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Ethics, Faculty, Newsroom, OCB Commentary

Does gender and racial identity no longer matter in business?

By Teresa Rothausen-Vange, Ph.D., Professor of Management and Susan E. Heckler Endowed Chair in Business Administration

coverThe presence of female and minority leaders in America today has some people thinking that gender and racial/ethnic identity no longer matter in business and society today. In fact, these issues have just become muted and difficult to talk about due to political correctness and fear. Who benefits from this? Not most Americans of color, not most white Americans, not men, not women, and certainly not children.

If you want an example of how powerful gender norms still are, and how our society lashes out when people violate them in the business world, check out this post on Salon about the negative reaction to the new book by Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s chief operating officer, “Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead,” out today. Continue Reading

Career Services, Newsroom, social media

Facebook – The New Job Board?

Last week Facebook announced its newest endeavor, recruiting.  The Social Jobs Partnership application was released, aggregating over 1.7 million openings from Work4 LabsBranchOutJobviteDirectEmployers and Monster.com.  This implementation allows the job search to be taken one step further by allowing users to apply directly through Facebook and instantly share the jobs to their social network.

Author J.J. Calao of Forbes says, “according to Facebook half of employers in the U.S. use the social network during their hiring process. Of those companies already using Facebook to engage with customers, 54 percent anticipate using it more heavily in their recruitment efforts in the future. Given those numbers, the lucrative nature of the recruitment industry and the success of companies like Work4 Labs—not to mention increasing pressure from battered shareholders—it appears likely that Facebook will seek monetize recruitment efforts at some point soon.” Continue Reading

Newsroom, OCB Commentary, social media, UST MBC

Who holds the keys to your Social Media dashboards?

Recently a friend was lamenting the difficulties associated with the recent departure of two employees from the nonprofit she runs.  She indicated that the pair left under less than amicable terms and days later her remaining staff found themselves locked out of administrative access to the organization’s Facebook page.  Further, one of the individuals had maintained a blog on Blogspot for the organization, which abruptly disappeared, including years of archived postings.

So, here I sit thinking about this, mind racing with thoughts – effectively speechless.  Certainly, no one condones such vindictive behaviors, and most people exiting a firm (even when disgruntled) wouldn’t stoop to this level.  But clearly some succumb to the temptation when left with absolute power over these electronic extensions of the organization’s brand. Continue Reading

Entrepreneurship, Newsroom, OCB Commentary, social media, UST MBC

Go ahead, kick me…and please retweet

Ten years ago I attended a meeting organized by Dennis Todora as he attempted to bring together a “dream team” to start a software company.  He and I became partners with a handful of others and had a good little run, starting with microscopic investments and building on “sweat equity” and revenue (a story for an entrepreneurial blog post, not one on communications).  Recently, Dennis approached me about investing a few hours in a “new” deal, qwik-keyz, with a completely different finance approach – Kickstarter.com.  If you aren’t familiar, this site creates a venue for people like artists and entrepreneurs to generate some funding via social networking to get a project done or business kick-started.  It’s worth a visit, just to see all the diverse projects.

The interesting difference from a communication standpoint (compared to his last venture with me acting as the communication/marketing guy): to get this deal cooking, we need to leverage social media.  Fortunately, this team includes T.J. McLeod, who plays social media director for CRAVE in real life.  T.J. believes that a big part of making a site like Kickstarter work is to get participating “project” leaders to build the initial momentum from their own personal networks. These efforts are coupled with a pre-planned online strategy.

According to Hubspot, research shows that Twitter and Facebook users are several times more likely to re-tweet and share – if you ask them Continue Reading

Local business, Newsroom, social media, UST MBC

The latest and greatest in interactive marketing – Lessons learned at the MIMA Summit

33394744_thbOne of the best things about working at a university is being surrounded by a significant number of very smart people. There are people at St. Thomas who can provide great insight on almost any topic – management strategies, investment decisions, best ways to negotiate, insights into effective communication, buyer decision making on eBay, what is happening in the retail space around the holidays and many more I have yet to take advantage of.

I felt the same way last Wednesday when I attended the Minnesota Interactive Marketing (MIMA) Summit. This conference brought together many of the most talented people working in the interactive marketing space. Within the Opus College of Business, we are active in the interactive marketing space with Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, blogging and email marketing to name a few. (If you have a chance, take a look at what we are doing and let us know what you think!) Even after working with these platforms and being actively involved myself, the changes within the digital marketing space happen so quickly that it is tough to keep up. That is why going to the MIMA conference was a great experience.

Here is the cliff notes version of several lessons I learned:

It’s called “social” media for a reason. Have a conversation. Don’t just tell people what you are doing and thinking – remember to find out what they are doing and thinking. Don’t be like this guy: Continue Reading

Career Services, FTMBA, Media, Newsroom, OCB Commentary

“What I wish I’d known”–advice from MBA grads

As they say, hindsight is always 20/20. So as our MBA students prepare to start classes just three short weeks from now, I thought that they (and anyone else considering pursuing an MBA in the future) could benefit from some words of wisdom from those who have completed their degree.

