How one Pathstream student put her marketing skills into practice to design campaigns that keep the city of Charlotte safe
LaShika Renee Williams is a Marketing and Communications Administrator Officer for the City of Charlotte, North Carolina. She was hired four years ago as a customer service rep to support customers of Charlotte Area Transit Public Transportation. A self-described “go-getter,” LaShika immediately set her sights on growing into a marketing role.
When she found the Facebook Digital Marketing Certificate offered through Central Piedmont Community College, LaShika knew it was a program that could help build her skills: “I saw this certificate program on the website and shared it with my manager who immediately encouraged me not only to sign up, but also volunteered that the city could cover the costs.”
Upon starting the program, LaShika quickly began to apply what she learned. “I’ve been given new responsibilities because of my new skills,” she says. For example, LaShika recently joined a team developing innovative strategies to encourage people to wear masks and practice social distancing on public transportation during COVID-19. The team is currently piloting an interactive social media campaign that will encourage people to take selfies while wearing masks on public transport and culminate in a billboard featuring these selfies in downtown Charlotte. “My target is trying to keep people as happy as they can be in the bus or the train. It can be challenging, but it is fruitful,” LaShika says.
The coursework also sparked another “brainchild” she calls the “Peer to Peer Spotlight” campaign. While learning how to complete a SWOT analysis, LaShika came up with the idea of developing a campaign to highlight the transit workers who usually play a behind-the-scenes role keeping the city running. The first campaign featured the train maintenance workers who were “elated” by the recognition. “It meant a lot to create something that helped people get well-deserved attention from senior leadership and their peers,” LaShika says.
Moving forward, LaShika will continue to play a critical role in the city of Charlotte’s marketing efforts. The government is focused on expanding its light rail services to surrounding areas and LaShika has been enlisted to work with the transportation planning committee and the PR department to “get the word out and answer any questions the public might have.”
“The Facebook Digital Marketing Certificate has definitely challenged me,” she says, “But it has also given me skills that have opened up all sorts of new opportunities. I’m glad I learned new tools to share messages that can help people — and I’ve also become much more comfortable with analytics, which helps me to see whether our campaigns really work.”
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