October 29, 2008

Social Media Bandwagon

Posted in Kent State University, Social Media, Student Organization at 3:18 am by cdziak

I admit, I’m not a super computer nerd or tech savvy but when I was an undergrad, I jumped on the social media bandwagon. Social media can include anything from Facebook, Myspace, Twitter, to blogs, podcasts and various other media outlets. More specifically, I jumped on the social network bandwagon and joined Facebook and Myspace back in 2004. When I think about it, that seems like ages ago and boy has social networking and social media taken off since its birth.

It seems that nowadays, everyone is involved in social networking in some way and student organizations as well as corporations have a Facebook page, myspace page, blog, have podcasts or all of the above.

In last weeks post, both the college democrats and college republicans had websites which were not very helpful but both had active Facebook pages.

Here are a couple questions regarding social networks.

  • Is social networking the best way to reach out to people in this day and age?
  • Are websites just going to be the base for an organization in the future?
  • Are social networking sites going to become more popular than the typical website?

At Kent State’s Center for Student Involvement various organizations websites are either out of date or the link simply does not work.  Jump onto Facebook and search for groups at Kent State and over 500 results show up.  You’ll find anything from Relay for Life at Kent State to I Want to Catch a Kent State Black Squirrel. People can create various groups on Facebook for random reasons or to get people involved.

Organizations and colleges are also taking on blogs.  Bryn Mawr College has an entire site dedicated to blogs.

Social networking and blogs are great ways to keep people informed and get people excited about an event but regardless of what the organization is trying to do, they need to think about the reasoning behind creating a blog or making a social networking group.

With so many social networking sites springing up so often and with so many to choose from, should organizations use these sites to reach out to people, especially student organizations?  What makes Facebook better to use than Myspace?  Should organizations use Twitter or Pownce?

Social media can be very overwhelming but if student organizations are strategic in the way they use social media or networking, I think it can be very beneficial especially with social networking becoming part of our daily lives.

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October 22, 2008

Students, Politics and the Internet

Posted in Kent State University, Student Organization at 4:43 am by cdziak

With the presidential election less than 2 weeks away, I thought it would be appropriate to touch on Kent States college democrats and college republicans on campus.

Since arriving at Kent State, one of the more visible student organizations is the College Democrats.  They have been at the student center, they’ve had events at the Risman plaza and there have various articles about them in the Daily Kent Stater.  I tried to check out both organizations website through Kent State’s Center for Student Involvement but had little success.  The college democrats webpage did not load and the college republicans website is a little outdated.

  • Any organization, be it a student run organization, a non-profit, or corporation should ALWAYS make sure their website is current and if their website is posted on a page, it is posted correctly.

With a little searching on Kent State’s website, I found the current college democrats website although there is not much information posted other then when the group meets and the officers.  At least there website is current but not the easiest to find especially from the Center for Student Involvement website.

For a student organization on a college campus, does Facebook benefit the group more then just a plain old website?  My thoughts are it does. College students, especially undergrads, have gotten to an unhealthy habit of constantly checking their Facebook page but if Facebook is all about social networking then why not reach out to students through this very popular website?  Some college political organizations even have blogs.

The college republicans on the campus of William Jewell College even have their own logo.  Brand your organization – great idea!

I think it’s great to see college organizations using social media to reach their peers, to get them interested and involved especially during an election year.  Young adults have definitely taken initiative to make their peers aware that they can make a difference.  At Northwestern University , their college democrats and republicans held a debate called NU Decides.  I think both organizations on Kent State’s campus could really vamp up their methods of reaching out to their peers.  Start a blog.  Debate each other.  Update the websites.  I think the college democrats are on the right track but both organizations need a little more push to really be successful on campus.  Check out other college’s organizations and see what they are doing to get people involved.

October 15, 2008

The Green Bandwagon

Posted in Kent State University, Student Organization, Uncategorized at 12:19 pm by cdziak

One of the most recent trends among university campuses is to go green. Kent State is jumping on the bandwagon with a task force to help the school become more green.  Not every school is going to be ahead of the crowd but here is a list of top ten schools from the Sierra Club who have already begun going green.

10 that Get It

  1. 1. Oberlin College
  2. 2. Harvard Unversity
  3. 3. Warren Wilson College
  4. 4. University of California system
  5. 5. Duke University
  6. 6. Middlebury College
  7. 7. Berea College
  8. 8. Pennsylvania State University
  9. 9. Tufts University
  10. 10. Carnegie Mellon University

I am all for the university  becoming more energy efficient.  This could be a prime opportunity for a new student organization on campus geared towards being more green.  I didn’t come across organization on campus whose mission is to make the school more green.

