Capturing moments that matter with Kelly Bennett, @uofcincy social media manager

Name: Kelly Bennett
Role | Department: Social Media Manager | Marketing + Communications
Started at UC: May 2020

What’s your role at UC and what do you do on a day-to-day basis?

I am the Social Media Manager in the office of Marketing + Communications. It is my job to manage the primary University of Cincinnati (@uofcincy) social media channels, engage with our followers of students, alumni and fans, keep up with trends, create engaging content and collaborate on university initiatives and messaging.

One of my favorite aspects of my job is the opportunity to work with our student social media intern, tapping into her creativity and mentoring her as she develops her skills in marketing and content creation.

If you had to describe your job in three words, what would they be?

Fun. Evolving. Creative.

Kelly Bennet poses for a selfie with Bearcat mascot

Kelly Bennett snaps a selfie with the Bearcat. Photo/provided

Take us through your career path. How did you get to where you are now?

Crazy enough, I created my own job, launching the social media strategy at my alma mater when I graduated in 2011. This was a time before Instagram, Snapchat and many of the other popular social media channels we use today. Brands were just beginning to realize the value and potential of social media. Through a class project, I pitched a social media plan to university leadership. They loved it, and I was hired as the university’s first social media specialist. Since then, I’ve become a thought leader in the higher ed industry by staying on top of trends and using social media in innovative ways to reach students. I’ve had the opportunity to present at conferences and have been featured by Huffington Post and Mashable.

I moved to Cincinnati and continued commuting to my alma mater for six years. When my current role became available at UC, I knew it was a dream job for me. I was ready for a change, and I was excited about the possibility of working at an institution like the University of Cincinnati and growing my career in the city that I have come to love so much.

Speaking of loving the city, what is your favorite thing about living in Cincinnati?

Where do I start? I absolutely love this city and all that there is to do here, whether it’s catching live music at Bogart’s, hammocking in our beautiful Cincinnati parks or playing sand volleyball or pickleball with friends. Cincinnati is a thriving city for young professionals. It has the innovative aspects of a big city, with the collaborative mindset of the Midwest. I’ve found it easy to make friends and connect with people — people want to help each other here.

What is your favorite place on campus?

I really love MainStreet and looking up at the beautiful architecture, including the TUC clocktower. It’s such a beautiful view of our unique campus. It’s a very active place — you can find students out tabling for their organizations, families walking through on campus tours, and on Bearcat Fridays the pep band plays while the Bearcat mascot gives out high-fives. It’s such an iconic and special part of campus that encapsulates the buzzing energy and passion at UC.

Can you describe a project or accomplishment you are proud of during your time at UC?

One of my favorite things about my role is getting to do “surprise and delight” moments on campus. Last Valentine’s Day, we worked with the Bearcat mascot to surprise students with roses as they walked to and from class. The Bearcat is a blast to work with and incorporate into our ideas.

I love finding ways to enhance the student experience, bring joy to others and amplify those feel-good moments on social media for all to enjoy. This particular project ended up being one of our most engaging pieces of content and was also featured in local media.

What is your favorite thing about working at UC?

Being constantly surrounded by passionate students and getting to share their experiences. Whether it’s a student who became more confident working her way through a challenging and rewarding co-op or someone whose research is making a difference in the world, we get to see first-hand how the opportunities here prepare them for their future.

How would you describe the team culture?

The team culture at UC is incredible. I truly believe there is no better place to work. UC is a place where people not only care about your professional life but also want you to thrive outside of work as well. Our Marketing + Communications leadership encourages growth and work-life balance, whether that’s presenting at a conference or actually taking a vacation. I feel supported and valued. We make time to get to know each other, which ultimately helps us do our best as a collaborative team.

Lightning round: Get to know Kelly Bennett

  • What is your go-to karaoke song? “I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)” by The Proclaimers
  • What, if anything, are you currently binge-watching? I don’t watch TV!
  • Your favorite restaurant in Cincinnati? Taste of Belgium OTR
  • What’s one thing on your bucket list? I’m a huge traveler, so I’d love to go to Croatia and learn more about my dad’s family heritage.
  • A typical weekend for me is…Spending as much time as possible outside, hanging out in Washington Park, catching live music and playing pickleball or volleyball.

Featured image at top from College GameDay 2021/Andrew Higley/UC Marketing + Brand

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