Meadows 50th Anniversary Interview

After participating in a phone interview with Meadows School of the Arts alumni, Eskinder Abebe, I found myself intrigued by his broad level of creativity he had developed during his studies at SMU.

Upon Transitioning into SMU

Entering SMU as a third-year junior, Abebe graduated with his Bachelor in Creative Computin. He then went on to complete his Master’s degree in Design and Innovation from the Meadows School of the Arts. Abebe was open about how his experience in such diverse programs.

Before he came to SMU, Abebe enhanced his knowledge of art at Richland College in Dallas.

Abebe came to SMU with a unique plan. “I came in wanting to do design and computer science field,” Abebe said.

Merging both degrees would allow him to become an expert in both science and art. This would optimize his knowledge on creative computation.  

Post Graduation

Abebe discussed his post-graduation endeavors. He worked as an intern in Portland, Oregon for both Asics and Footlocker. The globally run program called, “The Pencil in Footlocker,” was very exclusive and strategically selected 18 students to attend with only one art submission. Abebe truly embraced the opportunity he was given, and in just three weeks, asics used one of his shoe designs.

With a better grasp and more sophisticated knowledge on product design, Abebe returned to Dallas. Soon later he collaborated with close friends to launch their upcoming creative design agency called Design Frame.

Abebe explained that the group focuses on, “new product visions, creation of 3d and 2d renderings, digital marketing such as product photography, virtual reality, video editing, graphic design and SEO.”

Additionally, he was frequently participating in interviews and landed a job at Evolve Scholastic, a company that manufactures school, church, and party decorations. Abebe currently works within the jewelry design sector, specializing in necklaces, bracelets, pendants, and soft goods like performance hoodies, joggers, quarter-zips, leggings, and T-shirts.

“So far, designing a shoe for asics was my favorite project I’ve worked on,” Abebe said.

Abebe’s most exciting aspect of his work is, “designing products for people who use it day-to-day.”

He went on to explain the process to his success, “it begins with visualizing new ideas, seeing the final results in manufacturing, and lastly, taking pride in the work I’ve accomplished for that individual.”

His voice lit-up as he said, “coming in live is the most exciting thing.”

Abebe credits his success to the skills he acquired at SMU as well as his mentor. His embedded skill and background of art helped him learn more on computer science programming. This enabled him to do web development for his company, while simultaneously, “designing jewelry, rings or any artistic things they need.”

Keen Mentors

Abebe mentioned SMU’s Ira Greenberg, a professor of painting, drawing, creative computation and the standing department chair of Creative Computation.

Professor Greenberg had a large influence on Abebe, and encouraged him to do more freelance. This small push allowed him to focus on projects that he had more interest in. This skill required a more advanced and creative focus in terms of diverse topics

Abebe mentioned that, “Yong Bakos, Suzette Henry, Dwayne Edwards and Advanced Design Sketching as mentors as well they hugely helped me shape my career.”

Concluding Advise

Abebe’s advice to undergraduate students entering the workplace is to, “take internships and get experience even if it is unpaid. It will give you direction, exposure, and give you something to talk about.”

Eskinder Abebe is skilled at his unique combination of  merging both art and computer science into a different and desirable platform. Meadows School of the Arts prides itself on graduating such a dedicated, motivated, and intelligent student and is excited to watch where his work takes him in the future.

What You Didn’t Know About Your Organization’s Culture

For young communication professionals, working in a completely new environment can be intimidating. While matriculating into the corporate business world, it’s essential to adapt into your organization’s internal culture. Whether you are a beginner or the leading CEO, you play a significant role in your organization’s culture.

The relationship between all employees are the biggest contributors to your workplace’s success. Within your workplace relationships, you orchestrate an interrelated network (or culture) that demonstrates similar core visions and values. This is referred to as organizational culture.

The Key Component To Your Workplace’s SuccessT

Two studies emphasis the importance of organizational culture and the influence it has on workplace success.

