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The Art of Working Strategically
CURRENTS Article From 2012 to 2016, Reggie Bustinza and Joe Volin were tasked with tracking engagement for the nearly 37,000 alumni at Lewis University in Illinois. They got big results, and their system continues to live on after their time at the institution. Here they share their secrets for taking alumni metrics to the next level.

Into the Storm
CURRENTS Article Within hours of the June 2016 Brexit referendum in which 51.9 percent of voters in the United Kingdom opted to leave the European Union, many U.K. universities created special teams to address their most immediate concerns: student and staff recruitment and retention. University College London convened a Brexit planning group, chaired by its president and provost, with top representatives participating from offices such as communications, development, international, education and student affairs, the registrar, and human resources, as well as the college's unions.

Copy and Share Everything
CURRENTS Article A time portal that allows prospective students to glimpse their future at the U.K.'s University of Huddersfield drives this entertaining yet informative five-minute video; the University of Chicago's Short List email newsletter offers one-stop shopping for news, job listings, events, and stories ranging from the enlightening to the offbeat; and Towson's Presidential Ambassadors expanded their mission of educating peers about the importance of philanthropy by creating the university's first student-giving campaign.

An Emojional Connection
CURRENTS Article In 2017, school spirit is spelled out in emojis. As alumni's relationships with their alma maters go digital, institutions have started branding their own emoji keyboards. Emojis, GIFs, and stickers that come in keyboard packs are great for repping an institution on Facebook, Twitter, and via text messages. But having branded emojis doesn't mean spamming the internet with icons of your mascot making goofy faces. Institutions have to be strategic about their icon designs and rollout to get the most out of their media.

Now You’re Speaking My Language
CURRENTS Article The International Prospect Research Vocabulary site, created in 2013 specifically for international fundraisers, includes translations for fundraising terms in 11 languages.

President's Perspective: Mind Your Langauge
CURRENTS Article I advocate looking at our work through different lenses—and no lens is more important than language in the context of culture and respect. When I worked in Wales, for example, I did my best to learn Welsh out of a respect and desire to engage with the community. As our work recruiting students, engaging alumni, and cultivating private philanthropy increasingly transcends borders, we have an opportunity to expand our personal horizons and knowledge of other languages and cultures. It not only will make us more effective (and marketable) as individuals; it will also help us build important bridges and show respect and genuine interest—key to relationship-building.

Voices:
CURRENTS Article Advice on handling an advancement colleague's inappropriate relationship with a donor; Colorado State's lessons on making a recipe video; and how to avoid errors in your database's list of deceased alumni.

No Lemons Here
CURRENTS Article Change happens. But that doesn't mean it's easy. Change can be threatening. An institutional merger or updated mascot, for example, can spark fears that alumni memories and traditions aren't treasured. In a job where keeping alumni happily engaged is key, how do you navigate the negative stuff? We aren't talking about crises—bad news takes everyone by surprise. But if you know your alumni, you can predict when a big change for the institution is going to be a problem for some graduates. Before you start bracing yourself for hate mail, take a deep breath. With a proactive outreach plan, you can take part of the sting out of the unwelcome and maybe even turn the news into a positive for your alumni.

Listen Up
CURRENTS Article Longwood University's Day After Graduation podcast, launched in February 2017, gets real with advice for navigating life after commencement. Alumni recall their own experiences during those first few years after leaving the Virginia institution.

Got Issues?
CURRENTS Article Fasten your seatbelts, communicators. It's going to be another bumpy year (or five or 10). Student activism, campus protests, racist incidents, sexual assault, student misconduct, free speech, academic freedom, and data breaches are just a few of the issues that have made the past few years on college campuses challenging and sometimes exhausting. Add heightened tensions fueled by political polarization, stir in a campus population dominated by students accustomed to sharing their thoughts and experiences on social media, and it becomes clear why issues management is an increasingly critical role at higher education institutions.

Copy and Share Everything
CURRENTS Article Lawrence University aims to entice potential applicants is with a 10-page square mailer, which gives students a taste of life at the Wisconsin institution as well as an idea of what life might look like after graduation; a charming and authoritative third-grader leads "Today's Lesson: The Pennfield Fund," a five-minute video set up as a class about the importance of the Rhode Island independent school's annual fund; and during Alumni Weekend 2015, Imperial College London reveled in its graduates' proclivity for pranks.

Catch the Conversation
CURRENTS Article Social listening involves searching the never-ending stream of online conversations for comments that relate to your brand. A social listening operation encompasses much more than Twitter, Facebook, and your institution's other social accounts. According to Sprout Social, 30 percent of tweets that mention a brand don't include its Twitter handle, and only 9 percent of tweets are directed at brands. Yet many institutions are not equipped to catch the conversation beyond what's happening on their own social channels. There's a much wider world of social conversation on blogs, discussion forums, and websites such as Reddit. Many campuses have invested in social media management tools such as Sprout Social because they recognize the importance of monitoring social conversations. But many institutions are typically grabbing just the low-hanging fruit.

GIFs that Keep on Giving
CURRENTS Article If a picture is worth 1,000 words, what's the value of a shareworthy GIF? On social platforms, visual assets can attract, inform, and connect with audiences while also driving engagement. People recall more information when a picture accompanies text, neuroscience research shows, and tweets with images receive more clicks, favorites, and retweets than posts without images, according to Buffer, a social media management company. Tweets that incorporate GIFs earn 25 times the number of views and three to five times the number of likes than those without them, says the video-hosting and analytics firm Wistia. Take a look at some ways institutions are using GIFS to connect with their audiences.

Voices
CURRENTS Article Persuading faculty to work with media and coaching them on it; and what the stuff in your workspace says about you.

