally to you? This could be humor, hope, gratitude, vision, faith, care, service. Think of those things that already just quickly come to mind, those can be your props and possibilities for inspirational content. The next one is called your story. It is your account, so we want to know who you are, and what makes you you. Your story content could be life events, or even super small and what seems insignificant circumstances that you can choose to share just a little bit of that out with your community. This could be a silly meme, to a setback, to a significant milestone, your story content shines on all platforms, even LinkedIn, from photos to a short story that you would like to share. And honestly, I wouldn’t be surprised if this is the kind of content that your community reacts the most positively to with engagement.


Your story content is a secret glue that’s going to bond relationships far beyond social media. This is sharing, again, just a little part of your life that’s important to you, whether that’s another person in your family, your dog, a book that you just read, or a throwback post to maybe when you were in college. One of the features of the book, Shamika Karikari, posted a heartfelt Twitter thread about her PhD journey, which I completely get. She was honest, and she considered actually deleting the posts. But then she said she got lots of encouragement and support. Her first post said, “I understand why people end up being ABD…” ABD is all but dissertation. “This PhD is for the birds. I’m entering year six and I’m ABD. During this journey, we built a house, cared for my dad before he died of cancer, had a miscarriage, tore my Achilles, and had a baby. I’m tired. It’s not, can I finish? It’s, do I want to?”


She goes on to share a number of different posted threads in that Twitter response, as well as having numerous members of the community reach out to connect and continue to have further conversation. And I know personally, going through that doc journey takes just about everything it has out of you. So, to think about, for your own story, that you would want to share, a couple of prompts. Does your community know why you chose to work in higher ed, or be in your specific leadership role? What’s your happy place on campus, or in your house, or out in the world? And what’s the story behind some of these places? You might find just the small glimmers throughout your day can be opportunities to tell your story.


All right, next up is a fan favorite, of the eight meaningful content types for campus leaders, and that is day in the life. We need a peek behind the scenes of what it’s like to be you, especially someone that holds a campus role. It will demystify it, it will make you a little less intimidating, open up opportunities for approachability, even if it’s just in digital spaces. Now, day in the life content can come to life on platforms with story features. So, this is like Instagram stories, but almost every platform now has a story feature. Yes, LinkedIn even added stories. And when I say stories, these are typically defined as something that goes away after 24 hours. So, again, Facebook has stories, LinkedIn, they originated with Snapchat, and these can be less perfect. I mean, we’re not calling for perfect anywhere in your feed, but within the stories function, we can really feel like we’re coming along with you.


And again, these don’t have to be big announcements, or signature events, or the final product, let’s see what the process actually looks like of planning, or the people behind the scenes from these celebrations, these big events, or even these little moments that you have. So, I also want you to think about other things that… You could just highlight little things in your day. So, for example, my calendaring system is the bullet journal, and it’s a wild community online of people that love bullet journaling. And that could be one thing I could share, because maybe then, that is the thing, or someone else would say… And someone hearing this, I guarantee you, will probably say, “Oh my gosh, I also love bullet journaling.” Or, “What the heck is that? I’m looking for a new calendaring system. Tell me more.” Because don’t we, especially for students, want them to explore time management organization resources? So, we could be sharing our own processes that we figured out over time.


The other thing, let’s say I’m just looking around my desk right now is, I’ve got some crystals hanging out that I could share, where I picked up maybe one particular piece, and what it means to me, and why I was gravitated to it. And that is an invitation for connection, or even questions and curiosity. So, even those two examples, those are things I have, those aren’t necessarily even big revelations that I’m sharing about what it is behind the scenes of my life. Because when I sometimes talk about day in the life, I can get some pushback about boundaries, and what’s personal, or what’s professional. And I’m not asking you to push beyond any kind of confidentiality, or common sense, or even federal laws, we are just looking for some sparkles that we can infuse throughout your feed.


So, one example is Michael Benson, who’s also a feature in the book. He’s now the President Elect at Coastal Carolina University. And he shared an update on Twitter, where he was on the sidelines at a college football game for Coastal Carolina. He was attending with another campus president who has also a pretty darn great Twitter presence, that’s Kelly Damphousse. He’s the chancellor of the Arkansas State University. And there were some photos of them together, and there was also a photo on the scoreboard from Coastal Carolina welcoming Michael to his new role as president this next spring.


