Social Media Strategist Builds Solid Foundation
Sunny skies have a new meaning for American University School of Communication student Chris Jasinski. This summer, the public communication major is managing and implementing social media strategy for the first three-university team from Washington, D.C. to compete in the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon. Team Capitol DC includes students and faculty advisors from Catholic University, George Washington University, and American University.
Together, the teams from each school will design, build and communicate about—via integrated branding, digital and social media platforms, and video assets—HARVEST HOME, a revolutionary future concept solar-energy home being built in Washington, D.C., and transported more than 3,000 miles away for the final competition in California this October. Through harvesting natural resources, comforting design features, and an innovative biomedical atmosphere that contributes to rehabilitation of body and spirit, HARVEST HOME will help heal its ideal resident, a wounded American veteran.
Jasinski is working under the direction and supervision of SOC professor and executive in residence Caty Borum Chattoo, who directs Team Capitol DC's website, editorial development and public affairs team. SOC’s Larry Engel supervises media production and visual assets in the integrated AU communication team. Jasinski’s role on the strategic communication team is multifaceted. He is managing all social media, including the team’s Facebook, Twitter and Flickr accounts. Additionally, he works with other members of the communication team to hone Team Capitol DC’s messaging.
In order to communicate about the project effectively, Jasinski first had to become a content expert. He explains, “You constantly hear a flurry of buzzwords about green technology, renewable energy and so on. Because our team is responsible for the public’s understanding of the material, we have to learn it, translate it into more basic terms, and then break it down for our audiences.”
He adds, “It’s a lot of learning very fast. Google has been my best friend. Also, a lot of the success on this communication project has been a real team effort. I now have friends at 20 other campuses, it’s a great social connection project.”
Jasinski is a rising senior pursuing his degree in Political Science and Public Communication. In 2013, he was the social media marketing Intern for USA Today, an opportunity he secured through SOC’s Dean’s Internship Program. He says the internship taught him the art of “getting creative, understanding what content people respond to, what they have enjoyed, and asking ‘what sorts of things do they want to hear about?”
There is a lot to look forward to in the coming months, as HARVEST HOME is completed and then shipped across the country. “[I]n the blink of an eye it will be competition time,” he says.
Despite the intensity of the work, Jasinski loves the project. The multi-school aspect of the project “has been the most fun piece of it all,” says Jasinski. “Washington D.C. can be very ‘us vs. them.’ This project is a really wonderful representation of the younger generation being all about collaboration and creating a solution.”
Learn more at teamcapitoldc.org, become a Facebook fan at facebook.com/TeamCapitolDC and follow on Twitter @TeamCapitolDC