So when someone first explained the concept of Twitter to me, my first reaction was: "Who has time to keep up with what their friends are doing all day?" Surely not me. However, after I investigated closer, I realized that the twitter phenomenon was actually pretty cool. And if done right, you wouldn't spend your day reading about what meaningly tasks your friends are completing. Rather, twitter is way to stay connected to friends so that you always know what thier doing or what is important to them.
What makes twitter so cutting edge is the fact that it provides real-time short messages that work over multiple networks and devices. For PR people, using twitter (called "tweeting") provides an opportunity to let valuable publics know what is hot with your organization. This connection that spans over networks is a great opportunity. Just think what an impact it would be to have interested publics keeping up with what you are doing instead of your organizaiton trying to keep up with them. Wouldn't it be great if your prospective customers wanted to get text messages, facebook messages, etc JUST about your organization?
Missouri State University has recently taken the next step to get cozy with the "in crowd" who make use of online social networks. Brad Mitchell (New Media guru) has taken on a handful with his job of managing and creating (plus more) social media profiles on a variety of social media sites (such as Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, MySpace, etc).
For all appearances sake, Brad has lucked out with his position at Missouri State. Not many of us would think twice for an opportunity to dabble in social media all day and get paid. However, Brad indicated that his job goes far beyod maintining social media profiles for the University. With this in mind, I cannot possibly fathom how he finds time in a normal work day to keep up with these social media sites and still manages to take on additional tasks (such as the new iClass function sponsored by Apple he is now working on and the various technicial roles he must fill).
Because of the overwhelming responsibilities that come with creating and maintaining a social media account, especially for an organization, it is clear that such a task will not remain a one-person show for long. With the whimsy of dabbling on social media Web sites all day, I am certain that there will be no shortage of volunteers when a new position in New Media becomes open at Missouri State. Hopefully, the role will be filled by an experienced PR person who has the experience and knowledge to maintain such profiles and help them flourish so MSU will receive the greatest benefit from getting socially involved.