Developing POP! A Professional Online Presence

I recently returned from attending the Marketing Management Association (MMA) educator’s conference in St. Louis.  This annual event attracts faculty from around the world, who share research and best practices related to marketing and management education.

During the conference, the Wessex Press Teaching Innovation Competition is held.  Three finalists are selected from submitted applications to present their teaching innovation at the conference. I was thrilled to be selected as a finalist, and shocked to be selected as the winner, for this year’s competition.

The concept that I developed was titled “Developing POP! A Professional Online Presence.” The impetus for this teaching innovation was the need to provide students with a distinct advantage in a job market that has become extremely competitive.  I had been thinking of such a concept since the summer of 2009, when The Wall Street Journal announced it was the toughest labor market in 25 years for graduating college seniors.

Several months after The Wall Street Journal article, the Pew Research Center declared that, “reputation management has now become a defining feature of online life.” During my discussions with students, I realized that they were not actively managing their online identities.  Thus, I was inspired to demonstrate to students that social media should be considered not simply a personal communication channel but a valuable marketing tool for establishing a professional online presence.

In the process of developing a framework for students, I read another article in the Harvard Business Review that asserted, “Every art student has a portfolio ready to be shown at a moment’s notice. It’s no different in the business world.”  At that point I decided the established framework needed to allow students to create a virtual portfolio of their work and interests, which resulted in a ten-step process, “Developing POP! A Professional Online Presence.”

The Developing POP! framework and presentation slides from the MMA conference can be accessed here.  And I would welcome your comments and suggestions below!



  1. This is awesome! I love the idea of integrating POP into a classroom assignment. I plan to use your concept and slideshow in my Innovation & Social Media course. Thanks for sharing.

    • Rebecca, it was great to receive your post. I am so glad that you have found value in Developing POP! and plan to integrate it into your course. Please keep me updated as to the success of the concept with your students and let me know if you have suggestions to strengthen the framework further.

      Thanks again for the feedback, Dawn

  2. Kristin Bronkar says:

    This is an amazing concept. I just happened to pick up my SVC quarterly and read about “Developing POP!” today and decided to check it out. In today’s world submitting a resume and hoping for the best doesn’t do much for recent graduates. Social media is what we know so we might as well use it for what it’s worth. I will be sure to follow up with the 10 steps and let you know how everything comes along. Thank you for always sharing a wealth of knowledge!

    • Dawn Edmiston says:

      Kristin, many thanks for the post and for taking the time to learn further about Developing POP. I am so glad that you plan to adopt the process … and I look forward to your continued feedback.

      Thanks again, Dawn


  1. […] Marketing. One of the most popular assignments in these courses encouraged students to develop a professional online presence. In particular, students were tasked with establishing a LinkedIn profile that reflected their […]

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