Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Rockford College is social
During the summer, the Executive Council (or its designees) will write about topics of interest to the RC community. This week, we hear from Cassie Swanson, director of marketing and special events.
I will be the first to say that just over a year ago, I was quite leery to put Rockford College out in the world of social media (Facebook/Twitter/YouTube, etc.) and did a lot of research on the various options. There was very compelling information to not join in, but at what cost? There was even more compelling information saying that we had to be there. We just had to find the best way to jump in.
Why join? At first blush, the theory was that social networks are where the millennial generation is socializing. They set up profile pages, show everyone their pictures, share their thoughts and post all day long about what they are doing. Then they may stealthily check out what their friends are doing, who they are fans of (RC?) and maybe throw some college snooping in there. Bingo.
After researching these sites, the greatest aspect of these mediums is that they do not just cater to the millennial generation. Prospective graduate students, BSMS students, community education students and alumni are all utilizing these sites as well at growing rates.
The stealth shopper. Prospective students and families prefer to find out about you before letting you know they want to find out about you. You’ll find it’s true when you think about yourself – I know I do as much technologically as possible in my personal life to avoid ‘the hard sell.’ Therefore, it’s an “if you build it, they will come theory.” According to Facebook, more than 100 million people are on the site each day (http://www.facebook.com/press/info.php?statistics). Twitter sees similar success with over 7 million users, which is a 1382% growth rate year over year http://blog.nielsen.com/nielsenwire/online_mobile/twitters-tweet-smell-of-success/. Finally, YouTube has reached over 100 million viewers http://youtubereport2009.com/category/youtube-statistics/.
We know all of these folks are fans of the Rockford College page, follow Rockford College’s tweets and watch all of our videos, right? Of course not, but we are out there to be followed. Wonderful results have come to fruition as the preferences of the users have been respected (the college uses a soft sell approach).
In addition, piggybacking this idea and utilizing research and trends of the undergraduate demographic, Rockford College will start an admitted student social network on the Rockford College Web site and will be delving into instant messaging in the near future. These tools will deepen the student/college connection and likely result in greater relationships and enrollment numbers.
So, yes, I will be the first to admit that I was fearful to join social network sites. But, it is all about presentation and attacking new mediums in the right way. A lot of research, planning and tracking go into each decision made and social media has been well-worth the risk.
Air may be back
With many campus buildings without air conditioning, the plan is to bring in a temporary chiller today with hook up planned for tomorrow. Matt Phillips, associate VP for operations, reports that the AC system experienced a mechanical failure and that efforts continue to bring it back on line.
NICNE just completed 5th year in existence
The Northern Illinois Center for Nonprofit Excellence, based here at the college, celebrated its 5th year of service to nonprofit agencies this past year. The center is a terrific resource for not-for profits, providing counseling and professional development activities, and hosting an annual business plan competition. It has served more than 1,000 people representing more than 450 agencies, and participants in its proposal-writing course have garnered more than $2.5 million in grants. Congratulations to the NICNE team headed by Pam Clark-Reidenbach.
Summer plans take RC folks far and near
Most of us have something planned this summer—a trip or a drive up north. But some people here have some very interesting things going on. Here’s just a sample.
Duane Kitchen, biology professor, is taking a leave of absence to do research for a private company.
Noel Rennerfeldt, performing arts professor, is designing the play “The Wedding Singer” at The Little Theatre on the Square in Sullivan, Ill.
Martha Pippitt, now retired biology professor, is traveling with her daughter in Europe this summer. They start in Vienna and take a boat down the Danube with stops in Budapest, Belgrade, Bulgaria, Bucharest, and Istanbul among other ports of call.
Mehmet and Filiz Dik, both math professors, are attending and helping to coordinate a math conference in Turkey.
Matt Flamm, philosophy professor, is in Poland attending a conference and trying to speak the language.
Wherever you’re headed this summer, safe travels!
Take this Rockford quiz
Think you know all about Rockford? Take this little quiz and see how much you know.
- What is the city’s oldest park?
- Where was the city’s first shopping center located?
- What was the name of the professional women’s baseball team established here in 1934?
- A retirement home and school were named after this early resident who was known as the “Rockford Furniture King.”
- The city’s second TV station started in 1953 used call letters in memory of a soldier killed in France who was the son of one of the station’s founders. Do you know the station?
- She graduated from Rockford High School and played “Della Street” on this popular TV show. What was her name and on what show did she appear?
- A well-traveled Rockford street, even though continuous, changes its name five times. List the changes.
- This landmark building was five miles northeast of the city limits when it was built in 1896. What was its original use and who occupies it today?
- Tens of thousands of soldiers got their first taste of Army life at this training center in Rockford. Name it.
- Settlers purchased land in Rockford from the U.S. government in 1843. What did they pay per acre?
- Rockford Peaches
- P.A. Peterson
- WREX-TV (Rex Caster)
- Barbara Hale on “Perry Mason”
- Chelsea, Fairview Blvd., Fairview St., Peter Ave., 31st St.
- A grange; it now houses Lindstrom Travel.
- Camp Grant
RC in the News
Even though it’s summer, Rockford College faculty and staff are being called on to offer their observations and expertise on timely topics.
- Kelly Haugen, career services, was quoted in the Rockford Register Star late last week on job prospects for recent college grads.
- David Pippitt, biology professor, was interviewed by Channel 17 about a possible link between the release of ethanol into a creek during the recent train derailment and a fish kill.
- On that subject, Fred Hadley, chemistry professor, was interviewed by the Register Star about the peak temperature of burning ethanol.
- Fred Rezazedeh, business and economics professor, was quoted in the Register Star yesterday about “penny stocks,” the kind issued by a company considering a major development in downtown Rockford.
- Lindsey Kent, JACCE, was pictured and quoted in the Register Star yesterday while coordinating a fundraiser at Magic Waters Water Park….more
Have a happy and safe Fourth of July!