Category Archives: Events

2015 Social Media Mash-up

Duke Communicators: mark your calendar for 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 13, in Perkins Library 217.

Our first program for 2015 will highlight Duke communicators with interesting social media projects and campaigns. They’ll share their experiences and “lessons learned” in a format similar to an Ignite session. Among other topics, you’ll hear how the Fuqua School of Business is encouraging ambassadors to engage with social media, how social media advertising has benefited the Annual Fund, what Snapchat could mean for Duke Athletics and strategies from two Duke seniors who manage the @DukeStudents accounts.

This will be a content-packed hour that will provide you with great ideas to try in your own office, as well as information about Duke colleagues you can call for inspiration and advice. Please RSVP to Sakiya Lockett if you will attend.


A Social Media Glossary

Last month, I traveled to Lenox, MA to co-present on social media in admissions with Ma’ayan Plaut at the Consortium on Financing Higher Education (COFHE) 2014 Retreat. As part of the presentation, we created a quick handout to provide a quick glimpse at social media strategy and definitions for some of the most commonly used social media terms. It’s a handy thing to keep around, especially for educating your faculty and leadership. Download the full PDF of our COFHE Handout

Included in the handout are short descriptions of popular social media platforms. What else would you like to see here?

Facebook – Currently the largest and most popular social media platform: users create profiles, post status updates and friend other users to follow their posts. Facebook is most commonly used to communicate personal information among family and friends.

Foursquare – A platform that allows users to check-in to their current location and connect with other users.

Google+: A platform where users create “Circles” of contacts in order to share posts selectively. Users post status updates in the form of text, photos, link, video, or events. Google+ is also heavily integrated with Google Hangouts, Google Chats, and YouTube profiles.

Instagram – An exclusively visual platform where users share filtered photos or short videos for followers who view and “heart” posts within a feed.

LinkedIn – A professional social network that allows users to connect to potential employers and business associates. LinkedIn profiles act as online resumes and can feature users’ skills, academic and career history, leadership roles, and more.

Pinterest – A platform where users “pin” visual content to themed “boards.” Popular content includes fashion, home decor, food and how-to’s. Users can follow other users or individual boards and can “pin” posts to their own boards.

Tumblr – A multimedia blogging platform used primarily to post pictures, short text entries, and GIFs. Users may follow others and “note” posts by “loving” or “reblogging” in their dashboard from other Tumblr users. Tumblr has been the foundation of many subcultures and communities around like-minded bloggers.

Twitter – A microblogging platform where users post short (140 characters or less), often news-related, text updates and links. Users follow each other to see their real-time tweets in a chronological timeline. Users often follow a combination of influencers and news sources along with acquaintances and friends.

Vine – A social media platform for seven-second-long videos made within a proprietary mobile application. Similarly to Twitter, users may view and “revine” videos of users they are following. Vine also tends to skew to a younger population and is popular among teenagers.

YouTube – A video-based publisher and platform where users upload original content to share with viewers and subscribers. YouTube is also commonly embedded on websites across the web.


I Can Haz Photo Contest? Boost Your Facebook Engagement with Crowd-Sourced Photos

People love seeing photos of themselves online. “Selfie” was word of the year for a reason, after all.

But if there’s one thing the Internet has taught us, it’s that as much as people love seeing themselves, they love adorable pictures of animals even more. And if you turn that into their adorable animals, well, that’s a perfect storm.

After several years of running a successful Halloween photo contest that solicited snapshots of dressed up coworkers and decorated offices, Duke’s Office of Communication Services decided to see what kind of response we’d get from organizing a pet-themed photo contest on our Facebook page in February.

Instead of finding the most creative costumes, we wanted to find “Duke’s cutest pet.”

How we did it

We promoted the contest through our Working@Duke social media channels (Twitter and Facebook) and on Duke Today, having entries submitted to us through a Qualtrics form in order to easily capture participant contact information and photo submission.

In all, we received 39 photos and tallied nearly 1,200 votes over the course of a week. Winners were determined by public vote, but we also had “judge’s choice” selections to spread the wealth of pet-themed prizes.

We asked that entries try to focus on a Duke-related connection when possible, which included shots of a turtle in “Cameron Indoor Aquarium,” a hamster sitting in a Duke hat and even a dog wearing a Blue Devil cape.

Why we did it

While the goal was to offer a fun way to engage our community, it also benefited our presence on Facebook. All voting was held on our page in the form of likes and people were allowed to share their pictures however they saw fit to drum up support.

With so many people coming to our page to vote, here are some of the stats where we saw increases from January to February:

  • 204 percent increase in monthly likes
  • 270 percent increase of views of our Facebook page
  • 306 percent increase in the number of people clicking on our content

All this was boosted because people were voting in our contest, but even after we announced our winners on Feb. 18, we saw sustained engagement with all our posts through the end of the month, whether it was related to the contest or not.

