August 2, 2014
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What is Readabout.me? Social media, Students

I’m glad you asked! Readabout.me is a new online service that University News is using to spread good news about our students’ achievements. So far, we’re using it to send news releases to students’ hometown newspapers about enrollment, Dean’s List, sports achievements, graduation—and the list keeps growing. When we create a story, an online version is also e-mailed to the student, so he or she can forward it or post on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr or LinkedIn. A profile is also created, so any other story University News writes about that student will appear on the profile page. And students can enter their own stories and photos, too!

In fact, keep your eyes peeled this week for summer graduates and fall Dean’s List announcements!

I’m really excited about this program because it’s great for students and the university. Student can get their achievements out there—which is especially helpful when more and more companies are Googling potential employees and checking their social media outlets.

Let’s take graduation and see how this works. At the end of the quarter, I request a list of graduates from the Registrar’s office. I ask for their names, e-mail addresses, hometown and ZIP code, program and degree in a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet. I then write up a template using the column headers from the spreadsheet. It looks something like “(Name) graduated from RIT’s (college) with a (degree) in (program).” I upload these documents to Readabout.me, and it fills in the appropriate blanks and sends the release to the appropriate newspapers, based on the students’ ZIP codes. Then the student gets an e-mail saying that RIT wrote a story about them so they can then post it wherever they want. And it creates an online profile, so if I send more stories about these students, everything collects in one place. Pretty neat!

As always, student privacy is a priority. When we send a release through Readabout.me, we do so in accordance with the student privacy policy. Any student who does not want directory information released must notify the Office of the Registrar in writing. Directory information includes name, program, hometown, dates of attendance at RIT and degrees and awards received.

If you have any questions about Readabout.me, take a look at its Frequently Asked Questions page, leave a comment below or e-mail me at mdluns@rit.edu.

 

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