President Stroble Featured in New Book on Leadership Communication

| February 4, 2015

Webster University President Elizabeth (Beth) J. Stroble has garnered some attention for her love of Twitter during the past few years. She was at the forefront of the social media movement in higher education and in 2009 was among the first university presidents to embrace its use. Tweeting under the handle @WebsterPres, Stroble has been featured in several newspaper and magazine articles for her 140-character long messages.

Now there is a book that explores her and other university leaders’ online habits.

Stroble is one of 22 leaders of Canadian and American colleges and universities featured in a new book about social media in higher education. The book “#Follow The Leader – Lessons in Social Media Success from #HigherEdCEOs” by Dan Zaiontz which was released last month published by EDUniverse Media. It is available for purchase in paperback from mStoner, Amazon Kindle or the iTunes Bookstore.

Stroble also was one of four higher education leaders who participated in an online forum with Zaiontz last month about how college presidents leverage the power of social media. The forum was hosted by PRSA Counselors to Higher Education.

“I use social media as a tool to connect the Webster University community and to engage the larger community and its leadership,” Stroble said. “I don’t want my account to be only about Webster University, as we already have an official account to do that. Rather, I share content about what’s happening around me and reach out to other parties who are conversing on a wide variety of issues.”

“Once upon a time, college and university presidents distrusted social media,” said Zaiontz. “But no more. Presidents are using social media to amplify their voices and to engage with constituents by sharing their ideas with leading journalists on Twitter, gaining followers among students and parents on Facebook, and posting selfies with influential alumni on Instagram.”

Stroble, who is in her sixth year at Webster University, is no stranger to getting attention for her use of social media. Several St. Louis area newspapers have written articles about her online presence. In 2012, Currents Magazine – the magazine of the Council for Advancement and Support of Education – featured Stroble for her use of social media. Earlier this year, mStoner posted an interview with Stroble about social media.

Stroble on Social Media

Besides Twitter (@websterpres), Stroble can also be found on Facebook. Most recently, she started her own Tumblr blog where she is currently running a contest where a Webster student will win the opportunity to shadow her and tweet about the experience. From Feb. 9-11, students can submit their contest entry by tweeting to @websterpres with the hashtag #Webster100 and share what they would add to the Centennial Time Capsule. She will select the winner from her favorite tweet and DM the winner.

About The Book

The book explores how college administrators are discovering the power of social media and how it can be an effective tool in reaching out to the campus community and beyond.

Zaiontz provides insights and tips for leaders in higher education who want to adopt social media — or learn how to use it more effectively. Through research and interviews, Zaiontz learned what strategies and tactics leaders found most effective — and which to avoid to mitigate risk. Filled with insights, anecdotes, and profiles of leaders who have successfully used social media in their roles as college and university presidents, the book offers sound advice to novices and experts alike—and for those who advise them.

The book also covers how trusted presidential advisers, including marketing and communications staff, can strategically support their organizational leaders in delivering more compelling and effective social media content.

Zaiontz, who specializes in social media strategy, speech writing, and corporate communications, works in Strategic Planning and Public Affairs, and serves as a professor at Seneca College in Toronto. In his former sports, PR and communications roles, he represented the official Canadian broadcasters of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games and the Toronto Blue Jays.

This story originally appeared in the news room at webster.edu.

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