By Jennifer Schwartz
At the beginning of this year we embarked upon a new partnership with Leonard Andrew Consulting (LAC). We love their positive message to student athletes and their holistic approach to helping students achieve their dreams. Not only does LAC offer tutoring and test prep, but they also provide NCAA recruiting advice and personal training. We think you'll be as impressed with them as we are. So head on over to LAC's blog to learn their top four things to consider regarding your social media in 2017 and beyond!
By Jennifer Schwartz
Cornerstone Reputation College Athletics Survey Indicates Strong Trend in College Coaches Searching Recruits Online
Study Reveals How Coaches and Athletic Recruiters Use Social Media Information, and How Student Athletes Can Improve Digital Footprint
SOMERVILLE, Mass., January 17, 2017 - Cornerstone Reputation, an educational company committed to helping students manage their digital footprints, today released findings from its second annual Cornerstone College Athletics Survey, which revealed that 85 percent of coaches and athletic recruiters have performed online searches of athletes during the 2014-2015 recruitment season, and 19 percent of college coaching staffs have rescinded an offer to an athlete because of content they found online or through social media. The annual survey polled more than 470 coaches at more than 200 Division I, II, and III colleges and universities across the country.
The survey results indicate a strong trend in college coaches searching applicants online. The percentage of respondents reporting that either they or someone in their staff performed online searches of athletes increased by about 5 percent since the prior survey, which Cornerstone Reputation released in 2015.
Coaches and athletic recruiters are drawn towards conducting online searches because these searches provide added insight that they may not be able to get from simply talking with the recruit, like whether they would be a good fit for the culture of the program, what their character is like, and whether they will be a liability for the cohesion of the team.
“The most striking thing we saw in this survey is that the vast majority of college coaches are using the Internet to research recruits. Almost 100 percent of coaches said a recruit’s character is very important, and a similarly high percentage of coaches acknowledge that they are getting impressions of recruits from online. This data cannot be ignored and can be used to help student athletes and recruiters alike,” said Carolynn Crabtree, cofounder of Cornerstone Reputation.
The study reveals that 82 percent of coaches indicated that they believe an athletic recruit could gain an advantage over another recruit by having a strong and positive online presence, and 99 percent indicated that they believe that a negative online presence could harm a recruit’s prospects.
Other key findings of the survey include:
In addition to the 2016 College Athletics Survey report, Cornerstone Reputation conducts an annual Undergraduate Admissions Survey, which takes the pulse of admissions officers at the top national universities and liberal arts colleges across the United States, to provide insights into their use of social media as a college acceptance assessment tool.
About Cornerstone Reputation
Cornerstone Reputation is an educational company committed to empowering students through tools and knowledge that help them understand the impact of their online presence to ensure the time they spend online contributes to a positive reputation in today’s digitally interconnected world.
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To view the full 2016 Cornerstone Reputation College Athletics Survey Report: https://www.cornerstonereputation.com/2016-athletics-survey.html
By Jennifer Schwartz
SOMERVILLE, Mass., Cornerstone Reputation, an educational company committed to helping students manage their digital footprints, is launching a virtual workshop that helps students answer the question of what they should be doing to manage their online reputation. The virtual workshop, designed for high school and college students, helps students understand their online reputation, get set up to control it, and learn how to build a positive digital presence with the time they already spend online.
Regarding the new product launch, Cofounder and President of Cornerstone Reputation Carolynn Crabtree said, “We are thrilled with the launch our virtual workshop. We’ve worked with thousands of students to help them build a better online presence, and this will enable us to reach a broader audience. Most students already have concerns about their online footprint. It is important that we give them the knowledge and tools needed to be in control of what people can find about them online. Our interactive workshop includes ‘behind the scenes’ technical magic that will drive a student’s search engine optimization. Students complete the workshop with a firm digital foundation and a strategy to implement through higher education and beyond.”
Designed to be completed in one sitting or segmented into a series of homework assignments and classroom sessions, the workshop consists of modules with lessons on:
The workshop inspires students to take ownership and responsibility over their online footprint, and provides them with the tools and skill set required to do so.
About Cornerstone Reputation
Cornerstone Reputation is an educational company committed to empowering students to understand the impact of their online presence. Through tools and knowledge, Cornerstone seeks to ensure the time students spend online contributes to a positive reputation in today's digitally interconnected world.