Business Week recently asked its social media fans, “What advice do you wish you’d been given when you were first starting your MBA program?” Three of the replies I found most insightful were:

“Don’t do what others think you should do, or what everyone else is doing. Decide what you want and hustle to get it.”

“Realize that a MBA provides you with a great, technical foundation to build success upon, but not THE key to success. Be prepared to learn just as much, if not more, after graduation and upon beginning your career.”

“Advice for starting out: Smile, be nice, be open – you never know who will be your next business partner, mentor, or best friend!”

Other responses ran the gamut from warning students to be prepared for math-heavy core courses, to encouraging students to figure out their career goals before arriving on campus. You can read many more of the Facebook and Twitter responses to Business Week’s question here.

Ethics, Media, Newsroom, OCB Commentary, social media, UST MBC

Secrets are Lies

img-article---lyons-facebook-google_232825188165[1]A million years ago, while attending junior high (that’s like middle school, if you were born in the ‘80s), if students saw two people whispering to one another, someone would start yelling “Secrets are lies!”  Recently, Burson-Marsteller (“part of Young & Rubicam Brands”) found out the hard way that keeping secrets isn’t good public relations practice.

Essentially the case boiled down to a couple of media relations hacks who started pitching negative stories about Google to select media, but without being willing to reveal the identity of their client (Facebook). In fact, keeping a “secret” client represented the lesser of the ethical evils displayed in this case, since the material being promoted to the media turned out to be patently false (lies – but not secrets). To learn more about potential ethical pitfalls in the practice of public relations, read the Public Relations Society of America’s Code of Ethics.

Continue Reading

EveningMBA, FTMBA, Media, Newsroom

Have you audited your social media presence recently?

social-mediaMost young professionals today have a presence in one or more social media, including Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, and blogs.  When used appropriately, these media can be assets to your career and educational advancement.  However, inappropriate photos or information can just as easily have negative impacts.

Fortune recently ran an article examining the social media pitfalls that MBA applicants may face.  I was somewhat surprised to learn that some applicants are willing to pay hundreds or even thousands of dollars to an admissions consulting company that will include a social media audit as part of its consulting package.  MBA applicants (and everyone else, for that matter) can effectively manage their online presence by being careful about what they post online, and periodically checking to make sure others have not posted disparaging, inaccurate, or embarrassing information or photos about them. Continue Reading

Newsroom, OCB Commentary, UST MBC

Thoughts on social media’s impact on social change

In his 1975 book Discipline and Punish, French author  Michel Foucault suggests that the real power of a “law” manifests  in the way such policies or edicts actually get implemented and the real world impacts that follow, not in the intentions the leaders had in creating the regulations.  The original intention, regardless of social value, becomes immaterial.  The same might be said of communication messages, regardless of what Marshall McLuhan said about the medium being the message.

In recent months, we have seen an innocuous social networking platform called Facebook – lauded with market valuations in the billions of dollars; immortalized on film as pop culture history; and generally acknowledged as a central hub of the globe’s digitally privileged classes.  Most recently, Facebook has been given credit for being central to the revolutions in Middle East countries that have toppled ruthless dictators after decades of oppression.  The privileged co-opted the action of a poor fruit vendor’s statement through flames, starting whirl-winds that blurred the lines between electronic and corporeal social networks. Continue Reading

Career Services, leadership, Media, Newsroom

Where are you on the “Social Media Career and Engagement Curve”?

imagesMany of our posts on the Opus Magnum blog pertain to the ever-increasing usage of social media in our personal and professional lives.  As Facebook, Twitter, and blogs become part of our daily activities, many business-people are concerned about how to manage their social media content to strengthen their social connections while maintaining a professional image. 

Nathan Kring, Harvard MBA graduate and co-founder of social media strategy and consulting firm Catchfire Media, recently analyzed best practices in social media usage for business professionals.  In his article “Using Social Media Personally and Professionally: Where Do You Fit?”, Kring offers examples of people in various stages of their careers and provides recommendations for the most effective use of social media vehicles for each. 

The bottom line?  It’s almost impossible to find an industry that does not use social media, and professionals need to become savvy about using social media tools to support their career development.  Kring provides a compelling example of how even high-level military officers are making use of social media.

Since we usually highlight UST graduates and local business stories on this blog, you might be wondering why I’m writing about a Harvard MBA who runs a company based in Des Moines.  Well, Nathan Kring is a high school classmate of mine whom I reconnected with on Facebook–and I became aware of his company’s blog through a post on his Facebook page.  The power of social media networking, indeed.