#Bauer Loves Houston
Social Media Campaign Highlights Alumni Business Resiliency
Times are tough, and business owners are struggling, and while we should be in a constant state of highlighting alumni businesses, the pandemic brought into clearer focus how crucial the promotion from college channels can be.
Director of Alumni Relations, Bauer College
LEARN MORE: Bauer Alumni Business Directory →
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In early 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic forced many businesses to shut their doors and rapidly adjust to a “new normal,” finding creative ways to connect with customers and serve the community in an era of social distance.
Businesses owned and operated by Bauer College alumni were no exception, leading Director of Alumni Relations Giovanni Rosselli determined to create an outlet to provide support from the college.
“Times are tough, and business owners are struggling, and while we should be in a constant state of highlighting alumni businesses, the pandemic brought into clearer focus how crucial the promotion from college channels can be. Anything we can be doing, we should be doing,” he said.
Rosselli partnered with the Bauer Office of Communications in the first part of the year to highlight several Bauer alumni-owned or operated businesses on a range of platforms, including social media, focusing on how the alumni were navigating doing business during a pandemic.
In the second half of 2020, the college took a deeper approach to the topic, sharing alumni business stories more consistently through a new communications campaign, #BauerLovesHouston. The campaign included monthly spotlights on social media, led by Rosselli, with Instagram Stories serving as a primary platform.
“I’ve got a smartphone with a camera,” Rosselli said. “I can be a storyboard creator, videographer and editor, and I know how to move about these days from a distance and with a mask, so why not film myself patronizing our alumni community’s businesses, and possibly inspire others to do the same?”
The campaign brought Rosselli to restaurants, specialty shops and even medical facilities in and around the Houston area, with business owners sharing the innovative ways they’ve pivoted to remain open and offer resources to customers in 2020.
“Overcoming adversity is a trait that is quintessentially ‘Bauer,’ and now our social audience knows what we know,” Rosselli said. “My hope is that as word continues to get out that others will pop-in, patronize and promote alumni businesses.”
Rosselli, who joined the college in his current role only a few weeks before UH transitioned to a virtual environment due to COVID-19, had the help of the campaign to establish him as a resource for Bauer alumni, further strengthening the connection between the college and the alumni community and supporting the 2020-2025 Bauer College Strategic Plan’s key objective of bolstering that relationship.
“I geek out on building relationships, so connecting with our alumni in this way has been a joy,” he said. “This campaign has allowed me, and by association, Bauer's social media followers, to learn more about alumni businesses, and how lessons learned at Bauer stay with them for the long haul. A continuation of the campaign is certainly in the cards for the spring.”
#BauerLovesHouston Business Spotlight
Alumni Name: Alban Shahini
Grad Year & Program: BBA 2010
Business Name: Brooklyn Pizzeria
Location: Humble, Pearland, Missouri City, Baytown, Atascocita, Richmond Sienna Plantation and Spring/Tomball
Most Surprising Thing Learned in the Takeover: The business only serves authentic New York style food and imports all of their ingredients (as well as their brick ovens from New York), and everything on the menu is made from scratch.
COVID-19 Response: All staff and patrons are required to wear masks, and employees are assessed before and after shifts to make sure they’re in good health. The restaurant has also seen a surge in delivery orders.
Learn More: www.bkpizzeria.com
Alumni Name: Tisha Rowe, M.D.
Grad Year & Program: MBA 2012
Business Name: RoweDocs
Location: California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, Nevada, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, D.C.
Most Surprising Thing Learned in the Takeover: Patients were a bit skeptical of telemedicine before the pandemic but are now more willing (and in many cases, required) to visit with doctors remotely, giving RoweDocs the chance to educate this year about the benefits of this new way of treatment.
COVID-19 Response: In addition to their growing telemedicine business, RoweDocs also began offering safe, drive-through COVID-19 testing this year.
Learn More: rowedocs.com
We Olive & Wine Bar
Alumni Name: Luis (MBA ’02) and Amber Rabo (MBA/MS Social Work,’00)
Business Name: We Olive & Wine Bar
Location: The Heights
Most Surprising Thing Learned in the Takeover: Olive oil has unique tastes, much like wine! Connoisseurs “swirl, sniff, slurp and swallow” with a 4-S process to gauge an oil’s flavor.
COVID-19 Response: While the owners of the combination specialty goods and wine bar have always been proud of their location in The Heights, they’re now allowing patrons to enjoy the “small town in a big city” views with a new outdoor seating area in their parking lot.
Learn More: weolive.com/houston.