“Expect the best, plan for the worst, and prepare to be surprised.”
– Denis Waitley
Many of us have several of those “remember how bad our college dorm rooms were” stories. Thanks to Facebook, several George Washington University students won’t have to “remember,” they can just chronicle their experience in real time, and for the entire world to see.
On July 30 a new Facebook group titled “GW Housing Horrors” launched with “the intent of exposing the true state of GW campus housing,” and the goal of “bring(ing) attention to GW’s blatant negligence and irresponsible housing practices.” In other words, they’re calling out the George Washington housing department for extremely dirty dorm facilities.
The big takeaway here is that even for a school that has been ranked 10th best in the nation for student housing by the Princeton Review, issues and crises will still arise. And in today’s world, they will be made public, and most likely mocked, via social networks.
The university has done a very solid job of responding thus far. They’ve posted publicly to the “GW Housing Horrors” Facebook page, conducted interviews with media, provided public statements about the issue and how they plan to resolve it, and even reached out to the two students who created the page (without asking them to take it down).
The next (and most important) step is for George Washington University to follow through on their plan to resolve the issues as quickly as possible, and make sure lines of communication are open with students along the way. It’s one thing to manage communications during a crisis, it’s another to fix the issue to your customer’s satisfaction and attempt to turn that customer into a brand advocate by providing great customer service.
Jim Licko is a senior director of social media and digital strategy at GroundFloor Media, and while he has nostalgic feelings about his own college house, he’s very glad he doesn’t live there now.