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I agree that teachers need to be as careful (if not moreso) than their student about the content and settings of their social media.
This case, however, is not a social media issue. By the sounds of the full story, this person is a bad principal who should not be in the school system and her online profile adequately reflects some of the elements that she displayed professionally.
One of the questions that should be asked is: if the teacher had been social media savvy enough to hide her personal pics, would this mean that a teacher with some quite bad judgement would still be working with impressionable students.
Great post Claire. It frightens me that some universities are so far behind. What needs to be considered is that many university students that are studying now will enter a communications landscape that is even more different than the one we have now. Not only will our PR students be digital natives but so will their peers. Their clients, many of their stakeholders, interest and pressure groups, audiences will all increasingly be made up of digital natives, drastically changing the mix of communication that is required.
Great post and some good tips.
I think the good point that you make there is ensuring that you are clear as to what the 'value' is of your product and how much it is worth. I have seen a number of businesses get large amounts of people through the door but still not be able to turn a profit because they devalue their own product through offers and discounting.
You should also look at some of the conditions of your discounting to see whether they are suitable to your product and your audience. I have seen a number of food outlets put some inappropriate terms for special offers in FourSquare. For example: check in 10 times in a month to receive a bowl of fries. Are you really going to visit somewhere 10 times for a bowl of fries? All this offer is doing is rewarding those who are already regulars, rather than attracting new patronage.
Thanks for all of the great comments that have come back about this post - there is really some great knowledge out there about the use of social media in crisis situations, and one thing that working in this space has thought me, is that sharing this information helps to stop mistakes being repeated.
I will labour on one point, however, which Smart Selling touched on in his/her comment about social media not a complete solution to communication. It must be part of an integrated approach, not only in crisis communications but in communication in general. Whether we like it or not, social media has become and will continue to be a part of the communication mix - understanding and utilising its value will make us better communications in all areas.
Thanks for the response to my post and you raise some interesting points there about public health perspectives during a crisis and an emergency.
I have worked through issues that have seen power being unavailable in some areas, and one of the things that I have found to be common is that common use of smartphones can also mean that this form of communication (apart from the phone itself) can usually outlast other forms of emergency communication through television or non-battery powered radio. An interesting piece of information I learnt listening to some interviews over the Queensland flood. Mobile phone towers actually have a battery backup that will usually see them operate for some time without power (depending on the level of use). This means that mobiles will be a means of communication during this time.
One other note that you raise is the use of social media during outbreaks. Think about the swine flu pandemic that was seen in quite a few countries throughout 2009. In some areas, those recovering from H1N1 (or those that had been in contact with a confirmed case) were placed under voluntary quarantine in their homes. If you were quarantined for 1 or 2 weeks at home, where would you be spending most of your time to be able to continue your social interaction? - social media.