Embracing social media in academia

Marketing & Communications is seeking a pilot group of about five faculty members to start working together in Spring 2022

UND’s Division of Marketing & Communications is piloting a new service that supports faculty who want to leverage social media to showcase their research. A pilot group of about five faculty members will start working together in Spring 2022. UND archival image.

UND is taking steps to assist faculty members in sharing their research through social media.

Recognizing social media provides a timely and effective way to communicate to the public, UND’s Division of Marketing & Communications is piloting a new service that supports faculty who want to leverage social media to showcase their research.

“Social media changed the game. Faculty no longer have to rely on traditional media outlets or journals to showcase their work. They can make an immediate impact on their own using social media,” said Tera Buckley, Director of Web & Multimedia Marketing in the Division of Marketing & Communications.

Marketing & Communications recognizes there is no one-size-fits-all solution because scholars are as diverse as the work that they do. That’s why they are working towards a customized approach.

First, they created a web page that includes social media guidance for faculty and an in-take form to start working with Marketing & Communications on research promotion.

Second, they seek to develop a pilot group of faculty members who are interested in expanding their use of social media to showcase their work. Third, they are revamping their media training to include training for faculty in areas such as writing and placing op-eds and using social media to communicate to trade groups, other researchers and the general public.

“This is just the first phase,” said David Dodds, Director of Communications in the Division of Marketing & Communications. “Our end goal is to reimagine public engagement, but we need to learn from faculty how to best do that. We need the help of faculty who already successfully engage on social media. We want to learn from them and pass that model on to others.”

Other research universities have similar yet much more extensive programs that support their faculty complete with formal training guides, policies, recognition in annual reviews, and awards. More universities are recognizing that social media can be a very effective strategy when the information is coming directly from the expert vs. the public relations department.

“We have outstanding faculty at UND, and they do work that pushes the boundaries of human knowledge and contributes to the advancement of the public good,” said Provost Eric Link. “Part of the work of the university is to bring these new discoveries to local, regional, and global communities, thereby improving the quality of life of everyone and enhancing the economic enterprise of the state.  The research done here at UND changes lives, and we must share that research beyond the walls of the academy whenever possible.”

If you are interested in participating in the pilot group, please contact David Dodds at david.dodds@UND.edu. A pilot group of about five faculty members will start working together in Spring 2022.