The Social Media Communicators group met on Tuesday, September 21 to introduce everyone at the meeting (new year, new members), as well as follow up on interest in a video production seminar. All members present discussed the tools they were using for video production, and what they would like to gain from it. Sarah Evans from BU Photography also discussed the efforts of her department over the past several months. We then talked about upcoming meeting agenda items and events for cross-promotion.
Public Relations Introductions
First, Public Relations went around and introduced their team. Tom Testa, Asst. VP of PR, emphasized the name change from Media Relations (which implied a heavy media/Experts Program emphasis) to Public Relations, which is now more focused on messaging, content creation, and a blend of social media. Public Relations is hoping to be the center of conversation for the university, and to be the place where the outside community goes for its information on BU. The department is still beat-driven, with a client/agency model, which allows the team to meet one-on-one with clients (schools) and consult with them on a broader, all-encompassing promotional strategy, including social media.
Team members’ roles include:
Colin Riley: Head Media Relations contact; head University spokesperson. Handles policies, crises, advice to internal staff on communications; contact for film shoots, commercials, facilitating agreements with parties outside the university.
Mary Tunney: Works with Stephen Prothero & Andrew Bacevich; heads up social media initiatives; main contact for the broadcast studio (1 Silber Way, 8th Floor), which houses an ISDN line & audio hookup — contact her for scheduling television & radio appearances.
Introductions & experience with social media & video production
Corinne Steinbrenner: Creative Services, mainly alumni magazines, looking for ways to tie what’s going on in social media into the magazines
Jillian McNiff & Kris Covarrubias: FitRec — using iMovie & Final Cut — a student wrote a guide for them. [ Ed. note: We’d like to add this guide to our group resources; we’ll update you when it can be included here ]
Jean Connaughton: CFA. Some interest in live streaming, using Flip cameras to play with video now.
Greg Johnson: Admissions. Using Final Cut for video, want to grow knowledge of use.
Raul Fernandez: Howard Thurman Center. Using social media outlets like Foursquare and Twitter, but also using a listserv successfully — over 6,000 members. Also working with AdLab for help with social & traditional marketing. Video commercials on the docket for the blog coming up soon, and then a music video. Also experimenting with live chats in the future. Using a hand cam (not a Flip). Shooting in HD with Final Cut.
Jacki DeAngelo & Adriane Dean: SMG. Lots of video — using two Sony DV cameras & lighting; a black backdrop for a more formal setting. Sending video out to external editors, but would love a dedicated Final Cut station with on-site editors. Cameras were recommended by Bob with BU Productions (the same person Nancy Marrs recommended). Trying to have panelists on polished videos by pulling them aside right after the panel with the camera & backdrop. Will send a link for example videos.
Colin asked about SMG TV’s — how does it work?
Jacki: A woman in IS&T does all the setup for us. We have an online ticketing system, so anyone with a BU login could request something to be placed on the LCD.
Kelly Cunningham: DAR. We have only gotten our feet wet with Flip cameras and iMovie. Under the guidance of students, we’re combining footage from the Global Day of Service, and we’re going to have a student put together a video for the alumni awards in October. We’re eager, but not very well-versed in the technology yet. We also repurpose material from Public Relations for our Facebook page.
Nelia Ponte: Content Management Director in a new department. My focus now is the BU.edu homepage, as well as BUniverse, which is still in beta. We’re looking to launch version 2.0 very soon, which will include changes to the Student/Faculty/Staff/Alumni categorization feature.
Charles Southworth: Distance Education. Mostly focused on production — a little bit of social media, a bit of marketing, but mostly media production.
Maria Pantages: MED, Corporate Communications. We’re just getting started, and hard copy is still a focus. We’re slowly working — Nate can dream big!
Nathan Bliss: MED. Started Twitter & Facebook accounts for Boston University School of Medicine. We have one Flip cam, but haven’t really used it yet. We’re definitely interested in a video production seminar — still figuring out what we’d want to do with video. Note: we’re separate from the hospital when it comes to Facebook & Twitter.
Michelle Salzman: SPH. We’re experimenting with video for student projects. We use a Kodak version of a “Flip,” along with iMovie. We’re looking for better ways to produce video and advice on better equipment.
Marie Turley: Maintain the BUSM alumni Facebook profile, and blog for the Deans of the School of Medicine — I’m interested in a social media presence for that. We’re not working with video yet, but definitely interested in it.
Kat Cozzi: MET, Marketing Department. I manage the social media presence. I’ve been working on marketing videos, repurposing videos that Charles’s team has taken, and making the content digestible for Facebook. We did one video with a Flip camera of graduation. We’d love to learn more about producing good videos. We have a COM student helping to edit and repurpose videos using Final Cut on a Mac. We did this because we had so much video to work with, and wanted to use it.
Nikki Marro: SED. We’ve done a little bit of movie work, using a Flip camera and either Adobe Premier or Windows Movie Maker.
Susan Lebovits: Sustainability. A student and I have been shooting films with a Kodak “Flip,” including move-in and the sustainability@BU Festival. The student is helping to edit, but we’re not proud of the product yet — carving out nights & weekends to edit. We want to learn how to make this more manageable.
Sarah Evans: BU Photography. We’re more interested in Avid. Here’s what BU Photo has been up to: we’re working to get away from the “dead-end assignment.” We’re always thinking in terms of immediate need, but now we’re asking, “How else can we stretch this?” — banners, Facebook, Twitter — one assignment, different uses. This has been our initiative over the past 6-8 months. For example, we now include Facebook-friendly photos in our media library.
Susan: That’s a great idea, because we need web-friendly versions of photos (I had to teach myself Photoshop to learn how to repurpose large photos in smaller versions).
Sarah: We should talk about creating one-click options in Photoshop — shortcuts you can set (like macros?)
Tom: How many are doing photography too? (most hands raise) — Maybe that’s a tutorial we need to look at too.
Next steps & upcoming events
We’d like to talk more about blogs and how each college, if they have a blog, what their strategy is compared to other social platforms. We’ve added blog creation, maintenance and promotion to the October agenda. Upcoming events have been added to the Communicators section — click here for the September/October event notes (login required).
A request was made for a community that the Social Media Communicators can share information in. We’ve created a basic Google Group, in which you can post discussions, links and share files. You should have received an invitation; if you are in the SMC group and do not have access, please e-mail Jenny Mackintosh at jemack AT bu DOT edu. Be sure to allow for e-mail updates in your Google Group settings (“Edit my membership,” bottom of the group page) (either per-message or a daily digest of activity) to stay in the loop.
Leaf image courtesy jurvetson on Flickr.