SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Local News

October 5, 2013

Salem State embraces social media

Twitter, Facebook kept university in touch during stabbing, lockdown

SALEM — As Salem State University went into lockdown last week after a stabbing incident on a campus shuttle bus, sophomore Tyler Carlton was one of the many who turned to social media for the latest updates and information from SSU.

He and his classmates are more apt to use Facebook or Twitter, he said, than to check email, search websites or make a phone call. And the university has taken notice.

From answering questions about registering for classes to last week’s “shelter in place” order, social media outlets have proved another way for the university to respond to students, disseminate information and shape the college’s image.

In the past several months, the university has made a concerted effort to increase and improve its social media presence, starting with the hiring over the summer of Web manager Amanda Voodre, who manages the college’s social media.

That effort kicked into high gear during the lockdown — especially to interact with students and others who posted questions — in addition to reverse-911 messages, press releases and other more traditional forms of communication.

“We knew that all eyes were on us,” Voodre said of the stabbing and lockdown incident. “ ... (Social media) really helps with rumor control, (and) built a sense of confidence within our community that we had a sense of control.

“During the shelter-in-place order, students were in classrooms with their phones and watching this unfold. They had a lot of questions. I tried to answer everything that I could so everyone had the right information.”

On an average day, Voodre keeps a constant eye on the college’s social media accounts, posting information about campus events and responding to inquiries — from when the library closes to why a favorite parking spot is blocked off.

“We do get complaints ... (and) we address those and try and help position the student in the right direction so their experience turns into a positive one,” she said. “That conversation’s public. People can see (it), and see whether or not a student is happy.”

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News

AP Video
Raw: Japanese Soldiers Storm Beach in Exercises Raw: Weapons Fire Hits UN School in Gaza Raw: Rocket Launches Into Space With Cargo Ship Broken Water Main Floods UCLA Two Women Narrowly Avoid Being Hit by Train In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast New Sanctions on Key Sectors of Russian Economy Crayola Announces Family Attraction in Orlando US Ready to Slap New Sanctions on Russia Kerry: Not Worried About Israeli Criticism Boater Rescued From Edge of Kentucky Dam Girl Struck by Plane on Florida Beach Dies Rodents Rampant in Gardens Around Louvre House to Vote on Slimmed-down Bill for Border Looming Demand Could Undercut Flight Safety Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue
Comments Tracker