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Tuesday, October 19, 2021    1:25pm - 2:10pm PDT

Hybrid Engagement and Community Building through Social Media

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When performance audiences began to tune in from the comfort of their own homes during the pandemic, Penn State College of Arts and Architecture pivoted to remote content delivery and marketing for their music and theatre seasons, lecture series, art exhibitions, and admissions recruitment. While this meant expanding our virtual reach, not to mention our donor pool, it also presented a challenge - competing for airtime and viewers with other virtual events and streaming platforms. 

Using social media to promote and stream events, engage our viewers, feature our Broadway alumni, and enhance our visibility has changed the way in which we intend to continue marketing when we return to in-person performances and events. Hybrid is our new model for outreach. Through our social media platforms and virtual program offerings, we will be able to increase engagement and community building by meeting audiences where they are, rather than only engaging with those who are able to come to us in-person. This is particularly important for maintaining virtual connections established with donors and alumni over the course of the pandemic through social media.

Stephanie will discuss:

  • Alumni (group engagement, fundraising, and takeovers)
  • Donors (virtual events hosting and crowdfunding campaigns)
  • Prospective students (hashtag campaigns and student spotlights for recruitment marketing)
  • Hybrid events marketing (Theatre and Music promotional marketing and livestreams/simulcasts on Facebook and Youtube as well as virtual tours of exhibitions) using "extras" and "behind-the-scenes" content. We also created a multi-night Penn State alumni performance livestream event with our Broadway alumni, using influencer marketing techniques to increase our audience.
  • Subscription-based offerings (tiered content access via social groups and promotion)


Stephanie Swindle Thomas
Director of Social Media and Visual Assets, College of Arts and Architecture
Penn State

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