Title

New Media and the Student Athlete: Taking Control of Reputation Management, Publicity, and Confidentiality

Date of Award

7-25-2011

Document Type

Capstone Project

Disciplines

Organiz. & Prof. Communication

Degree Name

Master of Professional Studies

Department

Organiz & Prof Communication

Advisor

Lora Louise Broady

Keywords

social media; college athletics; reputation management; branding; Personal brand management; social media strategy; college sports; communication plan

Abstract

As communication evolves and becomes more open and collaborative, public figures must take greater caution to control their personal publicity, confidentiality, and online reputation. Social media allows student athletes the ability to connect with fans and act as an accessible voice for their team. This study demonstrates the importance of understanding both the advantages and disadvantages of social media usage by public figures. Results indicate that student athletes largely understand the social media standards of conduct set by their university. At the same time, student athletes do not fully understand the social media privacy concerns facing public figures. Findings from this study were used to develop a student athlete social media reputation management plan for University of Minnesota Athletics.

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