Monday, November 14, 2011

Sharing my notebook on university and #highered PR

With the Penn State child abuse scandals taking up so much of my reading and discussions in the past week--like anyone else who works closely with universities on communications issues--I found myself reacting in real time, sending private tweets and emails, and often sharing items publicly. "Seen this?" "What do you think of this?" And I wrote my first post on this scandal, The point where Penn State got caught: Lessons for communicators, including some of my gleanings and readings.

I keep an Evernote notebook on university PR topics, my way of collecting videos, coverage, topics, tweets and other material that I can use as examples and cautionary tales when I conduct leadership media training sessions or help universities develop social media strategies. By no means comprehensive, it's a collection in which I keep track of major news and perspectives on crisis topics and other issues likely to come up in my training sessions.

Now I'm sharing that notebook publicly. You can find my Evernote notes on university PR topics here, and use these features to make it even more useful:
  • A search box lets you search the entire notebook; it's upper left on the page.
  • Tags are Evernote's automated tags for some of the URLs or sources where I found the notes; I haven't added any particular tags to this notebook as yet.
  • If you want to add this notebook to your Evernote account, click on the "Link to my account" button at upper right on the page.
  • Print notes or the entire notebook, heaven help you, using the button at far right on the top of the page.
In addition to external sources, I've annotated many of the notes to share my perspective on what's significant about a piece of coverage or the university's handling of it, or where the good or bad example lies. Of course, this week, I've added lots of coverage of the Penn State scandal and investigation. Look for these gems in the coverage--all in the notebook:
  • An ESPN reporter's look back at a previous sex discrimination case at Penn State, focused on a women's coach who allegedly discriminated against lesbian players. Her description of a press officer's half-hearted handling of inquiries about the case offers lessons for any university PR team.
  • Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett's press conference last week, a great example of demonstrating leadership, deft handling of a news conference, and managing to contribute to the discussion even when most of his comments had to be withheld due to the ongoing state investigation, which he launched while attorney general. He does a great job explaining the process in this presser.
  • One PR observer, Ed Cafasso, points to the next potential shoe to drop: Reports that the alleged abuser was running a prostitution ring involving the children. He also points to a good article on sports fan psychology and wonders whether Penn State can eventually detach its sports program from the ongoing investigation in the minds of the public.
I've also added two notes at the top of the notebook: One to introduce it, and another with all the posts from this blog that mention universities. The latter includes many examples of my clients' work, social media strategies, media training issues and more, and clicking on that link ensures you'll find the updated array of my posts related to higher education issues. Finally, the notebook is updated whenever I add or change a note--a great way for you to stay current. Let me know if your university communications operation is seeking media training, crisis communications training, or social media strategy help, at info[at]dontgetcaught[dot]biz.

Clip to Evernote
Use the Evernote clip button, above, to save this post in an Evernote notebook or start an Evernote account. Subscribe to For Communications Directors, my free monthly newsletter, which features content before it appears here on the blog.

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