SOURCE Cornerstone Reputation
College athletic directors are using social media to gain a multidimensional view of candidates for their programs, according to Cornerstone Reputation, an educational company committed to helping students manage their digital footprints.
A 2015 survey of 600 college coaching staffs by Cornerstone Reputation revealed that 83% percent of those surveyed conducted online research of recruits during the 2013-2014 recruitment season. Gone are the days when athletic staffs merely used the internet to research player statistics. The survey’s results indicate that colleges are painting a full picture of a prospective candidate based on their digital footprint.
Students athletes are encouraged to ensure that their social media presence features their outstanding accomplishments, rather than propagating information that could leave a negative impression.
According to 66 percent of coaches, postings about non-athletic achievements, like academics and community service, leave a positive impression. Coaches want to know that their recruits will be able to succeed in their classes as well as in their sports, as it reflects well on their programs.
The next most important material which could positively affect recruits relates directly to athletics. Mention of good play in one’s respective sport and athletic achievements, according to over half of the college coaches, can help a recruit’s prospects. Just under half of the coaches also agreed that press coverage or a well-made highlight film could also positively influence their impression of a recruit.
Cornerstone’s advice to students interested in leveraging their online presence to a positive advantage includes the following:
Cornerstone Reputation encourages students to use social media to present a discoverable and authentic version of themselves to the greater athletic community.
By Jennifer Schwartz
Marketing and Social Media, Cornerstone Reputation
This post was originally featured on the Family Online Safety Institute's Good Digital Parenting site. Photo courtesy of Flickr.
First dates can be awkward. So can recruiting trips; applicants get thrown together with current team members, sometimes without much regard for personalities involved. Especially if the recruit and the current student have extremely different views, it may be hard for a prospective student to get a good impression of the school, and vice versa. But what does this have to do with social media?
In our 2015 College Athletics Survey, we found that nearly half (44%) of coaches are using social media to pair applicants with current students during recruiting trips. Basically, they’re using social media to get a better sense of recruits’ interests, so they can match them up with compatible hosts on campus.
At Cornerstone, we’re big fans of the notion that a student’s online persona should be a genuine representation of him- or herself. In this case, by showcasing their interests and personality through social media, student-athletes can position themselves for a great recruiting trip.
By Erin Matthews
Admissions officers and coaches aren’t the only ones Googling student athletes. In our College Athletics Survey, 53% of coaches reported that their current players searched or connected with recruits via social media. This is a great opportunity for students to connect with players at the schools they’re interested in. By friending and interacting with current players, recruits are effectively building an ongoing brand relationship for themselves. In fact, of the coaches who said that their players connect with prospective students online, 79% found that the information their players gathered could influence a decision.
If current players gather an overall favorable impression of a future teammate, that student gains an edge that an applicant with no online presence—or a negative one—doesn’t have. By connecting over social media during the recruiting process, prospective students can build relationships with potential future teammates. They’ll have the chance to learn more about the school and the team from current students, a familiarity that can also help ease the transition to college. In return, current team members (and by extension their coaches) are able to learn more about a prospect than can be gleaned in a quick online search, a college application, or an overnight recruiting trip.
Check out our 2015 College Athletic Recruiting Survey to learn more about how a student’s online presence can be helpful in the recruiting process.
By Erin Matthews
Late last month, we released a survey report based on data we collected from 610 coaches at 220 colleges. That’s a lot of people, but overall there was tremendous similarity in their opinions. One of the factors touched upon is whether coaches take online reputation of prospective students as seriously as admissions counselors do. Overwhelmingly, the answer was yes. Much more so, in fact: 83% vs 54%. But here’s something interesting: while of course a search that turns up negative information can have a seriously detrimental effect on an applicant, it turns out that cultivating a positive online presence is nearly as important.
Among many other results, the survey found:
(Source: Cornerstone Reputation College Athletics Survey)
We also gathered information on the effects of a negative online reputation, but at Cornerstone we believe strongly that it’s better for students to learn how to create a positive reputation--and have fun doing it!--than to be too wary and have no online presence at all. Student athletes have a lot to be proud of, and a well-thought-out Facebook post or tweet can be helpful in the recruiting process. Just ask these coaches.
By Erin Matthews
A survey a day keeps the doctor away! … Okay, not really, but we’re big proponents of using data to understand and implement positive online reputation building techniques.
