Cronkite School leads the way with TikTok launch

Wednesday, Aug. 10, 2022


TikTok is currently one of the largest and fastest growing platforms with 650,000 new users joining everyday. Due to its immense popularity and reach, it comes as no surprise that many colleges and universities across the nation have created accounts to reach a bigger audience. The Cronkite School is now one of the newest additions to the TikTok space, as well as one of the first colleges at ASU to debut on the platform. 

Andrea Estrada, digital communications specialist at the Cronkite School and Abby Zufelt, newly appointed director of the Digital Audiences Lab, were the masterminds behind both the concept and creation of the Cronkite School’s account. 

Estrada and Zufelt saw that TikTok had a huge potential to open up another channel of communication to prospective and current students, and alumni due to 47% of TikTok users being between the ages of 10-29. 

“We had the vision of connecting with all students and TikTok is the perfect platform for that. Prospective students are one of our target audiences and typically they are highschoolers. We know that group is active on TikTok and we thought it would be the perfect way to reach those students,” Estrada said. 

Their vision also includes reaching out to alumni, she said.

In order to ensure a successful launch and longevity of the account, Estrada and Zufelt employed three student workers to create a backlog of content that would focus on multiple topics, those being Cronkite life, student experience, people and events. 

Zufelt explained as to why it was important for them to employ student workers and have current students be the face of the account. 

“We really want to speak to that audience, so why not actually have them see other versions of them around campus getting that student experience,” Zufelt said. 

Estrada and Zufelt, both Cronkite grads, launched the official Cronkite TikTok account in March and it has already gained 280 followers and amassed 887 likes within five months. 

Some of the most popular videos on the account include a tour of the downtown dorm Taylor Place, a promotional video showcasing the school and one following a popular TikTok trend of ‘Things that just make sense’ but featuring Cronkite.

Due to the success of the launch, Estrada and Zufelt were asked to present at the ASU 2022 Marketing Academy Summer Camp. This camp brings together a range of 500 marketing, communications and public relations professionals from across the university to discuss and showcase tools that can be used in their respective professions. 

“When we pitched this idea we really didn’t know what was going to happen. It was really an exciting moment for us to be able to share our learnings and help others grow and launch on this account, because anytime something is new there’s a learning curve. It’s nice to have a resource from someone that has done it and we really wanted to be that resource for ASU,” Zufelt said. 

The future of the Cronkite TikTok account holds much more in store. Estrada said that once the fall semester starts, they plan on showcasing the many events that happen on campus and in the building during the fall, as well as providing more tours of the downtown campus for prospective students. 

“I’m really proud that we’ve started to be able to tell the school’s story and highlight our students. At the end of the day, it’s about the students and the people involved in the school and how we can bring them in and tell their story. I’m super proud of that and we’ve had an awesome start. I know it’s going to get more exciting along the way,” Zufelt said. 

You can follow and view the Cronkite School official TikTok here or @cronkiteschool on TikTok.

By Connor Fries