How Well Do You Know PHIL?
CURRENTS Article North Carolina Wilmington’s PHIL Text Trivia puts information about the importance of giving right into students’ hands. Students opt in to the bimonthly quiz for the chance to score prizes, and advancement staff hope that the quiz inspires students to give as alumni.

Outlook: Why I Let Sources Read Stories Prior to Publication
CURRENTS Article I’ve known great reporters and editors over the years who never let their sources read a story before it’s posted or published. They’re afraid that they’ll be branded a flack. Or that their source will turn their masterpiece into a puff piece. Fresh, realistic-sounding quotes may come back sounding like software documentation.Give professors the draft of a story, some editors believe, and they’ll revise it to sound like an article for an academic journal. On many campus writing projects, source reviews are mandatory. The client paying to print and mail that viewbook or president’s report demands sign-off privileges—and should get them. But with magazines, the protocol is less clear. When I write or edit a piece for a college or university magazine, I usually invite source review. Here’s why:

Editor's Note: Are Your Currents Piling Up?
CURRENTS Article “I think that Currents is a great magazine. I just don’t have time to read it anymore.” You too? That’s not good. Comments like these are part of the reason Currents is now bimonthly. In fact, in our recent readership survey, 60 percent of you said you wanted to receive Currents six times a year instead of nine. Starting with this issue, you’ll have more time between print magazines to consume all the high-quality content on advancement trends, challenges, and innovative ideas you’ve come to expect.

Time for a Buzzword Diet
CURRENTS Article Every industry has its jargon. Advancement professionals are known offenders, using not only the words listed above but also many more. Leverage and impact, anyone? To help decrease the jargon in your office, the Kentucky-based creative agency Cornett has gone super-meta with the Marketing Buzzword Jar—a playful creation designed to make professionals think about the language they use.

Copy and Share Everything
CURRENTS Article Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary helps prospective students envision their place at the Kentucky institution; the University of Melbourne's advancement staff members create short, informal messages to prompt alumni recipients to update their contact information; and Miami University's Snapchat newsletter releases a Snapchat story filled with images of event fliers and details for activities happening on the Ohio campus each day.

Talking Shop: We’re All Ducks
CURRENTS Article Vu Le is the brains and comedic voice behind the Nonprofit with Balls blog. As an executive director of a nonprofit, Le often writes from the perspective of a grantee, producing no-nonsense articles such as “9 annoying nonprofit trends that need to die.” His Seattle-based organization, Rainier Valley Corps, trains people of color for nonprofit leadership positions, so he has lots to say about improving diversity.

Grand Gold Rush
CURRENTS Article Inspired design, storytelling, ingenuity, humor, and brevity were hallmarks of this year's CASE Circle of Excellence Awards Grand Gold winners, the highest prize bestowed by the program. Whether attracting international applicants with an ambitious contest, sharing advice through campus fun facts and pride points, demonstrating that campus quirks will garner attention and gifts, or redesigning a magazine in a way that makes class notes inviting and (gasp!) readable, institutions relied on research, knowledge, and creative skill to push boundaries and deliver inspired work—much of it produced in-house.

What’s the Idea?
CURRENTS Article To change things up at Ohio University, staff of the College of Health Sciences and Professions produced a news program for the January 2016 State of the College address. Two broadcast journalism students recorded the speech as a newscast, to be played at the annual faculty and staff meeting in lieu of the usual PowerPoint presentation.

Three Minutes or Less
CURRENTS Article In 2016, for the second year in a row, the University of California challenged master's and doctoral students to sum up their years of research within three minutes. The Grad Slam is a systemwide competition drawing nearly 500 graduate students from the humanities to the hard sciences. Participants race a stopwatch to deliver the most interesting, easy-to-understand, and engaging talk.

Decking the Halls
CURRENTS Article Fun holiday traditions at the University of Virginia, High Point University, Seton Hall University, and the University of Dayton.

Talking Shop: Social Strategist
CURRENTS Article To Nikki Sunstrum, director of social media at the University of Michigan, social media channels shouldn't be viewed as "shiny" but rather as strategic communications platforms. Since Sunstrum joined U-M in January 2014, the university has become a leader in using Snapchat to engage with prospective and current students as well as young alumni. "If you're not going to put the most valuable content in that space, it's a missed opportunity," she says. Sunstrum will chair the 2017 CASE Social Media and Community Conference, which will be held March 13–15 in Los Angeles.

Be Their Media Guide
CURRENTS Article Not all professors and administrators understand what reporters look for in a story, recognize that the media landscape has shifted, or view social media platforms as useful communications tools. Meanwhile, nearly everyone knows what a press release is, which is why people ask for them. (And they want what they want.) So how should you manage expectations for media coverage without acquiescing to illogical requests or making your job more challenging? Here's some advice from communications pros on how to build relationships and obtain media coverage that enhances your institution's image.

Not Your Average Freshman
CURRENTS Article Chester Gryzbowski, a 105-year-old World War II veteran, had hoped to study civil engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology, but the war and the Great Depression interrupted his aspirations. In 2016, Georgia Tech's president named him an honorary student.

How Well Do You Know Your Alumni?
CURRENTS Article Schools and universities are harvesting information alumni self-report or using behavioral analytics—how people react to content—to drive communications, engagement, and fundraising strategies. Social media insights allow institutions to identify prospects and volunteers and better understand existing ones. Much of the innovation is coming from companies with proprietary software, such as EverTrue, Cerkl, IBM, and QuadWrangle, as many colleges and universities lack the bandwidth to constantly monitor social media. But monitor they must. One recent survey found that 72 percent of people who complain to a company via Twitter expect a reply—within the hour.

