Connecting with people face-to-face was – and still is – downright scary. Because of the COVID-19 guidelines Schools, Businesses and Student-orgs had to make major adjustments on how they communicate. Through already existing technologies, these three groups are making the best of a bad situation.
Most students are now familiar, and somewhat comfortable, in their new, online world. Some classes were easy to adjust to, but some were not. Mike Schmitt, COMM Department Media Specialist, teaches Video Production at UWGB. He said, “teaching a course that is largely hands on has been a challenge.” His course is usually broken up into lectures with a hands-on, studio experience.
“I moved the course to materials provided via video files, Canvas and remote conferencing. You make the best of a situation you are given,” he added, but Mike and his video production class is one of many that have been a challenge to move online.
Technology has made it much easier… A decade ago, it would have been nearly impossible. Mike said, “I don’t believe we would have been prepared as many of the conferencing systems were not around then…and better bandwidth has helped a lot.”
Student-orgs bring students with similar interests together to discuss their orgs’ interests. Usually, events and volunteering take place on campus, but now some student organizations restructured into making this happen virtually and through social media.
The Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) is a good example. PRSSA held its first-ever virtual event and podcast March 8. In February, the podcast and events were separate, but now they are combined allowing members to listen live and participate in each meeting. It not only allows them to talk to professionals, like Jessica Amo, Corporate Service and Marketing Manager for the Green Bay Booyah who was interviewed last week, but it also helps the org and its members understand what goes into creating a podcast – just in case COVID is with us in the future
Another student-org, College Republicans, raised money for Paul’s Pantry through its social media accounts. The College Republicans believes, “now more than ever, help is needed.” Giving back to the community is important even if it is done virtually.
UWGB Alumni Raquel Lamal, a Media Specialist at Red Shoes Inc., has been doing a lot of things virtually since the pandemic began. Red Shoes has been using a lot of virtual video meetings through sites like Zoom and Skype. This is done for clients and internal communication. Raquel said, “luckily, our office is designed where we can be fully remote, if we need to be, so we’ve been rolling with the punches.”
In addition, Raquel started a podcast, Sole Source, which had its launch date moved forward due to the pandemic. The podcast is done virtually from home, in addition to her daily job duties, for now. Raquel said the, “quality is not as good at home [compared] to in studio, but it works…a lot of cable and network talk shows have adapted to in-home filming.”
What is means to you?
The university, student-orgs, and alumni have all been adapting to doing business during COVID. During these times, it is important to communicate well. Raquel said, “over communication is key when you’re not in direct contact with people to make sure nothing falls through the cracks.” And, Phil Clampitt always tells us to “seize those [communication] opportunities…to learn once-in-a-lifetime lessons.”
Students looking to make a difference should follow Clampitt’s advice and start seizing those opportunities like the university, student-orgs, and alumni are doing. Just remember: You might have to change your strategy a little as your tactics are going to be different.
Written By: Matthew Knoke
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