Where to Start

Say there is a group of students on campus who are interested in a “green” organization.  I would encourage them to find out the credentials for starting a new campus organization.  Once the organization is up and running, I would suggest alternate ways to get students interested instead of the typical posting of fliers around campus (which would help) and chalking on the campus sidewalks.  Facebook is a prime place to get friends and other students to notice a new organization.  A creative symbol and catchy name are important to a new organization as well.

Check out Other Universities

It wouldn’t be too hard to find out what other universities around the country are doing to get students involved with going green.

  • The University of Wisconsin – Madison had an entire Green Week this past April.
  • The State University of New York – New Paltz has a couple of organizations on campus geared towards going green.
  • Carnegie Mellon University has an entire webpage, Green Practices, to going green.
  • The University of Wisconsin – Seven Points has several student organizations as well.

I think there is a great time for students to be creative, be involved with an important and hot issue right now and do their part in making Kent State more green.

October 8, 2008

The ‘Power’ of People

Posted in Activists, Kent State University, PR Practitioners, Student Organization at 3:32 am by cdziak

This past week, my PR theory and practices class had a great discussion revolving around PR practitioners and activists.  Some questions that came up were what is the difference between a PR practitioner and an activist? What similar qualities does each hold and what makes these two entities different.  At the end of class, we were all questioning the definition of both and if the two could go hand in hand.

With the presidential election quickly approaching, student activists and groups have been out in full force to encourage the KSU student body to register to vote and for students to pledge their vote in November for the creation of clean air energy.

The main group of activists behind the latter, is Power Vote, a non-partisan group who is on a mission to gather 1 million young Americans signatures.  Students can pledge online to make clean, just energy a priority in their vote this election.  I’ve seen this group around campus during the first presidential debate during the weekend of We the People Fest and most recently this past Monday.  A group of students came into the Media, Power, and Culture class to encourage the students to pledge their vote for clean energy this November.  The student activists came in wearing Power Vote t-shirts – green with a fist holding an energy action turbine.  Very eye-catching I must say.

As activists, the students at Kent and various campuses across the states, have banded together to gather signatures and make the young America aware that we do have the power to make a difference regardless of who is president and make it known that young America is concerned for the environment and how it will affect us when we are older and how it could potentially affect our kids.  This group is passionate about the issue of clean energy, and the creation  of green jobs. These students are creating a relationship with their peers at Kent to promote the issue they are compassionate about.

By definition, public relations is the management function that establishes and maintains mutually beneficial relationships between an organization  and the publics on whom it’s success or failure depends.  Based on this definition, the leaders of this student based Power Vote activist group could also be deemed PR practitioners.  They may not be aware of it, but this student activist group is maintaining a relationship with the KSU student body as well as the other Power Vote groups and the main Power Vote group.  For all of the campuses that have a Power Vote group, the success of their 1 million signature campaign depends on the relationship they have with the student body and how receptive their peers are to young America taking charge.

The Power Vote campaign is demonstrating that activists can be PR practitioners.  Power Vote groups are building relationships, informing the public and trying to have a successful campaign.  Come November, this could be a great example of how the power of the people had an impact on the government and society.

Check out the YouTube video as part of the campaign.

October 1, 2008

To Structure or Not to Structure? That is the Question

Posted in Kent State University at 4:20 am by cdziak

Structure: anything composed of parts arranged together in some way; an organization.

We all have structure in some part of daily lives and have been surrounded by structure from the day we came into the world. Structure in our families, in schools, work and in organizations we belong to. Now the questions arises, if you belong to an organization and there is no structure with how things are done, is it okay to begin implementing structure that was not there in the beginning?

On Tuesday, September 30th, The Daily Kent Stater published an article about the fraternities to implement a recruitment structure come spingtime. According to the article, there are mixed emotions about implenting a recruitment structure. Having no structure for a fraternity could give people the mental image of John Belushi and his frat brothers of Delta House from Animal House.

Structure in general is a good thing, even if it’s just a little. Any organization, whether it’s a school organization, professional organization, a sports team, non-profit, they all need structure. It helps to keep a balance and guides the group toward a goal. All fraternities have a goal of increasing membership – why not take advantage of a little structure benefit that goal? You never know, the structured recruitment could benefit the fraternities. A little structure never hurt anyone.

Props to Tina Fey for another hilarious skit as Sarah Palin.