Professor of the Month: Kelly Crane

Kelly Crane
University: The University of Kansas
Location: Lawrence, Kansas

Kelly Crane is a marketing instructor at the University of Kansas School of Business where she teaches Integrated Marketing Communications, Sports and Entertainment Marketing, and Digital Marketing and Social Media to upper-level undergraduate students. She also teaches the latter online to MBA students.

©2016 The University of Kansas, Office of Public Affairs, Marketing Communications.

She is the former director of the KU School of Journalism’s Integrated Marketing Communications graduate program where she marketed the program, recruited students, developed and scheduled courses, recruited and hired adjunct lecturers, and taught Relationship Marketing and the Capstone Course to working graduate students.

Crane also has an interest in entrepreneurship.

She has worked in director and VP-level marketing roles with companies in a multitude of industries including entertainment, healthcare, telecommunications, and advertising.

We asked Professor Crane a few questions. Her answers are below:


Essentials of Social Media Marketing
and Mimic Social

For Integrated Marketing Communications, I used Media Planning Essentials for the first time last fall, along with Commspoint Influence.

For my digital marketing and social media course, I used Essentials of Social Media Marketing last semester. I really liked it. It was so much more practical than the previous book I used. I used Essentials of Social Media Marketing along with some ebook readings from companies like HubSpot and Marketo. In the past, I have had the students select a brand or a client and do a social media audit of the brand’s social channels. Then they use the principles in the book to create a social media marketing strategy for the brand. This semester my class is so large that I decided to use Mimic Social instead.


These are some things I did specifically with my Digital Marketing and Social Media course…

Because digital marketing and social media change so rapidly, what I teach students today may be obsolete in six months. So, I want to teach them how to teach themselves … to know where they can find resources to stay up-to-date with the industry. For this reason, I supplement Stukent readings with ebook and article readings from companies like Marketo, Hubspot, and Vidyard, in addition to the websites and YouTube channels for the social channels themselves.

When I break students into groups (usually 4-5 per group) I try to make sure there is a diversity of majors or concentrations represented. For example, a group might have one person with a sales concentration, one with supply chain, one with analytics and one who is a graphic designer or journalism double-major. The work I assign can be exhaustive, so I teach them how to organize in such a way to divide responsibilities.


Kelly crane speaking into a microphone on stage. She's holding her guitar, ready to rock.
Kelly Crane on stage
Photo by Ted Schmidt

I am a multi-instrumentalist. I began playing piano at 5 and guitar at 12. Since then, I’ve also picked up bass, mandolin, banjo, ukulele, melodica, and harmonica.

I get bored easily, so I’m always looking to try new things!

About 10 years ago, two friends of mine and I decided to form an all-girl band, Chasing Grace. We’ve since let a couple guys in! We play our own acoustic arrangement of pop and rock songs. Everything from Carole King to Lady Gaga, and from the Jackson Five to Linkin Park. We all met playing and singing at church, so we also enjoy leading worship in churches together.

Kelly Crane playing guitar with her band, Chasing Grace doing their thing on a brightly-lit stage.
Kelly Crane playing guitar with her band, Chasing Grace

I enjoy producing events and have been involved in the production of a conference for foster and adoptive parents. 

And finally, my dog Bayleigh and I are going through training with an organization called Pets for Life so she can be a therapy dog for hospital and nursing home visits.



Thank you, Kelly, and congratulations!

Kelly’s headshot: Photo by Therese Restituto

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