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#CollegeChat Transcript: Social Media and Recruiting of High School Athletes

Social media has quickly transformed the world of athletic recruiting in just a short period of time according to Karen Weaver, EdD, director of Athletics for Penn State University-Abington and a TV color analyst for ESPN, CBS College Sports and Big Ten Network. Weaver was a recent guest on #CollegeChat and discussed how social media is benefitting both athletic programs and high school athletes who want to play in college.

During #CollegeChat, Weaver addressed the following questions:

How has social media changed athletic recruiting?

Can college coaches “friend” students on FaceBook? What are the guidelines?

What are the best practices in for both recruiters and prospective athletes to use in technology and social media?

What questions should an athlete ask a coach on a college visit?

Has social media changed high school athlete recruiting for the better?

How has social media helped get student athletes recruited? Is Youtube helping? Twitter feeds of club games?

Do high school students need to go through the expense of belonging to fee based online recruiting sites?

The entire transcript is available for download Social Media & Recruiting Transcript

Social Media’s Role on Recruiting High School Athletes #CollegeChat May 22, 2012

College Athletics Director and TV Sports Analyst to Discuss Growing Role of Social Media on Recruitment of High School Athletes #CollegeChat May 22, 2012

Karen Weaver, EdD, director of Athletics for Penn State University-Abington and a TV color analyst for ESPN, CBS College Sports and Big Ten Network, will discuss the growing role of social media on the recruiting of high school athletes during   #CollegeChat on Twitter, May 22, 2012 at 9 p.m. Eastern.

In just the last few years the role of social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook have dramatically changed the recruiting of high school athletes according to Weaver. During #Collegechat, Weaver, https://twitter.com/#!/collegeathlete , will discuss:

  •  How has social media changed athletic recruiting?
  • Has social media changed athlete recruiting for the better?
  • What are the pitfalls?
  • What are the best practices in for both recruiters and prospective athletes to use in technology and social media?
  • Are college coaches and their recruiters being too invasive on high school athletes’ privacy?
  • Should college coaches be allowed to “friend” students on FaceBook?
  • Are college coaches being allowed to ask for passwords in order to examine high school athletes’ student accounts?
  • How has social media helped get student athletes recruited?
  • Do high school students need to go through the expense of belonging to fee based online recruiting sites?

About Karen Weaver

Karen Weaver is an Ivy League-educated consultant, scholar, speaker, and administrator with experience that includes positions as a director of Athletics, adjunct professor, and head coach for schools at the NCAA Division I, III, and small college levels. Weaver is also a television color analyst for ESPN, CBS College Sports and Big Ten Network. As a former All-American and national championship coach, Weaver is recognized as an expert in broadcast rights and new media, athletic administration, and college recruitment; and also serves as a recruiting educator for student athletes, parents, and coaches. In addition, Weaver is an athletics consultant to senior leaders in higher education.

About #CollegeChat

#CollegeChat is a live bi-monthly conversation intended for teens, college students, parents, and higher education experts on Twitter. #CollegeChat takes place on the first and third Tuesday of the month at 6 p.m. PT/ 9 p.m. ET. Questions for each #CollegeChat edition can be sent to Theresa Smith, the moderator of #CollegeChat via http://Twitter.com/collegechat, by entering questions online on the CollegeChat Facebook page or by email. More detailed information about signing up for Twitter and participating in #Collegechat can be found at http://pathwaypr.com/how-to-participate-in-a-twitter-chat .

Sharing the UCLA 8 Clap Heard Around the World

This. Was. Fun!

Are You Afraid of Bloggers and Social Media? Maybe You Should Be.

Creative Commons License photo credit: M i x y

Are you or your Brand afraid of bloggers and social media? Well, maybe you should be–especially if your brand is still sitting on the side lines and not listening.  Jessica Gottlieb , a powerful voice on the Internet and a mom blogger,  recently wrote two excellent posts “Five Simple Steps to Bringing a Brand to their Virtual Knees” and  “Six Tips for Brand Managers Who Might Be Afraid of Bloggers” . Gottlieb is that “Jessica Gottlieb” that started the “#MotrinMoms” backlash on Twitter in November 2008.