The first study is from the IZA World of Labor and Dr. Eugenio Proto. Dr. Proto’s (the department chair of Economics at the University of Warwick) findings underlie the key to casual relationships within the workplace. He reminds us how this boosts employees’ happiness snd generate higher productivity, “the worker well-being needs to be the central tenet of any company culture initative” (William Craig).

The second study reports the significance of work colloboation. This four-year study was conducted within the Survey Business School and France’s Genoble Ecole de Management. The report highlights how building a culture when all employees engage with each other on a regular basis is essential. The high energy encourages an environment of open and collorative nature.

Both of these studies reinforce the value behind an organization’s success based on their culture.

To learn more on this study, click here.

What Comes Out Of Closed Cultures

Well known author and speaker, Nan Russell takes a look on how workplaces benefit from participating in a climate full of trust. When trust is embedded into the values and visions of the culture, Russell argues the organization will have the following:

  • high productivity
  • better employee interaction
  • increased profitability
  • improved return in shareholder investment
  • untroubled staff engagement
  • more collaboration and teammate orienatetd tasks

Maintaining a controlled environment of trust is easier said than done. In order to actually foster a workplace that priortizes this relationship, two way open communication is essential in practice.

Next time you find yourself in a situation where you can speak transparently to another employee, know how important this can be toward reaching your organizations long term success.

Insights to Boost Your Brand’s Facebook

One can say the ever-evolving worldwide social networking site, Facebook is truly taking over how our world communicates and connects to one each other and brands. With over 2.32 billion active monthly users, the site increases by 14 percent in accounts per year. Knowing this, it’s hard as communication professionals to ignore the benefits of Facebook’s digital marketing aspects. The insights below will help you boost the page’s awareness, while also driving more traffic to either your product or service.

The Baby Steps Count

First, if you haven’t already created your brand’s business Facebook page, it’s time to optimize your brand’s performance by utilizing the fast growing channel. This will drive engagement and awareness with your target audiences. Secondly, it’s important to stay updated with reports that contain updated statictics. Knowing these insights help us as communicators improve our navigation of the site. In addition, we can make better decisions to optimize our brand’s performance on how we connect with publics.

What You Must Know to Optimize Most Success

Statistic reports are released frequently, so in order to grasp all aspects of the constantly changing site, it’s important to be on task by keeping up with them. On January 30, 2019, Facebook reported to Wall Street newly released statistics. Listening to these insights will automatically contribute to navigating the site, as well as your brand’s Facebook page.

On average, there are over 1.52 billion mobile users who logged on daily, demonstrating a 23 percent increase since December 2016. This produced a 93 percent boost of total advertising revenue.

Like and share buttons are viewed across on average 10 million websites every day. This drives even more users to the site.

The most common age demographic of users are 25 to 34. This means, this is your key target audience to engage with using the Facebook channel.

76% of all users are females, while 66% are male. To access more information on Men vs. Women go to

Every second that passes, there are five new profiles created. It’s important to know how your audiences may grow exponentially.

The highest traffic of the site occurs between 1 to 3 p.m. However, 50% of 18 to 24 year olds log on right when they wake up. In order to drive the most traffic to your brand’s page, post during these peak hours by strategically scheduling ahead to reach more audiences attention.

Engagement on Thursdays and Fridays is 18% higher. Knowing this will assist your planning ahead to help determine when to schedule your posts as a way to boost engagement and of course, optimize your marketing presence.

83 million scam profiles exist. Know that many of your own audiences maybe fake profiles for reasons associated with testing and research. Ignore them by remaining strategic and consistent.

Visits last only 20 minutes. Because of this is a short time period, make sure your content is unique and adequately piques the attention of your audiences.

The Takeaway

We can make better, well informed decisions by understanding the fundamentals of these updated report statistics that will boost your brand’s Facebook page performance and enhance engagement. To keep up with these frequent changes, go to

Pinpointing The Voices of Social Media

In efforts to boost your brand’s social media awareness, it’s crucial to truly grasp your own understanding of all the voices of social media. An approach to tackle this objective is by advancing your social thinking. Start now by listening closely to these tactics that will help drive your brand into reaching their ultimate goals.