Voices
CURRENTS Article Advice on handling donor information learned during a previous position, and members share what app changed their life.

Crops for Cash
CURRENTS Article In 2016, Montana State University launched the "Bushels for Bobcats" program, accepting gifts of grains and crops from local farmers in lieu of cash.

Copy And Share Everything
CURRENTS Article Ideas we love from institutions everywhere: University College Dublin's September 2015 Woodland Walkies event brought alumni and community members to campus for a day of guided walks, animal behavior talks, pet care tips from practitioners and students at UCD's School of Veterinary Medicine; Wake Forest University's June 2015 "52 Hours of Giving" annual fund campaign challenge spurred excitement with a limited edition deck of playing cards; and Imperial College London's October 2015 Imperial Apocalypse social media campaign encouraged students to submit scientific tips for surviving a zombie apocalypse.

License to Fly
CURRENTS Article Drones can result in gorgeous shots of campus—and big fines if you fly them illegally. Governments around the world are strengthening regulations on commercial use for drones, which includes university publicity, marketing, and research. While laws vary from country to country, aviation authorities in the U.S., the U.K., and Australia require you to register your drone and obtain certificates or licenses for commercial use. And with drone laws changing rapidly, educational institutions must be vigilant about regulations and safety when using unmanned aircrafts.

Setting a Social Tone
CURRENTS Article To help members of Boston University's social media communicators' group envision the institution's tone on different social channels, BU's digital engagement associate started using emojis as a kind of visual shorthand. The icons helped jump-start conversations about content challenges and encouraged people to think creatively.

When a Student Dies
CURRENTS Article No matter the cause, a student's death can scar a campus. When a fatal incident occurs, communicating with clarity and care are essential but certainly not easy tasks. Planning and practice are crucial to handling such sensitive situations and developing responses that inform and support the deceased person's family, friends, the campus community, and the institution's various audiences.

Working with Corporate Foundations
CURRENTS Article Corporations often don't understand why academia isn't more nimble. Here's what corporations and their foundations expect of universities: aligned priorities, streamlined communication, clear directions and deliverables, an infrastructure for ongoing engagement, and robust data management.

Voices
CURRENTS Article Advice on editorial policies for sources reviewing stories; a website that generates inflated university titles; and acknowledgement of the struggles many students face in juggling studies and outside responsibilities.

Copy And Share Everything
CURRENTS Article Bow Valley College's regional advertising campaign; the University of Leicester's video to raise awareness for its participation in the United Nations' HeForShe campaign for gender equality; and the University of Missouri creative team's helpful and entertaining online news article "Emailing Your Professor: You're Doing It Wrong."

Outlook: Meet Your New Marketing Team: The Faculty
CURRENTS Article Faculty are essential to your institution's marketing efforts. They are on the front lines delivering the school's mission, interacting with students, and, particularly in the case of independent schools, having conversations with parents and demonstrating that the institution delivers on its promises. All of these daily interactions can increase positive word-of-mouth marketing of your institution.

Talking Shop: Raising Gifts, Sharing GIFs
CURRENTS Article Rory Green is a second-generation development officer—both of her parents were fundraisers—and the founder of Fundraiser Grrl, a cheeky crowdsourced blog about the rewarding, frustrating, and downright outlandish things fundraisers experience. Through the GIF-driven posts, fundraisers both celebrate and gripe about their professional lives. Face palms, snark, and funny tales abound.

When ‘Like’ Meets Loss
CURRENTS Article An institution's crisis communication plan should include social media. It's important to discuss how these platforms may be used before a situation occurs. Twitter, Facebook, and other channels should not, for instance, be the primary source of information, but they are useful for providing updates and spreading news, such as communicating whether the campus is safe and directing people to a university website to learn more about unfolding events. Brief messages like these assure people that more information is coming. They can also reassure friends and family members who do not receive the campus's emergency notifications.

Angry Students, Alarmed Alumni
CURRENTS Article More than 80 colleges and universities have experienced student protests in recent years. Underrepresented students have publicly called on their institutions to address the often toxic environments they face as minorities. These efforts range from the viral 2013 #BBUM hashtag campaign—Being Black at the University of Michigan, a social media tactic marginalized students adopted worldwide—to dozens of protests in 2015-16. The demonstrations have undermined advancement efforts, with alumni and donors questioning whether students have taken over. The protests are also forcing institutions to scrutinize their campus and address overt, subtle, and systemic racism. Here's how some institutions are navigating the protests.

By the Numbers: Post Modern
CURRENTS Article How do you connect thoroughly wired students to an ancient art form? With technology, of course. Located within the Coast Salish Nation, the British Columbia Institute of Technology commissioned a totem-like house post for the atrium of its Gateway building. The house post is a tribute to the Coast Salish people and part of an effort to recruit more aboriginal students, who make up just 7 percent of the student body. An etched copper QR code is attached to the post, which is a stop on campus tours. Scanning the QR code—one of only a few forms of technology that can be handmade to connect to digital space—opens a website that serves as digital storytelling for prospective students.

Copy And Share Everything
CURRENTS Article Ideas we love from institutions everywhere. This issue: Swarthmore College's viewbook; University of Richmond Magazine's winning cover; students helping students through a philanthropy campaign at the University of California, Davis.

Office Space: Three Things Communicators Can Learn from Startups
CURRENTS Article Annabel Adams' startup experience benefited her as associate director of strategic communications for the School of Humanities at the University of California, Irvine. The fast-paced, results-driven culture she came from forced her to be resourceful, proactive, and bold. While the past 18 months haven't been as easy as she first imagined, she has learned to translate her experience in the startup world into communications strategies for higher education. Here are her top three tips.

