August 27, 2020 @ 11:30 am – 1:00 pm America/Denver Timezone
Zoom Meeting

Social Media Best Practices in Times of Crisis

There is no question that social media plays a vital role in effective communications—particularly when your business or brand is managing a crisis. When an emergency strikes, your social channels should assist in mitigating the situation, serve as a way to stay in touch with your audiences and help create a feeling of consistency.

Social media has been known to constantly evolve, but the current COVID-19 pandemic has many rethinking their social media strategies more than ever before. Join the New Mexico Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America on Thursday, August 27 for a lunchtime panel discussion on social media best practices during this time and during other times of uncertainty or crisis.

We’ll be joined by representatives from Sandia National Laboratories, Simply Social Media, the University of New Mexico (UNM) and New Mexico State University (NMSU) for a moderated discussion that will address the ever-changing landscape of social media and best practices for how to best utilize your social media channels during current and upcoming times of crisis.

You will be provided with the meeting link and calendar invite upon registering.

Deadline to register: Wednesday, August 26 at 5 PM. Register here.


River Marquez

Account Executive, Siarza Social Digital

River is the current secretary to the board of the New Mexico Chapter of PRSA. At 21 years old, he is the chapter’s youngest board member. Since graduating from the University of New Mexico’s Communication & Journalism Department with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and mass communication, he has worked at Siarza Social Digital, where he is currently an account executive.

During his time at UNM, River was a Presidential Scholar and a National Hispanic Merit Scholar honoree. He had the opportunity to intern for the Anderson-Abruzzo International Balloon Museum Foundation and the Waite Company prior to interning at SiarzaSD.



Justin Bannister

Associate Vice President, Marketing and Communications
New Mexico State University (NMSU)

Justin Bannister is New Mexico State University’s associate vice president for marketing and communications. He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and mass communications and a master’s degree in communication studies, both from NMSU. He spent more than three years in El Paso television as a reporter, producer and anchor. He has worked for NMSU since 2006 in various roles within the marketing and communications unit. NMSU’s Marketing and Communications unit includes internal and external communications; news and media relations; social media and digital engagement; marketing; web communications; university broadcasting and AggieVision.

John D. Benavidez

Principal Lecturer, UNM Anderson School of Management
The University of New Mexico

John Benavidez is a Principal Lecturer at The University of New Mexico (UNM) Anderson School of Management. He holds an MBA and a BBA, both with a concentration in marketing, from UNM. John teaches undergraduate courses in marketing management, advertising campaigns, and social media and content marketing. Benavidez was presented with the 2010 Distinguished Professor Award by The Wall Street Journal, and he is a recipient of the 2004 UNM Outstanding Teacher of the Year Award.

Benavidez is currently director of the Rick and Debbie Johnson Marketing Lab and mentors undergraduate students on experiential learning projects run out of the lab, many of which are conducted as part of national collegiate marketing competitions. In recent years, project clients have included Acura, Cadillac, Credit Karma, U.S. Department of State, and Subaru of America. Under his direction, the Anderson marketing program has enjoyed great success when competing on the national stage, winning eight first-place honors, five second-place honors and two honorable mentions since 2005.

He is past president of the New Mexico Chapter of the American Marketing Association, and he has served on the American Advertising Federation New Mexico Board of Directors. In 2013, he was named as one of the “Top 100 Marketing Professors on Twitter” by Social Media Marketing Magazine.

Benavidez has worked as a marketing analyst for Bueno Foods in Albuquerque and started several businesses including ABQ Direct Marketing. For his accomplishments in business, he was honored in 2006 by the Albuquerque Business First as one of New Mexico’s “40 Under Forty” young business leaders.

A native New Mexican, John is very proud of his long affiliation with UNM as a student and faculty member.

Darrick Hurst

Team Lead, Digital Communications Department
Sandia National Laboratories

Darrick Hurst is Team Lead of Sandia National Labs’ Digital Communications Department and has worked as the strategist for the Labs’ corporate social media presence since 2009. He also coordinates external corporate web communications and internal communications. Prior to working in social media and web, he worked in traditional Public Relations and Communications at Sandia. He has degrees in English and Mass Communications and Journalism from the University of New Mexico.

Amy Tischler

Co-Founder, Simply Social Media

Amy Tischler is the co-founder of Simply Social Media, an award-winning social media and influencer marketing agency based in Santa Fe, NM. She is passionate about creating community and personal connection and works closely with her business partner, Caitlin E. Jenkins to manage a wide range of projects and clients who continually push her to think creatively, find solutions outside of the box and most importantly dream big.