What We Must Know

As communication professionals, we must know how the voices of social media, particularly Facebook, Linkedin, Instagram and Twitter, can be used to produce favorable brand goals.  

Before looking inside all channels, it’s important to recognize how social media platforms don’t come in all shapes and sizes. In other words, there is not just one formula to plug into each platform that magically guarantees success.

Like Channing Tatum, you’re wrong.

Because each channel requires different personalities, we must decide which channel works best to match with your intended audience. As professionals, it’s our job to match these personalities with the specific audience to the particular tone of your message. A way of doing so is by distinguishing the strengths and weaknesses of each channel. Complete this by researching which demographic is used by each channel. For instance, Facebook largely attracts most of its common users ages 25 to 34. Knowing what channels each demographic spends most time on can help us use our channels to work together. We can attract that demographic of audiences to the brand’s website by placing the website’s link to Facebook pages.

Why Audiences Use Certain Channels

The list of social media platforms below feature the real reasons why audiences use them. Learning these voices allows us as professionals to take them into consideration while forming proper messages. Understanding the use of each platform will ultimately improve the relationship your brand has with their publics.  


This online machine is king to a system of many facets. From the friending system, to posting galleries of photos, videos, and statues on timelines, the site is full of opportunities in the marketplace. Known as “The Scrapbook of Your Life, ” the platform captures milestones of users who are able to access groups and official pages of organizations. The online function uses quick interpersonal communication, with some level of personal contact. It is noted how Gen Z is moving to Instagram and using Facebook almost 20% less.


This platform is open to photo and video sharing and enables its users to involve in social networking by sharing their own content. The stories feature is gaining in popularity by promoting the balance of fun, personal information with promotional reward. Some refer to the channel as “show and tell,” as members promote their content full of creative, fun, and inspiring photos. Instagram is becoming more popular among teens and tweens, ranging from 13-30 years old.


The “social network of the business community” is primarily used for professional networking, job posting, with features of general business news. The resume-like profile of members allow users to showcase their background by creating their own network of direct connections. This works by adding users to their network. LinkedIn pages also feature status updates. Interestingly so, the platform is evolving to be less strict on business-orientated messages and more brand useful. More than 3 million users are on Linkedin in 200 counties.


Micro blogging allows all followers to converse using hashtags by curating their own “tweets.” Tweets consist of a 280 character limit that produce conversations that are quick, staccato, and relevant to that member. Some refer to this platform as a chaotic mess. These short bursts of information use special techniques, such as “@” to precede a username and “#” to precede a grouping. Original users intend to use this platform in order to receive first hand national and local news, while also joining in the conversation of quirky things. Although short, a tweet can humanize societies and can be beneficial for audiences to receive short updates from their desired brand.

Getting to know the WHO of Content Marketing

engagement and content go hand in hand

Now seen as the #1 priority for marketing and communications, good content OFFICIALLY matters in both of our worlds (that’s right, time to get good at this). Prior research tells us how curating content that is important and relevant, yet fun and entertaining, creates engagement from target audiences. Let’s put it this way, the cause of your good content tactics produce the most significant engagement with audiences. Shocked yet?

where is your content?

Stories, articles, videos, podcasts, images, whitepapers, and more  (I could go on, and on and on) is where your content lies.

Consumers view your content wherever you decide to put it, which could be newsletters, various social media platforms, or even stranger, the newspaper (but, nobody uses traditional channels, so probably not the best idea). Engaging your audiences is done by driving their interest and motivating your desired response.

So, what makes content particularly good? Here’s the deal, if you produce specific content of interest that truly aims to cause your publics to think and act, you’re doing it right. It doesn’t involve magic, it just takes work. The key is knowing that what you put into it, is what you get out.

For instance, Pōk, the fast and casual, delicious poke restaurant in the local West Village neighborhood uses a weekly newsletter to grasp their customers attention with certain food or drink items they’re interested in.

The CBD drink is obviously a want from their audiences. They know this from their audience’s respondes and overall product sale. But, what makes this content even better is posting this pretty drink on social platforms, such as Instagram to seek more audience attention.

