Social Media Institute recruits nonprofit clients

Social Media Institute recruits nonprofit clients


The School of Mass Communications is running its Social Media Institute for the third year this summer. Sponsored by a major grant from the international nonprofit organization FHI 360, graduate and undergraduate students will plan and implement social media campaigns for nonprofit organizations.

The Social Media Institute will bring together 25 VCU students and 25 college students from Iraq, who will spend their summer on the Monroe Park campus as part of the Iraqi Young Leaders Exchange Program. The School of Mass Communications has been selected in a cooperation with VCU’s Global Education Office as one of two schools that will run this U.S. State Department sponsored program this summer.

Faculty members Dr. Marcus Messner and Vivian Medina-Messner are now recruiting nonprofit organizations in Richmond as clients. The students will design free social media campaigns for the clients.

Please see the call for applications and the link to the application survey below. The deadline to apply is June 12.


Dear nonprofit organizers:

Does your nonprofit group need help establishing a presence on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and other social media platforms? If so, Virginia Commonwealth University students can develop and implement a strategy for you this summer — so you can use an array of social networking tools to heighten community awareness about your organization, generate fundraising or other support, and/or publicize an upcoming event.

As we did in 2010 and 2011, VCU’s School of Mass Communications is offering a special course on social media during July. The 50 students enrolled include graduate students, undergrads and 25 young people from Iraq. (They’re here as part of a U.S. State Department program to learn how to use social media to foster democracy and build community in Iraq.) The students have a background in journalism, public relations, marketing, technology and other fields.

We plan to divide the class into 10 teams. Each team will work with an interested nonprofit to create a social media strategy, campaign or project. After learning about your needs and goals, the team will propose how you can use new media — the Web, cell phones and other technology — to reach your audience. The students then will put that strategy into action: for example, creating a Facebook page, a Twitter feed, a YouTube channel and a website (such as WordPress or Tumblr) to tie them all together. The students also will produce and post videos, photos and other content you’ve approved. Moreover, the students will create a manual on how you can continue updating your social media platforms after the class ends.

There is no charge for the participating nonprofits. All we ask is that representatives from your group be available to meet with the students — especially on the morning of July 5, when we hope to get the ball rolling on the projects.

If you’re interested, please fill out a short application.

Feel free to contact us if you have questions.

Marcus Messner,
Vivian Medina-Messner,
VCU School of Mass Communications

Posted by: mmessner | Posted in: Faculty/staff, Journalism, Multimedia journalism, News, Public relations, Students | >Tagged: , , , , , ,