Odds and Ends: Stage Sage
CURRENTS Article In his new book, TED Talks: The Official TED Guide to Public Speaking, Chris Anderson, head of TED Talks, offers advice on crafting a story and presenting yourself onstage.

A Star Graduates
CURRENTS Article Alyssa Levenberg isn't just a student at the State University of New York at Oswego: She's a video star. As the producer, editor, and host of the popular campus series Alyssa Explains It All, this video blogger—or vlogger—chats about navigating college life, covering topics such as interacting with roommates and professors to coping with dining hall food and stress. Her 50-plus episodes, primarily geared toward prospective and incoming students, have racked up more than 40,000 views on YouTube alone. CURRENTS spoke with Levenberg, who will graduate in May 2016, and Tim Nekritz, associate director of communications and marketing and director of digital communications at SUNY Oswego. They talked about what they've learned from producing the series—and how it all started in 2012 with a tweet from the then-freshman offering to make videos.

Advance Work
CURRENTS Article CURRENTS April 2016 Advance Work stories: MIT students continue the tradition of a piano plunge during class drop day; a recent poll gives insight into why alumni don't give; Princeton University social media staff use a game to streghthen skills and teamwork; Lakefield College School boosts giving through an alumni challenge campaign; and at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, students place apples at the feet of a statute of Minerva for luck during finals.

Don’t Wait to Communicate about Sexual Assault
CURRENTS Article Students and their families have grown increasingly worried about campus sexual assault. According to the National Institute for Justice, one in five women and one in 16 men are sexually assaulted while in college; more than 90 percent of campus sexual assault survivors do not report it. In this tense and complex environment, what's a higher education communicator to do? For answers, CURRENTS interviewed campus communicators, media relations consultants, Title IX coordinators, student affairs leaders, and sexual assault experts.

Odds and Ends: Attention Stealer
CURRENTS Article Apollo Robbins is a master of sleight of hand. The theatrical pickpocket has been wowing crowds in Las Vegas for years. But his performances do more than entertain. Robbins uses diversion and trust to demonstrate flaws in people's perception and provide insights on human behavior.

Snap Into Snapchat
CURRENTS Article Princeton University started a Snapchat account in April 2014 to share photos, text, and video in story form and to reach current and prospective students. Is the app right for your institution?

Does Your Institution Have a Social Media Transition Plan?
CURRENTS Article An institution's communications strategy should include social media management, but too often the protocols, processes, and permissions essential for overseeing social channels aren't well documented or communicated, particularly in smaller shops. During a staff turnover, such a lack of forethought can harm an institution's brand and reputation, compromise data security, and, in extreme cases, attract unwanted attention and headlines. With proper planning and governance, you can provide a smooth changing of the social guard, whether during planned departures, re-assignments, extended leaves, or, yes, even dismissals.

Fundraising During a Crisis
CURRENTS Article A controversial decision or scandal can cause donors and alumni to revolt and withhold gifts. Mix a volatile situation with social media chatter and emotionally attached alumni, and a reputational crisis can hit any institution. The key to keep a catastrophe from harming fundraising is to maintain donors' trust by knowing what, when, and how to communicate with them.

What’s the Idea?
CURRENTS Article Community colleges can promote their campuses without a big advertising budget by recruiting and educating community ambassadors. Each fall, Craven Community College Foundation in North Carolina invites 15 to 20 community members to join its VIP Ambassador Program. During four half-day sessions between September and December, the ambassadors tour Craven's two campuses and speak with students, faculty, and administrators about the college's goals, funding, and programs. Ambassadors promote Craven in their respective circles, some even hosting College 101 events.

Flipping the Conversation on Yik Yak
CURRENTS Article Keele University used Yik Yak, a geo-social app popular among college students, to generate positive engagement between students and the university and raise awareness of the institution's social channels.

The Mane Event
CURRENTS Article In July 2015, the host of the late-night television show Jimmy Kimmel Live! ranted to viewers about the death of Cecil, a beloved lion shot in Zimbabwe by an American hunter. The comedian shared the website for the University of Oxford's Wildlife Conservation Research Unit (WildCRU), which had tracked Cecil, and encouraged viewers to give. In 10 days, WildCRU received £547,147 from nearly 13,000 donors. Here are some of the successes and challenges WildCRU faced.

Yep, This Is a Virtual Event
CURRENTS Article From class reunions to networking, more and more universities are getting savvy at hosting virtual events. Here's how eight institutions are doing it right.

Respect Between Rivals
CURRENTS Article In the days leading up to their 100th football matchup in November 2015, Gilman and McDonogh schools in Maryland put their rivalries aside to help the Baltimore area through service projects.

Do Traditions Matter?
CURRENTS Article Illinois State University's traditions website features 15 traditions that combine the best of the 159-year-old university's history, student life, academics, and athletics. The goal is to improve alumni engagement, encourage philanthropy, and "reflect what ISU strives to be" by identifying the university's traditions, which include places, activities, and historical events, and making them a core part of ISU's culture.

Save Prospective Applicants from Hitting a Wall
CURRENTS Article How a website looks and functions affects how people perceive and interact with businesses and organizations. User experience matters. Here's how Friends' Central School in Pennsylvania became more responsive to prospective families' needs by focusing on how those families interacted with the school's website.

The Write Kind of Love
CURRENTS Article At the website MoreLoveLetters.com, people can request love letter bundles for people in need or volunteer to write them. More than 20,000 volunteers—including students belonging to the site's 60-plus Campus Cursive chapters—have helped send more than 100,000 letters to people around the world. Founder Hannah Brencher's memoir, If You Find This Letter: My Journey to Find Purpose Through Hundreds of Letters to Strangers, comes out in paperback in spring 2016.