Capturing that moment in the moment, those can also be day in the life, because not many people get to be on sidelines at football games, let alone welcomed as a president on a big scoreboard. A couple of prompts to get you thinking about day in the life content. If someone was to follow you around for one day, what might they discover about you? What do you eat? What do you drink? Oh, I’m having some sparkling water right now. And it’s going to be a contentious debate of the LaCroix flavor that I won’t share, because some people really don’t like it. But I really love it. That could be an interesting tweet, or an Instagram story post, just about the things that we do everyday to take care of ourselves. Also, think about who you interact with, what you’re seeing out into the world, even what you bring to meetings.


So, maybe you have a favorite pen, you have to have this brand of pen, or a specific water bottle, and maybe someone gifted you that water bottle. And can we hear the story behind that? As you think about beyond just maybe the daily grind, what are some non-work events and activities that you’d be comfortable sharing? So, maybe yoga practice is something you’ve been doing for years and you don’t miss it, even now that we have to do it on Zoom. And who’s your favorite yoga teacher, or position, or practice? This could also be things that you go out and do at a safe distance in COVID times. So, maybe an attempt to reimagine date night, or a writing retreat that you’re committing to, or something that you’re volunteering with. What are those elements that are already in your day that you can just document ever so slightly? And those are day in the life.


Now, we’ve got two more, number seven is advocacy. And as I record this moving closer to that US election, and as we continue to find our voices and continue to be committed to social change, and calling for injustices, knowing there is a lot of work left to be done in the world, and especially on our campuses, this is where advocacy comes in. Advocacy posts are going to document topics, events, news, or trends, as well as resources, information, that might fall under causes, policies, or programs. But as we think about the lens within higher ed, what are the ones that really impact our community as we think of ourselves as advocates? This also should definitely crossover to other types of content, it blends really well for education, but even for some promotion types of content. Again, it should directly align back to who the people are that you serve, and the purpose that you have within your position, your personhood, and your campus programs.


There might need to be a little bit of discernment as we think about the contentious debate sometimes of, do I have the power and privilege to speak out on certain topics? Will my campus have my back? And these are not easy answers, or a recipe for me to be able to provide to you. What I have found, the importance of knowing your campus culture, and your mission, and institution type should be part of the equation for advocacy. So, for example, I see community college leaders constantly being advocates, of course, for community colleges, for student basic needs. You see them using consistent communication tools like hashtags, like #realcollege, or #endccstigma. I do find advocacy posts… There is an opportunity to start to blend in mentorship in two different ways.

One way, as you think about finding your voice, and more clearly, articulating your passions and your beliefs, and knowing what your community needs, sometimes, you need a mentor or a close colleague that you can have those dialogues with offline, even if it is in a series of text messages to get some feedback. “Hey, this is a post I’m thinking of putting out, what do you think? This is an article that I’m thinking of writing or I have written, that I want to post on Medium, can I get an extra set of eyes?” Sometimes with advocacy posts, we can put a lot of emotion because it is so heart-centered what we are advocating for. Have a potential mentor that you can pull in for an extra set of feedback. With me, sometimes, it’s like, I just need an editor to make sure my words match up with what I want them to be interpreted as.


But also vice versa. For those of you listening that do have mentees, and you know that you do have influence and you provide a lot of education to other professionals, are you having intentional conversations around this concept and this action of advocacy online, and the process of making commitments and using our voices that is acknowledging and situating us as leaders and humans in higher education? And how to make those choices, and when to use our voices and platforms. The bottom line that I give to pretty much any audience, especially to students, but also to presidents is, if this post, if this topic is so much at the core of who you are, that not only you can own it for years to come, but it almost speaks to your identity and to your values, then we call that congruence.


