A group of University of Canberra students in the Faculty of Arts and Design have become social media influencers, after developing a social media campaign to promote Canberra as a place to live, work and visit as part of their studies.
The Digital Engagement and Analytics students have created the campaigns for Instagram as part of their Communication and Media degree, with the accounts highlighting some of the best Canberra has to offer from food and arts, to culture and business.
The students have been led by researcher Prue Robson, whose PhD focuses on the reputation of Canberra as a place to live, and subsequent ‘Canberra bashing’. Ms Robson is researching why perceptions and stereotypes of Canberra exist as part of her thesis and her findings have led to an assessment that combines developing social media skills and getting students on board as champions for Canberra.
“Today’s communication professionals are expected to have a solid grasp on digital media and the jobs we’re seeing advertised for our graduates are increasingly focused on content creation and social media management so this was the perfect opportunity for students to get some hands-on experience in those roles,” said Ms Robson.
Ms Robson says the boring and sterile stereotypes of Canberra have been supported by news and popular culture media, with her students tasked to shift the popular narrative about Canberra by minimising the negatives and emphasising the positives.
Among the Instagram accounts include @cuisinesofcbr, which showcases the finest food Canberra has to offer, while the account @canberrainsider gives followers the inside scoop to Canberra’s best kept secrets.
“In just 13 weeks, the students have researched the topic, developed a social media strategy, created content for their Instagram accounts and evaluated their campaign. It’s been a fantastic effort on their part, and they should be really proud of the results they’ve achieved in such a short time period. We even have some groups presenting their campaigns to VisitCanberra,” said Ms Robson.
“I think a few of the students have realised just how hard being an influencer can be. There’s been a lot of cold meals, long hikes and embarrassing themselves in public just to get the perfect Instagram shot.”