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Articles: Marketing

Early adopters tout virtual reality as the next big thing, and in higher education, 360-degree videos are adding exciting, immersive experiences. The best indicator that the time is right for “VR” can be found in the investments made by two competing tech giants, Google and Facebook.

Names like Harvard, Princeton and Stanford are the academic equivalent of Rolex, Tiffany and Mercedes. Other schools have to market themselves. So more of them are advertising these days—but some, paradoxically, seem to do it without much use of what is presumably their stock in trade: expert knowledge.

Digital signage has come a long way in the last decade, and is increasingly utilized in higher education. Universities are an ideal place for digital signage, offering a variety of different venues for unique content including dining facilities; faculty and staff offices; faculty, staff, and student lounges; health clinics; gymnasiums or sporting arenas; theaters; classrooms; and student residence halls.

There are some 4,140 colleges and universities in America. If each spends an average of $50,000 per year in presenting speakers and lecturers--this becomes an annual investment which exceeds $200 million. In the campus public speaker marketplace, the majority of presenters receive fees and compensation of about $10,000 per engagement. Some receive $25,000+ and some earn $3,000-$5,000.

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.

John Gerdy is author of "Ball or Bands: Football vs. Music as an Educational and Community Investment." He also served as an NCAA legislative assistant and associate commissioner of the Southeastern Conference.

Here’s a question every educational institution must consider. How do you continue to build and enhance the brand of an educational institution by focusing on an activity that scrambles kids’ brains?

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?

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