Now, if you’re having a moment of pause to think, am I posting this for the right reasons? Am I caught up in the moment? Are my facts accurate? Have I done the research that I need to do to make sure this article is real, this fact is holding true? Because we live in such a fast news cycle where we can get caught up, and misinformation is a darn real thing on the internet. But also, know that advocacy posts do not have to be polarizing or based upon any type of news cycle. If anything, when we look at your advocacy posts, we want to see a level of consistency, that it doesn’t just come out when that topic is trending, that it is a consistent through line in your life and how you show up online. And that also can mean that you’re doing it in different ways. It’s not just that you’re posting the content constantly, but maybe you’re more in the comments, or you are interacting more in direct messaging platforms. It doesn’t always have to be in very, very public places.


And again, as we move closer to the election, we are encouraging people to make sure they are registered to vote, that they go and vote, that we want to be educated voters. That is the lens that I see a lot of leaders taking, is the taking action, not necessarily telling people who to vote for. So, one example is Thom Chesney, he’s the president at Clarke University. And I love his Twitter bio, it says, just call me Thom. And one of his posts recently encourages students to be informed voters, and to watch the debates, which were the Iowa debates, live with him online. And so, that’s also encouraging us to be participants, to educate and inform about the election and voting process.


So, a couple of prompts related to advocacy. You do have to think and sit with, how can you use your position and your social media platforms? Which both may or may not come with power and privileges, but how can you use that voice, not just for yourself, but as you uplift the voices of marginalized individuals, communities, and causes? So, we flip this again, advocacy cannot just be your opinion, but who you are trying to pull up the mic for, for others. And then, also think about… When we think about higher ed and being advocates for our industry, what do you worry about right now in the future of higher ed? Or what opportunities do you see? And what do you want to shine the light on, or call out for our industry, thinking about those opportunities and possibilities? Because that leads me to our final, meaningful content type, and that is our higher ed industry, or industry content.


Industry content is targeted to the field of higher ed. Most likely, it’s going to be to your colleagues, your peers, future professionals that want to work in this field that spans all types of position types. And this could be focused on meaningful conversations for maybe jumping onto a Twitter chat, to a Facebook group, but also seeking out meaningful connections with colleagues across the globe. And this is where we’re going back thinking about what the issues, the challenges, and the opportunities that we are facing right now. You could also think about spotlighting best practices, or nudging a little bit some problems that you’re seeing that you think we really need to unpack and problem solve around.


I definitely do tend to lean on a lot of educational content that crosses over with industry. So, that might mean you’re sharing articles, you’re sharing scholarship, you’re sharing some of those case studies and model practices, that tends to be a lens that I take often. But Mordecai Brownlee is another example, he’s the Vice President at St. Philip’s College. And he has a series called Leadership in Higher Ed, he does these videos all the time on all the platforms. And he specifically is calling attention to educators in his posts. So, this could also be based upon the people and population that you have a purpose to serve. And in a tweet, he says, “The industry is innovating at a rapid pace, and so should higher education. Now is the time to infuse AI and VR into teaching and learning.” And his video went on to talk about that. And again, he does these videos all the time.


And Mordecai now is a writing contributor with EdSurge, writing all kinds of posts about technology in higher ed. So, shout out to Mordecai for that type of content too. Another example is Melissa Woo, she’s the Executive Vice President for Administration at Michigan State University. She’s been a tech leader for a very long time using lots of platforms, from the old days of Google+, to of course, Twitter today, as well as LinkedIn. And she called attention to last week’s Cyber Awareness Month, and gave a shout-out to their new information security officer that they had just brought on, who started the day that the Awareness Month started. And now, just the coincidence of the importance of that date. So, now we’re also connecting back to community type of content that can overlap with industry.


So, a question to leave you with related to industry related content, are there existing digital communities, not just platforms, that you could tap into as a learner as well as a contributor of industry related content? I will leave some links in the show notes of a number of digital communities that I help foster, where a lot of learning is happening both synchronously and asynchronously. One of those is the connected executive community, where future and current campus leaders are navigating digital leadership today. So, as we look at all of those content types, all eight of them, they might be quite overwhelming to look at as a full picture. So, you could also break these down over the next few months, pick a few of those to focus on, maybe one every week, especially if it’s a newer one for you to try out, and to experiment with.


