Saturday, November 22, 2008

Social Media: University Applications (Blog 9)

It was extremely interesting the other night to hear about how Missouri State was utilizing social media applications. The guest speaker explained that he was soley in charge of implementing, updating, and maintaing all of these tools. This presents some very serious and intriguing issues from a PR standpoint.

First, a lot of what we have learned in this class through our readings and other activites has implied that using social media tools requires full-time attention. The guest speaker explained that he devotes less than half of his time to these applications, as his job description requires him to do much more. This means that the university is not properly utilizing social media applications like they should be. Although the website currently has a Facebook, Myspace, Twitter, blog space, etc. they are not all updated or even functioning at their full potential. The university should hire someone else to solely focus on these tools, or at the very least hire some assistants to aid the guest speaker in his job. Second, the guest speaker said the he did not know exactly what the PR implications were for these social media tools. That is because he isn't a PR professional. This means that the university should hire someone who does understand how to use these different applications to achieve better public relations.

Universities such as Missouri State are using social media applications to gain a competitive edge in an online world. These tools allow universities to perform a number of functions. It allows them to recruit more students, create a more interactive culture for current students, increases their ability to disseminate information, and allows them to create a more efficient means of two-way communication with different publics. It is important, however, that universities recognize the importance of these applications and how to properly utilize them. Their social media tools should be created, updated, and maintained by a skilled and trained professional. Also, they should be that person's sole responsibility.

5 comments:

keshia said...

James-
I agree that the university needs to have someone who is able to devote more of his or her time to these social media tools. I think if we had someone who was able to devote more of their time, our tools and networking opportunites could sky-rocket! Especially when thinking about recruiting; reaching potential students on facebook and myspace would be an excellent way to gain access to new students, but without the proper resources, it is almost impossible for Mr. Mitchell to foster those relationships to their full potential.

Have a good Thanksgiving!

Jeff Norris said...

Good job posting about how MSU needs to devote much more time to the social networks and to no fault of his own. MSU should realize the potential in these mediums and use it to their advantage. By hiring someone to take these on full time would only benefit the University.

Akwesi Antwi said...

I could have expressed the same feelings and thought about the guestspeaker in clas the other day. I don't know whether it is a matter of lack of funds on the part of the university to employ a full time PR person to undertaken the many responsibilities that are being handled by this guy superficially or a lack of the function of PR by the university authorities.

maggie said...

James-
Great recap and summary of Mr. Mitchell's speech!

AmandaK said...

I agree, this should not be a one man show. Surely people are jumpping at the opportunity to take on this task. I think if any of us had a hand to spare, we would love to get involved with such an opportunity.