I’ve been working for almost a year now with Academic Coaching and Writing to help them with their social media strategy, as well as provide content for their blog that communicates what they do with and for their clients. I’ve even started offering webinars (one coming up next Monday!) on social media and public writing, including a new blog series on academic blogging.
The big news is that I am now also taking clients to help with academic branding and establishing a social media presence. In addition to this one-on-one work, I’ll be available to come to speak to faculty at their universities or at conferences or retreats about this topic. I have to say that this feels like a natural next step for me as an educator and social media community-builder. As public support for academia wanes, I think it’s important not only to make our work more accessible to the public, but also to develop technological and communication skills outside of those PhD training traditionally has provided.
I appreciate that my boss, Dr. Sally Jensen, has had the foresight to begin offering these services, but also the faith in me to carry the flag, so to speak, for “academic branding.” Despite my moments of doom and gloom about changes in higher education, I still do believe in academia. I’m not sure, though, that traditional academia can offer me a space to thrive and grow. This new role for me with ACW, therefore, feels like a perfect alt-ac opportunity for me, and I’m looking forward to continuing to work with Sally, but also to meeting and working with more of you.
This opportunity is also a great way to combine two of the things that I am really, really good at: teaching and self-promotion. A little over three years ago, I started a little blog and Twitter handle, and now (despite living in the proverbial middle-of-nowhere in a less-than-desirable academic position) I have almost five thousand followers and a space on one of higher education’s most important platforms. I really want to help others achieve their goals and aspirations for their public writing and outreach.
But it is also an opportunity to quantify a skill-set that I have and that is also in demand. Academics are notorious for under-valuing what we are worth, and I hope that this can help other academics or academics-in-transition find their voice and their worth as well.