Dr. David Wright, Indiana Wesleyan University’s president for nearly a full academic year, is no stranger to the social media scene.
Though not much of a Facebook or Twitter buff before taking on the title of president, Wright now consistently runs two Facebook pages – one personal and one presidential, a Twitter page and a blog.
“It really struck me that that’s an important way of maintaining a connection today,” he said. “People don’t have a lot of time to sit and read things,”
Wright decided to become more active on social media for his presidency partially as a result of a conference with other university presidents who talked about various ways they were connecting with their communities.
“They all had thought purposefully about the way they would use media today to connect on behalf of the university,” Wright said. “Not so much a personal contact, but how would they communicate on behalf of the university as the president with the multiple publics.”
Wright shared that his Twitter account is connected to both of his Facebook accounts, so anything he tweets gets automatically posted to Facebook as well, increasing the interaction with other media users.
Wright says that he, for the most part, uses his Twitter and Facebook posts for brief updates that he tries to share a few times each day. His blog posts come less frequently – usually once every week or two, but he adds much more content.
“The blog posts tend to be longer and more substantive,” he said. “People feel like it’s a more immediate kind of connection with my philosophy or where I think the university’s going or things that are going on in our context.”
“The power of that connection has been pretty amazing to me,” he added.
Wright sees his use of social media as a great way to connect with students and others in the community. He said he has had people start conversations with him about his posts, finding them as an area of common ground with him.
Although readers have given Wright a lot of positive feedback from his various posts, he admitted there has been some negative feedback, usually in regards to something he has shared that someone does not agree with. He realizes though, that people disagreeing occasionally come with the territory.
“If everybody agreed, you probably aren’t doing your job,” Wright said