You are here

Marketing

Marc C. Whitt is director of philanthropy communications at the University of Kentucky, and a former tourism commissioner.

College towns across the country may be sitting on an economic and tourism marketing gold mine in the form of their local institution’s “tourist attractions.”

Consider the thousands of people who go to a school’s concerts, theatrical performances, athletic events, museums, planetarium shows, camps and conferences—not to mention those visiting for homecoming, family weekends and daily admissions visits.

Marc C. Whitt is director of development communications at the University of Kentucky

Congratulations, you’ve landed your first job as a college’s chief public relations and marketing officer. It’s a grand role loaded with ocean-size opportunities and responsibilities.

I got my first director’s position in 1988 when I joined the staff at Georgetown College in Kentucky. Up until then I had been a one-person shop.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Most university presidents believe the idea of stealing share from other universities is unsightly. It reeks of business and winning, and it rubs against the collegial grain with other presidents.

I know that because the branding and marketing of universities proves it. If you run ads of universities together, as we did in a study this month, you see a blending of messages and tone that are so similar they are easy to tune out and rarely give students a choice. All they do is reaffirm a choice a current student has already made.