If you’ve been following us for a while, you’ve probably noticed that we conduct regular surveys on aspects of the admissions process. By now you may be asking what we get out of all this research. We believe that research and data are, well, the cornerstone of good reputation management strategy. This is never more true than it is for students. When else in life are people measured, both qualitatively and quantitatively, against so many of their peers?
By conducting surveys of admissions professionals, our purpose is to talk not only to experts in the field, but to the people who make the decisions. What’s important to them? What would make a difference when they’re the ones looking at an application? Online reputation management is a large and growing concern for adults as well, but by focusing on elements of this topic that are most important to a student’s future, we’re able to ask and answer questions important to that audience.
We make sure to design our surveys to gather data on both the positive and negative aspects on online reputations (and more about why we focus on positive reputations in our workshops later) so that we can present a full picture to students, parents, and educators. Through our surveys, admissions professionals have an opportunity to be completely candid (and completely anonymous!) when sharing their thoughts on online reputations. Our objective approach allows real transparency in the importance of online reputation management in admissions.
We recently released a report based on a survey of hundreds of coaches and athletics recruiters. (You can read the press release here.) Over the next several weeks, we’ll be focusing on what we learned and how that information can be applied to student athletes. If you just can’t wait, or if you simply love surveys, get a head start by downloading it here.
By Erin Matthews
In a competitive sport like swimming, high school students who are looking to be recruited into a college program can set themselves apart by building an impactful and easy to find online track record of not only their swimming accomplishments, but their non-athletic interests as well – and anything that provides a picture of overall good character, drive and ambition. These were the findings of a recent survey conducted by Cornerstone Reputation, which polled almost 700 college athletic coaches to explore, when, how, and why they do online searches of potential recruits and what types of information has the greatest effect on them. Our advice below is drawn from the findings of our survey.
With 83% of college coaches saying they (or someone on their coaching staff) conducted online research of at least one of their athletic recruits during the 2013-2014 recruiting season, social media and online content can be an excellent way to get noticed. In fact, 79% of coaches believe that a strong and positive online presence can give one recruit an advantage over another recruit and 97% of coaches believe that negative content could harm a recruit’s prospects in some way.
Our advice stands contrary to what high school seniors may have been told, but it’s important that they don’t hide themselves online during the college admissions process. Make yourselves easy to find online so future gatekeepers such as college coaches and admissions officers can get a sense of how great you are in your everyday life rather than just on paper, during an interview, or via your stats. It’s important for your online self to be authentic to who you really are, especially during the admissions process when admissions officers and coaches might turn to online searches to clarify awards mentioned in your applications or to research other personal accomplishments. These tips will help you stand out from the crowd:
When asked about their motivation for researching recruits, the most common answer, shared by 86% of coaches, was to look up highlight videos, statistics, and athletic accomplishments. Yet, 70% of coaches reported researching recruits to find more about their personalities. So how can you use this knowledge to your advantage?
So get out there, set some records and make sure someone is recording them (literally! with a camera) so that you can dry off, head home, and post them online until all of your social media sites are doing the hard work of getting you noticed. It just might provide that winning edge.
By Carolyn Crabtree, founder of Cornerstone Reputation, posted on swimswam.com
Social media can be fun to use, but it can also lead to huge problems. No matter the intent, one click of the button can turn someone's world upside down.
Houston Texans star J.J. Watt clearly understands the power of social media. In an interview with MaxPreps, he gave high schoolers some great advice about using social media.
In reality, the advice wasn't just for high schoolers—everyone can use it.
By Kyle Newport, posted on bleacherreport.com
Blog Post #3: Athletes On Social Media
Just like anybody, athletes love to post their feelings and upcoming events and sometimes anything and everything, on social media's. It seems though that some of them don't understand the broad audience they are posting to. Since this is a college course, I am going to look at student-athletes and how they can hurt there reputation and sometimes even risk scholarships or even be expelled from school.
Cardale Jones who plays quarterback for the Ohio State Buckeyes, wrote that tweet posted in the image above. He wrote "Why should we have to go to class if we came here to play FOOTBALL, we ain't come to play school, classes are POINTLESS." Well I hope he's gone to enough school to not say "ain't" anymore. Jones was suspended a game for posting that, which could have very much been avoided. He could have been in trouble for more. What if the school decided they didn't want to keep him on scholarship since he doesn't appreciate "school." They could have kicked him off the football team and out of school.
