Social Media for Management Professors: Establishing an Online Scholarly Presence


Professional Development Workshop

Management professors and business school faculty are missing out on a set of new opportunities to influence management scholarship and management practice.

Locked into traditional ways of creating and sharing expert knowledge, most management professors are unaware of the social media revolution that could help them connect with more managers and get their insights turned into actions. “Web 2.0” communication tools, and specifically social media like interactive blogs, microblogs and community sites now make it easy for us to translate our research and connect with managers ourselves, if we use these social media strategically.

Some management faculty are depending on the web-based outreach efforts of their institutions to develop an online presence for them. However, these institutional efforts are intended to benefit the institution itself, not necessarily to increase the long-term reach of a particular professor’s unique insights. Some courageous faculty members are striking out on their own, experimenting at the margins of social media, but often without the time to develop and pursue a focused strategy that would make their online activity both efficient and effective.

Using social media effectively involves developing new technological skills, learning to create new genres of expert content, and understanding how to extend one’s professional self outside the classroom and the university.

You can learn all of these skills on your own, but it’s more fun and more efficient to get some help from colleagues who understand the big picture and are comfortable with the specific tools. To help individual management professors, graduate students and faculty groups get involved in social media in an efficient and effective way, we are offering workshops, seminars, and presentations to get faculty members online using social media. Covering topics that range all the way from the big picture of how social media is changing the management education profession down to the nitty-gritty of how to set up a Twitter account or a blog, we can teach you the theory and dynamics of social media. Even better, we can help you create and execute a plan for getting yourself established online.

We can customize our presentations to fit your specific interests as well as your skill & knowledge levels, within your available professional development time. We can create anything from a 90 minute seminar for a faculty group with presentations and conversation, to a strategy-development session for your own initiatives, to a 2-day boot camp that gets you and colleagues up and running on several platforms at once.

Outlined below are a set of topics that your development program could cover. The first group of topics together set an agenda for a full-day basic “Social Media Boot Camp”. The second group of topics are additional sections that could be added to address particular areas of interest and goals. Keep in mind that any of these topics can be expanded or compressed to fit your needs and your available time.

Please connect with me at cvharquail(at)AuthenticOrganizations(dot)com to discuss what would work best for you and your colleagues.

Social Media for Management Professors: Establishing an Online Scholarly Presence
Professional Development Workshop

Addressing the specific opportunities for management professors, this workshop will teach members how to establish an on-line presence using blogs, microblogging, and community sites (e.g., InsightsToActions, Twitter, and LinkedIn, respectively).

Based on our research among management faculty, we have identified five common challenges that explain why management professors are so under-represented in the blogosphere specifically and on social media in general. The workshop (Boot Camp) is designed to address each of these five challenges, which include:

  • Understanding what social media actually are and what kinds of social media platforms are being used by managers and organization members,
  • Familiarity with the features and functions of blogs, microblogs and community sites,
  • Understanding how social media can support and extend our individual and collective scholarly practices,
  • Understanding how developing an online presence now will help you make an effective transition as the structure of management education transforms, and
  • How to approach gracefully what appears to be a daunting learning curve, both technological and editorial, for participating in a meaningful way.

Participants will leave this workshop:

  1. Aware of the opportunities that social media offer to management professors,
  2. Able to articulate the scholarly, managerial and institutional ROI of your online activity,
  3. Able to identify, understand and use the major features of the three dominant forms of social media,
  4. Understanding the array of blogs being published by management scholar colleagues, and
  5. Able to participate at your desired level of engagement.

I. Why Participate in Social Media?

  • Why management professors should create an online presence
  • How establishing an online presence now might help you avoid becoming obsolete, as ‘content’ gets cheaper and traditional distribution & education models (e.g., MBA programs) lose ground to other models

ll. What’s out there?

