Monday, August 5, 2013

Quick Social Media Primer for 2013-14

Face it: Most SIDs are jacks of all trades, but master of too few.

There's always someone who knows more on a given subject. Recently I met with Berry College's Director of Social Media Cameron Jordan. 

Listed below are some of tips he suggested for Berry College athletics.

Most of our Facebook posting is done with a simple click of the Facebook box through our Presto Sports website.

However, if you add a photo manually (action shot from a game, for example), and then paste the headline and URL, you will see more activity.

The reason? Facebook users are more likely to click your story link, like or share when there's a photo--rather than just a shortened URL.I'm going to test this out and expect to see positive results.

It's also a great idea to share and like other campus Facebook posts. Additionally, tag the user (Berry Football, for example) for another "best practice." 

Yet I got a better review on my use of Twitter. I still automate the posts through Presto, but I also like to add images at games, and for other occasions. 

General rule of thumb: Users want unique content and photos, people!

I'm looking to expand our Instagram use, too. I may forgo Twitpic and Imagetwit.

Which brings up a good point: Instagram now has video. Once again, the popular Instagram could replace Tout and Vine accounts for many.

Lastly, don't forget to interact with users on all social media platforms. That is the kind of goodwill that will get you a very large "thumbs up" from your community.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Add Value and Enhance Career

The first CoSIDA convention under the NACDA umbrella is still fresh on our minds. What are your takeaways?

My big one: add value.

According to a report, college division athletic directors (most) are our biggest fans. They now see the the quality and quantity of what the SID does. That is HUGE progress, my friends.

On the negative side, many higher ups--VPs and Presidents--are unaware of the tremendous value we add to our institutions.

They need to know that a strategic communicator greatly assists in attracting and retaining students to a college or university.

What can we do to convince the higher ups of this fact?

Continue the good we are doing and broadcast the successes.

Be Yourself, but Make a Splash 

What is your AD, coach or president saying about you?

The valued SIDs are using their unique talents to fortify their jobs.

For example, one SID is big on game shows and can take over a room. But he also gets in his game files promptly each night. His bosses know the job he does but also that extra effort to make the student-athlete experience unique and special.

Define your unique skills and build on them. What are you adding to your repertoire in 2014? If you don't at least try something new or to get better, you are not helping your situation or the profession.

Know Your Limitations

Just about every job interviewee is asked of his/her biggest weakness? Have you defined yours in relation to your job? If the answer is yes, ask for help.

If graphic design is not your thing, can the PR office assist on layout and cover design of a media guide?

Does your office have a plan in place for editing and accuracy? Don Ranly once said a doctor can't operate on himself and an author needs an editor as well.

Do you have too many responsibilities on game day? Perhaps a local statistician or PA announcer can help. Identify the hole and ask for help. They can only say "no."

Nice Guys Finish First 

If I were to guess what the biggest asset of an embedded/successful/respected SID was, it would be that he/she is well-liked.

"Every time I say yes to a coach, it's a deposit in the bank," was a takeaway from a CoSIDA panel about dealing with coaches. The veteran from the commonwealth of Virginia made a wise point.

For those of us handling multiple sports, do you have a genuine interest in every athletic team you cover? Say "yes" to their unique needs and you can reap dividends.

More importantly, do you strive to achieve positive personal relationships with coaches? A friend is likely to be your biggest advocate.

Get Involved

It may be a broken record, but get involved. The CoSIDA Board, committees, divisional leadership, and activity on the conference level are all good examples.

SIDs can make a difference elsewhere. We now can sit on sport championship committees, which is another indication of the increasing respect of our profession within intercollegiate athletics.

However, there are other ways to be involved. Be an asset by blogging about the profession, get active on LinkedIn discussion boards, the or SIDChat. If you are helping or educating others, you are an asset.

Or, perhaps simply pick up of the phone and see how a colleague and or newcomer is doing once a week. I can do that.

Live Video Streaming

There are many live streaming options for college athletic departments. At the 2013 CoSIDA convention, I coordinated three different approaches to successful live streaming.

This document outlines what we do at Berry College: Presto Sports and UStream. (Note: Brent Harris from Wabash College and Brandon Tripp from Fresno Pacific presented other options.)

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Video on a Budget for SIDs

Adding video recaps and content adds great value to college athletic departments. This presentation at the 2013 CoSIDA Convention was moderated by Berry College's Bob Lowe. All the three panelists had similar ways of creating videos. Caley McCool of the PSAC and Aaron Seagraves did much of the Power Point work.

Please enjoy the presentation below: