Last week I had the pleasure of traveling to Wofford College with Matt and Zac to attend the annual College New Association of the Carolinas (CNAC) Conference. We had a blast and met some wonderful people who are truly passionate about what they do for their institutions.

Telling Stories

Attendees at CNAC have a variety of titles and an impressive array of responsibilities at their respective institutions. The common thread that ties us all together is that we are all storytellers. The medium may change from print to web to visual design, but all CNAC members work hard each day to communicate a unique and powerful message about their institutions.

One of the most humbling moments of the conference was being introduced to President Samhat of Wofford College. He stopped by on Monday to greet attendees and share a few words of thanks, reminding everyone of the significance of their role as not just spokespeople, but as storytellers. Noting that many people seem to have recently lost sight of the enduring value of a college education, President Samhat charged the CNACers to remember the power that stories can have in proving that value by illuminating the ways lives are being changed by the various educational endeavors of colleges and universities across the Carolinas. Talk about a powerful way to begin the conference!

We were honored when the president of CNAC approached us a few months ago about the opportunity to prestent at the conference. Matt and Zac shared the spotlight to speak about content strategy in higher education.  They presented our 8 steps to developing a content strategy with suggestions on the best ways to implement these tactics at any size institution. We had a great response from attendees and were excited to hear unique stories from local college and universities.

Making Connections

One of the best things about CNAC is that it creates a sense of community among storytellers in the Carolinas. While many of the schools in attendance are direct competitors of one another, they are still open to sharing their experiences and learning from one another. Several presentations centered around common challenges and creative solutions. It was encouraging to see attendees applaud one another for their success and learn how to make similar improvements at their own institutions.

On a personal note, Matt and I enjoyed getting to reconnect with our mentors from our respective alma maters. Gardner-Webb University and UNCW not only provided us with a great education and professional experience, but also gave us a passion for higher education that inspires the work we do every day. 

Looking Forward to Next Year

Between the informative presentations, engaging networking opportunities and the beautiful campus at Wofford College, we could not have asked for a better experience at CNAC. I know I speak for all three of us when I say that we can’t wait to see everyone again next year. Although we weren’t quite ready to leave, Matt, Zac and I decided to make the most of our trip back to Raleigh with a hand-selected playlist of classic tunes. A few notable favorites include The Gambler by Fun, Somebody to Love by Queen and Come Sail Away by Styx. Feel free to reach out if you’re interested in more information about CNAC, storytelling, content strategy or suggestions for phenomenal travel music.