And I would love to know when you’re doing that, and especially when you’re seeing this new pocket open up based upon having a new type of content that enters your feed in order to build connection and community. So, look through your social media activity feed, just through the lens of curiosity, not through judgment, and I know that can be hard, and how you can craft these messages to be a little bit more meaningful, and not just adding more noise to the internet. So, good news, know that I am here to help you. The book, of course, is your on-the-go tool for digital leadership that talks about these eight types of meaningful content, as well as so many other considerations for digital leadership. And whether you picked up the book or not, I’ve got a digital community for you called the Digital Leadership Network, where we are a community of readers reading the book, or interested in the book, Digital Leadership in Higher Ed.


Of course, you can find me on all the socials @josieahlquist. And of course, visit my website to learn more about my consulting, coaching, and speaking, to aid you and your organizations through creating meaningful types of content. Now, as I promised, there would be an announcement about the podcast at the end of this episode, and so, here it is. This episode is going to wrap up season four. And goodness, don’t we know it’s 2020? Wrapping up this season has taken a whole lot longer than we had planned. It’s taken me over a year to produce season four, but I definitely know it has been worth it. And I will be taking a little pause on the pod. But I want to give some shoutouts to a few folks that have made the podcast possible throughout the years.


First, got to thank my dogs, the pups for attempting to be quiet while I record. I am confident they, of course, understood what I was saying to them when I said to be quiet, I was recording. I have to thank my biggest podcast fan from the beginning, who is my dad. I think he’s listened to every episode probably more than once. I also want to thank my editors that I’ve had over the last few years, Dante and Jestin Cole Lewis. And I have to thank my own partner, Lloyd Ahlquist for providing a lot of editing support and tech troubleshooting throughout the years. There’s also been some folks from Team Josie that I would not be able to produce, especially a lot of the shorties and those interviews without their support, Shakivla, Melissa, and Rachael, thank you so very much.


And then, last but not least, I must give lots of lots of love to Campus Sonar who as I record this turned three today. If I was really brave I might sing happy birthday to you, but I don’t know, I think you all would probably just want an order of donuts or something, or maybe donut gifs. So, maybe I’ll hook that up instead. So, Campus Sonar, thank you so much to the whole family. I’ve joked that I feel like I’m a cousin of Campus Sonar or part of the family, and what you’re doing for higher ed… I really speak authentically when I talk about them in the ads and shoutouts that they are some real genuine people, and real, real smart, that are going to change the landscape of how we can better listen and learn from what’s going on on social for quick decision making, but also for a long-term strategy and a meaningful impact, just like these eight meaningful types of content came out today.


So, you all, finally, I have to thank you as a listener, whether this is your first episode, or you’ve listened for years and years, I really do appreciate you. I have felt you through the Interwebs. I’m doing this show, not for me, but I do hope you have gotten some inspiration, some information, and hopefully, you’ve taken some action even in the simplest of ways. Let me know if and when you have, that just completely makes my day. More than sharing the show or subscribing, I want to know how this podcast has actually made an impact. For now, I’m signing off, and as always, I’m sending big, big digital hugs, loves, and waves to whatever corner of the world you’re listening in from. This has been Josie and The Podcast.

About Josie

I’m Dr. Josie Ahlquist—a digital engagement and leadership consultant, researcher, educator, and author. I’m passionate about helping people and organizations find purposeful ways to connect, engage, and tell their unique story. I provide consulting, executive coaching, and training for campuses, companies, and organizations that want to learn how to humanize technology tools and build effective and authentic online communities.

My blog and podcast have been recognized by EdTech Magazine, Inside Higher Ed and the Chronicle of Higher Education. My book, Digital Leadership in Higher Education, was published in 2020 and was listed as a #1 new release for college and university student life. I have been growing my consultancy since 2013 and am based in Los Angeles. When I’m not helping clients lead online, you might find me training for a triathlon, spoiling my nieces and nephews, or exploring with my husband and our rescue dogs in our new RV called Lady Hawk.

I’d love to connect! Find me on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Facebook.

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Rebekah Tilley

Assistant Vice President, University of Iowa Center for Advancement

Rebekah Tilley is the assistant vice president of communication and marketing for the University of Iowa Center for Advancement (UICA). In that role she supports fundraising and alumni engagement efforts for the university, including its CASE Gold winning Iowa Magazine, and serves UICA in a variety of strategic communication efforts.

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