Please welcome Western president Amit Chakma—er, @PresWesternU—to the Twitterverse.
In an attempt to catch up with the times, and bring a more specific focus to the initiatives the president is involved with on behalf of the university, the media relations team at Western thought it would be beneficial for Chakma to finally jump on the social media bandwagon and join the rest of us in 2012.
“Up until now, it has been tricky to get a good handle on the various types of interactions the president has with individual campus community members—particularly students,” Keith Marnoch, director of media and communications for Western, said. “We hope that this communication vehicle will provide the community with some insight into the great work and initiatives happening around campus, as seen through the eyes of the president.”
“Both he and a communications support staff will contribute to the account in hopes of making it as relevant and timely as possible.”
With nearly 200 followers in less than 24 hours, Chakma has received a very warm welcome and an abundance of support from the staff and students at Western. But don’t expect a follow for a follow.
“When it comes to following, the president far prefers meeting with students in person in all corners of the university, and puts a priority on that happening as soon as possible,” Marnoch explained. “While the president recognizes that dialogue and sharing are important elements of micro-blogging, for now he will concentrate on the sharing aspect of Twitter and see where it leads him.”
According to Marnoch, the tweets from Chakma’s personal account will differ from the already-
established @westernu account.
“The profile of the account is specifically geared to activities that the president comes across through the normal course of his daily schedule,” he said. “The @westernu account is more of a public address account about anything Western—not as much about what the president is doing or seeing.”
Marnoch hopes Chakma’s personal account will serve as an effective tool for reaching out to the entire student body.
“This account represents a tangible outreach to students, as well as to the general Western community,” he said. “Hopefully, the account will bring a greater understanding to those priorities and encourage students to either get more involved with particular initiatives, or at least know more about where the university is headed.”
Next up, Instagram.