A few weeks ago, someone in our enrollment management department told me about this webinar on “the value of social networking for admissions,” or something like that. The webinar host (who shall go unnamed) was a company our enrollment management department uses, with good results. He and I thought the webinar would be a good opportunity to get not only our staffs, but also some upper-level administrators, some perspective on social networking. Maybe hearing from a third party like this company would lend more credence to the idea. Aside from the work our communications staff has done with blogging, user-generated video, etc., our campus hasn’t taken much of a shine to social networking.
So we sent out email invitations to members of our marketing committee (which I chair) and the recruitment committee (which the other guy chairs). Most of these committee members are mid-level to upper-level admins, with a few faculty and student representatives thrown in for good measure.
Fortunately for us, attendance was sparse.
The “webinar” was a total pitch for some Facebook app the company is planning to launch. And the first 10 webinar attendees to sign up for the app would get it for half price.
As soon as the pitch came — about 20 minutes into the event — the lone marketing committee member (besides me) who bothered to show up stood up and left. After another 10 minutes of Q&A about the app, I told everyone else in the room that we may as well log off, nothing to see here. So we all left.
I’m wary enough of webinars as it is. I know that companies that offer these freebies have something to sell, and that’s fine. That’s part of the deal. But this pitch was more blatant than any I’d seen.
Maybe I’m just not as accustomed to these kinds of pitches as our friends in admissions. But none of them were anxious to stick around, either.
The more I think about it, the more it irks me.
I’m still sick, by the way. And that makes me crankier than normal.