Magazine article Phi Kappa Phi Forum

Society Online Networks Reach 15,000 Members

Magazine article Phi Kappa Phi Forum

Society Online Networks Reach 15,000 Members

Article excerpt

By the time this edition of the magazine went to press, Phi Kappa Phi's online networks on Linkedln, Facebook and Twitter had topped 15,000 members cumulatively. And participants are thrilled with what they find.

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"The Phi Kappa Phi Linkedln group helps me to establish connections with other passionate professionals in my field and related fields," said group member Stacey Greene Wicksall (Syracuse University), an education outreach librarian at Newark Public Library. "Members pass along interesting information and support one another in many helpful ways."

Bonnie Parnell Riechert (University of Tennessee), associate professor and director of the public relations program at Belmont University in Nashville, agrees. "A former chapter officer and president at University of Tennessee, I now teach at a university where there is no chapter of Phi Kappa Phi," she said. "The Phi Kappa Phi Linkedln group gives me opportunity to engage with the national Phi Kappa Phi community, even though I don't have a local chapter network."

"Phi Kappa Phi's Facebook page is a great way to keep up with fellow members of our community of scholars," echoed Donna Clark Schubert, associate vice chancellor for marketing and communication at Troy University (her Phi Kappa Phi chapter) and former Society vice president. "I love seeing the photos and hearing about the experiences of other members, and I've found that Facebook is a great, informal way to network."

Phi Kappa Phi entered social networking in fall 2008 as part of an ongoing effort to communicate more effectively with current and prospective members. As more Society members and chapter officers joined the ranks of Facebook, Linkedln and Twitter, establishing a Phi Kappa Phi presence on these sites became a priority. Indeed, 15,020 users and counting participate in the Society's online networks, as of press deadline.

"To communicate more effectively with our members, we had to reach them where they were spending their time, put information in front of them and engage them," said Phi Kappa Phi communications specialist Jeremy Garland, who was hired in October 2008 in large part to develop robust online communities that would promote member engagement and build awareness about Phi Kappa Phi. "What we found through these outlets was a way to reach out to and have a dialogue with the Society's membership."

Because social media continues to be a burgeoning platform for membership-based organizations, it is important for Phi Kappa Phi to keep up with the trends, Garland said. …

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