Tag Archives: #LRNSM

Social Media Crisis Management for Colleges

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Social media crisis management is on the rise for colleges today. Students and social media can very easily create a crisis management situation. According to an article in PR Daily, 85% of schools have crisis communication policies, 59% address the use of social media in a crisis, and 66% reported that potential reputation-damaging events were discussed in social media channels (Allen, 2013). Michelle Maresh-Fuehrer, author and professor at Texas A&M University discusses the importance of making a plan before you need it (Winston, 2013).

The relationship between social media and crisis management has become important for institutions today. Social media has become a powerful tool for the average person, allowing for one tweet or post to gain national attention. Organizations are now being held more accountable for their social media accounts and are being watched more closely (Winston, 2013). Statistics show that within the last 12 months, 42% of colleges have enacted their crisis communication policies 1-3 times, and 7% have enacted them 4-6 times (Allen, 2013).

One article from Melissa Agnes Crisis Management blog discusses how a California school district took action to prevent crisis in social media by hiring a monitoring firm to monitor 14,000 student’s social media posts (Agnes, 2013). This step is recommended for every school to help plan, prevent, and monitor. Agnes recommends that schools monitor for the right reasons, have policies place, and analyze all possible risks (Agnes, 2013). You can plan for any situation by having a crisis management plan and being open and honest about the program (Agnes, 2013).

I think social media crisis management for colleges is a step that every school should consider. With the obsession of social media by students, schools should be on edge about any posts, tweets, or photos. I think hiring an outside firm is necessary to help develop a crisis management plan and to bring expertise to a subject that is still fairly new to colleges. Kevin Allen recommends 5 best practices for social media crisis communication:

  1. Make sure to respond to comments, tweets, and other mentions in a timely manner
  2. Find ways to make negative situations into good situations
  3. Develop a crisis management plan and have responses ready
  4. Train your social media team in case of emergencies
  5. Ask customers to contact you privately for more detailed conversations

References:

Agnes, M. (2013, Sept. 24). Monitoring students’ social media activity: Guidelines for schools. Retrieved from http://www.melissaagnescrisismanagement.com/monitoring-students-social-media-activity-guidelines-for-schools/

Allen, K. (2013, Nov. 1). A primer for managing social media crises. Retrieved from http://www.prdaily.com/crisiscommunications/Articles/15486.aspx

Winston, H. (2013, Sept. 13). Crisis management on campuses in the age of social media. Retrieved from http://chronicle.com/blogs/wiredcampus/crisis-management-on-campuses-in-the-age-of-social-media/46567

 

 

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Social Media: Is your business connected?

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Is it better to expose your business on the various social networking sites available to millions around the globe? Or is it better to play it safe and maintain the reputation you have built traditionally? According to Cipr (2012), “Econsultancy’s State of Social Media Report 2011 surveyed more than 1000 clients, brands, marketing, digital and PR agencies and noted that around 35% are either still at a very experimental stage or not doing any social media activity at all” (p.15). Companies that are not taking advantage of social media are losing out on the potential of new consumers. It is another vehicle to generate a larger audience and to also make a statement in the online world (Kelleher, 2009). While interning for the Hudson Valley Renegades this past summer, there were two people constantly on the organization’s Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and other social networking sites. Social media helps generate fans, maintain existing ones, expose the positive and energetic atmosphere at the stadium and connect with other potential sponsors.

There are benefits to using social media for your business. Many sites allow for users to create their own personal touch. By taking advantage of the different features offered on each site, it is normal for every user’s profile to be unique. This is a new market of customers and a great way to save money (Kelleher, 2009). Companies will offer promotions and discounts that are only available online. For example, I liked Express on Facebook and now different promotions show in my news feed. Building a strong online platform can be beneficial, especially to companies just getting started.

