In the previous post, I outlined our strategy for the president’s announcement about possible changes on campus.
Shortly after our announcement, a faculty member friend expressed concern about announcing the news on social media, feeling that the news was detrimental to the university. She appreciated the administration’s transparency but felt we should be more cautious in what we “share with the outside world.”
Her concern is legitimate. In the mad rush of last minute rewrites to hit a 10 a.m. deadline we inadvertently posted the president’s letter to the campus community on our News site instead of the news release. But the release exactly reflected the letter. The information was the same. But there was, to some, the perception of sharing inside information.
I told my colleague that in today’s social media driven world, as soon as someone says something, whether it’s true or false, it becomes public. People share and comment on it, spreading it whether it’s true or false.
As a PR department, we do have a need to be truthful, accountable and swift.
So it’s crucial to get the the institutional announcement out as quickly as possible. In doing this, we own the news on this matter; we are the originators.
This was reinforced when a reporter with a local daily tweeted our news with a link to our announcement. The reporter had to do no work at all. This is an ongoing, major shift in journalism.
Gone is the the buffer of “according to PR spokesperson. . . .” The reporter simply links our story — the source.
We are no longer PR Departments . We are multimedia production agencies, creating news stories and distributing them to the understaffed journalism profession quickly and truthfully.
This is a huge responsibility.
More on this in the next post.
If you missed my previous post, check it out to see how we successfully minimized the sting of our announcement about possible campus changes.