College of Business Social Media Contest Supports Local

Published: December 15, 2020 Author: Bri Schoepf

Students and faculty from Ohio University’s College of Business recently planned and promoted a social media contest that took place from Nov. 1 to Nov. 23, encouraging all OHIO students to post photos on Instagram supporting local Athens businesses and organizations, which reached approximately 6,500 individuals.

The contest positively impacted Athens, boosted the local economy, increased public awareness for local businesses and organizations, and helped strengthen the relationship between OHIO and Athens.

Throughout the contest, students posted photos supporting local Athens businesses and organizations, tagging the business or organization, and using the hashtag #LoveAthensKeepItLocal. Students were also required to wear masks and practice social distancing in their posts if they were around others.

Kasey DeWalt, a junior studying finance and analytics, was the first-place winner of the contest who posted an Instagram photo promoting Brenen’s Coffee Café. Cailin Klein, the second-place winner and junior studying marketing and management and strategic leadership, posted a photo supporting Court Street Coffee. Both DeWalt and Klein chose gift cards to Brenen’s as their prize.

“I was so excited when I found out I was the winner of this contest. Both of my parents are OHIO alumni, so I remember coming down to Athens as a little kid and visiting, eating, and shopping at the local businesses in the area,” said DeWalt. “When COVID-19 hit, I was so worried about these businesses and would be devastated if any of them closed. I have been strictly eating and shopping local ever since I’ve returned to school to support the Athens community as much as I can.”

Students participating in the contest also posted about Bagel Street Deli, UniversiTees, Fusion Noodle Company, Donkey Coffee, Miller’s Chicken, O’Betty’s Red Hot, Passion Works Studio, Ginger Asian Kitchen, Jackie O’s, The Shack, Fry’d, Beads N Things, Casa Nueva, and Kindred Market.

"Participating in this social media contest was such a great way for me to give back to the community I am proud to be a part of,” said Klein. “Athens is such a beautiful place filled with many local businesses that deserve to be recognized. I hope my support encourages more students to shop local to support our great community."

Assistant Professors of Instruction Shawnee Meek, Mary Haines, and Katie Schacht worked alongside the Emerging Leaders, Select Leaders, and the Copperheads to plan and create promotional material for the contest. Their efforts were inspired by partnership with the local Athens community, Athens Foundation, and Athens Area Chamber of Commerce.

“We are thrilled by the participation in this campaign. Students, faculty, staff, and community members encapsulated the philanthropic spirit and connection between the Athens community and Ohio University,” said Meek. “Now more than ever we must consciously support locally-owned businesses. For every $100 spent at a local business, $68 remain in Athens. Athens and the Ohio University campus are often described as having a magical feel. Let’s continue to do our part in keeping the magic going.”