Update from my earlier post on the potential use of social media, especially Facebook, by universities needing to communicate with students:
Purdue's student newspaper The Exponent reports that:
Purdue administrators are beginning to recognize Facebook as one of the most effective ways to connect with students.
With more than 85 percent of Purdue students who are registered users of the popular networking Web site, Pablo Malavenda, associate dean of students, said it is a more effective platform to spread facts immediately.
"It's allowed the University to respond to rumors and hearsay more quickly," said Malavenda, who has spoken about Facebook on a national, regional, state and local level. "The University has always had the ability to put information on its Web site, but that's not where students are communicating with each other.
The article goes on discuss how the university's PR team used Facebook to dispel inaccurate rumors involving the disappearance and death of a student and has now organized a Facebook group students can join for emergency notifications. (Two weeks ago, it might have been a tough sell to convince students to join, but in the wake of the Virginia Tech massacre students will likely be much more receptive to the idea.)
The full article should be required reading for anyone involved in university communications.
- Jon Harmon