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Profile #3: Powered by Orange

14 August 2009

Why this site?

@poweredbyorange is a fabulous model for higher ed institutions who want to tell their story through social media. Their twitter account is one of several components of the Oregon State University’s mark/com campaign that tells the story of how the OSU’s students, alumni, faculty and friends are making a positive difference in Oregon and beyond.




Date data downloaded: August 13, 2009
Industry sector: Higher Education
Twitter ID: @poweredbyorange
Followers: 344
Following: 344
Ratio followers/following: 1:1
Posts: 205
Joined Twitter: February 19, 2009

Twitter bio: Telling Oregon State University’s story in Portland.


Bio link:
Org Web site home:


Powered by Orange (PBO) is Oregon State University’s marketing and communications campaign that aims to feature the difference that OSU’s community makes in Oregon and beyond. From research that looks at sustainable energy solutions to ways to feed the hungry, PBO uses social media (Flickr, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, interactive map, PBO website and blog) to encourage the community to share their stories and accomplishments with the world.

A. General

Background: The background is consistent with all of OSU’s PBO social media sites. The large orange circle is easily identifiable and is prominently displayed and the color scheme matches the website/blog. Depending on how you look at it, the background could seem incredibly boring and drab (the reaction I got when I asked a friend’s opinion), or visually satisfying in its simplicity. The dark and plain background doesn’t necessarily elicit energy and excitement, but one could also say that this focuses the attention on the orange circle—a symbol of the campaign. I’m going to go with the argument for simplicity. Grade A.
Avatar: The image used is an orange circle, which again is in line with its graphic branding. Because of the dark background, the orange pops and perhaps if one were to visit the sites enough, would begin to associate an orange circle with the contributions of the OSU community. Grade A.

Bio: The bio is super short. One sentence: Telling Oregon State University’s story in Portland. This confused me a little because the other social media sites seem like they want to communicate their story well beyond Portland. Grade A-.

There is no indication of who tweets for PBO, but if you @ them, they’ll reply with info.

Bio Link: I’m still unsure what I make of the website pointing to the OSU’s main page versus the Powered by Orange site.

B. Tweets:
72 were @ replies
69 were retweets
10 hashtags (#OSU, #waterwednesday, #iranelection, #squarespace, #netbook, #linux, #iranian, #farm, #greenit)
0 favorites

Summary: Much of PBO’s RTs are related to public good, whether it’s about a cause like promoting clean drinking water for all, or a recent graduate’s new job. The tweets have a strong community-oriented voice and it’s apparent in their tweets that they care about their students, alum and community.

C. Outstanding questions/conclusion:
Suggestions: forthcoming.

Conclusion: PBO’s use of twitter is characteristic of a local paper interested in keeping people abreast of what’s going on in the community. I like that feel. Many of their tweets are catchy one-liners that force you to click on the links (if there is one) to read more. It’s definitely also a source for ways to get involved in various community efforts—mainly those that are philanthropic, green or social justice in nature.

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