Someone who hits close to home literally, is University of Colorado cornerback Yuri Wright, who posted many vulgar and inappropriate tweets while he was in high school in New Jersey. It cost him many scholarship offers from top schools, but luckily, Colorado was one of the only schools that decided to uphold his scholarship. I'm sure he's careful with Twitter now, if he hasn't deleted his account already.
It's the same thing for the working class citizen. Don't put anything on social media that you wouldn't want your boss to see. For athletes, many of them are put on a microscope with lots of critics waiting for them to slip up so that they can be criticized on a national platform. University of Indiana athletic director Jeremy Gray referred to student athletes as having a "four year job interview" while at Indiana. He believes many athletes are judged by their actions after they graduate, and social media can be one of those deciding factors that can break a future for an athlete. Purdue basketball coach Matt Painter doesn't even allow his players to be on Twitter during the season. A single re-tweet from a player during the season, can cost a suspension.
Athletes have the tools to be able to use social media in a positive light. Some athletes like to post when their game times are so that friends and family members can stay connected and up to date on when they are playing. If these athletes can just be smart about what they post, they could use it to their advantage.
By James Carnes, posted on sportsmediamadness.sportsblog.com
Posting positive: The impact of social media use
In a day and age where the use of social media floods the streets like open sewers, never before has the public seen such a mighty magnifying glass on the social media accounts of student athletes.
At any level of athletics, one negative Facebook post or rant on Twitter could mean a storm of controversy, a dent to the athlete's reputation as a whole or, even worse, the loss of a scholarship — it wouldn't be the first occurrence for any of these things.
Without a warning, a high school athlete can lose a chance to play at the next level because of their actions online — no matter how much talent they have on the field.
Seemingly every week, a new big name — professional or collegiate — has to publicly apologize for something they've posted on their account. Those actions have caught the attention of local administrators and coaches and have paved the way for campaigns that call for awareness behind a computer screen.
"Our students have an expectation of 'acceptable use of technology' and this includes social media," Chillicothe High School Principal Jeff Fisher said. "We have a document in our athletic handbook that every student has to sign, stating they understand their responsibility to represent their community, school, family and most importantly themselves in the athletic arena, in the classroom and even on social media."
While most students may blindly sign this agreement, not taking it as seriously as they should, consequences can be passed down if they refuse to hold up their end of the bargain.
"Unacceptable use of social media will result in the loss of athletic privileges such as game suspensions," Fisher said. "Repeated inappropriate use can and will result in removal from the team. We refuse to allow a 14-year old them to cost a 20-year old them future opportunities. We care enough to be involved in our students' lives, even on social media platforms."
Fisher and CHS may have an aggressive policy aimed towards the use of social media, but rightfully so.
"To me, it's vital to have a positive presence on social media just as it is in person," Fisher said. "I've seen social media cost student athletes scholarship money and future opportunities. I've had recruiters call us and the first words out of their mouths aren't questions about GPA or points per game but about a tweet that was sent two months ago that referenced drug use. And it doesn't matter if those words were song lyrics. If you represent yourself that way, you hurt your family and injure the reputation of your team, teammates, school and community."
In conversation with Fisher, he shared two separate photos that he calls 'two of his favorites' on the social media issue.
One states, 'Before you post, think!' and the other, 'WARNING: Never let a 140-character tweet cost you a $140,000 scholarship'.
Fisher isn't the only area administrator that is stressing his student athletes to post positive on their social media platforms.
"The kids for the most part do a pretty good job," Piketon Principal Jeff Reuter said. "All of our teachers are on Twitter and Facebook so we try to model positively as a staff. Our kids know about the digital footprints. That's anything that you're putting on Facebook, Twitter, etc. If you're going for a job interview, that boss will check your accounts to make sure you are who you say you are. If you have a bunch of ridiculous things on there, it'll cost you a job."
Paint Valley Athletic Director Pete Hollon has been the Bearcats' football coach for more than 20 years. Hollon takes an old school approach to the issue but still knows what dangers lurk around the corner if a student athlete posts the wrong thing.
"Kids are going to be kids, regardless. I don't want to have to be monitoring them 24/7," Hollon said. "But once they put it out there, it's there forever. You never get that back. We've had recruiters call and they've said that they've looked at the kids' website and they don't like what they saw."
Hollon offered some advice to all student athletes when it comes to posting online.
"Just be smart and think about what you're putting out there," he said. "If it's something that you really need to say, pick up the phone and call them. Basically a private conversation becomes worldwide with the click of a button. Don't do anything to embarrass the program or yourself."
