IU’s Interfraternity Council and Panhellenic Association invited experts Carrie Ritchie, social business manager at IBM, and April Toler, a news and media specialist from IU Office of University Communications, to their annual Greek Media Training Workshop in efforts to help students in greek life with their social media etiquette.
“Uninformed people are not aware of the impact social media posts can have, whether it is negative or positive,” said junior Nicholas Mpistolarides, IFC’s vice president of communications who helped organize the event.
Mpistolarides said most of the information revolved around crisis management. For example, Mpistolarides said one exercise had participants deal with a hypothetical situation involving an inappropriate social media post.
Freshman Noah Kleiman attended the workshop and said he learned a lot about managing social media crises. Kleiman is a brother of Delta Chi and was one of the two representatives from his chapter.
He said most crises only need one person in charge of public relations because otherwise there would be too many ideas being passed around and very little done to resolve the issue.
“You don’t need a hundred people commenting on a crisis,” Kleiman said
Kleiman said sites like Facebook and Twitter have become more than a tool for socializing because they are increasingly being used in a professional capacity.
Kleiman said he found the advice helpful because it was geared toward helping the fraternity and the individuals.
“Don’t saturate your social media with bad photos,” Kleiman said. “At the end of the day, you are going to want a job, and recruiters don’t like to see that. If you do something wrong make sure you take it down and apologize.”
A good portion of the workshop was allocated to alumni relations. Kleiman and Mpistolarides said the speakers emphasized the importance of using social media to attract more alumni. Kleiman said Delta Chi and other fraternities need to take advantage of the fact that recent college graduates have an extensive social media presence.
One suggestion the speakers offered was a weekly post directly aimed at alumni. Kleiman said Delta Chi could post an old photo or video for “Throwback Thursday” to help alumni feel more involved in fraternity operations.
Mpistolarides and Kleiman said they wanted to not only improve alumni relations but also media relations. They said it upsets them that most news outlets only focus on the negative aspects of greek life but also said it was the greek community’s fault for not promoting the positives. Toler said she offered advice to attendants on how to approach interactions with the media.
“Be prepared,” Toler said. “Know the goal of the interview, give interviews in a quiet space where you are not distracted, speak with passion and clarity.”
Kleiman said he now knows more than ever the importance of a good media presence. He said he wants to use community and service to help reform the image of not just his fraternity, but all greeks.
“Community and service is key for every fraternity,” Kleiman said.