Dinner with #profochocinco

I am an intern at Cone Communications in the Cause Branding discipline, and wanted to share with you a really exciting experience that my Emerson Social Media class had the other night, when Chad “Ochocinco” Johnson treated us all to dinner.

Emerson College’s Social Media #ESM, is an experimental social media class at Emerson College where we gain hands-on experience to better improve our understanding of new media. What started as a "class experiment" soon made 25 students realize anything is possible via social media. Emerson’s Social Media #ESM class came up with a wild idea: What if we had a local celebrity teach our class about social media? Professor David Gerzof encouraged us to shoot for the stars, so we aimed for NFL All-Star Chad “Ochocinco” Johnson, who has more than 3 million followers on Twitter.

 @Ochocinco receives an @ reply or tweet, on average, every 3 seconds and our class was determined to break through the noise. Using the Twitter hashtag #ProfOchocinco, the class began tweeting at him to teach our class as a guest Professor. After a month of tweeting him, we finally heard a response. He agreed! The next step of the campaign was to ensure he followed through with his promise. We began tweeting his fiancé, VH1 star Evelyn Lozada. After a week of pushing through the noise, they both agreed!

Our Professor and Ochocinco arranged a dinner with the class to talk social media at the Cambridge favorite, All Star Sandwich Bar. The class anxiously awaited a confirmation from Ochocinco until a mere four hours prior to the dinner. Ochocinco arrived promptly at 8:00pm with fiancé Evelyn Lozada. The first half of "class" was a Q & A with Chad about his current social media strategies. He stressed the idea of being transparent with Twitter; as it is a place for him to show his personality "without the ESPN filter." The second half of "class" focused on looking at ways he could improve his social media engagement. We gave tips to better improve his following on different projects such as OCNN and the mobile game Mad Chad 2. He then treated us to sandwiches, fries and IPA pitchers.

 The "class" garnered media attention nationally, including NECN, CBS News at 11pm, ESPN “Sports Center,” The Boston Globe, Boston Innovation, Boston Metro and many more. Ochocinco even wants to have dinner with the class again in January. It just goes to show that any idea is possible!

 - Kate Horn is a senior Marketing Communications undergraduate at Emerson College and participated in the Cone Communications' fall internship program.


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