Using Advocacy as a Positioning Strategy
Podcast Hear Teresa Flannery from American University talk about how institutions can demonstrate their relevance and value by having campus leaders or faculty members discuss hot-button issues—such as rising student debt, cost and affordability or public policy related to school safety and gun laws. Also, hear her discuss some of the risks involved when using this strategy.
CURRENTS Article Mascots can foster school spirit and energize sports teams but also can breed discord. Some schools have been challenged to replace controversial mascots while others have encountered resistance when introducing different mascot designs. Whether it's an adorable animal or a menacing vegetable, a mascot serves to keeps students, teachers, alumni, and fans engaged with the institution they love.
The Cinderella Effect
CURRENTS Article This article examines the effect a school's athletic success has on the institution's advancement efforts.
Michigan State of Mind
CURRENTS Article This article looks at the efforts of the Michigan Colleges Foundation, a collective of 14 of the state's small independent colleges and universities, to encourage students to stay in Michigan after graduation by educating them about the quality of life and employment opportunities in three of the state's largest metropolitan areas. After conducting market research and surveying college students, MCF plans a multiplatform marketing campaign geared to seniors.
Social Media Use in Public Relations Growing, but Gaps Remain
Article Twitter usage among communications professionals has jumped from 39 percent in 2009 to 76 percent in 2011-but their audience is still only using Twitter 39 percent of the time. That's one of the findings from "Social Media Reality Check 2.0," a study of social media and public relations released June 7.
Un nuevo inicio
CURRENTS Article Este artículo aborda el importante papel que desempeña un presidente interino en la comunicación institucional y el rol que juega el Staff dando apoyo al líder y llevando a cabo los objetivos de comunicación de la institución.
CURRENTS Article This article discusses the important role an interim president plays in institutional communications and the part the communications staff plays in both supporting the interim leader and furthering the strategic communication goals of the institution.
Making the Corporate Connection
CURRENTS Article Campuses are finding increasingly acceptable and creative ways to use corporate sponsorships to bolster their budgets. Campus communications officers usually play key roles in these partnerships. The article presents examples of sponsorship arrangements at the University of Saskatchewan, DePaul University, Heriot-Watt University in Scotland, Marian College, Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory School, American University, the University of Connecticut Health Center, and Ferrum College. A sidebar provides a glossary of corporate sponsorship terms.
PR, Marketing Claim Ownership of Social Media
Article A new survey reveals that growth in the use of social media is driving a move toward integrating public relations and marketing functions but that “turf battles” between the two still exist.
Survey Finds Most U.S. Journalists Use Social Media for Story Research
Article A recent survey of magazine, Web site and newspaper editors and reporters reveals that a large majority of working journalists now depend on social media such as blogs, Wikipedia, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube for background research in writing stories.
Advance Work: Grow and Tell
CURRENTS Article Oxford Brookes University in England launched an award-winning communications campaign in the midst of a years-long demolition and reconstruction project on campus.
Advance Work: Promoting Health in Different Ways
CURRENTS Article A public relations campaign is helping people in Ohio understand the importance of the state's medical colleges and affiliated teaching hospitals.
Outlook: Putting the PR in PResident
CURRENTS Article The president of the University of Georgia makes the case for being the external relations officer in chief. He also enumerates some of the trends on the horizon for education.
Specific Media Relations Programs: University of Central Florida - Gold Medal
Best Practice The University of Central Florida needed to generate community support and convince the board of governors, which oversees the state’s 11 public universities, of the need for a medical college at UCF in Orlando. After a successful campaign in 2005 and early 2006, the board of governors voted 15-1 to establish the UCF College of Medicine.
Coming Into Focus
CURRENTS Article What started as a news office/news bureau on many campuses evolved into a public relations office, which evolved into a communications and marketing operation. Many practitioners are now operating in an integrated environment. This article examines the factors that account for the change and is, in a sense, a conversation among practitioners about ways in which the profession has changed--some changes are subtle, some more a function of semantics, and others are fundamental. It explores whether the traditional role of campus PR officer morphed into a brand manager role, whether PR is an outdated term, whether media relations still the way to build (and manage) reputation, and more.