A. Survey of the Management-related blogosphere

  • Ways that you could be active online
  • Strategic considerations
  • Competitive/Community analysis
  • The importance of text and video

B. What’s working right now?

  • Best practices of Management Professors who are already online
  • Genres of blogs
  • Combinations of social media platforms

C. Understanding the Social Media Mindset

  • Norms of scholarly behavior vs. norms of social media
  • Big picture conceptual mechanisms that make social media powerful
  • The ‘value chain’ of social media– contrasted with value chain of research & journal publication
  • Clarifying your goals

lll. What to establish for yourself

A. Your professional brand, personal brand and institutional identity

B. Your topical niche

C. What do you have to say?

  • Clarifying your voice
  • Establishing your personal brand
  • Qualities, ‘products’, issues, advocacy related to your brand?
  • Clarifying your goals

lV. Creating a Presence

A. The Power of Three: Blog, Twitter & LinkedIn and why you need them all

B. The Blog as a homespace

  • Blogging options from WordPress, to Posterous, to your insitution’s webpage
  • Setting up the content framework (e.g., About pages, categories)
  • Establishing an editorial system
  • Creating a blogging routing
  • Staying sane using the 80/20 rule and more

C. Microblogs and what they are really for (i.e., they’re not for telling us what you had for lunch)

  • Twitter Basics
  • Building a following
  • Creating and offering value
  • Connecting to influencers
  • Building reciprocity

D. Community sites

  • How they work
  • LinkedIn vs. Facebook
  • Ning: Creating your own community vs joining another
  • Conversation vs. community

E. Social Media Synergy

  • Conceptual synergy (creating, abstracting, parsing)
  • Managing personal & professional, expert & learner
  • Technical synergy: Linking your locations
  • Editorial synergy: Coordinating your platforms & audiences
  • Collective strategy: Beyond blogrolling

F. (How) Can you do this without having a blog?

Additional Units

For audiences who need more of an introduction or who want a focused session
Please connect with me at cvharquail(at)AuthenticOrganizations(dot)com to discuss what would work best for you and your colleagues.

1. The Basics of Blogs

  • Blogs as a concept
  • Features of a blog
  • The technology behind a blog
  • The functionality of a blog (what they can and can’t do, technically)
  • Different blog platforms
  • How to establish your level of geekability
  • Aligning geekablity to blog type

2. Totally, Totally Twitter

  • Making a difference in 120 characters
  • Exploiting the efficiency of Twitter
  • Twitter participation models & styles
  • Best practices of Twitter
  • “Being” the Hash Tag
  • Third party platforms & applications
  • Phoning it in
  • Staying up to date

3. Creating powerful content

  • The qualities of a truly great post
  • How blog posts differ from scholarly writing
  • Types of content for your blog (varieties of posts, pages, anchor content, resources to offer, etc.)
  • Re-purposing text you’ve already written and published
  • Video vs. text: engagement vs. expertise
  • It’s not messy, it’s emergent.

4. Crafting your personal brand

  • branding vs. voice
  • bridging domains: scholar, expert, teacher, colleague
  • aligning brand across media
  • aligning personal brand with your institution’s brand

5. “Reading” Blogs: Using blogs to imbibe, explore, and discuss ideas

  • Popular tactics for finding, tracking, reading, and commenting on a blog
  • Establishing a blog-reading routine
  • Commenting on blogs
  • Ethics and best practices

6. Increasing distribution and influence

  • Getting your words out
  • Marketing your blog
  • Working with your institution
  • SEO basics to enhance your ‘findability’
  • Blogging Buddies and Tribes
  • Contributing to a group blog
  • Guest posting

6. Build Your Own Blog: A “Nuts & Bolts” Session

Going through, step-by-step, the process of establishing an independently hosted WordPress blog (best practice).

  • Choosing a domain name
  • Connecting your domain name, hosting company (server), and blogging software
  • Choosing a template
  • Setting up the basic features
  • Choosing and installing plug-ins and widgets
  • Administration basics
  • Good database management
  • What to do when things freeze, disappear, etc.
  • When to call a professional geek

Additional Information

Advance Preparation Expectations

Each participant will be asked prepare for any session by conducting a (directed) tour of some sites and platforms, by filling out a short questionnaire about personal interests, and by filling out a quick online survey to assess participants’ knowledge and interests.
(Answers will be used by facilitators to tailor content and tool options and to adjust the depth and length of various discussions.)

Post Session Follow-up

Participants will leave with follow-up assignments, a group check-in process, and a set of resources for additional learning and coaching.

Technology Requirements for Workshops

Participants should bring laptop computers, iPhones and Blackberries.

The conference room will need a presentation screen, a projector, Wifi access for everyone, electrical outlets & extension cords for participants’ laptops. (The session will outlast most laptops’ batteries.)

Please connect with me at cvharquail(at)AuthenticOrganizations(dot)com to discuss what would work best for you and your colleagues.