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Articles: Marketing

Without a doubt, social media has become one of the, if not the most, effective and efficient way for colleges and universities to communicate. Connected institutions can conduct “digital conversations” while sharing and collecting thoughts, ideas, information, opinions, images and video.

In March, Twitter unveiled its newest acquisition, a live video streaming app called Periscope. Following closely on the heels of a rival app called Meerkat, Periscope made waves by enabling anyone with a mobile device (iOS or Android) to broadcast from virtually anywhere. The apps allow viewers to interact with broadcasters through a chat feature.

David Brond

I would be wealthy if I had a nickel for every time a member of the faculty, staff, administration or board said, “I didn’t realize you could help with that.”

Far too often, the marcom (marketing/communications) and public relations office is brought into a situation requiring communication to internal and external stakeholders late in the process. I have learned through experience that the more people understand what marcom professionals do, the better the outcome.

“Excuses” campaign messaging appears on buses, a billboard, bar coasters and coffee sleeves, as well as on radio and the web.

Admissions marketing pros have heard a wide variety of reasons why prospective students don’t believe they can go—or go back—to college.

Park University in Missouri’s “Excuses” campaign, wrapping up this spring, takes an entertaining approach to breaking down access barriers. Promos poke fun at excuses that range from “no pens” and “no matching socks” to “you’re not much of a morning, afternoon or evening person” and “my thumb drive is full.”

Marc C. Whitt is a 32-year veteran of higher education public relations and marketing. You may follow or contact him @marcwhitt.

Few of us could imagine where we would be in our institutional branding efforts without the internet and its related marketing and public relations applications. These digital tools have become our “digital front doors,” granting us the ability to effectively and efficiently share content with those eager to learn more about us.

When you watched this year’s Super Bowl, did you notice the higher education corporate partnership messaging? We were all witness to a historic NFL football broadcast from the University of Phoenix stadium in Glendale, Arizona. Think back to other sporting events like National University’s 2014 Holiday Bowl game in San Diego and you’ll find there is no shortage of co-branding and advertising partners in higher education – in fact, we see it all the time.

As recently as 10 years ago, the campus website was not viewed as a legitimate source of marketing, nor was its upkeep considered the responsibility of communications professionals.

When it comes to producing college publications, it is important to captivate your audience. There is no better way to communicate with students, staff, faculty, alumni and potential prospects than on the devices they already use. Distributing your college marketing materials, alumni magazines, admissions brochures, university athletics, student portfolios and more through mobile apps is a great idea, but what does it take to create an app that is award-winning status?

Kimberly R. Cline, president of Long Island University, says branding is essential in higher ed.

Branding may have historically been considered too commercial an endeavor for higher ed, but this mindset has clearly evolved. It’s no longer a question of whether a college should brand itself, but of how it can create an accurate embodiment of its mission and student experience.

Branding a university is fundamentally different than branding a product. A university is a complex, multifaceted institution that cannot necessarily encapsulate its essence with a single word, phrase or logo.

Marc C. Whitt is a 32-year veteran of higher education public relations and marketing.

For the first few months of a New Year, many of us are eager to get physically fit. And those of us who work in PR and marketing must stay professionally fit by remaining relevant to meet and even surpass those needs our institutions will always have. We must stay ahead of the curve as we present ourselves as strategic communicator whose expertise and counsel can be trusted.

Billboards promoting the Meredith College "Going Strong" brand can be spotted throughout the Raleigh, N.C., area and beyond.

When you think “rebranding campaign,” it most likely conjures up images of marketing and communications officers meeting with the school president and board of trustees to toil over logo colors, mascots and slogans. In reality, it’s a much more complex process, involving the entire school community.

Opinions, please: The Creative Collection wall, set up in the Marlboro  College dining hall, invited ideas, words and drawings that were used to shape the institution's branding campaign.

Clark University (Mass.)

  • Clark welcomed its first full class under the Liberal Education and Effective Practice program in fall 2013.
  • A record 7,291 students applied to be part of Clark’s class of 2018, a 31 percent increase over last year’s numbers and a 70 percent rise over two years.

Mount Ida College (Mass.)

Marc C. Whitt is associate vice president for public relations at Eastern Kentucky University.

Crisis communications management is often a reactive measure. But the most effective public relations managers are those who are proactive. These tips can help as you develop a proactive crisis communications plan.

When Duke University class of 2008 arrived on campus to start their freshman year, they had no idea they would become pioneers. Why? Because each of the incoming freshmen received a free iPod as part of a program aimed at fostering innovative uses of technology in the classroom. I led the Apple team that helped Duke experiment with creative academic uses for the devices and I was on campus when the students received their free iPods; it was memorable as the students cheered with excitement as each one was given their new mobile device.

The students you’re trying to reach today have grown up in a world in which nearly everything was an advertisement. When they were still in diapers they were bombarded with cartoon characters aggressively hawking sugar-laced cereals, and as they’ve grown older, the commercials, emails, texts, pop-ups and social posts crowding their view have only increased in volume.