CUPRAP Highlight: Mike Richwalsky

The CUPRAP audience was happy with Karine Joly’s presentation.  She left us feeling good, confident, informed.

Mike Richwalsky of Allegheny College shook us out of our comfort zone with his presentation,  “Put The Technology to Work” .

He cited the March 2009 Nielsen report that “social networks and blogs are more popular than email.”  The biggest jump in users is in the 35-49 age group (and based on my own anecdotal experience, I’d guess the 50-65 age group is gaining ground).

He then proceeded to describe how to blogging is the subfloor for the rest of social media.  They’re also great search engine magnets.  Everyone from students to the college president should be blogging, Mike said.  RSS feeds are the 2×4’s of site construction.

Crowdsource your content.  Share it with all who want to partake, and encourage them to share it.

Mike is a smooth and quietly enthusiastic presenter.  By now he had everyone nodding.  At precisely the right moment, he introduced Twitter.  Most of the audience had heard of Twitter.  Some use it for their personal lives.  A few use it professionally.

By the time Mike demo’d Twitter posting–Web, TXT, iphone, Tweetdeck, Twitterific and hashtags you could feel minds spinning at various speeds.

Twitter was creating a gentle buzz.

He showed examples of how the mainstream media is using Twitter, and how to use it in the field of customer service.  He also showed how it can keep you up to date on what is being said about your institution.

He asked how many people were totally freaked out with all the info.  Most of us raised our hands.  I’m pretty sure  I raised mine twice.

Mike nodded and moved onto Facebook.

He talked about fans, groups, creating and targeting ads, analytics and costs.

He forayed onto YouTube and showed examples of Allegheny’s work.

When he mentioned Ning, a guy at the next table, shoulders sagging with info overload, echoed in helpless despair: “Ning?”

Mike then mentioned that we’re all moving  to cloud computing and a woman near me shook her head:  “Oh my God, what’s cloud computing?” I think her hands were shaking.  Several people reached for the mini-chocolate bars that the Hotel Hershey makes available for crisis moments like this.

This crowd of new and seasoned PR/publication/Web pros talked about Karine’s and Mike’s presentations during the rest of the conference.  They were both models of good content presented in an organized, interesting manner.

I had created a Twitter account a couple years ago but just couldn’t get into it.  At the end of the presentation, I walked back to my room, sat down with my laptop, logged on to Twitter and began tweeting. . . .

*  *  *

Both Mike and Karine are pioneers in the social media field.  I would suggest subscribing to their blogs to stay on the cutting edge of the field.

Here’s a link to Karine’s  collegewebeditor

And to Mike’s blog:

Wouldn’t hurt to subscribe to for a ton of great info on PR, publications, Web design, etc.


4 responses to “CUPRAP Highlight: Mike Richwalsky

  1. I think it’s great that so many people are presenting about the available technology out there but after reading how the audience reacted to many of the topics presented shows me we are still failing to teach how social media and social technology works. Rather than saying use facebook because it can generate viral opportunities for your school, we should be explaining what viral means and giving examples of viral marketing with stories the audience can relate to.

    By teaching the basic principles of social technology, the audience would then be able to figure out on their own how to incorporate ning sites, facebook pages, twitter accounts, blogs, etc.

    • Good point, Cort and a good way to deal with social media. I think one of the biggest problems is that PR folks (and publications and Web people) are so inundated with daily duties that they have to fit learning all the new technology into whatever little time pockets they have. This problem is compounded by the fact that most administrative members are still attached to traditional media and don’t understand the new technology. Hmm. Sounds like a subject for another post.

  2. Sounds like it was a wonderful session. Wish I had been there. Karine Joly always has valuable info to impart. Clearly Mike Richwalsky did too.

  3. I just want to let you know that I have benefited from the information here. Thanks a lot.

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