The Digital Campus

The Digital Campus

Fall 2011 Study Tour: Day 4

Thursday was a city day, complete with the realities of San Francisco in the summer: sunshine one minute, fog the next. Sandrine Wenger, Alumni Network Coordinator for the University of Lausanne, was kind enough to create a delightful little photo montage of day four of the study tour. She documents our workshop at swissnex San Francisco with Michael Stoner, lunch at the ferry building, the subsequent bus (MUNI) ride, followed by an afternoon at UCSF’s Laurel Heights campus, where we met with Lena Shaw, the university’s social media marketing manager, and Sarah Paris, Director of Communications for the UCSF School of Medicine.


Markus Zinsmaier, Web Editor-in-Chief of the University of St. Gallen (HSG), gives us these reflective thoughts on day four as we near the end of the study tour:

It’s time to get real about social media
By Markus Zinsmaier

The communications landscape is changing. Institutions have lost control of the message as electronic channels and social media enable individuals to communicate rapidly with each other. Everything nowadays is connected to each other, says Michael Stoner in a workshop morning session @swissnexSF. It’s Day 4 of the swissnex Study Tour and it slowly feels like home.

Have you ever thought about multi-channel strategies, targeting multiple audiences and measuring success in social media? Sure you did, but Michael Stoner brings it all together and shows possible ways of organizing these strategies.  After days of visiting the big shots in the Silicon Valley, hearing PR driven statements – but also discovering the spirit of the Bay Area, of the universities and companies – it’s refreshing to break social media down to its essential: realism, not hype.

To try it and to start with social media activities is actually a good starting point for any sort of engagement. But sometimes it’s also important to pick up a phone and make a call, says Stoner. Social Media is not a one-way street. Having a Facebook page is not a social media strategy. We know all this. We’ve heard it before. But using these tools, discovering new tools
( for instance), discussing problems on our way, we get closer to our own strategy. There’s no other way than doing it. Right on!

Swiss start-up Webdoc, which we learned about on day three, seems to have struck a chord. Here, study tour participant Guillaume Conne, Responsible for Information at the University of Lausanne, creates an engaging webdoc to summarize Lena Shaw’s presentation at UCSF. Remember to click on the webdoc below for the live version.

swissnex San Francisco’s overview video of Day 4:


Author: Megan Williams

Megan Williams is swissnex San Francisco’s Head of Communications. She likes to write about science and culture. A marine biology nerd and a dedicated science communicator, she also loves to hunt for design treasure at thrift stores.

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