Gottlieb expressed her displeasure with Motrin’s ad campaign that she and others felt wasn’t supportive of new mothers and  in a series of tweets expressed that “picking on new mothers is vile.” Her tweets set off a reaction that reverberated across Twitter and then the Internet and finally the mainstream press and it wasn’t until Monday that Motrin finally responded to the moms they were trying so hard to connect with but by then the damage was done http://www.web-strategist.com/blog/2008/11/17/motrin-mothers-groundswell-by-the-numbers/ .In just a weekend, the mommy bloggers had mobilized and expressed their anger in their own blogs, on Twitter, on FaceBook where they created a “Boycott Motrin” Group, on YouTube where they added their own videos, as well as on Flickr. That same weekend the controversy was picked up by mainstream media including the New York Times http://parenting.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/11/17/moms-and-motrin/?scp=1&sq=Motrin%20Moms%202008&st=cse

The title alone of the first post should get your attention if you still think you can sit social media out. In her first post, Gottlieb clearly lays out the steps of how anyone with a blog and or a Twitter account and a handful of followers can take aim at a corporation. Jessica’s steps consist of:

1) Timing is everything: Large corporations close up in the evenings, and many are completely checked out on weekends. If you post something critical of them on a Friday evening, you have a two to three day head start on your buzz versus theirs.

2) Ask readers to take an action and report back: When you post about the evil corporation be sure to ask your readers to do something other than just read. Ask them to call or email (letter writing campaigns have gone the way of the brontosaurus).

3) Track and share the momentum: Set up a google alert. If you’re asking people to say #xyzstinks then you will want updates as quickly as possible so that you can support people who write #xyzstinks. As people are writing be sure to share it in public forums like Twitter, Stumbleupon, Facebook and Digg.

4) Go multimedia: Really, multimedia doesn’t mean internet, TV and radio. Multimedia (in our frame of reference) means text, audio and video. Post your message to your blog, to cinch, and to YouTube.

5) Get redundant: Stay on message and repeat it ad nauseum. I recognize that after a day or so it’s unlikely that you will care any longer, but stamina is everything. Constant blog posts in every blog you contribute to are key. Repeat steps one through four tirelessly.

As a PR professional, I recommend that companies pay attention to all of these steps but also take a closer look at step 1 –“Timing is everything.” Companies still naively think that if they have bad news that they are required to release they need to drop it on Fridays after the Stock Market closes. Depending on who you are and what you have to announce that just won’t fly anymore. You may think you are  pulling a fast one on the traditional press that follows your company but you won’t be pulling a fast one on the bloggers that work 24/7.  In addition, the tradional press may also spend the weekend digging up more to include in their story. And like Motrin, you might end up with quite a mess on your hands before the weekend even wraps up.

Maybe you might be thinking that since your company is B2B you don’t need to worry about a possible “groundswell” catching up to your company. Sure you want to bet on that? Jessica’s steps can be used just as easily to target B2B companies as easily as they can be used to target B2C companies.

If her first post gave you pause, then her second post “Six Tips for Brand Managers Who Might Be Afraid of Bloggers”  can serve as a road map to get your company moving. Gottlieb recommends:

1. Build Social Capital early and often: The best way to make sure you never have a big problem with bloggers is by participating in their discussions before the drama.

2. Do not hand social media over to interns: Interns are adorable, and I recognize that businesses need them for things like answering phones and fetching coffee. However, when your intern is in charge of your facebook page you’ve just handed the keys over to someone who was probably delivering pizza last month.

3. Monitor your brand round the clock: Small businesses do it, because they have to. You need to also. It doesn’t have to be one person, but at the barest minimum a google alert with YourBrandHere and boycott, sucks, or criminal as a keyword will keep you informed of a tempest brewing.

4. Respond truthfully: One big criticism of of the Motrin fiasco is that the apology wasn’t sincere (authentic).

5. Don’t participate if you don’t have the resources: Really. I honest to goodness recommend that brands stay out of social media if they aren’t going to make it part of their business. Do not set up a facebook page and then let it sit there. If you want to protect your name online buy your URL’s, take your twitter ID’s and just park them. Don’t invite a conversation you won’t show up for.

6. Just be yourself. Social media isn’t about your brand, it’s about you.

Building social capital is critical and without it you won’t be able to build a good relationship with the community your business needs. It doesn’t mean pushing out non stop information about your company and products. It means “listening” first to the discussions in the communities you are looking for a home in. It then means offering useful information to that community or better sharing the information of the other community members first.

I also “love” that tip # 2 recommends that companies not turn over social media to interns. In the last year I have heard a number of companies –including PR companies– either talk about their plan to turn “social media” over to an intern or who have already done it and it always leaves me aghast. Just because an intern has been on FaceBook longer than anyone over 25—and that is because it was originally a college only community– doesn’t mean they have the expertise of company, customer, products or the industry you are in.  Would you really send your intern in to close a deal with a potential customer you have been chasing for years or to represent you to the technology reporter you want so badly to cover your company? Then why would you do it in social media?

One other tip I would offer is “transparency”. Gottlieb mentions in tip #4 being authentic—truthful. It is also important to remember in social media that people don’t want to talk with a logo. They want to talk with a person. If you’re tweeting say who you are right up there in your profile. If you have to talk behind a logo try to persuade management to add your name on the Twitter page so your followers can more easily engage with you.

