Social Media: Organizations

Strategic Communications and External Relations

The Division of Strategic Communications and External Relations (SCER) promotes and protects the excellence of the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute reputation. Through a Social Media Steering Group and Task Force, SCER manages the primary Rensselaer social media accounts, and leads the Institute community in strategic social media efforts. Members of the Steering Group are available to answer questions or provide guidance for social media managers across campus and can be contacted at

Social Media Steering Group

The Rensselaer Social Media Steering Group (SMSG) meets regularly to identify and discuss issues that are important to all members of the Rensselaer social media community. Topics of discussion generally include strategies, tips, and best practices and are always shared with the larger Social Media Task Force and those who identify themselves to the Institute as social media managers.

The SMSG serves as an educational resource for faculty and staff, leads the development and implementation of an annual social media operational and marketing plan, and monitors and measures social media effectiveness for all Institute accounts. Specific responsibilities include:

  • Developing and implementing an approved annual social media operational and marketing plan based on a well-defined social media strategy for all Rensselaer primary accounts.
  • Meeting the social media educational resource needs of faculty and staff.
  • Formulating general, administrator, and channel-specific guidelines, best practices, and content creation checklists in the context of Rensselaer branding standards, all pertinent e-communications and social media policies, and personal representation of the Institute.
  • Assisting portfolios in collaborative social media communications campaigns involving two or more existing Rensselaer online communities.

Social Media Task Force

The Social Media Task Force (SMTF) consists of individuals from across campus who manage a Rensselaer social media account. The group meets throughout the year to share new ideas and learn while building cross-campus relationships.

Accounts managed by members of the SMTF have been approved to represent Rensselaer on social media and adhere to the branding and content standards set by the Division of Strategic Communications and External Relations. A list of approved accounts can be found in the Rensselaer Social Media Directory.

The SMTF meets two to four times each academic year to discuss social media at Rensselaer and current trends in social media marketing and communications. The purpose of the meetings will be to share best practices from internal experts and outside resources. All portfolios with social media accounts are invited to send representatives to participate as members of the SMTF, chaired by the Vice President for Strategic Communications and External Relations. Periodically the Social Media Task Force (SMTF) will facilitate larger group meetings with an expanded invite list.

SMTF members will be encouraged to use social media to illustrate, exemplify, and promote the Rensselaer brand and integrated communications priorities and programs by:

  • Expanding the awareness, reach, and constancy of the Institute’s brand and messaging.
  • Showcasing student and faculty achievements.
  • Boosting networking (likes, followers, shares, inquiries, referrals, etc.) and delivering results (greater awareness, associations, engagement, website traffic, and enrollment).
  • Supporting enrollment management goals.
  • Engaging alumni/ae and integrating them into recruiting, advocacy, and fundraising efforts, as appropriate.
  • Yielding insights regarding target audiences through monitoring and ongoing conversations.
  • Enhancing internal communications processes.
  • Augmenting emergency communications as requested.
  • Enhancing athletics, EMPAC, and university events experiences.

Student Social Media Ambassadors Program

The Rensselaer Student Social Media Ambassador (SSMA) program is a unique and fun opportunity for Rensselaer students to gain professional social media experience before graduating.

SSMAs can provide insights into life at Rensselaer and in their own words describe their experiences, learning and leadership opportunities, and participation in research as well as community activities. SSMAs share Rensselaer related stories, articles, videos, and events with their personal and professional social media networks.

Undergraduate and graduate students selected as Social Media Ambassadors by the Rensselaer Division of Strategic Communications and External Relations are connected, involved current students, convey a wealth of accurate knowledge about the Institute, span a wide variety of academic areas and co-curricular interests, and are passionate about social media.

The benefits of becoming a Rensselaer SSMA include: resume-building experience that can be shared with employers; development of an online personal brand; and exposure to social media brand strategy and new platforms through practical applications and training.

Rensselaer students currently serving as Social Media Ambassadors include:

  • Justin Etzine ’18, Computer Science and Information Technology & Web Science
  • Tatyana Fortune ’18, Biology
  • Christopher Lange ’15, Mathematics and Economics
  • Kathleen McGuigan ’16, Aeronautical and Mechanical Engineering
  • Rob Russo ’17, Computer Science and Information Technology & Web Science

All Student Social Media Ambassadors must be active advocates for the Institute through both personal and college-branded social media accounts. Ambassadors must act professionally, keeping in mind that they are representatives of Rensselaer (e.g. appropriate language, pictures, videos, etc.). Ambassadors are required to abide by Institute policies as outlined in the Rensselaer Social Media Policy and Student Handbook. Rensselaer reserves the right to replace any students who are unable to comply.