Social media can also aid in keeping a business connected internally. Employees can communicate online, ask questions, spread ideas and more (Social Media, 2012). As a college student, I have discussed social media in every communications course. It is such a current trend that students are being taught how to use social media in the workplace. Employees that have experience with social networking have an edge up on those that are not connected online. Having employees discuss new ideas and ask questions through social media is beneficial and easy, but there is also the risk of ideas being exposed or stolen by competitors.  

Not all companies are in favor of using social media due to different situations that could arise. Some examples are that unhappy consumers could turn to a company’s social media site to vent, workers can post negatively about their job experience or their boss and competitors can sway your consumers by offering better promotions and sales (Cipr, 2012, p.16). Productivity is another factor that is commonly feared. According to Keheller, “If every employee in a 50-strong workforce spent 30 minutes on a social networking site every day, that would work out to a loss of 6,500 hours of productivity in one year” (2009). When factoring in the loss of productivity, this could have a negative impact on a company. Other situations that could arise are viruses and using too many resources.

As a business owner myself, I am learning to use social media to reach potential customers and business partners. Most importantly, I am reaching out to people in my organization and other members that are a part of the company. I see social media as a tool that will help any business grow today.

Links:

Cipr. (2012). Share this: The social media handbook for pr professionals. West Sussex, United Kingdom: John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

Kelleher, D. (2009, Oct. 6). 5 problems with social networking in the workplace. Retrieved from http://www.information-management.com/specialreports/2009_165/social_networking_media-10016208-1.html

N.A. (2012, June 6). Social Media: What are the advantages and disadvantages of social networking sites? What should we include in a policy? Retrieved from http://www.shrm.org/TemplatesTools/hrqa/Pages/socialnetworkingsitespolicy.aspx

Instagram: A Powerful Tool for PR Pro’s

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            As one of the fastest growing social media sites, Instagram now has 100 million active users (Whittman, 2013). It is my go to social networking sites because I believe that pictures say 1,000 words. Everyone can be a photographer and capture any moment they are ready for. The editing capabilities, along with other apps, like PicStitch, allow for endless amounts of unique posts. You are able to connect with celebrities, companies, friends, family, sports teams, and more. The world is shrinking with every new social media technology available. Instagram is a way for people to build their brand, whether it is personal or business related.

            Public Relations professionals need to become comfortable with Instagram. Lucia Davis wrote an article titled, “6 Instagram Tips for PR Pros” in PR News. He says that PR pros should follow 6 steps when launching an Instagram campaign. Those are: To start with a clear start and end date, to engage with other Instagram users, to leverage other blogger’s and influencer’s followers by teaming up, to use third-party editing apps, to share photos with more people through hashtags and to host a contest as a way to engage existing and new fans (Davis, 2013). Major companies can benefit greatly by using Instagram when launching a major campaign. Based on what Davis says, it is important to network and connect with other influencers because you can also reach their followers.

            PR professionals can communicate and improve a brand through Instagram. Jenny Wittman’s article, “Instagram- The PR Perspective” in Cision Navigator, describes the positive impact that Instagram has on companies that stay relevant with social media (Wittman, 2013). PR professional, Natasha Koifman (mentioned in the article) believes in the effectiveness of hashtags and its ability to reach a variety of different audiences. Another PR professional, Leila Lewis discusses the popularity of Instagram in the wedding industry. Different companies will benefit more from Instagram than others (Wittman, 2013). Choosing the right image is not an easy task. PR professionals have to take into consideration what the audience will be drawn to and what will have the most visual impact. Creativity is important in the field because everyone has the ability to use the same social media tools to whether you are a professional or part of the audience.

             As an frequent Instagram user myself, I would recommend limiting the amount of hastags used, posting clear and appropriate photos, taking advantage of the editing features offered, tagging other users, using the newly released video feature, and interacting appropriately with users that comment. Remaining professional is key. Having fun and being creative with Instagram will engage people and catch their eye immediately! Start new trends.

References: http://www.prnewsonline.com/water-cooler/2013/06/12/6-instagram-tips-for-pr-pros/

http://navigator.cision.com/Instagram-The-PR-Perspective.aspx