Read the full posts. They are excellent.

Still afraid?

Twitter Keeps Getting Better

Are you Stupid? Olympic Gold Medalist Sven Kramer Asks

On the first day of the Olympics, Dutch speedskater Sven Kramer won a gold medal. He was then asked by a reporter to state his name, country and what he just won. Here’s his response. His response is a great reminder to all in and out of the media to do your homework!

What are the Best Tech Products of 2010?

My iPhone Apps
Creative Commons License photo credit: marcopako 

Michael Arrington, founder and co-editor of TechCrunch and the world’s fourth-most-powerful blogger, according to Technorati, has released “2010: My fifth Annual List of the Tech Products I Love and Use Every Day.

According to Arrington:

This is a simple list of the tech products that are an integral part of my day – work or play. Some have withstood the test of time and I just can’t live without. Others are newcomers that have captured my imagination.

I use most of them every day, or nearly every day, and I would not be as productive or happy without all of them. There are now 24 products on the list.

Arrington writes that TechMeme, Skype and WordPress are the only products that have been on his list for all five years. The entire list of products  follows:

  • Android
  • Animoto
  • Apple Magic Mouse
  • Facebook
  • Gmail
  • Hulu
  • Kodak Zi8
  • MOG, Pandora and Spotify
  • Scribd and Docstoc
  • Skitch
  • TripIt
  • Twitter
  • WordPress
  • Yammer
  • YouTube

What tech products do you love and use everyday?

5 Tips to Staying Safe on Facebook

While meeting with students from Wakefield High School in the Washington suburb of Arlington, Virginia, President Obama was asked for advice from a ninth grader who wants to be president someday. Julianna Goldman and Kate Andersen Brower reported for Bloomberg:

Obama offered, what he called some “practical political advice .. saying that “when you’re young, you know, you make mistakes and you do some stupid stuff.”

“I want everybody here to be careful about what you post on Facebook, because in the YouTube age whatever you do, it will be pulled up again later somewhere in your life,” Obama said. “That’s number one.”

Goldman and Brower wrote that Obama also offered “I’ve been hearing a lot about young people who, you know, they’re posting stuff on Facebook, and then suddenly they go apply for a job,” Obama said to laughter.

Obama isn’t the only one offering advice on being safe on FaceBook.  Recently, Sarah Perez of ReadWriteWeb provided great tips to staying safe on FaceBook, no matter your age, in her article “5 Easy Steps to Stay Safe (and Private!) on Facebook”.

According to Sarah:

Unbeknownst to most mainstream Facebook users, the social network actually offers a slew of privacy controls and security features which can help you batten down the hatches, so to speak. If used properly, you’ll never have to worry about whether you should friend the boss and your mom. You can friend anyone you want while comfortable in the knowledge that not everyone gets to see everything you post.

The problem in implementing these privacy options is that they’re just too confusing for most non-tech savvy people to handle. And often, folks don’t want to bother to take the time to learn. To simplify the process, we’re offering five easy steps you can take today to help make your Facebook experience safer, more secure, and more private.

Sarah’s provides five detailed but easy steps to follow steps on staying safe. Briefly, these steps are:

Step 1: Make Friend Lists

This step–although time consuming–according to Sarah “will be one of the most useful things you can do on Facebook.”

Step 2: Who Can See What on Your Profile

In this step, you will need to “think carefully about the sorts of things you want public and the things you want private. Should “everyone” get to see photos you’re tagged in? Or would you like to limit this only to those you’ve specifically chosen as Facebook friends?”

Step 3: Who Can See Your Address and Phone Number

You can also determine who can see your address and phone number from FaceBook. You probably don’t want everyone to have access to your home address and phone number.

Step 4: Change Who Can Find You on Facebook via Search

Step 5: Stop Sharing Personal Info with Unknown Applications

According to Sarah, “Using Facebook’s default settings, you’re unknowingly sharing a plethora of personal information (and your friends’ info too!) with various Facebook applications and the developers who created them. The problem is so bad that the ACLU recently created their own Facebook Quiz to demonstrate how much information an app has access to.”

In this step, Sarah walks you through how to stop sharing your personal information.

You can read the entire article here

What steps are you taking to stay safe on Facebook?

White House Communications Director Explains How to Control Media

How to be a Citizen Journalist Courtesy of YouTube ‘Reporters’ Center’

Do you have a story you would like to report on? Are you ready to join the ranks of the citizen journalists? If so, you might be interested in the YouTube Reporters’ Center.

According to the YouTube Reporters Center:

The YouTube Reporters’ Center is a new resource to help you learn more about how to report the news. It features some of the nation’s top journalists and news organizations sharing instructional videos with tips and advice for better reporting.