By Derrick Webb, posted on chillicothegazette.com
Be Careful With Social Media
Young players can learn a lot from the pros.
They can study superstars mechanics or analyze their work ethic. They can break down their leadership skills and absorb their mannerisms and poise under pressure. They can find out what it means to fill a role and gain knowledge on how to achieve a goal at the highest level.
There are lots of things kids can take away from professional athletes when it comes to becoming the best in any particular sport, but the stars of the NFL, NBA, NHL and MLB, among other leagues, are also excellent examples of what not to do.
San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick is the latest to prove this point.
The 27-year-old standout recently posted a picture of cars submerged under floodwaters with the message, “I warned you the #7tormsComing !!! #Houston” in reference to himself. Kaepernick wears the No. 7, and San Francisco opens its preseason at Houston on Aug. 15.
Soon after, the post, which was on both Twitter and Instagram, was deleted, and an apology was issued, but the harm was already done.
At least 21 people have died, more remain missing and millions of dollars in damage occurred in Texas and Oklahoma due to recent heavy rains and subsequent flooding.
Obviously, this tragic event is not to be taken lightly, but Kaepernick is not the first and will not be the last athlete to create controversy on social media by mindlessly hitting send.
Olympians have been dismissed from the games, endorsements have been lost, scholarships pulled and reputations have been marred beyond repair thanks to posts that were not thought out.
It is not unusual. In fact, it has become common to see apologies on various social media feeds, but they do little to help mend any negative uprisings.
While posts placed in haste can often hurt a professional athlete’s credibility and image, it can destroy a young person’s future.
Today’s generation of youth have grown up with social media at their fingertips. They don’t know a world without Facebook, Twitter and Vine. It is their primary means of communicating with one another, replacing the telephone and even face-to-face interaction.
Social media is so commonplace, it is second nature to almost every high school student, including athletes, and the comfort many feel when using such outlets can be downright scary.
Don’t get me wrong; social media is a wonderful invention when used properly. In addition to allowing information and communication to spread more rapidly than ever imagined, it has the ability to give insight into people’s lives that were previously impenetrable.
It promotes conversation, lends itself to creativity and is a great platform for exchanging ideas, but the downside is overwhelming.
Even when accounts are set to private, everything someone posts on social media is public, and due to the level of comfort teenagers have with the various outlets, it is easy to find oneself in a sticky situation. Kids don’t always think through what they say in the first place, and when comments or videos are posted in haste, they can live for eternity.
College recruiters scour through potential commits’ accounts, searching for insight into players’ mentalities, and one offensive, insensitive or crude post can send them running.
Social media outlets provide first-hand accounts of a young player’s personality, revealing far more than any coach, parent, friend or teacher possibly could.
Hopefully, today’s youth are smart enough to realize the power their smartphones and laptops yield and approach each post with a clear conscience, knowing the words typed will live beyond their lifetime.
For many professional athletes, the lessons come in the harshest way possible, but maybe those who look up to them are learning from the mistakes.
By Clay Whittington, posted on kdhnews.com
Social Media Counts For College Coaches
College programs consider your social media a level of interviewing, a way to get to know who you are as a person. A student athlete social media feed that is racist, misogynistic, filled with obscenities or sexually explicit content is a red flag. Most college coaches have at least one story about reviewing the social media feeds of an athlete and quickly deciding that athlete didn’t fit in with their program. There are instances of scholarship offers being revoked because of an athlete’s social media. Talented, top-tier athletes have been dropped from recruiting lists because of their social media.
“It’s happened this year and this recruiting class,” Duke Coach David Cutcliffe said. “It’s just insane what some of them think’s OK. When I know it’s them and I read it and I see some of the things out there, if I’m on the road, I’ll call a coach – let his high school coach know we’re no longer interested. And I’ll call back to (Duke Director of Football Relations) Kent McLeod or the people in the office and say I want him dropped off the database. No more mail. Nothing.”
Of all the variables in the recruiting process, social media is the one variable that is completely under the player’s control. Instead of destroying college participation chances Social Media can be used as a tool that lets players promote their brand in ways never before possible.
If you are sincerely attempting to become one of the 6% of high school athletes who go on to college sports or garner some of the 2.7 billion dollars that go out in scholarships and aid to college athletes yearly your social media is not a private conversation with friends; it is a representation of who you are. Using Social Media to promote your talent and potential means:
By Staff Reports, posted on texasredzonereport.com