The bottom line is to focus on your content’s consistency to mitigate audience confusion, but also to motivate them to WANT to go purchase your product! Only, this may be difficult to achieve if you don’t know who your working with….

hello target audience, my name’s madison! …  who are you?

This part is similar to opening up a mystery dum dum (seriously, tell me already) — you don’t know what you’re gonna get, but you end up enjoying it until the last lick. Understanding your audience is absolutely crucial in curating your content.

Do yourself a favor and follow these small steps to help guide you to recognize what segment of the population you are working with, and then delve even deeper to explore their characteristics. Ideally, by the end of your research we want to create a mental picture of your typical target member.

You at first must define demographics. Know this is just the start, but also sometimes it’s all we have to work with.

  1. Needs and wants change accordingly based on age. It’s important to identify the range of age your brand targets best. It could be wide in scope, or very limited.
  2. Next, discover their gender. Are you dealing with more females than males, or vice versa? It’s obvious that certain brands are directed towards one sex. So, pick one or all.
  3. Factoring the average income level determines whether or not people buy certain products. If your product consist of high costs, it would make sense that people who have higher incomes pay for it, and so it goes.
  4. Now, think about certain factors that may influence your public’s interest in your product, like race, religion, and ethnicity. Distinguish the key components and pick up on certain trends.

Close your eyes. I bet you are able to mentally visualize your target, right? But, in order to truly dig deeper and produce the most efficient results, we must understand their psychographics. Be aware, more times than often these can lead to faulty stereotype inferences, which as professionals, we must immediately recognize and ignore. Obtain these characteristics by interviewing existing audiences, observing them, or reviewing interal data analytics.

  1. Investigating particular habits
  2. Recognizing traits
  3. Knowing underlying attitudes
  4. Distinguishing opinions
  5. Observing general behavior patterns

The two data sets collected above gave you tremendous insight to the WHO (thanks to demographics) your audience is and the WHY (thanks to psychographics) your audience is into your product. By excluding one verse the other, you are risking the success of your content, and fail to move your audience to act on it.


Answering the WHO of content marketing requires advanced thinking.

think of it in triangle form.

top point = time # of shopping visits or length of visits

left side = cost convenience and perceived quality

right side = quality

one more thing…

Audience. Priority. Trick. This tactic is used efficiently in advertising, marketing and PR. It’s fast and easy. You have your target audiences, correct? Now, prioritize by ranking them 0-10 by asking two questions.

  1. How important is the public to your organization?

Not at all (0) or vital (10)

  1. How important is your organization to the public?

Not at all (0) to vital (10)

For more info…

Visit to become more aware the importance of content marketing.



perceived quality  


Cost Quality


perceived quality  

5 trends to pick up on to better your social platforms

Do you ever feel stuck in a puddle of mud trying to handle all your assigned social platforms? I’m going to start this article by saying WE’VE BEEN THERE TOO.

Managing and “keeping up” with all channels of your client or brand’s social media is time consuming and exhausting to try and perfect. I can’t even begin to think of the wasted minutes I’ve spent scrolling through databases of unexbiroating pictures I didn’t even consider using for content, WORTHLESS. This doesn’t include the minutes distracted by Kylie Jenner’s absurd Instagram page. Only, the worst feeling of them all is failing to do your number one job, engaging your targeted audiences and voicing a brand featuring their best light. SO, if you’re trying to stay focused, on task, and on target to better your social platforms, keep reading to discover five trends that will help you better your social platforms in no time!

say hello to the most effective process, the digital spectrum 👋

Don’t get too excited, but we do have a process for you to follow that our team has greatly benefited from. I’d like to introduce you to our three letter worded best friend, the “ Digital Spectrum Process.” Steve Lee, one of my favorite professors at SMU, is the creator of this marvelous process. Hold the applause, please. His plan educates, manages expectations, such as measurable objectives and clearly defined roles, maintains focus, and involves discipline.

