Tag Archives: higher ed

Thesis: CONNECT.ED: Promoting Higher Education via Social Media to Millennials

On December 7, 2010, I successfully defended my masters thesis at Eastern Washington University. The topic: promoting higher education via social media to Millennials. Now, four months later, I am presenting on a panel at the Northwest Communications Association Conference in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho regarding my thesis. I’m looking forward to the event, and in prepping for the discussions ahead, I was reminded that I had not published my thesis online for anyone and everyone to access. I’m a believer in free information and sharing resources. So therefore, I’m happy to share with you, after several years of rigorous coursework and study, several more years of refining my topic, and then a few more years yet of researching, writing and revising: my completed masters thesis: CONNECT.ED: Promoting Higher Education via Social Media to Millennials. (Complete PDF.)

It’s my hope that the Washington State Higher Education Coordinating Board can use this as a resource as they develop their portal for citizens of Washington who are interested in pursuing a college degree. And much of the information can also be used for any academic institution, company/organization interested in communicating with Millennials, or just general social media marketers and public relations professionals.

Enjoy and please feel free to share your thoughts with me.


Thesis | Outline

Here’s the working outline  of my master’s in communications thesis at Eastern Washington University. I’m investigating how to promote higher education to Millennials via social media.




  • HECB Open Forums
  • HECB Portal Report
  • Reference to Appendix B: HECB Open Forums [DONE]
  • Research Questions
    • RQ1: What are the characteristics of Millennials?
    • RQ2: How do Millennials prefer to be communicated with?
    • RQ3: What best practices/guidelines can inform the development of a social media communication plan to engage Millennials?
    • RQ4: What metrics would be used to determine the effectiveness of this communication plan?


  • Millennials & Higher Education
  • Academic Journals on Millennials
  • Academic Journals on Social Media
  • Review of Communication Theories & PR Models
  • Points to consider: A) Millennials’ communication preferences; B) Millennials’ use of social media; C) Current marketing plans; D) Metrics


  • Answer RQ1 with Pew Research Project
  • Answer RQ2 with Pew Research Project and Marketing to Millennials
  • Answer RQ3 with New Rules of PR/Marketing, Facebook & Twitter Demographics, My 10 Steps for Social Media Presentation
  • Answer RQ4 with ROI/metrics of social media research


  • Communication plan with metrics
  • Reference Appendix A: Social Media Guidelines
  • Reference Appendix C: Social Media Report Template


  • Address specific populations (minorities, etc.)
  • Address need for media mix


  • Citations
  • Bibliography complete

APPENDIX A: Social Media Guidelines

APPENDIX B: HECB Open Forums Data

APPENDIX C: Social Media Report Template

Social Media for Higher Education

On Friday, April 23, I presented at the CASE (Council for the Advancement & Support of Education) District VIII social media bootcamp in Spokane, WA. I focused my talk on Twitter and LinkedIn, and how colleges and universities can utilize these social media platforms to reach out to their constituents: faculty, staff, students (current and prospective), alumni, friends, media and the general public.

Here’s the presentation (Adobe PDF) and the handout (Adobe PDF) I provided.