Office Space: Ghostwriting Doesn’t Have to Be Scary
CURRENTS Article Writing to key donors and prospects on behalf of institutional leaders is a high-stakes endeavor. Capturing the voice of the various university and development executives who sign the messages you write is challenging. It can be hard to find the right words or to strike the right tone, especially when apologies or condolences are part of the job. But you don't have to be a wordsmith to compose effective, strategic letters and emails. Here are some tips to help your writing.

2015 Circle of Excellence Grand Gold Winners
CURRENTS Article Emotion and connection were major themes among 2015's CASE Circle of Excellence Awards Grand Gold winners. Whether communicating about a deadly virus, cultivating entrepreneurs, engaging alumni with advanced degrees, or sharing the inspiring story of a college student whose life was cut short by illness, institutions dug deeply into their creative toolboxes-though not necessarily into their budgets. They also had fun courting prospective students and welcoming new admits to the family.

Odds and Ends: Lighting a Communications Fire
CURRENTS Article Actor Alan Alda is using improvisational theater techniques to teach science and medical professionals how to discuss their work in a clear and relatable manner.

Call Me Mx.
CURRENTS Article "Mx."—a gender-neutral courtesy title used in place of Miss, Ms., Mrs., or Mr.—is a recent addition to Merriam-Webster's "words we're watching" list and a new entry in the online Oxford Dictionaries. Already used on official U.K. documents such as driver's licenses, it is being adopted by higher education institutions as well.

Snap Into It
CURRENTS Article Snapchat use among teens and traditional college-age students is exploding, and colleges and universities report that students have embraced their institution's use of the app. Should your institution be on Snapchat too? Here are some insights social media pros shared during a July 2015 #casesmc Twitter chat on Snapchat basics.

10 Sacred Cows of Alumni Magazines (And Why You Should Rid Your Pages of Them)
CURRENTS Article A longtime editor reveals his list of wrongfully revered and oft-repeated publication practices, departments, features, and philosophies.

First Class
CURRENTS Article In 2015, CASE added the Platinum Categories to its Circle of Excellence awards to recognize the best-of-the-best practices in educational advancement publications, programs, and projects through a tournament-like competition in CASE's eight North American districts.

Odds and Ends: When Tweets Attack
CURRENTS Article Journalist Jon Ronson's latest book explores why people shame others on social media and what happens to those whose lives get crushed online because of a clumsily worded joke or poorly expressed comment.

Live from Campus
CURRENTS Article Video drives engagement and can help institutions reach key populations. Colleges and universities are using Google Hang­outs, which can be archived on their YouTube channels, to broadcast everything from Q&A sessions for prospective students to discussions of newsworthy issues that highlight faculty members' expertise.

Warning! Internal Politics! Proceed at your own risk
CURRENTS Article To manage change successfully off campus, advancement professionals—particularly communicators and marketers—need to get everyone moving in the same direction on campus. Here are some thoughts on everything from grappling with academy-specific problems and people to addressing political challenges the way you'd take on a grassroots campaign.

What’s the Idea?
CURRENTS Article A student advisory committee helps the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign assess ideas for planning and promoting online and in-person campus events.

Talking Points: Sensitivity Training
CURRENTS Article University communicators must know how to discuss campus sexual assault in a way that supports prevention efforts on campuses, respects students, and adheres to civil rights law.

Refresh the Brand Without the Fight
CURRENTS Article NC State created an effective communications and marketing operation that unified branding operations across the decentralized campus.

A Checklist for Change
CURRENTS Article With campus CEO transitions on the rise, communications and marketing professionals need to be ready to drive the process.

The First 180 Days
CURRENTS Article Advancement is essential in preparing the president and institution for a successful transition, but the new leader must adopt and fine-tune the plan. Five years into her presidency at Montgomery College in Maryland, DeRionne P. Pollard and her advancement chief, David Sears, talk about the tactics they used to introduce her to stakeholders, communicate her vision, and ease her into fundraising.

By the Numbers: Meet MoMu
CURRENTS Article The University of Iowa's Mobile Museum, aka MoMu, debuted in April 2014 to bring the institution's research to people across the state.

Tweet Threads
CURRENTS Article One of Augustana College's oldest living alumni uses Twitter to receive a free "ugly holiday sweater" from the institution.

Odds and Ends: On a Path to Giving Better
CURRENTS Article New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof discusses philanthropic giving and empathy.

Cap and Frown
CURRENTS Article Institutions want big names for commencement speakers, but high-profile figures can be controversial—and expensive. Are the risks worth the benefits?

Winning Shares
CURRENTS Article West Virginia University and the University of Melbourne have awarded prizes in contests encouraging graduates to share photos and content on commencement-related hashtags.

Odds and Ends: Forget Amazing. Be Useful.
CURRENTS Article Jay Baer's latest book, Youtility, discusses marketing that customers want—"massively useful information, provided for free, that creates long-term trust and kinship." Give people the information they want and need, and they will reward you with their loyalty.

Laughter Is the Best Marketing
CURRENTS Article Because advancement professionals are in the business of attracting people to their organizations, they should consider using humor as a communications and marketing tactic.

A Changing Climate
CURRENTS Article Two dozen institutions in the U.S. and abroad have committed to divest from fossil fuels, and the numbers are likely to grow as the activism spreads. Still, many advancement offices are concerned that what is good for the planet may not be so great for their institution's endowment.

What’s the Idea?
CURRENTS Article Recognizing faculty and staff members who participate in your institution's media relations efforts creates buy-in and gives people incentive to do more.

Fool-ish Fun That’s True to the Brand
CURRENTS Article If Legoland had a university, it would look a lot like the one depicted on the University of Rochester's website on April 1, 2014.

