Differentiation is the bottom line of brand strategy. It's what makes an institution relevant and justifies its tuition and perceived quality. Yet any effort to stand out from the competition is a challenging prospect for many institutions searching for relevance and future direction.
Brain Waves Blog
Athletics and central marcom rarely join in strategic cohesion on campus. Fragmentation and political territorialism have frequently led institutions to detach athletics from the central brand, freeing teams for more flexibility and creativity, but often at the expense of collaboration and consistency. It’s a key reason we see so many bland higher ed ads promoting undergraduate enrollment during high-profile games. Yet there are signs more forward-thinking marketing leaders are unlocking the full power of their brands’ potential using common data-led decision-making.
Your campus social media manager’s job is never done. They’re on call 24/7, very few people understand exactly what they do all day, and their talent and expertise are regularly dismissed by colleagues and the general public. Often they’re not appropriately compensated for their skills, overtime hours, and the comments and DMs they monitor and respond to may hurt personally even if they're not meant for them.
It’s no secret that online spaces provide students with opportunities to connect to others and build community, but do you know how often that’s happening on your campus’s Reddit page? A quick peek at your page will often reveal questions, comments, and potential concerns—all right on a public page that anyone can see. Higher ed communicators are community builders, and understanding what happens on forums could help your campus grow a stronger real-world and digital community.
I had the pleasure of presenting a workshop at the 2022 AMA on “Combining Marketing and Communication for Long-Lasting Brand Impact” with all-star higher ed leaders Jenny Petty (University of Montana), Binti Harvey (Scripps College), and Teresa Valerio Parrot (TVP Communications). We showed campuses how they need both marketing and communications professionals to collaborate to achieve institutional goals.