Friday, 28 September 2012

Frequently Asked Questions About SocialPRO Clubs


            Empowering Change Through Collaboration

SocialPRO Clubs-Shaping The Future Of Africa

 In 2012 social media has gone beyond just being Facebook friends and sharing funny videos you found on YouTube.  Today, social media has become a platform with the ability to change the world.  The team organizing the launch of social media (SocialPRO) clubs  in Kenya and East Africa want to bring together individuals, organisations and brands that want initiate global change. If you attended UNDP's Social Good Summit then you clearly understand how technology and social media platforms can bring change and solve the problems in the world. I would like to address a few of the questions that people frequently ask me regarding SocialPRO clubs.
      1.How will the clubs help the University students?
The core objective of these clubs is to teach, educate, create awareness and impart knowledge & skills of social media to the university students. These clubs will develop a talent pool of graduates with a solid understanding of digital media to bridge the knowledge gap and demand there is today for people with skills and expertise in various disciplines of social media. This will ensure students understand how to tap into the potential online and approach social media as a business & communication tool and a teaching aid to lecturers. These clubs will enhance collaboration, exchange of ideas among the students and the industry and nurture creativity because students especially shall be exposed to the limitless possibilities online. SocialPro clubs will also help university students refine their business ideas, find a high-potential commercial opportunity, gather resources such as talent & capital, figure out how to sell and market the idea and manage rapid growth. How? All the key partners they need for their start up ideas are on social media. There’s need to reach out to that innovative student in campus especially outside Nairobi and connect him to all these platforms, hubs, opportunities and information and that’s what SocialPro clubs will do. Lack of information or difficulty in accessing it is what stifles innovation in universities and SocialPro clubs will bridge that gap by making information available, provide a platform (both online and offline)for exchange of ideas and to share opportunities among university students thus boost collaboration.
It’s more like having hubs in these schools connected by social media. We’d like to use SocialPro clubs to tackle unemployment by using social media to connect university students to opportunities, information and key partners in the industry. This is meant to bridge the gap between the universities and the industry.
2.  Will the clubs be online i.e. will the students join and participate through pages/#tags etc…do you plan on having a website for the clubs?
Yes. First of all we want to create the interest at the university level in the pilot phase between October and December in the five universities. As we do the pilot phase, interested students can form an informal SocialPro club at the university, then we shall approach their university administration with a request of establishing a social media club in the university. With proper authorization then the interested students will conduct elections or nominate among themselves students to sit in the executive committee for a year. With a fully registered club at the university then the executive committee can recruit members.  For the launch and pilot phase we shall be working with already existing professional university clubs with bias to IT, Marketing & PR and AIESEC clubs in these universities.The conversation will be both online and offline. We are currently working on a site that enables connect all these clubs online that will be an information portal. Currently we have established a Facebook page and a group (SocialPro Clubs Kenya) you can join and be part of the community. These clubs will bring together different social media enthusiasts, speakers, developers, lecturers, bloggers, industry experts, digital agencies and organizations who have immensely contributed to the growth of social media in Kenya. However our primary target audience is the university students countrywide and the youth between 18 to 25. Our secondary audience will be lecturers, social media influencers and basically the Kenyan system and their perceptions towards social media.  After the pilot phase we shall be sending out weekly newsletters to all the participants since we will collect email addresses, urge students and lectures to subscribe to our newsletter on our interactive website with links to sources of vital information. This newsletter will tackle various issues on social media to deepen the understanding of social media. We shall also be holding quarterly contact talks in each university with an invited speaker, partner organization, our sponsors or by Social Edge Africa.
3. How will they be managed by students and what is the bigger objective?
Once we establish these clubs we shall handover their management to the students who will run them with the guidance of a patron. However in the first one year we shall work hand in hand with the students in the clubs executive committee to support them financially in their events, connect them to speakers and experts plus help them secure corporate sponsorship for their activities. We shall also work with the universities administrations to ensure these clubs get financial and technical support on ground and that lecturers participate in the events to learn more on digital media. We also intend to have a weekly session on twitter to engage different business leaders, organizations (Private, GOK and NGO’s) various topics of interest to university students and youths in general on Fridays from (9-10am) using #SocialPro. The idea is to provide an objective and professional platform for #KOT to debate and generate awareness on the impact of politics, leadership, governance, innovation, education, corruption, and media on the business environment. Each week we shall have a different topic, invite three or four panelists online and have #KOT engage them for an hour on the topic of the hour.
Besides that we shall also use the platform to sensitize university students and youths on responsible online behavior and how to use social media as a PRO. All this is meant to ensure the youths engage responsibly online especially regarding creating and passing hate messages online in this election period. Moreover we have seen a rise in porn pages, blogs and Twitter handles being created in the country by the young guys, through these clubs we shall let such people know how they can put social media into a better use, make a return on the time and money they spend online through engaging in economically beneficial activities online.
4. Except for the University of Nairobi launch, any other new developments?
We want to also use these clubs to help with the integration of EAC member states since social media platforms can help enhance that. Already a group of students in Rwanda want to work with us in introducing the concept there too. So far we have Kuza Biashara, Marketing Society of Kenya, Nairobi Hub and Ministry of Information & Technology as our partners but we are still engaging various other corporate and public sector organizations to support this noble cause.
We are also targeting lecturers for the following benefits
 1. Help lecturers embrace social media and learn how to integrate it into teaching.
2. Understand how to connect with their students on social media and gain valuable feedback, share information etc.
3.Help the lecturers embrace social media learn how to communicate, engage and interact with students on social media.
4. Establish processes that control the publishing and monitoring of their content online & globally.
5. Help lecturers understand how to publish their content on multiple networks,optimize it for a variety of multimedia formats and optimize it for many types of screens to ensure it’s viewed easily and consumed.
6. Help lecturers understand how to edit the content into a creative formats that entertains, educates and inspires.
7. Help them learn how to create and share content for the different types of media such as video and text.
8. Basically they will learn how social media can make their work easier and more fun



For more information do not hesitate to contact me through Muthurikinyamu@gmail.com. You can also support this initiative in kind or in cash a sponsor, partner, blogger, social media user & enthusiast (use #SocialPRO & share the links above) or by praying about the success of this noble idea. 

1 comment:

  1. Great post...very informative

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