Kellen Manning

Director of Digital Public Relations
Penn State University

Kellen Manning is the Director of Digital Public Relations in the Office of Strategic Communications at Penn State University. In this role, he oversees the long-term social media strategy for the flagship accounts and oversees the social media team. Over the last decade-plus, Kellen has worked in higher education communication in admissions, athletics, alumni, student life, and undergraduate education.

Kellen Manning’s Sessions

8:45 a.m.–9:45 a.m. PT — Monday, October 21, 2024

Speaker-Led Roundtable Discussion

How to Build and Scale a Social Media Team

8:00 a.m.–11:00 a.m. PT — Wednesday, October 23, 2024

Collaborating with Students on Social Media Content: Recruiting, Managing, and Scaling Your Program

Section 1: The Student Recruiting Arc: Finding Collaborators to Amplify Your Mission with Kellen Manning

Finding students and building relationships to set the table for potential collaborations is a core tenet of our overall social strategy at Penn State. Meeting with up to five students a week has created an environment where students from across the University can authentically present themselves and their communities, spotlighting what makes our University unique and staying in line with our mission, values, and goals. To do this, we utilize every tool our platforms provide to create a never-ending supply of potential collaborators. This section will explore our methods and processes for building a robust student collaboration program.

What you’ll learn:

  • Finding and reaching out to students from across the university using the tools platforms provide
  • Building relationships that lead to unique content that showcases a thriving, diverse community while remaining in line with our University mission
  • Utilizing the students' strengths and past work to get the most out of the collaboration
  • Strategies on how to get students to participate, whether it be one-off posts or long-term paid roles

Section 2:  Setting Student Content Creators Up for Success with Alexa Block

Students play a pivotal role in creating digital content for higher education institutions. This section will explore ways to leverage students' experiences, skills, and perspectives to create meaningful social media content that is authentic to the student experience and upholds the institution’s values and mission. 

What you’ll learn: 

  • How to create a structure for students to work within for content creation that aligns with institutional goals, including setting expectations, resource management, and how to conduct brainstorming sessions and select assignments for students
  • What things to think about when sending students out to create content on behalf of the institution 
  •  How to create documents to help guide students, such as “best practices for creating social videos” and “social media content creation policy”

Section 3:  Expanding the Influence and Scope of Your Student Team with Stephanie Ramirez

Once you’ve found your students, built a structure for their work, and developed them as content creators, it’s important to consider expanding their social media management and strategic skills. Students who understand the behind-the-scenes work of a social media manager not only produce better content but can also help alleviate your workload. This section will explore how you can fold your student creators into your overall strategy and expand the influence and scope of their work.

What you’ll learn: 

  • How to understand and cater to students’ interests and strengths
  • Where students fit in behind the scenes
  • What kinds of tasks and opportunities to delegate to students, from day-to-day drafting to creating campaigns
  • How to fold student content creators and their work into the big picture, i.e., your institution’s social media strategy
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