he University of Tennessee, Knoxville, College of Communication and Information's School of Advertising and Public Relations will host Social Media Week, April 25-26, in the Communications Building on campus.
The two-day event, cosponsored by Dell Inc., will feature presentations, panel discussions and open forums with social media experts from Dell, Scripps Networks Interactive, Cox Enterprises and McCormick & Company, Inc., as well as Knoxville-area advertising, marketing and public relations agencies.
The event concludes on April 26 with presentations from students in the school's social media class to a number of Dell executives including Adam Brown, executive director of social media for Dell and a 1994 UT advertising graduate.
Student groups in the class are developing social media campaigns to promote the XPS 13, Dell's new entry in the "ultrabook" class of lightweight laptop computers.
Brown and his colleagues will review each team's campaign materials and observe each team's conceptual plan presentations. Brown will then announce which team has the best overall campaign plan, and each member of the winning group will be presented with an XPS 13.
In addition, Brown has personally funded an endowment for the school to support this event as well as future social media research and activities.
"As an alumnus of the college, I couldn't be more pleased that the school is putting such an emphasis on social and digital media," Brown said. "This endowment will help ensure that UT and its graduates will be at the forefront of the intersection of advertising, public relations and technology, and be poised to capitalize on upcoming opportunities. It's an exciting time to be in this industry."
Private financial support for Social Media Week also comes from Ed Patterson, senior director of public affairs for Cox Enterprises and a 1989 UT public relations graduate.
Patterson said he was delighted with the impact his support has had on preparing students for the future of this growing field.
"Social media may have started as a way to chat, connect, talk to your friends and meet others, but it has turned into the single most important marketing tool of our generation," Patterson said. "I'm thrilled that my support has helped UT launch Social Media Week. As the rules of social media change daily, I look forward to being part of this event for years to come."
"We are very grateful to Adam Brown and Ed Patterson for their vision and financial support of Social Media Week," said CCI Dean Mike Wirth. "With an outstanding lineup of presentations, panels and interactive sessions featuring top social media professionals from across the U.S., the event will provide our students, faculty and the Knoxville community with a great opportunity to gain leading edge knowledge about the uses and impacts of social media."
Presentations will be held in the Scripps Convergence Lab and in the CCI Auditorium. All presentations are free and open to the public.
The two-day event is scheduled as a lead-in to Social Slam 2012, set for Friday, April 27, at the Knoxville Convention Center. Social Slam is Knoxville's yearly one-day social media conference, drawing nationally acclaimed speakers and experts in all aspects of social media. For more information on Social Slam 2012, visit soslam.com.
For more information on UT Social Media Week, including the full schedule of events, visit http://www.cci.utk.edu/socialmediaweek.