When Social Media Goes Sour

Friends and colleagues in CCPRO have had lively discussions since the start of fall semesters about what to do when social media goes sour. Disgruntled student? Financial aid woes? Construction in budget crises? Parking? Parking? Parking? We all seem to have differing methods of dealing with sour grapes on our social media pages, strategies determined by institutional policy and communication mindset.

Responses and posts on our social media pages can be some of the most rewarding aspects of the work colleges are doing on social media. It cannot be denied that college social media coordinators breathe a sigh of relief when the post is about a happy student getting the classes they need or students responding to one another when someone complains. It can be the little things which make a tough social media day better.

But the sour social media can be damaging and devastating and leave you wondering why the hell you are doing this. Social media offers anonymity to the poster. They can pop in, blow up a situation, and leave. Simple as that. So what do you do when that happens? The Bianchi Biz Blog gave some tips on responding to negative social media feedback in a recent blog post.

Perhaps the most salient point of Bianchi’s blog is to avoid responding to trolls. We all have them, but sometimes it can be a challenge to stay quiet, especially when they are putting their (typically wrong or misguided) ideas out there for everyone to see. A couple of colleges have mentioned an interesting strategy for dealing with trolls and sour grapes. They wait before responding to see if other students will take up the cause. It seems many times, students do take the initiative to respond to inaccuracies or negativity.

Take a look at Bianchi’s Biz Blog. Do you have any tips or tricks for dealing with negative social media feedback you can add?

Posted in Social Media | 1 Comment

Crisis Communication Response Success

It’s no secret that I’m a crisis communication junkie. I was giddy with delight and heard the singing of angels just yesterday when a simple call from me for permission to use a quote from an old publication turned into a lengthy convo with PR Yoda Jim Lukaszewski, ABC, APR, Fellow PRSA…GOD! I’m always on the lookout for success stories in crisis communications so that I can learn from (read: steal from) their playbook.

Recently, news started fluttering on social media about an unfortunate incident at The Contemporary Jewish Museum, located in socially-sensitive San Francisco. The incident, which involved a private security officer from a firm contracted with by the museum, was in regard to two women, walking the museum hand-in-hand, being asked to leave.

This began an uproar among socially-conscious communities about equal rights. Obviously, the head-in-the-sand approach was not one to be taken by Connie Wolf, CEO of the Museum, as she took the incident head-on and turned an unfortunate situation into a crisis PR success.

CEO Wolf’s statement can be found on The Contemporary Jewish Museum’s Facebook page as a note. The only fail could be that the statement was not easily located on the museum’s website.

Posted in General Information | 1 Comment

Hi. My name is Amber. And I am a commahawk.

Let’s face it. I hate typos. My favorite book is Eats, Shoots and Leaves. I wanted to cry for joy when Deck and Herson published The Great Typo Hunt. Just today, I had to squelch the urge to locate Wite-Out or scratch vigorously at a menu which suggested “Welted” Arugula would be on my steak sandwich.

I am a commahawk. I understand that about myself.

I first put a name to my affliction when someone at my college published a small work of fiction which revered the commahawks on his fictional college campus in unfortunate “Oilsump” California. Those of you who lovingly refer to my area as “Bakertucky” can understand this. The commahawks at Oilsump Community College were a powerful bunch. They could swoop in and bring down any overtly powerful Academic Senate president with the flick of a pen. Oh, the power.

And it must be hereditary. I’m blessed with a seven-year-old daughter, who, even in a fit of rage when just six, could spell like a demon. I was so proud, I went and posted the diatribe on Facebook, beaming with parental pleasure at how brilliant my daughter was. When she found out, another note ensued, with all the angst possible for someone who watches iCarly and The Amazing World of Gumball. I should have posted those, too, but did not. Alas, I digress.

Now, New York Times opinion columnist Virginia Heffernan tackles the plague of the typo head-on. In the digital age, misspellings are almost commonplace, dismissed like an old tissue as some new acronym or way of spelling “thx” that requires fewer characters and allows you to rant or rave on Twitter in the obligatory “less than 140 characters.” While her piece centers, naturally, on publishing and news, it is quite easily applied to the world in general.

We are constantly barraged by misspellings, punctuation errors and capitalization challenges. For me, it causes apoplexy. Granted, in a fit of mad typing, a little Bakersfeild might pop out. But that’s where spell check comes in.

What happens when “public” becomes “pubic”? It’s still an appropriately spelled word, friends. It’s the WRONG FREAKING WORD, but it’s spelled correctly. That’s where editors are right and valuable. With massive cuts to staff and pressures to beat the competition to the press, errors are bound to happen.

Posted in General Information | 2 Comments

Your College is Out in the Social Media World. Now What?

