Branding

Behind the News

When Adam Wheeler was charged with 20 criminal offenses this spring, the world was shocked as the allegations against him came to light.

University Taglines and the "Polonius Syndrome"

Lessons from Hamlet

To be or not to be? A college on the East Coast uses "The Place to Be!" as its tagline. And why not? Everyone has to be somewhere. But unless the school wishes to target modern-day Hamlets who haven't decided whether to be or not, it has zero impact.

Another popular tagline is "Start Here, Go Anywhere." It's too popular, in fact. Dozens of schools use that same slogan or a close derivation. When an institution's tagline is so generic as to be interchangeable among schools, it's a sure sign that coherent strategy has "gone elsewhere."

Study Your Students to Learn How to Reach Your Best Recruits

When looking for the types of students most likely to be attracted to your institution, the best place to begin is with those who've already picked you/your current students.

Business-to-consumer marketers have become increasingly adept at identifying various demographic segments with specialized interests: moms who blog, people who like to cruise, upscale married couples with children, environmentally minded homeowners, etc., etc.

Sacred Spaces

Special places can serve as cornerstones for building lifelong connections

In our current economic environment, critical funding for an array of essential entities and institutions has dried up, leaving a momentous gap between budget needs and realities. Universities are certainly no exception to this phenomenon. Even Harvard is feeling the pinch. The university had reported a 30 percent decline in its endowment for the fiscal year ending June 2009.

So the question presents itself: What can universities do to throw out a larger net and create a new class and type of donor? The short answer: sacred spaces.

Pursuing Needless Innovations

Why a college education that works, not unproven innovations, is what's needed

In America, we lavish attention on our most talented fellow citizens—star athletes, film and television celebrities, brilliant scholars and scientists, and sometimes even college presidents—but we also insist that our celebrities not act like self-styled royalty. When members of America's elite are aloof and ignore the public's welfare—as many titans of Wall Street did, first ruining the economy, then paying themselves bonuses—Americans insist on retribution.

Universities Go to School

Expanding missions and the charter school movement bring research institutions into the K-12 arena.

Over the past two years, Arizona State University has opened two new schools at its campuses in the Phoenix area. But these educational additions are not training future social workers, lawyers, or business executives. They'll be turning out qualified future college students, many of whom—ASU officials hope—will populate the state's universities years from now.

Best Branding Practices--Avoiding Assumptions that Miss the Media Mark

Campaigns that deliver the best results always involve bold leadership and tough decisions

As branding initiatives in higher education have emerged and evolved over the past two decades, the media-outreach segments of the plans often continue to miss the mark. The reason? The campus professionals who are responsible for strategic communication are often relegated to a back-seat role in the process, or are left in the dark until the branding campaign is ready to be rolled out.

Strategic Differentiation

Part one of a two-part column on institutional competition
 

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.

Up Front and Personal

While academic marketers now can reach prospects through a wider array of channels, the structure of discourse and the content communicated hasn't changed as much. And change might yield deeper connections and better results.

When I applied to colleges 40 years ago, I wrote letters to six schools and received a view book from each with a friendly cover letter, an invitation to visit the campus, an application, and a pointer to an alum or two who would be glad to sit down with me and discuss my future.

Higher Ed Journalism: New Realities

How media coverage has evolved--and how campus administrators should respond
 

ONLY A FEW YEARS AGO, all of the higher education media were published weekly, monthly, or quarterly. Many, such as University Business, Change, Education Week, and various newsletters and magazines published by higher education associations and consulting firms, still are available on a periodic basis in printed form.

Pages