#FollowFriday Professor is an editorial series focused on professors’ best practice in digital communications. Every Friday, I highlight one academic who is strategically leveraging the power of digital communications. The goal of this feature is that if you are an academic or thought leader looking to establish an online presence, you will be able to draw on this archive and use it as a source for inspiration in creating / refreshing your own personal brand presence.
#FollowFriday Professor Feature 3: Mark Anthony Neal
Title: Professor at Duke University
Content focus: African-American studies
Noteworthy communications tactics from Mark Anthony Neal
In 2012, Mark Anthony Neal’s blog featured 1063 posts. That’s not a typo! He averaged almost three different posts per day. In 2013, that number shrank to a “disappointing” 821 – that’s still more than two posts per day over the course of a year!
While looking at this number can seem overwhelming and daunting and certainly this is not feasible for everyone, Mark Anthony Neal offers some insights on content creation that others can emulate. Whenever I talk to professors who are new to the concept of blogging and other forms of social media, I always remind them that posts can be short and sweet – this isn’t a research paper. Neal’s posts demonstrate this – some are as a short as one paragraph with a link to an interesting video. He also masterfully cross-promotes his content across his different owned platforms, interviews interesting guests related to his field and integrates pop culture into his content. Mark Anthony Neal’s content is also well-read because it is controversial. While not every academic needs to stir the pot to become noticed, it certainly does help to articulate different viewpoints on subject matters and to actually communicate an opinion on issues of the day.