Monday, November 24, 2008

Missouri State University and Social Media: The Necessary Next Step

It goes without saying that Missouri State University would have to leap into the Mediascape of online communication. The most important time of my life was choosing which college to attend after my Associate's Degree was finished, and a large part of why I chose MSU's Department of Communication was because information about this department was at the click of a button, thanks to Carey Adams, then Head of the Department. He has done wonderful things to keep the COM department up to date with the latest online trends, and the InCommon Blog that goes out to all the Undergraduate and Graduate Students has been online for over 4 years. It started as a Newsletter/Website for the COM department, but Dr. Adams and our professors clearly understood that they needed to adapt to the fresh markets that interested students such as myself would be interested in viewing. Now, he's Dean of the College of Arts and Letters, and rightfully so.

Brad Mitchell, New Media master at Missouri State University has his work cut out for him. I could spend entire days on MySpace, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Blogspot, LinkedIn, Del.ic.ious, Technorati, and Google (with all it's progyny in GoogleEarth, GoogleReader, and Google searches in general). [My goodness where do you find a job like his? I hope more New Media positions are opening up and will be waiting for me when I graduate!!] Anyway, Brad's presentation of all the work he does for Missouri State was enough to fill a 12-18 hour day, every day, and it's rightfully so.
Who does Missouri State need to reach online that it's so important for a New Media specialist to be hired? High-School, College-Bound, Scholarship-seeking, future students of our Alma Mater. Alumni. Our External Partners, Stakeholders, such as Missouri State Government; Competition such as the University of Missouri System, and others. But the main event is still future students. And within the next year, Alumni will probably be a much stronger audience than they are right now in social media relations. People will get the idea soon enough.
Interestingly, I was just discussing Natalie Hinds' COM Theory paper with her before writing this blog, and she is looking at the concept of the 'Digital Divide' where online social media and our push to use it becomes more of an issue in information sharing because there are still certain socio-economic classes that don't have access to these websites we are swooning all about. Heck, in Poplar Bluff, MO alone I bet that there are people MY AGE who never get on a computer. Why do they need to spend that kind of money and time? They don't when they are farmers, factory workers and their whole lives revolve around our little community. So how do we reach those who have little to no access to online communication? What about when it's not about marketing, promotions, or public relations but its about their HEALTH? Let us not forget that the traditional ways (snail mail, posters, brochures, A PERSON ON THE OTHER END OF AN ORGANIZATION'S PHONELINE) are still necessary in order to understand, communicate and think about the diverse world in which we live.

1 comment:

krseRN said...

It is so true that we must remember our traditional medias. I know we have primarily focused on the newer social media aspects to PR in this class, but, like you said, that form of media is not going to reach everyone! However, I do truly wonder how long it will be until it does?