It’s the brave new frontier and one we are all blazing, or soon will be, if our students continue to rely on social media more and more in the coming years. For those of us that social media maven Scott Crow at Folsom Lake is bringing along into his army of online marketing warriors, there will come a time when the boss will come calling, asking if it is all worth it. How will we answer?

A little article from www.socialmediaexaminer.com explains five measurement tools that we all can use to measure our success and penetration in the social media frontier. And for those of us who still fumble bumble our way through new social media sites (like me, yesterday, on LinkedIn), www.socialmediaexaminer.com made it nice and easy with art. Screen caps show each tool and how it works. Yay for color pictures!

Paul Lanning's Klout score is 38. He's a "Socializer"The number one measurement tool on the list is Klout, which just yesterday appeared in a Tweet from FCCC president Paul Lanning.

What do you use, if anything, to measure your social media success?

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The Science of Social Media Timing

It seems that community colleges around California, and all across the U.S., really, are moving toward more frequent communication to students, staff and stakeholders via social media networks. Here in California, a couple of enterprising schools (shout out to Scott at Folsom Lake, the folks at San Jac and good old Irvine Valley) are really pushing things forward.

But how do you know if your message is reaching the masses of followers on Twitter, Facebook, MySpace and more?

Adverblog, an online source of news and trends in advertising, just released a “Science of Social Media Timing” report which shows the best times, days and methods of reaching audiences, broken down by areas of the country. Using a series of illustrated images, Adverblog explains when the audience is most likely to be listening. All data is based on EST as the base time zone.

So, what does Adverblog say:

  • Best time to Tweet is 2 p.m. (for West Coast followers)
  • Best day to Facebook is Saturday. Do it around 9 a.m. (on the West Coast) and you’ll catch a lot of folks.
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Social Media – What to Watch Out For

Thanks to CCPROers like Scott Crow, Michele Ma and others, social media at community colleges is coming to the forefront. But, as we all race to get out there and increase our following, there’s a new article from Social Axcess that talks about the pitfalls of social media strategies.

I know I’m guilty of violating #5 on their top 10 list – Automation. But with fancy-dancy tools like Hoot Suite out there, and with so many other responsibilities on my plate, I can’t help but do it. Someday I’ll transition away from Automation, but until then, it’s the same stuff in both places.

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Harvard or Community College?

Huffington Post columnist compares Harvard University and community colleges. The decision between the two isn’t that difficult, he says, especially when it comes down to value.

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Engaging the Media Through Twitter

Okay, so the jury is still out on community colleges using Twitter. In Cali, it seems we’re about 50/50 and possibly growing. But how can you use Twitter to get the word to media?

This month’s PR News has a story from Hilary JM Topper about using Twitter to engage the media. It’s a great how-to for getting the message out in 140 characters or less. Is it possible? Who’s to tell unless you try!

Have you used Twitter to tell your story? Let us know so we can all learn from each other!

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Are You Using Twittercues?

In this day and age of 24-hour news cycles and the never-blinking media eye, getting your message across accurately can be a challenge. Trigger-happy media with a press release in hand will Tweet your information. But what happens when they get something wrong? Suddenly misinformation goes viral and you’re left cleaning the message.

What to do? CCPRO member Michele Ma at Coastline Community College found the answer at the Creative Territory blog. It’s the Twittercue and it’s just as good as writing the Tweet for them!

Read more at Creative Territory.

Twittercue: Write the Tweet for the media at the bottom of your press release. #ccprocalifornia http://tiny.cc/twittercue

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Yeah, We’re Stressed

According to CareerCast, PR is the second-most stressful career of 2011. Who’d-a guessed?

Feeling a bit frazzled at work?

Are you finishing your fifth cup of coffee when you hear “Good morning” for the first time—and does that chirpy greeting annoy the hell out of you? Do you find yourself softly chanting your mantra through gritted teeth?

Don’t beat yourself up: A study says the job of PR officer is the second-most stressful career of 2011.

Each year, CareerCast ranks the best jobs and creates a variety of top 10 lists, including most and least stressful jobs. In 2011, commercial airline pilot ranked No. 1 among most stressful jobs; PR officer was No. 2.

Here’s how CareerCast describes the job of PR pro:

“Public relations officers are responsible for creating and maintaining a positive image with the public for many companies and government agencies. They typically are responsible for giving presentations and making speeches, often in front of large crowds. This highly competitive field and tight deadlines keep stress at high-levels for specialists. Some PR officers, also, are required to interact with potentially hostile members of the media.”

According to CareerCast, the average salary of a PR officer is $90,160, and the average amount of hours logged a day is nine.

Question is: Are you stressed out?

Here’s the full list of stressful jobs:

1. Commercial airline pilot
2. PR officer
3. Corporate executive
4. Photojournalist
5. Newscaster
6. Advertising account executive
7. Architect
8. Stockbroker
9. Emergency medical technician
10. Real estate agent

Posted in Studies and Research | 2 Comments