Breaking Silos with TEDx at University of Arizona: A Journey of Collaboration and Innovation

Posted By Shelby Moquin on May 10, 2024 12:00:00 PM

Read Time: 6 Minutes

In the latest episode of Breaking Silos, host Shane Baglini delves into the revitalization of TEDx events at the University of Arizona, featuring insights from Emily Stulz, Director of Social Media, and Joe Klug, Assistant Director of the Experience Team in the Central Marketing Office. This engaging discussion reveals how a partnership with TEDx not only revived a beloved event but also showcased the university's commitment to pushing the boundaries of educational and professional enrichment.

The Genesis of TEDx at U of A

Joe Klug starts by recounting the TEDx event's rebirth post-COVID, emphasizing the strategic decision to reintegrate TEDx into the university's culture as a centrally funded initiative. The move was spurred by TED's ranking as one of the top ten most relevant brands in the U.S., reflecting a surge in audience interest that the university aimed to harness. This strategic partnership aimed to elevate the university's thought leadership by providing a platform for faculty and researchers to reach a global audience.

Building Capacity and Engaging Diverse Audiences

The role of Diana Leonard as a speaker coach highlights the university's approach to "capacity building," ensuring content is accessible and engaging to diverse audiences. Joe elaborates on the cross-departmental collaboration that supported the TEDx initiative, involving leadership from various sectors within the university to fund a three-year pilot. This interdisciplinary effort exemplifies the university's commitment to fostering innovation through collective input and support.

Marketing and Promotion: Strategies for Success

Emily Stulz discusses the dual-layered marketing strategy employed to promote the TEDx events. The focus was on creating buzz before the event to ensure attendance and engaging the audience with content post-event to maintain momentum. By leveraging the university's robust social media platforms and coordinating with different college communicators, the marketing team maximized exposure and participation.

Overcoming Challenges and Looking to the Future

Both Joe and Emily share insights on the challenges faced, such as building an audience from scratch and adapting promotional strategies to align with TEDx's stringent guidelines. They stress the importance of adaptability and continuous learning from each event iteration to better serve their community and enhance the overall experience.

Key Takeaways:

  • Revitalizing Legacy Programs: The university successfully reintegrated TEDx into their event lineup, adapting it to current brand and audience needs.
  • Interdepartmental Collaboration: Strong cross-campus partnerships were crucial in re-launching TEDx, showcasing a unified approach to event management.
  • Strategic Marketing: The use of targeted social media strategies and tailored communications played a pivotal role in promoting the events effectively.
  • Continuous Improvement: Feedback and data from each event are used to refine and improve future iterations, demonstrating a commitment to excellence and community engagement.
Listen + Learn More

Dive deeper into the innovation and collaboration that TEDx at the University of Arizona embodies by listening to the full episode of on the Enrollify podcast network. Discover more about how the University of Arizona is breaking down barriers and fostering a culture of engagement and excellence. Explore related content and join the ongoing conversation at Enrollify! 


Written by Shelby Moquin

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