You need to know that the Digital Spectrum Process doesn’t mean you can just follow an easy step-by-step guide, blah, blah, blah. No. In order for the process to execute most success, we suggest you get your feet wet and truly tackle each element. Your social platforms will improve and look so much better in no time! Let us begin, ay?

#1 preparation: embracing the art of research 🙌

The first step of the process is “preparation,” which means it’s time to get technical. By applying your management’s goals, you can then begin researching your key publics, attitude, behaviors, and overall engagement on media platforms. If that doesn’t do much for you, cut the informal sh*$ and move onto profiling your audience by defining their demographics and psychographics. This should give you better insights as to who you’re working with.

Now knowing more of your audience than you did before, you may move on to defining messages proposed on media channels. Easier said than done. It’s in your hands to truly grasp the attention of your publics by demonstrating your ability to understand their language style (tone and voice). Even more so, you must make sure you highlight what is most relevant to that public. It’s like matching 21 year-olds to drinking, of course they’re interested! Except, I hate tequila, ew.

#2 planning: the basics (boring step)

So, you did the research, now we can begin planning by conducting five primarily tasks.

  1. Situation Analysis – ask yourself what’s changed in the market and competition? What tactics of yours are now working? Whichever don’t, MOVE ON.
  2. Goals and Objectives – draw upon your platform’s main goals, then perform them by creating objectives (self explanatory).
  3. Publics – since we already defined the key publics, add new ones if possible.
  4. Activites – ask yourself what tactics must be done to achieve objectives? I prefer placing a detailed timeline on these — it’ll help in the long run.
  5. Monitoring – wait until you see the next step, but obviously you need help in this.
  6. Budget – costs matter. Estimate them accurately.

#3 content management: tips and techniques for curating

We have the organization’s messages from step #1, right? Keep them close, don’t let them go. Next, we have to understand when to specifically use them in regards to channels and timing. Determine which channels will be used and prioritize them meaningful. This means, matching the tone of each channel with its publics and determining the appropriate time of that post.

You may also be interested in blog writing as well. Constructing a blog illustrates a more personal relationship to your publics. Blogs can generate a funny, serious or even informing, story. You may even want to bring in interesting speakers, authors, or other bloggers you think will be most relevant and appealing. OR, perhaps bring selective stories to life and use interviews to create interaction with your audience. I mean why not interview the chef of your client’s restaurant to go behind the scenes? They’re interesting and can really help improve the intimacy between the audience’s relationships with the specific brand. Don’t be afraid to be creative with it! It’s more fun to step out of your comfort zone here.

Choosing your content may be challenging. Remember use RELEVANT information and capitalize on this. If one of your social media platforms is Instagram, use more appealing, high quality and professional pictures to attract your publics. Generating a flow may help! Besides, nobody likes lurking on boring Insta pages, boo. Also, be consistent throughout various platforms. It’s a let down when platforms distributie different kinds of information over the place. My brain can’t take in that info all at once, in plus it’s highly distracting.

#4 & 5 monitoring & responding: see ya LATER.COM

These steps go hand in hand. As social media directors or specialists (whatever you like to call yourselves), we know how important monitoring our social media platforms is. Recognizing feedback, followers, measuring evaluations, and tracking analytics is a real science. While it is important to really take on these duties in appropriate matters, I have a tool you may want to consider using. It’s called Later, the #1 Marketing Platform for Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. Victory is for once in our hands.

Talk about platform consistency? This software allows you to create the same posts that can automatically be posted to each individual platform, AT THE SAME TIME. It also allows us to visualize our content calendar in advance and provides the feature to track the analysis of each platform.

Thanks to technology, we don’t have to do the hard work. Interpreting these measurements allows us communicators to discover meaningful answers and then incorporating that change to better our platforms. Really dig deep here, if you can find tremendous amounts of new knowledge for your platform.

the, end.

There you have it folks — the 5 key trends to better your social platforms. I advise you to really take action and put this plan to use. It’s faster, more efficient, and WORKS. In no time, you will see better engagement, consistency, and content. Use them and thank me later.