Should you consider a contest?

Since Facebook changed its terms of service to allow for these types of contests, it seems like a goldmine for potential engagement, if only because you’re creating the opportunity to show off something your fans are passionate about. In our case, their furry (or slimy) loved ones.

Once people submit photos, the heavy lifting is uploading them and their information. Since voting is done through likes on your Facebook page, the platform does the work for you.

Most important, you’re likely to see an uptick in your monthly stats and grow your Facebook fan base. In the months since the February contest, we’ve seen increased engagement to go along with our growing number of page likes.

This is a guest blog post by Bryan Roth, senior writer/producer with Duke’s Office of Communication Services.

Top 100 Social Media Colleges

Last week, announced the top 100 colleges and universities that are best leveraging social media. “These innovative schools use social media to give students insight into their culture, personality and DNA,” said Dean Tsouvalas Editor-in-Chief of StudentAdvisor, “This is so beneficial for students to determine the right fit beyond college rankings and marketing speak.”

Duke is happy to join some elite company in the top 10. Congratulations to the Duke social media community!

1. Harvard University (No Change)
2. Stanford University (Up 3)
3. Johns Hopkins (down 1)
4. Yale University (Up 11)
5. Duke University (Up 39)
6. Princeton University (Up 10)
7. Full Sail University (Up 12)
8. University of Oregon (Up 3)
9. Ohio State (down 3)
10. LSU (down 2)

Here is a Google+ Hangout revealing the ranking I was invited to participate in to discuss how Duke has upped our social media game over the past 18 months. Enjoy!

Moral Mondays: Duke University Professors Hold a Google+ Hangout to Discuss Arrests and Protests

Hundreds of people have been arrested at the North Carolina Legislative Building as part of the “Moral Mondays” protests against policies by the Republican-led legislature and Gov. Pat McCrory. Five of those people — Duke professors Willie Jennings, Robin Kirk, Bill Turner, Jed Purdy and Bill Chafe — participated in a live webcast interview about the protests Monday, July 1.

Also joining the conversation was Duke alumnus David Graham, who wrote a recent article for The Atlantic about the protests, which compared North Carolina’s politics with those of Wisconsin’s two year ago.


Announcing the Winners of #pictureDuke Earth!

Spring has most definitely sprung. Need proof? Look no further than the lush and iridescent photos captured during our latest photo walk.

Prize Winners

After seeing a number of excellent submissions in a tight competition, we are pleased to announce the following prize winners from last Friday’s photo walk:

#pictureDuke Grand Prize: "Asparagus at Duke Farmers Market" by Natalie Nobles

Grand Prize: “Asparagus at Duke Farmers Market” by Natalie Nobles

#pictureDuke First Place: "Bloom" by Nicole Silvanic

First Place: “Bloom” by Nicole Silvanic

#pictureDuke Second Place: "Classy Italian Ice Guy" by Cindy Pi

Second Place: “Classy Italian Ice Guy” by Cindy Pi

#pictureDuke Third Place: "Swiss Chard Lyons Farms" by Jaqueline Rimmler

Third Place: “Swiss Chard Lyons Farms” by Jaqueline Rimmler

Natalie, our grand prize winner, will join the Duke Photography crew on an official university photo shoot. Natalie, Nicole, Cindy, and Jacqueline will all receive prizes compliments of Duke University Stores and Sustainable Duke!

Honorable Mention

We were unable to award a prize to this photo, but we thought it deserved a special shout-out:

#pictureDuke Honorable Mention: "LSRC Stairs" by Michael Palko

Honorable Mention: “LSRC Stairs” by Michael Palko


We’ll have the full set of submissions posted soon. Stay tuned!

Thank you to everyone who joined us for the walk and to all who submitted their artwork. We would also like to convey the utmost gratitude to our event partners: the Duke Farmers Market, Casey Roe and Sustainable Duke, Bryan Roth and Working at DukeThe Nicholas School of the EnvironmentDuke University Stores and our friends at Duke Photography.

If you want updates for future photo walks and #pictureDuke events, subscribe to our email list. We promise not to bombard your inbox!

[UPDATE] One Day At Duke: All Day, All Duke, All You

OneDayAtDuke Rain Date New Text Assets_Facebook Event

[UPDATE] This event was originally scheduled for April 5th, but has been rescheduled to Friday, April 19th due to weather.

APRIL 19th, 2013: Be A Part of Duke’s Next TV Spot!

We’re crowd-sourcing Duke’s next 30-second TV commercial and we need your help.

On Friday, April 19 we’re inviting students, faculty, staff, alumni—you name it—to capture photos, videos, tweets and status updates using the hashtag #OneDayAtDuke to depict one day as a member of the Duke community.

