Twitter Alerts and Higher Ed, A Golden Opportunity

Twitter_Alerts

At the end of September, Twitter announced its latest product, Twitter Alerts, which allows emergency offices to get important and accurate information our to as many people as possible. Account managers of specific accounts have the ability to mark a tweet as an “alert” and it will automatically send a notification to the phone of those who have subscribed. Sounds like a great program to me.

This new feature is available to:

  • law enforcement and public safety agencies;
  • emergency management agencies;
  • city and municipal governments, as well as their agencies and representatives;
  • county and regional agencies, providing services to cities and municipalities;
  • and select state, federal, and national agencies and NGOs.

While this doesn’t specifically include universities or colleges, many of us can argue that we fit within one of these categories. I recently submitted an application to be included in the program and I’m waiting to hear back, which they indicated could take some time.

I think this feature would be a great opportunity for universities to be even better prepared to send out emergency information when it matters the most. I hope more universities will join me in requesting the feature so Twitter will hopefully consider giving us the feature to inform students in emergency situations. Fill out the enrollment form.

Photo from Twitter Alerts website.

Retweet After Me: Week of Feb. 5, 2013

This week’s resources include, planning your web presences for a crisis, some Facebook and LinkedIn tips, and fake Twitter followers and what we should do as brands.

Are You Ready? Web Operation Planning for Crisis Situations by by Matt Herzberger

April 17, 2007 – What is the significance of this date? Probably the most important date in the history of university crisis management planning. In case you are still unsure, April 17, 2007 was one day after the Virginia Tech shooting. It was a day that most universities’ communication vehicles were woefully unequipped to deal with crisis situations. [ Read More ]

New LinkedIn Profile Changes Made Easy by Marla Tabaka

Last week I received an e-mail saying that my new LinkedIn profile was ready for updates. Rolling my eyes I thought, really? Didn’t we just do this? Meeting yet another profile change with resistance was obviously my first reaction, but, truthfully, this time LinkedIn did most of the work for us. [ Read More ]

Millennials Up Their Time Online

Online Americans spent slightly more than one day a week online last year, increasing their average online time by 3 hours to 26 hours, per results from a WSL/Strategic Retail study. Though the amount of time spent online was relatively consistent among age groups, Millennials (16-34) markedly increased their average internet consumption from the previous year, up 25% to 25 hours a week. Gen Xers (35-46) and Boomers (47-65) increased their average time to 26 and 27 hours per week, respectively, while Seniors (66+) held steady at 25 hours. [ Read More ]

A Facebook cheat sheet for brands by Michael Sebastian

Many companies are rushing to try and jump into social media because they feel tremendous pressure to prevent being left behind. Most of us have moved past the need to make a business case for social media and into the era of “needing” social media as part of our overall marketing mix. The statistics on social media adoption are astounding. A recent study found that over 90% of marketers indicate that social media is important for their business. This is a drastic shift from where we were even just a short 2 years ago. In the same study, more than half of the respondents had less than 1 year of experience in social media. [ Read More ]

Should brands worry about fake Twitter followers? by Isra Garcia

I recently received a list that included the “top fake artists” who bought followers on Twitter. It included many widely known electronic music DJs with their stage names and Twitter accounts.[ Read More ]

Virgina Tech Verdict Ups the Ante for All Universities

Yesterday, a jury ruled that Virginia Tech was negligent while handling and releasing information during the 2007 mass killings on campus. The university maintains that they did as much as they could to the best of their abilities. And I honestly believe that is the case. Hindsight is 20/20, and sure they could have handled this better, but that doesn’t mean they weren’t trying their best.

However, this verdict doesn’t just affect Virginia Tech. This affects colleges around the country.

The shootings that happened at Virginia Tech could happen anywhere, at any university. Most universities have emergency plans in place that cover these kinds of situations, and drill and practice them on a regular basis. Staff are trained on what to do and what their roles are in the emergency plan, but training only goes so far. Nothing could ever simulate the chaos I am sure surrounds an actual event like this.

The verdict in this case ups the ante for all of us involved in emergency communications, in addition to administrators. We all know the importance of having a clear, concise message with all the facts, but if it doesn’t include all the facts, or it’s not sent out quickly, that means you were negligent. That’s a tough one to swallow, be perfect, or it’s wrong.

So we should all use this opportunity to better prepare ourselves for the unforeseeable. Here are some links that relate to crisis and emergency communications.

So what do you think of the verdict?