MD

2011-10-24

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October 23, 2011 - 7:33pm

Alum creates website to land 'U' social media director position

BY STEVE ZOSKI

While most students use Twitter or Facebook to procrastinate, one University alum is using social media to try and land a job with the University.

LSA alum Lindsay Blackwell, marketing manager for the Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra, created a website in the hopes of impressing Lisa Rudgers, the University’s vice president for global communications and strategic initiatives, into hiring her as the University's first social media director.

The site, www.dearlisarudgers.com, has Blackwell’s resume, links to her social media pages like Twitter and Tumblr and includes a video in which she explains why she fits the job description.

Blackwell had her first interview with Rudgers on Monday, but declined to comment on the meeting.

Blackwell’s site now has more than 10,000 hits from people in 52 different countries.

“I took this website, and I turned it into a campaign,” Blackwell said. “I'm really trying to demonstrate to the University and to Lisa that I'm capable of using social media to market, and I've really tried to do with this campaign all the things that would be expected of me if I had this position.”

While at the University, Blackwell majored in English and linguistics. She wrote on her website that before she worked with the Ann Arbor Symphony, her post-graduation life consisted of odd jobs like waiting tables and taking community college courses.

Last month, the University posted the job listing for a social media director. According to the online posting, the annual salary for the position will be between $90,000 and $110,000.

“(The) candidate will act as the University’s social media advocate, defining and influencing overall strategy,” the job posting states. “He or she will create an online community for people to connect with the University of Michigan's global brand and begin to forge life long relationships, creating brand advocates and loyalists across the world.”

Blackwell praised the University and said she is grateful for her education here. She added that her familiarity with the institution and the campus will make her the perfect candidate for the job.

“I love to write, and social media is a lot about content,” she said. “It’s advertising copy — you have to write concisely and write powerfully, and my education definitely prepared me for that. In linguistics, I focused a lot on specific strategies for marketing involving language.”

The website also explains why Blackwell wants the job and cites what she calls her “social media obsession. Though Blackwell said she loves her job with the symphony orchestra, she thinks it would be a “once in a lifetime opportunity” to work for the University.

“I love what I get to do every day,” Blackwell said, “but social media is only a small part of that, so it doesn't get a lot of my focus. And ultimately, I'd love to be able to dedicate myself exclusively to social media marketing.”