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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.


A DEFINITION OF STRATEGY that centers around the idea of “more”—we will serve more students, offer more programs, and be in more places—is highly likely to fail. Dollars are finite, so doing more will actually decrease quality because tight resources are spread even more thinly.

IN THE MARCH 2007 ISSUE OF University Business, some observations about social networking websites were noted. Members of sites such as Facebook and MySpace are wary of the encroachment of business into their online spaces. Not being able to control content and invitation- only membership realities create challenges for institutions in using these online tools. Here are some guidelines for delving into the world of social networking:

It happened in November. At Stamats, we received our first RFP to help a college develop a webpage for Facebook. It was a harbinger of things to come. Now, every time I turn around, it seems like people are talking about social networking and its possible use as a higher education marketing tool.

In 2009, the U.S. will graduate the largest number of high school seniors in the history of the country. That's the good news. Now here is what many feel is the bad: Over the next 30 years, for a full generation, the number of high school graduates will decline.

Invariably, the one question I can count on during every marketing seminar I conduct is this: "What will it take for our school to develop an effective marketing strategy?"

Note: This column revisits a series that we began last year on effective team building. The prior installments, which ran in November 2005, January 2006, and March 2006, are available online at (see Back Issues).