Talking Points: The Bandwidth Battle
CURRENTS Article Net neutrality will only become more important as new technologies transform education and the economy. Higher education institutions and libraries must remain vigilant and defend the need for an open and neutral Internet. We can do this individually or through our professional organizations and by reaching out to our members of Congress and the FCC. Preserving the free flow of information over the Internet is critical to our educational purpose and mission.

The Other Senior Class
CURRENTS Article Lifelong learners are advancement professionals' dream supporters: They're loyal to the institution, they have plenty of free time, and they're passionate about education and giving back to society. They could be untapped sources for volunteering, leading, or fundraising.

Outlook: What Would Yelp Reviews Reveal About Your Institution?
CURRENTS Article Successful entrepreneurs know that to increase profits you need to attract and retain customers. To appeal to and keep students, colleges and universities can no longer rest on their academic reputations and act as if they are doing students a favor by providing a rigorous education

Office Space: Planning for Diversity
CURRENTS Article By thinking broadly about key dates, events, traditions, and themes, you can go beyond the diversity people see and incorporate what they don't see: diversity of geography, backgrounds, beliefs, experiences, abilities, accomplishments, opinions, ideas, interests, and thought. The content we produce should reflect the people who make our institutional communities what they are.

Sowing Skills, Reaping Content
CURRENTS Article A year after CASE’s 2014 Multimedia Workshop, participants reflect on their successes and lessons learned—from the intricacies of on-camera interviews to growing audiences.

How to Spotlight Faculty Experts and Score Home Runs with the Media
CURRENTS Article Many journalists need what we've got: Experts on a variety of topics who can provide insights and perspectives that enhance their stories and inform their readers. The trick is cutting through the clutter that's competing for media attention. Topic, timing, relationships with reporters, and name recognition help determine whether your pitch is successful, but none guarantee it. No matter the size of your communications operation, you can get your institution's faculty experts quoted in the news more often.

Resolve to Connect
CURRENTS Article How campus leaders can make time for Twitter

Greeting the Season
CURRENTS Article Four institutions get creative with their digital holiday messages.

Talking Points: State of Attainment
CURRENTS Article Federal policies provide crucial support to students working to earn a degree, but states play the primary role in determining the educational attainment of their population. The opportunity to enroll in and complete college varies from state to state, as well as within states. Here are three key ways states can help more students obtain higher levels of education.

Round of Applause
CURRENTS Article Ten grand gold award winners of this year's CASE Circle of Excellence Awards are profiled here.

Office Space: The Press Release Is Dead
CURRENTS Article Should we be doing press releases? Most of the time, the answer is no.

Next-Generation Networking
CURRENTS Article A growing number of institutions are adopting Switchboard, an online bulleting board, as an alumni and student benefit. The site was created in 2012 by two Reed College alumni as a volunteer project: a way to connect the Oregon institution's alumni, students, faculty, and parents. Now it's a business. The model is also expanding to communities beyond universities, from women bicyclists to meat sellers.

By the Numbers: Merry Music Marathon
CURRENTS Article For a week in December, student volunteers at a University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign residence hall sing carols to callers.

Big Question
CURRENTS Article Advancement professionals talk about how they describe their job.

Bonding with Voters
CURRENTS Article When community colleges need resources, they must seek funding through bond initiatives or property tax hikes. A successful campaign engages the community and uses a number strategies to gain voters' support.

A School of Their Own
CURRENTS Article In 2000, an American-style independent school in Colombia opened a day care for its impoverished neighbors as a way to get students involved and meet community needs. When the time came for the two- and three-year-olds to move on, the day care was expanded into a primary school. Then an elementary school. Then a high school, which will graduate its first class this November.

Stepping Out of Chuck’s Corner
CURRENTS Article After spending 15 years building a blog with 75,000-plus readers, Chuck Will retired in June from Proctor Academy, the New Hampshire independent boarding and day school where he worked for 38 years. Before his final post, he shared some lessons he's learned while writing and taking pictures for the quirky, photo-driven blog Chuck's Corner.

From Campus to Congress
CURRENTS Article No matter the result on Election Day this November, a member of Randolph-Macon College's faculty will soon represent Virginia's 7th Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Buzzword Alert
CURRENTS Article "Instaception" is the act of taking an Instagram photo of other people taking Instagram photos, as attendees of the HighEdWeb 2012 conference did.

Been There, Done That, Made the Video
CURRENTS Article A marketing and communications professional at an independent school details his learning curve and growing pains as he implemented a multimedia plan.

Social Standing
CURRENTS Article Highlights from the fifth annual CASE/Huron Education/mStoner social media survey of nearly 2,000 CASE members, conducted in January 2014

Office Space: Social Skills for Social Media
CURRENTS Article What and how we share online is an important life skill and an essential part of our personal and professional development—particularly as digital communication skills become a factor in how we're evaluated for jobs and other opportunities. Helping students, faculty, staff, and other constituents understand and develop their digital identities should be an institutional priority and a part of the educational experience. It should also be an important aspect of our work in advancement.

Class Notes Meet Mad Libs
CURRENTS Article The University of Richmond Magazine's website is under construction, so its staff created a fun placeholder until the new site is launched.

The Hashtag Heard ’Round the World
CURRENTS Article One of the most visible and successful examples of student activists advocating causes and issues on social media is #BBUM (Being Black at the University of Michigan), a Twitter campaign launched by U-M's Black Student Union in November 2013. In this article, CURRENTS interviews a communications vice president at U-M about the lessons that she and the institution learned.

