The CES Hosts Social Media Panel at the Smith School Business Summit 

The Center for Excellence in Service (CES) held a successful panel on social media at the third annual Smith School Business Summit (SSBS) on March 28, at the Bethesda North Marriott Hotel & Conference Center in Bethesda, Maryland.  The CES invited four panelists working as social media managers or consultants to discuss the challenges and rewards of using social media to provide customer support and build customer relationships.  The panel was moderated by Associate Professor & Director of the CES, Janet Wagner and included four panelists: Alphonse MacDonald, Director of Marketing and Technology of The National Academies; Lucia Stoller, Director of Social Marketing at Marriott International; Brian Lustig, Partner at Bluetext; and Jonathan Rick, Digital & Social Media Marketing Consultant of The Jonathan Rick Group. 

The panel began with a brief introduction of the panelists followed by questions from the moderator and members of the audience.  Topics of discussion included strategies for identifying social media platforms and metrics for success, tips for monitoring and managing customer feedback, and the role of social media in a company’s marketing communications program.  Panelists also discussed how to successfully pitch a social media plan to senior executives by identifying the right metrics to increase the return on investment (ROI).  Strategies on how to utilize social media to engage with customers and strengthen customer relationships, tips to successfully manage social media platforms during an internal or external crisis, as well as how to find the right balance between social media and sales platforms were also shared.

CES Welcomes PSLI Participants Back to Smith

The Professional Services Leadership Initiative (PSLI) is an exciting new executive development program, offered by the CES in conjunction with Smith Executive Programs and Expertise Marketing, Inc.  The  PSLI was launched in fall 2013 with  three founding partners, RandstadT. Rowe Price and Jones Lang LaSalle.  The program targets professional services firms that are global leaders in their industries and are committed to pursuing marketplace excellence.  This program emphasizes building skills that help marketers: 

  • Address the unique challenges and opportunities of marketing in the professional services business environment
  • Collaborate with their internal colleagues to deliver optimal marketing results
  • Understand their company’s business imperatives as it seeks to increase global market share
  • Improve their capabilities in problem solving, collaboration, execution, communication, and leadership.

The CES is hosting the second session of the two-part program on February 25-27, 2014.  In the first session, held on November 5-7, 2013, a cohort of 23 mid-level marketers from Randstad, T. Rowe Price, and Jones Lang LaSalle, learned how to apply classic business models, develop global branding strategies, analyze “big data,” create integrated marketing communication strategies, and work with marketing communication agencies. 

In the upcoming February session, distinguished Smith faculty members will present the latest in best practices in marketing professional services.  Topics include designing an effective distribution channel, strategies for effective collaboration with sales, competitive pricing, and how to enhance communication skills.  A highlight of the program is team-based action learning projects (ALPs). In the ALPs, teams from each company analyze and propose solutions to challenging strategic marketing problems identified by their firm’s leaders.  Teams will present their proposed solutions to executives from the partner firms at the end of the second session.

For the 2013-14 program agenda, please click here.  For biographies of participating Smith School faculty, please click here.   For additional information, please contact Janet Wagner, Director of the CES at, or Suzanne Lowe, President of Expertise Marketing, LLC, at

For Smith School events, please click here.