Indiana State University Newsroom

Indiana State grad to present on effective use of social media in marketing

February 4, 2016

Clocking in at work at 9 a.m. and being out by 5 p.m. isn't the perfect lifestyle for everyone and surely not for 2008 Indiana State University graduate Chris Penn.

"During his college internship, Chris learned the 9-5 life was not for him and he began searching for an alternative lifestyle, which he did by traveling shortly after he graduated from Indiana State," Vernon Sweetin, assistant professor of marketing.

Penn, who travels with his girlfriend Gina, eventually began making extra money through social media and posting travel videos to YouTube, where the couple has attracted more than 47,000 subscribers to their channel, Chris and G Travels.

The couple will share their story and discuss the benefits of the effective use of social media in today's digital world during a presentation at 12:30 p.m. Feb. 9 in the Federal Hall courtroom, Room 223. The presentation is open to the university community.

They have documented their travel across the U.S., including the summers spent in Alaska, and they recently generated an additional mobile income by leveraging the YouTube channel and other social media platforms within RV industry businesses.

Since August 2015, Penn has been working with Ishaan Vadhera, a Master of Business Administration student and director of the ISU Student Marketing Company, Sandeep Bhowmick, assistant professor of marketing and Sweetin to improve his digital marketing efforts using Basecamp, an online project management software, to help him go from 25,000 to 47,000 YouTube subscribers.

Sweetin is eager for students, especially those who are in his promotional strategies class and members of the university's American Marketing Association student chapter, to hear Penn's story and hopefully peak their interest in the marketing management major, which includes courses emphasizing digital marketing.

"Chris will talk about what he has learned as he transitioned from working a regular job to earning a living using social media tools," Sweetin said. "Chris is an ISU alumni who has figured out how to use digital marketing tools to travel over the U.S. using the tools we teach in our major. They are living the dreams of many who desire to travel and earn their living while seeing the awesome beauty of the U.S."

Writer: Betsy Simon, media relations assistant director, Office of Communications and Marketing, Indiana State University, 812-237-7972 or