New Dimensions
CURRENTS Article Communications offices that understand the value of shifting from tactical to strategic create initiatives and outreach efforts about ideas and values--more purposeful messages--and have expanded the definition of "constituent" to include legislators, editorial page writers, and corporate leaders, just to name a few. This article examines the strategic shifts and related communications and marketing efforts of several campuses. Included is a sidebar about one British institution ("You've Got to Play to Win").

The Power of Print
CURRENTS Article Institutional magazines are expensive to produce and many colleges and universities are exploring producing an online-only product. This article explores how Virginia Tech faced this issue.

President’s Perspective: What We Do and Why We Do It
CURRENTS Article CASE's president writes about how advancement officers can explain their profession to family and friends and how to encourage others, especially those from diverse backgrounds, to enter the field.

Outlook: Develop Social Media Rules—and a Spine
CURRENTS Article Professors use social media too, and sometimes their posts can create controversy for their institutions, causing some colleges and universities to adopt policies to regulate the use of social media. But what should those policies look like?

Office Space: Star Search
CURRENTS Article The Missouri University of Science and Technology created a system to identify students who could be the faces and voices of the institution's brand story and ended up with a winning ensemble and hundreds of narratives that embody the university's brand.

Glass on Campus
CURRENTS Article Yeshiva University's president is wearing Google Glass as part of an experiment to share the campus CEO's perspective in a new way.

The Editor’s Dilemma: How Should You Cover Campaigns?
CURRENTS Article The development office wants stories in the alumni magazine about institutional campaigns and other fundraising efforts, but editors have a mandate to engage readers (and maintain their journalistic credibility). Several colleges and universities have effectively integrated these two interests in the magazine, and CURRENTS reveals the secrets to their success.

Odds and Ends: Generational App-titudes
CURRENTS Article In this Q-and-A, author Katie Davis discusses her book, The App Generation: How Today's Youth Navigate Identity, Intimacy, and Imagination in a Digital World.

Engaging Race
CURRENTS Article Iowa's Drake University explains its strategy behind live-streaming the Beautiful Bulldog Contest, the much-anticipated kickoff for the Drake Relays, the institution's track and field competition.

Content Marketing in Focus
CURRENTS Article This article clears up the confusion about content marketing and explains how it works versus traditional advertising. Oregon State University integrated video content marketing into its recent “Powered by Orange” campaign, and the university’s web communications director explains that it’s possible to create effective content marketing in house, but it’s not simple or cheap—two common misconceptions.

Dropping Pearls
CURRENTS Article This short story provides information about the University of Nebraska-Lincoln's social media campaign called "Harvey's Perls of Knowledge," which features UNL's Chancellor Harvey Perlman in 17 videos that target prospective and current students.

Go Viral
CURRENTS Article Zookeepers post a YouTube video of a baby panda sneezing, and it goes viral. But what does “going viral” mean, and how can educational institutions produce viral content? Griffith University recently conducted a survey on viral marketing and communications practices in higher education that addresses those questions. One of the study’s administrators highlights results from the survey, clears up misconceptions about viral content, and offers tips on how institutions can create compelling content.

Connecting Communicators
CURRENTS Article How do on-campus communicators stay connected at large decentralized universities? Many are developing a communicators network. CURRENTS explores the makeup of these networks (Hint: Social media plays a role.) and how they enhance institutions’ communications and marketing efforts.

Everything Old Is New Again
CURRENTS Article The Babbler Express is a printed, biannual newspaper mailed to graduates age 55 and older from both Lipscomb University and Lipscomb Academy, a high school located on the university's campus. The publication is part of Lipscomb's increased outreach to senior graduates.

Seeing the Bigger Picture
CURRENTS Article As social media proliferate and grow in popularity, schools, colleges, and universities want to capture and capitalize on their audiences' real-time conversations across these channels. This short article explores how several institutions are using some of the newer sites.

Office Space: Connecting Past, Present, and Future
CURRENTS Article As library archives have gone digital in recent years, many institutional treasures are now publicly accessible online, making them a place alumni can visit anytime, anywhere to recollect and reconnect. The material inside also offers new opportunities for engaging your institution's audiences—and it can even make your job as an advancement professional a little bit easier.

Odds and Ends: Card Snark
CURRENTS Article This article is a Q-and-A with Someecards co-founder brook Lundy. Since the unconventional e-card site launched in 2007, it's become the sarcastic, witty voice for the frustrations and passive-aggressive urges of everyday life, especially in the workplace. The site sinks its teeth into college life too.

President’s Perspective: Campaign Dissonance
CURRENTS Article When we as advancement officers are accused of being indifferent to public concerns about college costs and our financial stewardship, it is wise to listen and adjust our communications to reflect those concerns.

Office Space: Growing Content Is Everyone’s Job
CURRENTS Article Creating engaging social media content isn't the job of just one person: Everyone has a part to play in that endeavor.

Social Media by the Numbers
CURRENTS Article Fifty-seven percent of all social media account holders followed at least one nonprofit in 2013, up from 43 percent in 2011.

Face Time
CURRENTS Article Carnegie Mellon Today, the alumni magazine of Pennsylvania's Carnegie Mellon University, draws in readers with covers that feature a close-up portrait.

Big Question
CURRENTS Article If you could cut anything from your institution's magazine—without having to deal with campus politics—what would it be?

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.

Golden Gallery
CURRENTS Article CURRENTS highlights selected winners of CASE’s annual Circle of Excellence awards. This year’s format is more visual and answers questions such as “What problem did these products or activities solve?” Award winners include Mississippi State University Foundation’s annual report; Valencia College’s alumni magazine, Vitae; and Columbia University’s Columbia Day.

Rescuing the Annual Fund from the Ho-Hum
CURRENTS Article The typical annual fund message about closing the budget gap is boring and confusing. So the Powhatan School injected some creativity, in the form of playfully kitschy videos, into explaining why the fund is important.

