UI research debuts on Twitter
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The University of Iowa has a new Twitter account dedicated to research.
The @UIowaResearch account, launched today, will communicate UI research in its breadth to myriad audiences, using a social-media platform that has become a critical conduit for communications in higher education.
@UIowaResearch will act as the central node for research, broadcasting research news, events and expert views from the university. Audiences would include local and national media, faculty and students, UI supporters, the Board of Regents, state leaders, prospective undergraduate and graduate students, alumni, and groups and associations. Another goal is to build targeted audiences through the strategic use of hashtags and through direct media pitches to promote the UI’s research brand.
“We want to take advantage of a popular, dynamic, and versatile communications medium to get the word out about research excellence at the University of Iowa,” says Richard Lewis, director of research news in the Office of Strategic Communication and the account’s manager. “It’s like a radio station adding a tower with greater wattage; in this case, we hope this will be a tower that can amplify the tweets from all the individual Twitter accounts across the university while also reaching a larger, and more diversified, audience with its own content.”
@UIowaResearch will share content with @UIowa, the university’s main Twitter account, to further amplify research messages.
More than 50 colleges and universities in the U.S. have research-oriented accounts on Twitter, including at least seven peers in the Big Ten. In general, most tweet stories generated solely from central news organs. In contrast, @UIowaResearch will go beyond that, corralling and repurposing research news, events, and expert opinions university-wide, by actively monitoring tweets from individuals and offices.
“We think this kind of curate and communicate approach will allow us to be consistent and relevant, and will present a far more comprehensive, and accurate picture, of the research enterprise at the UI,” Lewis says.
UI student employees Rachel Nolan, a junior in the School of Journalism from Bloomington-Normal, Ill., and Charlie Holmgren, a freshman in the Tippie College of Business from Excelsior, Minn., were instrumental in helping research and set up the account.