Your visions will become part of a special One Day at Duke website and will have a shot at being included in the 30-second TV spot we show at football and basketball games.

Learn more on, and join the Facebook event. See you all April 19th!

Join us for One Day At Duke!

A Wrap-up of Duke’s Science Photo Walk

Another photo walk has come and gone, but some stunning images are here to stay. The walk is a curious experiment — we bring a variety of people together, cluster them into small spaces with a mere handful of minutes at each location, and step back to see what happens — yet we are impressed with the results every time. Despite being rushed (we marched through four sites in two hours!) our participants captured some serene, candid and all-together surreal moments along Duke’s Science Drive. We hope you enjoy these photos as much as we do.

Prize Winners

After seeing a number of excellent submissions in a tight competition, we are pleased to announce the following prize winners from last Friday’s photo walk:

"Greenhouse Dew" by Lindsey Wu
Grand Prize: “Greenhouse Dew” by Lindsey Wu
"Anticipation" by Celeste Hodges
First Place: “Anticipation” by Celeste Hodges
"Chain on the roof of the French Family Science Center" by Natalie Nobles
Second Place: “Chain on the roof of the French Family Science Center” by Natalie Nobles
"Brain in Latex Gloves" by Scott Van Manen
Third Place: “Brain in Latex Gloves” by Scott Van Manen

Lindsey, our grand prize winner, will join the Duke Photography crew on an official university photo shoot. Celeste, Natalie and Scott will all receive prizes compliments of Duke University Stores!

Honorable Mentions

We were unable to award prizes to the following photos, but we thought they deserved a special shout-out:

Untitled by Josh Stout
Honorable Mention: Untitled by Josh Stout
"The view above" by Celeste Hodges
Honorable Mention: “The view above” by Celeste Hodges
"Stairwell Traffic" by Lindsey Wu
Honorable Mention: “Stairwell Traffic” by Lindsey Wu
"In The Open" by Jonathan Canfield
Honorable Mention: “In The Open” by Jonathan Canfield

The Full Set

You can view all the awesome submissions in this slideshow from our Flickr album:

Thank you to everyone who joined us for the walk and to all who submitted their artwork. We would also like to convey the utmost gratitude to our event partners: the staff at the Duke University Live Plant Collections and the Duke Canine Cognition Center, Dr. Ken Lyle and the Duke Chemistry Department, Dr. Len White and the Duke Institute for Brain SciencesDuke University Stores and our friends at Duke Photography.

Also, thanks to our friends at Durham Magazine for this nice blog post.

Stay tuned for details on our next walk.
Hint: We’re thinking of spring! 

If you want updates for future photo walks and #pictureDuke events, subscribe to our email list. We promise not to bombard your inbox!

Join us for our next Photo Walk: #pictureDuke Science

Join us Friday, March 1, 2-4PM on a photo walk featuring Duke’s many labs and research sites, including the Canine Cognition Center, colorful greenhouses and the newly-opened Mary Trent Semans Center. Get a behind-the-scenes look at Duke’s cutting-edge technology and showcase your talent to the Duke community — all you need is a camera phone to participate! After the event, submit your favorite photos from the walk to the #pictureDuke photography contest for the chance to have your work recognized and win great prizes.

Interested in joining us?

The walk starts at 2PM at the Knut Schmidt-Nielsen & Camel Statue next to the Biological Sciences Building.

A bronze statue of Duke biologist Knut Schmidt-Nielsen gazing upon a camel

Parking is available in the Bryan Center parking garage across the street.
We hope to see you there!

Note: Due to the scientific nature of the sites showcased on the walk, persons under the age of 18 may have access restricted to certain areas.

This event is sponsored by Duke University Stores, Duke Photography, the Office of News & Communications,  Duke Canine Cognition Center, Duke Institute for Brain Sciences and the Duke University Live Plant Collections.

Reblogged from #pictureDuke

Duke Chats During The State Of The Union

The Duke community  joined a Twitter chat during President Obama’s “State of the Union” address last night.

Several faculty and students participated in the chat, tweeting their reactions to the president’s speech using the hashtag #DukeChat. The chats provide an opportunity to have a “public classroom” about issues in real time. We had a ton of conversation. In fact, as of noon on Wednesday, Feb. 13, #DukeChat is still trending in Raleigh, NC on Twitter.

Twitter _ Search - #DukeChat-2

We had some fun promoting the chat on Facebook and posted a nifty State of the Union bingo graphic (credits to Jonathan Lee, Office of News and Communications).



And, here are some of our social media team’s favorite tweets from #DukeChat:







Check out the Twitter chat in its entirety here.

Duke’s Office of News and Communications has hosted a few politics-based twitter chats within the past year, including during the January 2012 “State of the Union” address and, last fall, during the presidential debates and both the Republican and Democrat conventions.