A message to everyone: Think carefully before you tweet

By Postie Editors

Oakland University is located in Rochester, Mich. It has been since Matilda Dodge Wilson first donated the property and $2 million dollars to the piece of land that eventually became OU in 1957.

A 1971 OU master plan doesn’t even have Auburn Hills on the map, but that’s because the city of Auburn Hills wasn’t even established until 1983, according to the Auburn Hills Historical Society.

The mailing address is in Rochester and the City of Rochester was settled in 1817 — long before Auburn Hills even existed.

There has been recent debate through editorials and stories about the exact location of the university in The Oakland Press and The Detroit News.

The fact of the matter is, the real issue isn’t where we are located, but that we actually exist.

On Monday, a shooting at Oikos University, a small Christian school in Oakland, Calif. left seven people dead and three injured, according to The Associated Press.

While the story was developing, Huffington Post College tweeted “A shooting at Oakland University allegedly leaves 5 hurt.”

Many news organizations across the country used headlines such as “Sources: 5 dead in Oakland University shooting” — many actually capitalizing the word “university.”

Clearly none of them realized those headlines implied that a shooting had occurred at the OU located in Rochester, Mich.

Local media such as The Detroit News tweeted “Police confirm deaths in Oakland university attack.”

Over a week ago, The Detroit News was concerned over where our university is located. But on Monday, they should’ve known by putting the words “Oakland University,” “deaths” and “attack” together in a tweet would create panic among their target and local audiences.

After getting negative feedback, The Detroit News tweeted “our apologies on the Oakland tweet.”

For such a critical error, this was an unacceptable apology.

Though local media doesn’t have much of an excuse, if OU had a solid brand, the national media may not have been so quick to tweet and write that there was a shooting here. They would have known there was a school with the name “Oakland University.”

OU has been attempting to brand themselves since 1997 with the first “Creating the Future” event, but 15 years later,  the university still isn’t really known for anything academically and the university itself is still relatively unknown.

Aside from the William Beaumont School of Medicine and the now occasional wins of the basketball teams, OU still has no real brand.

The Oakland Post sat down with University President Gary Russi several weeks ago to discuss many different topics, including branding.

Russi said his goal is to make OU stand out so much, the logo is as recognizable as Harvard’s “H” or Stanford’s “S.”

However, no branding decisions have been made yet, according to Russi.

The staff editorial is written weekly by members of The Oakland Post’s editorial board.