#MaskUp campaign wins award

Rachel Greene , Editor-in-chief

MACOMB,IL- The #MaskUp campaign by the Western Illinois University Department of Communication Social Media Lab has been honored for outstanding volunteerism by the McDonough County Quality of Life Advisory Committee.

The award was presented to WIU Associate Professor of Communication Josh Averbeck on campus Thursday morning.

Averbeck worked with students in the Social Media Lab on a campaign to encourage the University communities in Macomb and the Quad Cities to wear protective masks during the pandemic.

“I’m proud of the work we did,” said Averbeck. “Our posts were seen by hundreds of thousands of people. Helping our community is a central part of the social media lab’s mission.”

The McDonough County Quality of Life Advisory Committee sought nominations and chose local residents and organizations who have contributed to improving the safety and quality of life in the county.

Using the hashtags #maskupmacomb #maskupwiu and #maskupqc, Averbeck worked with students Josh Brennan, a senior communication major, of Davenport, Iowa, and Elizabeth Lutz, a senior communication major, of California, Missouri. Brennan joined the team this summer and manages the lab’s Twitter account. Both students have been promoting the hashtags on social media, as well posts by local agencies and organizations, which encourage the use of masks.

The WIU Social Media Lab was formed to give WIU students hands-on experience and to produce content for the Department of Communication’s social media accounts. The lab teaches students new social media analytics tools and participates in social media branding workshops.

For more information on the social media lab or the mask campaign, visit facebook.com/WIUSocialMediaLab.