School of Religion hires new social media managers, sparks conversation on progressive department
The School of Religion has recently hired two social media positions, but did they need to?
A decade has passed since social media transformed the way individuals connect with one another. With platforms ranging from Facebook to Snapchat to Pinterest, marketers have access to some of the best communication tools for reaching targeted audiences.
Despite the advantages social media provides, some organizations have yet to utilize it as a tool.
Determined to not let that tool go unused, the School of Religion recently made the decision to hire two students to run their social media platforms.
Evan Courson, a senior pastoral ministry major, is unsure about the School of Religion starting its own platform outside of the campus-wide social presence.
“If Lee already has a system set up for working public relations and social media, then shouldn’t it be the responsibility of the campus?” Courson said. “Do departments need to have a social media presence?”
Evan’s questions raise the argument as to whether departments having their own social media platform is really necessary.
The School of Religion is not the first department on campus to start individual social media pages, however. The School of Music released their own platforms five years ago.
McKenna Fetzer works as the Recruitment Coordinator for the School of Music and has managed its social media for the past two years. Having used social media in recruiting potential music students, Fetzer shared her thoughts as to why department-focused social media has proved beneficial.
“We have to have very targeted recruitment,” Fetzer said. “As a whole, Lee does a great job of doing very broad ‘this is Lee,’ but it is not very effective without the specific targeting because of what students are looking for.”
The Schools of Music and Religion are not the only departments to recognize the value in targeted marketing gained through social media.
Dr. Jeff Salyer, Director of Media and Marketing, said that specific departments across Lee’s campus have been paying closer attention to their use of social media.
“Promoting events, providing news and entertaining followers is all part of the benefits that departments and clubs are seeing from their use of social media,” Salyer said. “Social media is a tool—a pervasive one—but one that when used correctly can be beneficial to the brand and the follower.”
Salyer is not alone in his opinions. Jessica Bonner, a junior public relations major and one of the two students selected for the job, said she believes paying someone to run social media makes a big difference, not only for the department itself but also in the quality of the content.
“Paying somebody lights a fire in them,” Bonner said. “You feel a responsibility to make it the best that you can. If it was just a side thing you wouldn’t feel any pressure to get it done.”
Bonner said she has high hopes for the social platforms that will soon come from the School of Religion.
“In the age we live in with social media and how prominent it is, this is the best thing that the School of Religion could do in advancing their recruitment,” Bonner said.
Dr. Mark Walker, vice president for Ministerial Development and chair of Christian Ministries, said the SOR simply wants to connect.
“We want to better communicate to prospective and current students—and to our alumni base—who we are and what we do,” Walker said. “Greater exposure to a larger audience of people will hopefully translate into a greater attraction of students that have a call into theology and local church ministry.”