From communications intern to digital marketing specialist, Cassidy Colson has given her all to help promote and communicate DELTA’s work to the NC State community.
Starting with DELTA as a communications intern in September 2016 during her senior year at NC State, Colson wrote stories for the DELTA News website and helped develop the monthly DELTA Connections newsletter and DELTA Annual Report. After graduating, she moved on to her professional temp role as a communications specialist for DELTA which allowed her to take on more responsibilities through newsletter planning and social media management.
Four years later, Colson started working on marketing strategies for NC State Online and Distance Education (ODE) in addition to her responsibilities as a communications specialist. Now in her permanent position as a digital marketing content specialist, Colson watches her efforts come full circle.
How would you describe your position to someone unfamiliar with DELTA?
As the first person to hold this role in DELTA, Colson says, ”It really combines the world of social media marketing with content strategy.”
She writes stories and makes use of various types of content on social platforms to promote ODE programs and spread awareness of the opportunities NC State has to offer.
Colson works closely with the ODE coordinators to highlight what distinguishes each program. Then she creates content for prospective students to help them visualize the impact NC State’s online programs can have on their futures.
Rankings are important to get out to potential students. Colson reports on programs that make top lists to lend credibility to our online presence.
She looks for fun ways to incorporate information on the ODE social media channels — LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to spread the word about the opportunities NC State Online provides for students.
What are your day-to-day responsibilities?
As a digital marketing content specialist, Colson works on a variety of tasks each day. Working closely with other communicators, Colson monitors social media channels, brainstorms content, plans campaigns, develops content strategies and analyzes social media performance.
Social media content is not the only area in which Colson specializes. She handles all paid advertising for ODE on multiple different platforms.
Gathering articles for website content is another important part of her position.
“We do a lot of writing. We’ve enlisted the whole DELTA Communications team to help with writing content for the NC State Online news site,” she says.
Through DELTA’s partnership with the McKimmon Center for Extension and Continuing Education, Colson has also been able to work with the McKimmon Center marketing services team to share best practices that could benefit even more NC State programs.
What has been your favorite project you’ve worked on?
One of Colson’s favorite projects was planning communications for the first Wicked Problems, Wolfpack Solutions in the summer of 2020.
Wicked Problems, Wolfpack Solutions is an interdisciplinary course designed to teach students about the academic technology they would use at NC State and about global issues and the ways NC State faculty are working to provide solutions to these challenges. The first iteration of the course focused on pandemics similar to COVID-19.
“That was an incredible experience working closely with so many different team members. We really got to connect with campus, and the content we were sharing was just incredible and helped students connect even during COVID-19,” she says.
Colson really made an impact by connecting all the communication paths on campus to promote the course.
What makes your job special?
“Telling the stories of really inspirational people who have earned their degrees online,” she says. “Even just through talking to them, you can feel their passion for what they are pursuing.”
Coming back to school — to complete a degree, earn a certificate or a graduate degree — takes a lot of self-motivation. Some of Colson’s favorite stories are those where students have shown great resilience in successfully reaching their goals.
Another important factor for Colson is the environment and people she works with.
“As a passionate fan and alum, I really just enjoy being at NC State. I love being in a higher education environment where everyone has unique strengths and journeys,” she says.
DELTA offers so many great stories about how we make online and distance education unique for our students. We use technologies such as virtual reality and augmented reality (for seeing how the inside of machinery works, gamification and 360-degree videos. Colson has seen and written about it all!
What do you like to do outside of work?
A native of Elizabeth City, N.C., Colson likes to travel home to spend time with her 4-year-old niece, Cora, and 2-year-old nephew, Craftin.
“Throughout the pandemic, I was mostly at home with them, so I got to see them grow and learn new things every day,” she said. “The best job I’ve ever had is being their aunt.”
She also loves going to concerts, going to the beach and spending time with her friends when she is not busy writing articles or planning content for work.
DELTA values the work and passion Colson puts forth each day. As a recipient of the 2021 Cheers for Peers award, she continues to exemplify the values of NC State as she looks toward the future.
“Cassidy has a true passion for learning more about all aspects of technology and programming. She has been such a bright star at DELTA, and now in her roles within the Marketing and Communications unit. We hope she is happy here for many years to come!” says Sherry Stallings, senior communications lead who hired Colson as a student.