Story by Anissa Zagonel, master’s student
The Center for Rural Enterprise Engagement (CREE) recently hosted the New-Media Marketing Bootcamp at the Bluemont Hotel in Manhattan, Kansas. Small and rural business owners, communication professionals, and K-State Research and Extension employees came together to build social media strategies, while learning new skills and creating content.
Attendees spent a day and a half in breakout sessions where they were guided through the steps to tell their organization narratives and plan content across multiple platforms. “One of the most difficult parts of running a business or serving your community through Extension is finding the time to do everything your job demands,” says Cassie Wandersee (’16), managing director. “At Boot Camp, we provide attendees the time and support to focus on their communications and marketing efforts without daily distractions.”
Attendees also learned about analyzing their communications efforts through Facebook analytics and Live Video, and website tracking through Google Analytics.
“Understanding the performance of our communication efforts is just as important as the time we put into developing our content,” says Wandersee. “I love that I can help our Boot Camp attendees understand the return of their efforts.”
Sessions also focused on platform-specific strategy and content development including image curating and editing, building websites, branding across platforms, e-commerce site set-up, and more.
“It was really neat to be able to put into practice what we work on every day in the office with real business owners and employees. It’s rewarding to see them excited about improving their online presence and using our resources,” says Chelsie Calliham, communications marketing intern.
Participants heard from panelist speakers Jodi Oleen, Kansas Pork Association; Connie Mushrush, Mushrush Red Angus; Patty Reece, The Volland Store; and Rebecca Drew, Grimm’s Gardens. During the panelist Q&A session, they shared their insight and strategy into running a successful business, managing marketing and communications, and balancing time with family.
The New-Media Marketing Bootcamp was sponsored by K-State Research and Extension and From the Land of Kansas. The generous donations by each organization allowed their staff and members to attend at a discounted rate.
At the conclusion of the second day, the CREE team announced a name change for the workshop event. “In February 2019 we are really excited to bring you the Insight Summit,” says Wandersee. “The Insight Summit will maintain our focus on providing training and insight on new-media platforms, but we will focus on the most progressive updates in the communications and marketing industry.”
The Insight Summit is scheduled for February 26 and 27, 2019. The event will be in Manhattan, Kansas with more details coming in the the fall of 2018.
Find out more about CREE, CREE team members, and the services they provide for rural and agriculture-based businesses and organizations at ruralengagement.org.