Harper College social media interview with The Washington Post

30 Jan

This past week, a colleague of mine forwarded me a link to the blog “Campus Overload,” written by Jenna Johnson for The Washington Post.  In her January 19 post, “Social Media Newbies,” Johnson interviews Erin Brooks, a media relations specialist for Harper College, a community college in Illinois. 

 The interview discusses Harper College’s use of social media and Brooks provides helpful tips for college professionals who are looking to use social technologies as a new way to connect with students.  In the interview with Johnson, Brooks says social media has helped Harper to “land media stories we otherwise wouldn’t have landed, resolve student concerns, reconnect with alumni and successfully promote campus events. More importantly, we’ve had meaningful conversations with our students, community members and alums” (Johnson, 2011).

 In the interview, Brooks also shares some of the ways Harper has used social media to connect with students: live admissions and financial aid chats, YouTube FAQ videos, and using Facebook and Twitter to reach out to specific students, addressing their questions and concerns (Johnson, 2011).

 This is a fascinating article, filled with helpful tips and inspiring ideas.  If you are new to using social media in a college environment and/or are just looking to gain some perspective, I encourage you to read it.

 After reading this interview, I am excited about the possibilities.  Social media presents colleges with a tremendous opportunity to connect with students in new ways. As I mentioned in a previous post, I am taking a social media course and for my final project I will be creating a social media proposal; the focus of my proposal will be to create a social media plan for the community college I work for.  My proposal will explain how social media can be integrated to help the college deliver comprehensive and responsive student services, and increase visibility and outreach to local and regional communities.  This week I will be putting together the outline as well as some of my many ideas.  Once I have it together, I will share it here.  Stay tuned!

 Thanks for reading!



2 Responses to “Harper College social media interview with The Washington Post”

  1. Matt Thornton February 2, 2011 at 12:08 pm #

    Hi Allison,

    Live video is something that I’m seeing more and more as I look at various colleges and their recruiting/advising techniques. I know that Southern New Hampshire University utilizes Skype for meeting with students for admissions and advising. It’s perfect, particularly for distance students, to be able to get a personal connection to the college without actually having to be there on campus. I’ll forward your blog to some of my colleagues over there, and hopefully you can get some feedback on how they feel it’s been working for them.

    I remember having to check out one college’s website the other day to try and find course descriptions for a transfer course. As soon as the website loaded, a pop-up chat window appeared in the bottom corner that said “Hello, I’m Katie in Admissions. How can I help you today?” I know that our instant messaging software at GBCC has this same capability. How incredible – to be able to “ask an advisor” online in such a quick, easy to use way?


    • allisonkmarcotte February 2, 2011 at 4:34 pm #

      Wow, what a great way for students to connect “virtually” with an admissions rep! I love it! I have seen colleges use instant messaging services before, but not Skype – I’m going to have to check that out with SNHU.

      You are right – these virtual technologies are an excellent way for colleges to reach out to students they may have been unable to connect with otherwise. It is not only convenient, it’s also a brilliant customer service tool.

      We definitely will have to look into using it at GBCC!

      Thanks for reading!


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