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Articles: Marketing

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.

Colleges and universities with the most Twitter activity are missing out on engaging prospective students via the platform, according to new research from Brandwatch, a social media monitoring and analytics firm.

The analysis used a Thomson Reuters list of the top 10 U.S. university mentions on Twitter from January 31 through March 31. The big finding: The main Twitter handles of these schools were used mostly for broadcasting university-specific and industry news, according to the research.

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

In our efforts to market and communicate with our various constituents, we often overlook one of the most important support groups we have—our college town.

It’s not intentional. As long time neighbors, we simply take one another for granted. But that’s changing as institutions and their local governments look to one another for creative ways to collaborate and maximize financial and capital resources.

An official University of Kentucky hashtag, #seeblue grew out of a student recruitment campaign tagline launched in 2006.

Fifteen-minute, biweekly “scrum” meetings allow colleagues to quickly exchange necessary updates before getting back to business on project completion.

For years, The Extended Campuses of Northern Arizona University used a traditional marketing model. The four-person marketing team would create an annual budget and tie its goals and specific projects to it. Freelancers and local advertising agencies provided support for the 50 or so marketing pieces produced throughout the year.

That model worked fine until around 2010, says Ann Marie deWees, director of strategic marketing. “Then things began to change with increasing digital expectations.”

Marc C. Whitt is associate vice president for public relations and chief communications officer at Eastern Kentucky University

Facebook just turned 10. I remember how thrilled I was when 25 people had requested to be my friend by the end of my first day on Facebook. Since that time, I have become heavily engaged in social networking, and have established and maintained relationships through platforms such as Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Tumblr and, of course, Facebook. They are incredible tools for communication.

Marc C. Whitt is the associate vice president for public relations and chief communications officer at Eastern Kentucky University.

As one who enjoys reading history, I often ponder those moments of missed opportunity by myopic individuals or organizations. History is rife with such tales.

Consider the executive at Decca Records, for example, who nixed a recording contract with the legendary Beatles because he didn’t see the group’s musical style and compositions as unique or marketable. Or actor Nick Nolte, who reportedly turned down the role to play Indiana Jones on the big screen, allowing Harrison Ford to become the persona etched in our minds for that character.

Karine Joly says digital content is now the currency for search, social networking and even advertising.

What will 2014 bring to the digital field in higher ed? That’s the million dollar question at the start of this new year. Unfortunately, charting a precise course for success over the next 12 months isn’t possible.

When everything changes so quickly, we can only try to identify what looks like the best route to our destination. To help you with the exercise, let’s see what developments are leading the way.

Recruitment practices at private colleges and universities just got a little more complicated under the 2013 updates to the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA).

Rhe concept of leveraging MOOCs as a data-rich marketing vehicle is new but gaining a foothold

The exploding popularity of MOOCs is beginning to open up a mother lode of data about prospective students that colleges and universities can use for marketing and recruitment purposes.

MOOCs are still in their infancy stages, and the concept of leveraging their reach as a data-rich marketing vehicle for the institution is even newer. But it’s beginning to gain a foothold.

Students at Savannah College of Art and Design have a variety of dining styles and locations to choose from across campus.

Only one-third of 3,400 U.S. college students say they’re satisfied with their meal plans, found a survey by food industry research firm Technomic. But schools are finding that to address the problem, they need to go beyond simply improving what winds up on diners’ plates.

Supporting the emotional health of students should be a priority on all campuses, and the nonprofit Jed Foundation is helping to make that happen. Colleges and universities can evaluate the care they provide with JedCampus, a program launched in May.

“Efforts should be made to promote connectedness and reduced isolation,” says John MacPhee, executive director of the program. “Mental health improves the more a student feels like a member of a community.”

In higher education, we love, hate, and thrive on college rankings. The annual U.S. News and World Report top colleges list—as well as rankings by other news organizations—is anticipated with excitement and trepidation. When it comes to the numbers game of college admissions, it’s important to secure a spot near the top of these lists. Improving your institution’s rank means an automatic increase in general visibility. It also often results in a better chance to convert more college-bound high school students into serious prospects and highly motivated applicants.

Our fascination with numbers stems from our faith that numbers are more precise than words. But journalists and public officials too often use numbers that are so simplified as to be misleading. The quick numbers on low salaries and high unemployment rates for liberal arts graduates, for example, suggest the opposite picture from what the details reveal. That is, new liberal arts graduates may earn less at first than classmates who majored in professional fields, but over time this gap closes. These glib statistics reveal more informative patterns just below the surface.