Kelley School's news site uses social media approach
Nov. 10, 2009
EDITORS: This release is being resent to you because an earlier version of this e-mail did not include a correct link to the Kelley 360 site.
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Social media is all the rage these days. It's touted as the solution to high advertising costs, a way to find new customers, or the solution to internal communications.
Expecting so much of this emerging means of communication is a recipe for disappointment. But the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University has been drawing on its expertise in this field to adapt to the social media landscape.
Let's start at the beginning. What is social media? According to Sarah Smith Robbins, director of emerging technologies for Kelley Executive Partners, "Social media encompasses all the great Web-based and mobile tools that let us get in touch with each other and with the information that's important to us. Rather than waiting for the newspaper in the morning, we can now just subscribe to it. We control how we receive the information that matters to us." Robbins completed her doctoral work on social media and virtual worlds.
Kelley has been experimenting with social media in the form of blogs, Facebook groups and Twitter feeds in recent years. The latest development is a redesigned Web page called Kelley 360. The new site is a way to share news about the school, but in a wider array of formats. The old site could only show press releases; the new site includes blog entries, news coverage, videos and podcasts and slide shows.
This content is stored on the Kelley 360 site so that people can view it there or share it with their networks of friends or colleagues.
"Now that people have the ability to easily share content that they like with their friends through their blog, Facebook page or Twitter feed, we are taking information about Kelley and making it available in a format that people will be inclined to view and share," said Lura Forcum, communications manager for the Kelley School.
Anne Massey, Dean's Research Professor at Kelley, is a pioneer in research on business-oriented use of virtual worlds and social media, especially as they relate to employees collaborating across distances. Massey was one of the first Kelley faculty members to join Twitter, the microblogging platform that allows people to broadcast their views within a 140-character limit.
"I find Twitter useful as a quick way to develop and maintain links with people and entities around topics we are commonly interested in. Importantly, businesses must recognize that Twitter is just a tool -- it is not a strategy. All social media does is enable connections within a community interested in some common context. Strategy is the hard part as businesses seek to leverage this."
The social media world is of increasing importance to Kelley students, too. Not only are current undergraduate and MBA students users of these new platforms, as many of them take jobs in the marketing field, they will be expected to leverage the benefits of social media to help build their employers' brand and find new marketing opportunities.
"For me social media serves as a new conduit for building both my own brand and in building my employer's brand," Jonathon Schuster, a second-year MBA student, observes. "When used to build my own brand, I get to demonstrate that I'm not just learning at Kelley, but that I'm actively engaged with the marketing community. When used for an employer I've got the opportunity to touch customers and consumers at points where they most value brand communication in a way that resonates with their needs."
Kelley 360, which launched today (Nov. 9), is online at http://info.kelley.iu.edu. Take a look, comment on the blogs, follow our Twitterers, see our media coverage, and watch some videos. Then tell us what you think at email@example.com.