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UMC Going Viral

Last week, UMD AMA hosted the annual Undergraduate Marketing Conference! During the event, there were four speakers, two competitions, and so much marketing fun!


Keynote Speaker - David Rosenstein

Calling all the way from the Empire State Building, we have our keynote speaker David Rosenstein! Rosenstein is a LinkedIn Account Executive who is known as a “human energizer bunny”


His presentation today is a workshop all about personal branding. Rosenstein has experience as a consultant where he helped 1000s of students and professionals on their LinkedIn and personal brand. He also is the former president of UMD AMA.


Starting off his presentation, Rosenstein explains why it is important to have a strong personal brand. He says it allows you to maintain strong relationships with recruiters, professionals, and other students in an organic way. People will know who you are before you meet you. Your personal brand is what people say about you yourself when you aren’t in the room, you want to be consistent and have your small actions build up.

Next, Rosenstein explains what you need to know to build your personal brand. Who you are? Where you would like to be? What are the gaps? How do you fill them?


To start the activity, a worksheet from Rosenstein is passed to everyone in the room. The first part of the activity is the audit. Members start out by writing and sharing their goals, some of the goals are to have a Summer 2024 Marketing Internship or be a successful filmmaker.


In the next step, the students write out adjectives they would use to describe the person who would achieve the goal. Some adjectives used in the room were: communicator, creative, organized, diligent, and prepared.


Rosenstein tells the students to take out their phones and text 5-10 people “Hi there! Quick question – how would you describe me? What 3-5 words come to mind?” He explains how this exercise is meant to give you an idea of what people already think of you.

The final part of the exercise is to choose the 3 most important adjectives and create 3 behavioral reinforcement actions (BRAs) that will help support the adjectives you want people to describe you as. Students work together to help create actions for their brand. An example from one of the attendees is from the word “charismatic” and one of the BRAs was to remember small details about people’s lives.


Now that the attendees are ready to tackle their brand, Rosenstein has a few execution tips to help sharpen their brand. He says a really important thing is your resume. The top third of your resume will attract the most attention. If you would like to see the progression of Rosenstein’s resume check it out here.


As he is calling in from the LinkedIn office, Rosenstein has to share some LinkedIn tips! His biggest advice is to clean out you feed so you can follow people, companies, and hashtags that inspire you. He recommends leaving lots of comments to engage with others and be discovered. He says that you have to share your accolades because people will not know about your successes unless you share them.

“If a tree falls in the forest and no one hears it, did it fall?”

To close out his session, Rosenstein opens it up for a Q&A session. He answered questions about deciding what to share on LinkedIn. His answer was to share 20% about yourself and the other 80% about others.


UMD AMA wants to thank David Rosenstein for speaking to us today. Our members learned so much will be busy crafting their personal brands and LinkedIn pages!


Breakout Session 1 - Angela Rakis

Next, attendees move into Breakout 1 to hear guest speaker, Angela Rakis, discuss the power of strategy when it comes to going viral. Rakis works at a marketing consulting company that primarily helps promote smaller businesses. She explains a little bit about her background, including that she grew up in Silver Spring, Maryland. Rakis worked at ad agencies during her time in college and eventually moved on to work for well-known companies like Denny’s. After having gone to culinary school, Rakis decided to combine her passions for food and business and work for Whole Foods before becoming a consultant.


Going into the main content of her presentation, Rakis explains that, in the context of marketing, “going viral” means seeing “rapid and widespread distribution of a piece of content or a message through various channels,” and is essentially what we consider “blowing up.”


She then notes that there are challenges and risks involved when it comes to going viral, like potential difficulties in managing the sudden influx of attention or potential negative reactions the public could have to certain content. Because content that goes viral is sometimes very short-lived, going viral is not always ideal, and it may be better to gain attention in a slower, more methodical way.

Still, Rakis stresses that going viral is not accidental, and can be the result of a very strong strategy. She explains that to go viral, one has to understand the content’s intentions, audience, timing, platform, and measurement.

Rakis goes on to share an example of a strong viral tweet. When the power went out during the Superbowl, Oreo tweeted “you can still dunk in the dark,” a joke that was witty, timely, and relevant. Rakis implores her audience to share content that is authentic and tells a true story, as people can be quick to point out dishonesty. She points her audience towards the “favorites and finds” section of her website, which they can visit to learn more about content she finds interesting.

Rakis ends her presentation by emphasizing the importance of putting strategy first, and that planning is essential to an effective marketing campaign.


Breakout 1 - Aidan Brannigan

Due to unforeseen circumstances, our second speaker during Breakout 1 was unable to make it. Our speaker, Aidan Brannigan is a UMD alumni who has had a career working in social media marketing. He has worked at startups backed by Jeff Bezos and Drake, Fortune 100 fastest-growing companies. He currently creates content for The Marketing Millennials and Workweek.


If you would like to view his slides you can see them here. If not he welcomes anyone to reach out to him via LinkedIn.


