April 6, 2021 Facebook Twitter LinkedIn

The research and plan to launch King’s TikTok account, along with its continued success, has earned accolades from the Canadian Public Relations Society (CPRS), Hamilton Chapter. The communications case study “TikTok for Post-Secondary Communication” received the Silver Pinnacle Award in the Communications Project: Digital/Social/Multi-Media category. It was awarded to the King’s Communications team as part of the #elevatePR conference at CPRS Hamilton on March 31, 2021.

The submission included the TikTok research and communications plan, developed during the Summer 2020 by three Communications interns: Dina Ibdah and Chloe Balmer of Fanshawe College’s Graduate Certificate in Public Relations and Corporate Communications program and Farnaz Kouchaki of the Marketing Post-Degree Diploma program of Western’s Continuing Studies. The interns researched the use of TikTok, especially among other institutions of higher learning across Canada, and made recommendations about the introduction and use of the platform for King’s specifically.

“Working with the King's Communications team on this project was an extremely rewarding experience. The collaboration with the King’s University College Students’ Council to film content at various fundraisers, such as the King’s Cares Care Wash and Food Drive, was a highlight for me. TikTok is such an inherently fun platform, so I feel fortunate to have been able to develop a strategy for King's account,” says Balmer.

King’s has implemented this emerging social media platform as a way to engage future and current students with events and initiatives taking place within the King’s community in a fun and whimsical fashion. It complements our other social media channels including FacebookInstagram, TwitterYouTube, LinkedIn and Snapchat.

Elizabeth Hauspie has worked with the King’s Communications department since Summer 2020. She is the Student Social Media Squad Leader and a fourth year Disability Studies and Thanatology student. Hauspie worked with King’s Digital Content Coordinator Chantal Quagliara to create and post content to TikTok. Former Communications work-study student Amer Ajjawi, 4th year College transfer, also assisted in the TikTok content development. Quagliara has supervised the overall implementation of TikTok for King’s. For Hauspie it was an exciting learning opportunity as well as a job.

“I cannot believe that I have had the chance to work alongside my amazing team members of Communications to get the King’s TikTok up and running. I think it has been a valuable opportunity to be involved in this process during COVID as TikTok has had the ability to bring everyone together in the virtual realm,” says Hauspie.

King’s Communications has worked with Interns from Western and Fanshawe for more than eight years, creating a win-win experience for both the interns and King’s as interns and staff learn from one another.

“We are so proud of the amazing practicum experience that King’s consistently provides to our students in our post-degree diplomas in Public Relations and Marketing. The students are able to practice real communications competencies and hone their skills to achieve excellence – which is evidenced by this award. The strong mentorship and guidance of Jane Antoniak, King’s Director of Communications, is invaluable to the student’s future career,” says Katrina McIntosh, Work Integrated Learning Coordinator at Western’s Continuing Studies.

The creation of the case study is an extension of the learning by the Fanshawe College interns from their course study in Strategic Public Relations. In 2020 a team of King’s Interns from Fanshawe College won an IABC award for their work on King’s Bell Let’s Talk Day communications.

“We’re constantly emphasizing the importance of research in every campaign. Research lays a foundation for going forward. I’m proud of my Fanshawe students and the role they played in this award-winning project. The opportunity to work with an award-winning communications team is fantastic for our students, and I appreciate the recognition of their efforts by the King’s team. We’ve really developed a great working partnership,” says Jackie Westelaken, co-ordinator of the Public Relations-Corporate Communications Graduate Certificate Program at Fanshawe College.

The King’s TikTok account now has over 300 followers with thousands of views and more than a thousand likes on the nearly two dozen videos that King’s has posted. Videos have helped communicate events such as OWeek, Choose Your Major, King’s Virtual Open House, the Off-Campus Don’s BBQ, Christmas, Halloween, and even International Coffee Day and the first major snowfall of the year. The TikTok account has also provided inspiration and support during the COVID-19 pandemic with stress relief tips and empathy posts.

The most popular post (to date) was posted on March 6, 2021. It featured Hauspie asking viewers to “Tell me you go to King’s without telling me you go to King’s.” The post has over 3300 views and 117 likes.

Dr. David Malloy, King’s Principal, has also helped to promote the popularity of the King’s by recording a sea-shanty as a way to lift the spirits of the King’s community during the COVID-19 pandemic. Posted on January 21, 2021, it has become the one of the most popular post on the King’s TikTok account with nearly 2200 views and 135 likes.

CPRS Hamilton is the voice of professional development, promotion, and recognition for over 100 professional public relations practitioners and 60 student members in Hamilton, Halton, Niagara, and Southwestern Ontario.