If you think Culver Academies’ appearance in the 57th Presidential Inaugural Parade didn’t cause a wave of positive publicity, think again. In less than one week, the Presidential Inaugural blog set up for the occasion was viewed 104,814 times.
As the Black Horse Troop and Equestriennes made their way down Pennsylvania Avenue on Monday, Jan. 21, the blog was viewed 29,078 times. The following day, it received 29,870 hits. That is 59,000 views in just 48 hours.
The Culver Inaugural blog was still picking up over 6,000 hits on Thursday, Jan. 24. The power of social media shined through as Facebook was the leading gateway to the website. A total of 6,229 views came from the Culver Academies Facebook page, while another 937 hits came through Twitter (which is more than its 904 followers). The culver.org website redirected 2,908 people to the Inaugural blog and another 2,941 found it through two emails Culver sent to parents and alumni. Over 500 people used search engines to find the blog.
From the time Culver received the official invitation from the Presidential Inaugural Committee to Jan. 18, the Academies’ Facebook page received 158 new “Likes.” That moves Culver up to 7,557 people following the page. A quick look at two Facebook videos posted by alumni also shows how strong Culver’s appearance in the Inaugural Parade became.
Leon Smitherman ’82, who is the meteorologist at the Wichita Falls, Kan. TV station KSN, posted on his KSN Facebook page a segment the station ran about CMA and CGA’s preparations for the parade. It was shared a total of at least 223 times. On parade day, James (Jimmy) Clark ’87 shared CNN’s parade video clip, which has been shared at least 331 times since being posted at 6:44 p.m. on Jan. 21. Because of Facebook privacy settings, not all shares may be recorded.
And, while social media played a major role in spreading the word about Culver’s participation, newspapers, radio stations, and TV stations carried over 39 stories on the Black Horse Troop and the Equestriennes. Included in that was a short video clip Jan. 18 on NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams.
The Associated Press in Indiana picked up the initial story of Culver’s invitation, and since the Academies was the lone parade participant from the state, several papers published the story. Local radio, television, and newspapers did features – including a special two-page commemorative section by The Culver Citizen.
Stories on individual riders appeared in newspapers from coast to coast. Papers covering Eagle River, Alaska, Spokane, Wash., Newport Beach, Calif., El Paso, Texas, Purcell, Okla., Monroe, La., Libertyville, Ill., LaPorte, Ind., Canton, Ohio, Clarksdale, Miss., Tuscaloosa, Ala., and Naples, Fla., each carried stories on individual students from their area.
Here is a sampling of the television coverage the Black Horse Troop and Equestriennes received:
Inaugural Coverage Compilation