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What difference can a year make? When it comes to the mobile web in higher education, it seems that it’s all it took to switch gears and respond to the needs of an increasing mobile user population on campuses—and elsewhere.

Alumnae Beverly Diederich, Mary Habstritt, and Margot Note with “Today Show” host Al Roker.

On February 29, St. Catherine University (Minn.) students, alumnae, faculty, staff, and friends made their presence and appreciation for their school known in a big way. That Wednesday, designated Shout Out St. Kate’s Day, was a chance for everyone to share what drew them to the school, what they think sets St. Kate’s apart, and more. The hashtag #ShoutOutStKates earned trending status on Twitter. Daily total impressions on the university’s Facebook page jumped from 19,000 the day before to 232,000 that day.

UCLA’s Murphy Sculpture Garden was the backdrop for an interview with UCLA art professor James Welling for the four-part mini-series “Naked Art.”

There is more to YouTube than videos of talking dogs. Its vast collection of educational videos includes those from University of California Television (UCTV). In March, order was brought to the chaos by the creation of channels offering original programming funded by YouTube. Existing content creators ranging from TED to Madonna were invited to participate; UCTV has bragging rights as being the only university channel. “YouTube is moving into the content creation business by [investing] in a select few channels,” explains Lynn Burnstan, UCTV’s director.

The Millennial generation: they wear flip-flops on their feet, place headphones connected to iPods in their ears, maintain social media profiles, and value the balance between work and life. In terms of learning about higher education options, they go online to find out more about the colleges and universities that are actively recruiting them.

Anna Maria College football players on the field

The University of Texas at San Antonio campus is dominated by modern cream-colored buildings with dark red tile roofs and acres of parking lots, testimony to 40 years of serving largely as a commuter school for students from the surrounding area.

Jordan Zimmerman

Once a school like Penn State or Syracuse has gone through the ethical and public relations disaster of a child sexual abuse scandal ... what comes next? How do you fix what’s broken? Can you even think about rebuilding the brand?

Yes ... but it’s tough. It takes character, both for the organization and on a personal level.

Emerging from this kind of crisis means going through three different stages: denial, damage control, and decision. Lots of people, and lots of institutions, never make it through to that third stage.

Social networking, online banking, entertainment... There’s an app for that—and for everything else you can think of. When it comes to higher ed, there’s an app for that, too. From behind-the-scenes mobile CRM apps to in-your-face athletic program apps, campus administrators are developing ways to make students’, administrators’, and faculty members’ lives a bit easier (or just more fun).

An institutional website is not only often the first contact a prospective student has with a college or university but also a constant landing point for current students, faculty, and staff. “We looked at trends and research and realized that the website is very important to recruiting,” says Beverly Golden, director of marketing and communications at The University of Texas at Tyler. “It might be the first thing people see about your institution.”

Last November, Facebook wunderkind Mark Zuckerberg paid a visit to Harvard for the first time since dropping out of sight in 2004. In his address to students, the social media guru proclaimed that Facebook “is just getting started.” Remarkably, social networking has, in the past five years, forever changed the higher learning landscape. It will profoundly shape the higher ed marketplace in the next decade. Today, it’s estimated that more than 800 million people around the world depend on Facebook.

Map with a push pin point to Qatar

The trend of opening branch campuses overseas is cyclical. When things are good, institutions look outside their borders. When things get bad, institutions tend to retract those tentacles. However, Education City in Qatar, which opened in 2001 after six years of planning from the Qatar Foundation and now has seven higher ed institutions, is going strong.

In November, Northwestern University in Qatar broke ground on a new 32,520-square meter building to house its media, communication, and journalism school. Northwestern University (Ill.) founded its Qatar branch in 2008.

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