The recent Rocky Top Revolution is proof positive that social media ignites online fury and stokes offline uprisings. When the Vol Nation got wind of the impending hire of Greg Schiano as the University of Tennessee’s next head football coach, it set off a digital firestorm that evoked the futon-burning crowds of Lane Kiffin’s notorious departure.
It wasn’t only on Twitter that the Volunteer faithful expressed their outrage, as protestors gathered on campus to voice their displeasure in person. So, what was the brouhaha all about, and what are the PR lessons to be learned in its aftermath?
Laura Mansfield is a communications consultant and professor in the School of Advertising and Public Relations at the University of Tennessee. She holds an MBA from UT and is accredited in public relations by the Public Relations Society of America. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.