Downloads on the mind

December 14, 2009

As the holiday season is in full swing, finals week is upon us, and we prepare for some time off I have a downloads section of the website on my mind. I have often wondered in an age of social media and a focus on interaction and engagement why don’t more schools give users the tools to use the school’s brand online. Allow users to download your logos and use them to create Facebook groups, on emails, and with their blogs. Naysayers will remind you of all the “bad” things that can happen. But for there are so many positive interactions as well.

The Obama campaign provides a fine example of just how far a downloads section can go. The campaign incorporated everything from yard signs, to individual state logos, to interest groups. I can’t tell you how many of my “friends” on Facebook had an Obama logo on election day as their picture.

The technology is there. The users are there. Why won’t we meet them there?


Pump up the jam or maybe just the incoming class

August 24, 2009

Last week I was spending some time getting through the hundreds of items in my Google reader. One of the posts I came across wason a blog called  The Old College Try: Marketing Higher Ed. The University of Toledo had done a video (in-house) designed to pump up the incoming students and get them excited about starting at the school.

I thought the video was really well done but did more than just pump up students. It did a really nice job of getting a group of salespeople (new students and parents) excited about the institution. What is the top question parents of new students are going to answer in their communities, at dinners, and other events back at home in September.

Where is Johnny headed to school again? How does he like it?

What better way to get a group of your best brand advocates to be excited and engaged about the institution. Well done –



Survey Results on Use of Web-based Technology to Support Communications and Marketing at Educational Institutions

August 20, 2009

In March 2009 in preparation for the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) Communications, Communications, Marketing & Technology Conference, Cognitive Marketing, a brand development firm, developed a survey to gauge the level at which Internet‐based technologies are incorporated into the marketing practices of educational institutions. The range of technologies, from basic websites through to fully integrated social networking programs, was explored.

For those interested the full report from the survey can be downloaded.


Make the brand easy

August 13, 2009

I often hear these phrases in higher education:

“We can’t make our logo easy to download. Then people might want to use it”

Isn’t this exactly what social media and web 2.0 is all about. User generated content. Social networks. Social Media is word of mouth marketing for this generation. Our communities are going to start groups and conversations using our names why not give them the tools to do it right?

There are 2 examples that I think are really good. One from higher education is Skidmore Interactive. Skidmore does a nice job of bringing all their social networks together and maximizing their brand on the sites.

http://cms.skidmore.edu/interactive/

One from the world of politics is the Obama campaign.The downloads section of the site is extremely impressive. You can get everything from a background image, to buddy icons, to posters.

http://origin.barackobama.com/downloads/


April 1st – Yield season has begun where is your value?

April 1, 2009

April 1st is here and at private liberal arts colleges the admissions yield season is in full swing. Accepted students have until May 1 to make a decision and the month of April will be spent “wooing” them.

What are the things we on the web side can do to help out our institution’s enrollment efforts this year? Here are a few quick thoughts:

Feature value
At a time where the economy is uncertain parents and students will be looking for what they get for their money. Highlighting good graduation rates or retention rates as well as your career services area are critical to this effort.

Academic reputation
Students often choose the school with the best reputation. Of course you can’t change this in one month but keeping your focus on student and faculty research and academic achievement can help with this aspect during April.

Remember your brand
Strive to constantly talk about those things that really make up the core of your institution. Hopefully you have done some brand work in the last few years and can now capitalize on those key messages.


Some brief questions related to the work of marketing and web communications at colleges and universities

March 31, 2009

Would you take a few minutes to answer some brief questions related to the work of marketing and web communications at colleges and universities?

Highlights from this survey will be shared during the keynote address by Josanne DeNatale and Peter Holloran of Cognitive Marketing Inc. (http://www.cognitivebrands.com) at the CASE Communications, Marketing and Technology Conference taking place April 15-16, 2009 in Boston, MA.

In order to participate:

Click on the following URL and enter the key information provided below:
http://research.zarca.com/static/surveykey.aspx
Key: RsVQSYsQsUTRWUsPsP

We appreciate your participation and hope to see you at the conference. If not, please let us know if you would like a copy of the findings, which we will make available after the conference.


CASE D II Day Two 2009

March 24, 2009

Yesterday was a good day in Baltimore. I had a chance to listen to the Chief Marketing Officer at JHU and the Assistant VP for communications at Millersville talk about brand. Some of the highlights included:

“brand is a discipline that happens everyday”

“brand is a strategic institutional asset”

“absent an aggressive and ongoing declaration of your brand you abdicate control to dated mythology”

“passion puts zeros on checks”