Perfect Pitch Competition

Now it’s time to have five competitors compete with their perfect pitch. Luca introduces this fun competition where students will create an elevator pitch based on an internship description. The competitors have 5 minutes to plan their pitches.

Our first competitor is Devavrat Chag. Devavart’s strength is his ability to present an excellent presentation, being quick and straight to the point. Next up is Chase Blum. Chase went in depth about his background as a student and his interests. Our next competitor is Jafari. His pitch includes how one specific internship could benefit him, connecting his background and personality to the company.


The Fourth competitor is Wensi Tan. Her past experiences relate to marketing and demonstrates her skills in this area. Our final competitor is Christopher Brawn. Chris connects his past experiences with AMA. He discusses his different qualifications and how he would use them to benefit the company.

Now that all of the competitors presented their perfect pitch, the judges could converse on the strengths and weaknesses of the competitors.


Congratulations to Christopher Brawn for winning this competition! And congratulations to Wensi Tan as the runner up! We want to thank all of the competitors for doing an amazing job demonstrating their perfect pitch in this fun competition.


Logo and Slogan Competition

Time for our logo and slogan competition! Samuara and Lucy walk up to explain the prompt, which is to create a logo and slogan for one of the UMC featured companies, Favorite Daughter Consulting. Students sort off into pairs of two, each group having a specific number. Now students have 10-15 minutes to prepare before presentations start.

First group is Allie a Sophomore Marketing major & Jessica a Junior Marketing major. Their theme is Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce logo and design. Their slogan is “are you ready for it? Boost your reputation with that favorite daughter touch.” Their logo is lips, which is a great use of slipstreaming with their high popularity.

Milen and Kiley next highlights community and family values of a brand. Their slogan is “this favorite daughter became your big sister.” The big guiding light points clients in the right direction and aligns with values.

Third group is Brennen and Bella. Their slogan is “we consider every business a family business.” This slogan connects to values for smaller businesses. It pushes to work together as a family. Their logo is family and parental structure. The orange and gray contrast represent adoption.

Continuing is Danielle and Arden who made a brand board to capture the business. It identifies working together, women empowerment, heart loving and openness, and colors. Their slogan is “Finding your Forte” alliteration with the F. Their logo is an olive branch with a crown representing Greek heritage and empowerment.

Finally our last group is Sophia and Johnathan whose slogan is “nurturing success through the looking glass.” Angela knows the business and has a keen eye for it. It provides guidance. By seeing their logo, a magnifying glass, people will be curious and get to know the brand more.

Congratulations to the winners Brenna and Bella and the runner-ups Milen and Kiley!


Breakout 2 - Ansa Edim

For the second breakout session, UMD AMA welcomes Ansa Edim. She is an executive board consultant startup founder. She also says she is a TikToker lurker-turned-poster.


Edim starts her presentation by talking about what “going viral” is these days. Some of the words that came to mind are: organic, memorable, engaging, emotional, and rapid. She explains there is a formula to going viral and it can be explained with the acronym S.T.E.P.S.


Simple: easy to understand and the message is clear and direct

Triggered: content is tied to human experiences that make people think about the purpose

Emotional: evokes a strong emotional response that creates a personal connection

Public: is visible in public spaces which allows it so be easily shared with others

Stories: people are naturally drawn to narratives

Edim then shares how her company, Blacklist, went viral on TikTok. This was possible because they shared the company's backstory to effectively communicate their values and showcase an understanding of the client's needs. The viral video has 470k+ views, 101K likes, and 13.5K shares which led to 600+ listed companies since the launch.


After the conference attendees learned about going viral, Edim continues to the second part of her presentation on personal branding. She defines personal branding as “marketing yourself and your career as a brand” She emphasizes how important it is to identify how you are unique and relevant.


Edim emphasizes the importance of personal branding in various sectors such as the job market, entrepreneurship, networking, and a foundation for resilience. Personal branding makes you stand out in all of these facets and shows how you are a unique person with a relevant skill set.


To round up her presentation, Edim explains how going viral and personal branding connect. When you have a strong personal brand, you will come across as more trustworthy and credible, whether you're selling a product or yourself. This also helps create a positive reputation for your brand. All of this will amplify the messages that you are sending out online and in person.


Finally, Ansa gives the attendees the steps to create a viral strategy.

  1. Define your personal brand

  2. Understand your audience

  3. Focus on the content

She also reminds everyone that it is important to know the risks of putting yourself out there. People can have negative reactions to your content which is not ideal. You also have to prepare for the attention and your response. This can make or break your viral campaign.


Thank you so much to Ansa Edim for coming out to UMC! Her insights and experience are fantastic!


Concluding Remarks

Thank you to everyone who came out to UMC! This event was an incredible way for AMA students to learn about marketing from incredible professional guests.

- AMA Web Team (Maeve Smarick, Katherine Gough, Layla Schulman)



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