Mount Allison student gets Facebook ball rolling for American media organization, NPR
SACKVILLE, NB — Third-year Mount Allison University honours international relations student Geoff Campbell created American media organization NPR’s Facebook page three years ago, after being accepted to Canada’s top undergraduate university in Sackville, NB. A Boston resident, Campbell grew up listening to NPR and was puzzled by the popular organizations’ lack of Facebook presence.
“I thought about what I would miss from the U.S. while I was abroad and one of the first things that came to mind was NPR. With the explosion of Facebook, I added those things I ‘liked’ to my online profile, but I couldn’t find NPR,” he says. “I was really surprised how slow to keep up with technology NPR was at the time and I wanted to show my support for an organization I really admired.”
He contacted NPR and offered to help. After receiving little response, he decided to create the page on his own. The page is now co-administrated by Campbell and NPR’s Senior Strategist Andy Carvin. View NPR’s Facebook page at: http://www.facebook.com/NPR.
Today, the NPR Facebook page has surpassed 1.5 million fans — doubling in size in the last six months. NPR is spreading the word about their Facebook strategy and success in conferences across the country and even at an Online News Association meet-up at Facebook HQ earlier this year.
In fact, a video from NPR’s training session at the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism on how their Facebook page came to be, rose to the 4th top rated news and politics video in Canada in its first day — and has remained in the top 100 news and politics videos for the month. View the video at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wwHvlZmr9KI .
Campbell is overwhelmed by the attention it has received.
“It's a little crazy when I search for the NPR Facebook page on Google and a video about me shows up on the first page,” he says.
Campbell believes a Facebook presence is vital for any organization looking to connect with their fans.
“Because NPR has member stations throughout the country, they have a large fan base, but had nowhere to really show their numbers. Facebook allows them to interact and really understand their fans. Case in point, they recently conducted a survey of 40,000 people through their Facebook page.”
Campbell’s use of social media doesn’t stop there. After arriving at Mount Allison in 2008, he was looking for a way to share his university experience, so he created a blog called “Geoff at Mount Allison.”
“My dad came to Mount Allison and he told me he wished he would have documented his time here better, so when the university was looking for student bloggers, I jumped at the chance,” he says.
Campbell’s blog, which can be viewed at http://geoffatmountallison.blogspot.com/>, consists of blog posts, photos, and videos of his time at Mount Allison, as well as events and news from across campus, and other students’ experiences at the University.
And for his efforts with NPR’s social media presence, NPR has promised Campbell an NPR mug. He says he’s still waiting for it to arrive.