Auburn faculty member contributes to social media management book

AUBURN UNIVERSITY – An Auburn University faculty member’s expertise in social media has led to his being interviewed for a new book, “Starting Your Career as a Social Media Manager.”

Robert French, a public relations instructor in the Department of Communication and Journalism in the College of Liberal Arts, is quoted extensively in the book by Mark Story, media director for the Securities and Exchange Commission in Washington, D.C.

“I was thrilled that Mark chose to feature Auburn’s work in his book,” French said. “Mark works in one of the single-most high profile and challenging public relations and social media jobs in the nation.”

Story became an avid follower of the program after observing the online presence that French’s students created through the e-portfolios they have been creating for more than a decade. Story also follows the class members through their social media accounts and encourages them to follow him. His online mentoring is part of how social media is utilized by French’s style and design class. Story is now a frequent guest lecturer via Skype for the class.

“Today, one of the top and most frequent entry-level jobs offered for new graduates is in social media,” French said. “Agencies, corporations and government are eager to find graduates with real-world social media experience right out of the gate.”

Auburn’s public relations program has embraced social media as a part of the overall curriculum for its students, according to French.

“Social media projects and online activity have brought Auburn a great deal of national and international attention and praise over the past decade,” said French.

French has more than 25 years of experience in public relations, broadcasting and university administration including his 13 years spent at Auburn. In his time at Auburn, French says he developed a passion for social media for the benefit of his students. He saw the change in public relations coming early and dedicated his time to teaching the future practitioners in the field how to harness social media outside of the classroom. For this dedication to teaching, French was the 2010 recipient of the Instructional Excellence Award.

(Written by Rebecca Orr.)

Contact: Robert French, Department of Communication and Journalism, (334) 844-2887 (, or
Mike Clardy, Office of Communications and Marketing, (334) 844-9999 (