A More Perfect Union
CURRENTS Article Although communications and IT departments on many campuses may still be battling about who should own and maintain the Web site, it's important for the two offices to develop and maintain a good working relationship. In this article, the author--who previously worked in PR but now works in IT--offers an inside look at the University of Maryland-Baltimore County's successful PR/IT partnership and how to better manage the relationship for results that benefit the campus, such as a better Web site or better communication about technology issues.
CURRENTS Article To communicate to varied audiences about the complex effects of tough economic times on college and universities, public relations officers need to do four things: explain the benefits from and the needs of higher education; anticipate and manage difficult issues; devise coordinated communications and lobbying efforts; and connect with institutional friends, alumni, and taxpayers. A short accompanying article lists cost-saving measures. This article is of interest to advancement managers and managers of media relations and public relations programs.
A Campus's Best Friend
CURRENTS Article Though tension is inevitable between plain-spoken public relations officers and cautious lawyers, they should work together to forge an effective partnership. The author, a lawyer, proposes seven steps for a productive collaboration. This article is of interest to media and PR officers, PR managers, and advancement managers.
From the Ground Up
CURRENTS Article Three California state universities that opened in 1995, 2002, and 2004 illustrate the challenges of setting up new advancement offices from scratch. They each had to develop and implement community relations and media relations strategies; launch fund-raising programs; and build alumni relations programs even before the first class graduated. This article is of interest to managers of alumni, development, and communications and marketing programs.
All that Glitters
CURRENTS Article Profiles of selected 2001 Circle of Excellence winners, including alumni relations programs at Oklahoma State University, the University of Indianapolis, and Lake Forest College; communications programs or publications at Providence College, Hotchkiss School, Art Center College of Design, University of Natal, Carleton College, and Baptist College of Health Sciences; and development programs at Georgia State University, Lord Fairfax Community College, and the University of Utah.
CURRENTS Article Every campus benefits when its senior communications officer becomes involved in issues management, but this important role often goes unfilled. Denbow explains the difference between issues management and crisis communications, identifies obstacles to PR officers’ ability to become effective issues managers, and lists basic responsibilities of issues managers. The article includes tips for PR officers who want to position themselves in this role.
Public Relations and the Presidency: Strategies and Tactics for Effective Communications
Product Case studies from large and small, public and private, four-year and two-year colleges and universities tackle such topics as organizing the public relations office, setting priorities, marketing vs. public relations, internal communications, media relations, business partnerships, and annual and capital fund drives.
AdvanceWork: It's Show Time
CURRENTS Article One university president's dual role as a local TV host
The Court of Law vs. the Court of Public Opinion
CURRENTS Article The responsibilities of public relations officers can seem at odds with those of attorneys during a campus legal crisis. The lawyers want to limit release of information; PR staffers often need to get the story out to retain public confidence. But both groups share an interest in protecting the institution’s reputation, and can work together, starting from this common ground.
AdvanceWork: Out of the Loop
CURRENTS Article A Pennsylvania survey finds campus PR pros aren't involved in key decision making
AdvanceWork: Let Their Fingers Do the Walking
CURRENTS Article Problem/Solution
Voices That Ring Loud & Clear
CURRENTS Article Campus communications directors need to find and focus on people who have significant influence in the communities that are important to their campus' well-being. These opinion leaders can provide crucial and cost-effective influence. To maximize your efforts, decide which of your constituencies are most important; identify the specific opinion leaders in each group; communicate with these people;
Take It from the Top
CURRENTS Article Eight high-profile campus CEOs describe seven strategies of successful chief communications officers. They recommend: 1) Be proactive -- focus on strategy, not reactive tasks. 2) See issues from the public's point of view. 3) Know how to talk to the media. 4) Be a good listener. 5) Craft clearly defined key messages. 6) Know your CEO's motivations and interests. 7) See the big picture, including government, the media, and industry. In a sidebar, three PR pros share their tips for making it to high-ranking positions.