No question, social media platforms have challenged higher ed communications and public affairs offices like never before. Instead of a single channel for media releases and official comment, every campus now has thousands of faculty and students with their own websites, blogs, YouTube channels, Twitter feeds, Facebook groups, and online petitions. Traditional media outlets, now short-staffed and short on time, are increasingly using Twitter and online petitions to identify and even research stories. And the mis-steps of faculty, students and administrators can create six-figure PR nightmares for institutions.
Over recent years we’ve seen sexist and homophobic posts cost faculty their tenure. We’ve seen misogynistic Facebook groups or fake white student unions have a major negative impact on institutional reputations and brands. We’ve seen students tweet photos of unappetizing residence food that earns national headlines.
But we’ve also seen institutions use social media well to connect with current and prospective students, to interface with alumni, to create viral attention and momentum for student recruitment campaigns.
Ken Steele is Canada’s leading higher education monitor and futurist. After an award-winning career in marketing, he co-founded Academica Group, created the Academica Top Ten, manages Eduvation Inc, co-authored Canada’s first book on enrolment management, and hosts a weekly webcast, Ten with Ken, that reaches thousands of subscribers on a dozen platforms. Ken brings his unique perspective and insight to a broad range of audiences, from faculty and instructors, boards and senior administration, to information technology staff, concerned parents, and Canada’s most powerful corporate CEOs.
He brings his unique perspective to bear in this entertaining keynote presentation, summing up some relevant and recent examples of touchdowns and fumbles in social media, particularly by college and university communicators, faculty, administrators and students. Ken can also work with you to develop a half-day or full-day workshop on social media best practices and strategies, for your marketing communications staff or anyone on campus who wants to be active in the social media realm.
Here are some social-media-related episodes of 10K, for a sense of Ken’s approach and as potential examples to share with participants in advance:
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