Start Spreading the Views
CURRENTS Article Several years ago Duke University created an op-ed service to gain better exposure for faculty members’ editorials. Instead of submitting op-eds to a handful of national newspapers, Duke’s media relations department began targeting large regional papers across the United States. Keith Lawrence, Duke’s director of media relations, writes about the results of this program, including more timely publication of pieces, and how it benefits the university and participating faculty members. He also offers suggestions, such as localizing editorials as much as possible, to other institutions considering a similar program.

LinkedIn to the Rescue
CURRENTS Article Alumni relations professionals share tips for using LinkedIn to provide graduates enhanced career services and opportunities to engage with their alma maters.

Office Space: On Media and Mentoring
CURRENTS Article This column examines the lessons one communications professional learned about collegiality while building a campus news operation that recruited campus colleagues without a journalism background to contribute to the institution's news website.

Looking Back at the Boston Bombings
CURRENTS Article Six months after the Boston Marathon bombings and the five-day manhunt that followed, five officials from area universities reflect on how they and their institutions dealt with the events that unfolded that week.

All in the Hamily
CURRENTS Article This feature article looks at how Hamilton College developed its own moderated social media platform, The Scroll, which relies heavily on user-generated content to engage its audiences in authentic, lively, and uncensored conversations that represent and embolden the New York institution's brand.

TV That’s Actually … Good
CURRENTS Article A new cable network helps nonprofits highlight their works.

Odds and Ends: View Master
CURRENTS Article In this Q-and-A interview, Kevin Allocca, trends manager at YouTube, discusses the emerging art and science behind growing audiences for YouTube channels, the popularity of educational video content, the ability to track the impact of cultural trends, and misconceptions about what different generations are really watching on YouTube.

Building Community Five Minutes at a Time
CURRENTS Article Students, alumni, faculty, even parents, at Viewpoint School in California come together at lunch a few times each year to present TED-style talks—known as 5Ups—with the goal of inspiring, igniting, and informing the community. The talks, which are recorded and made available on the school's YouTube channel, are intended to demonstrate Viewpoint's values, vision, and commitment to lifelong learning.

Proving Your Success
CURRENTS Article This article looks at how communications and marketing professionals are measuring the effectiveness of their work, their efforts to track outcomes and tie them to the institution's strategic goals, and the challenges of demonstrating and communicating return on investment in communications and marketing. It includes a discussion of how some communications professionals are beginning to apply the Barcelona Principles, a set of seven guidelines established in 2010 by a partnership of five major international public relations industry associations to establish unified benchmarks for PR measurement.

Bringing Alma Mater to Your Mailbox
CURRENTS Article Alumni magazines, once considered merely news bulletins for graduates, have evolved into important vehicles for institutional advancement. Since 1943, CASE's Robert Sibley Award has recognized the field's best publications.

A Drone of Their Own
CURRENTS Article At Deerfield Academy in western Massachusetts, drones are for high-flying campus photography. The independent school purchased a drone quadcopter in early 2013 to get some new angles of its campus.

Communication Revolution
CURRENTS Article This article highlights findings from CASE's first survey on communications and marketing trends, which was conducted in February and March 2013. The senior-most communications and marketing professionals at CASE member institutions responded to the survey, which is slated to be conducted every two years in order to track trends over time.

The China Connection
CURRENTS Article This article explores how and why institutions are using Sina Weibo and other Chinese social media platforms to recruit prospective students and engage alumni.

Where Younger Donors Go for Data
CURRENTS Article Young major donors research causes on the web, according to new research noting the importance of donor-friendly websites.

Pocket-Size Portfolio
CURRENTS Article Griffith University's experimentation with business cards containing integrated USB flash drives has promoted portability of documents and presentations and increased the usage of electronic communications, saving printing and production costs in the process. While not in wide use across the Australian university, administrators and personnel who travel frequently and for extended periods of time have migrated to them. Some departments have adopted them for other uses as well, including the film school and the advancement office, which gave special 40th anniversary versions to alumni who returned to campus celebrations.

Weathering the Superstorm
CURRENTS Article This article looks at how some colleges and universities in New York and New Jersey communicated with its stakeholders during and after Hurricane Sandy in late 2012 and briefly discusses some of the advancement issues they had to address as communities dealt with the superstorm's aftereffects.

A Little Help from Their Friends
CURRENTS Article Today’s economic climate is accelerating the trend of institutions investing in alumni legislative advocacy. These programs typically follow one of two models: Grasstops advocacy, which engages targeted groups of alumni who have a personal connection with public officeholders, and grassroots advocacy, which involves the larger alumni body and mass communication efforts. Despite having somewhat different needs from their four-year, public counterparts, private colleges and universities, community colleges, and international institutions all can benefit from forging closer relationships between graduates and their elected representatives.

Facing History
CURRENTS Article This article looks at how institutions such as Emory University, the University of Mississippi, Brown University, and others have addressed and acknowledged the negative aspects of their institutional histories and historical missteps.

Managing Content, Managing Change
CURRENTS Article This article explores the importance of an institutional content strategy and how institutions can develop cross-platform strategies and repurpose content. What is content strategy, and how are institutions approaching it? How is this changing the role of higher education communications professionals?

Tackling Social Media
CURRENTS Article Communications consultant Chris Syme writes about the results of a recent social media training program she conducted for student athletes. She also discusses how college and university athletic departments are addressing the issue of social media training and provides examples from institutions that are guiding their student athletes in the responsible use of social media.

Trading Places
CURRENTS Article This article highlights a contest that Canada's York University began in 2012. A York undergraduate student won the right to switch places with the institution's president for a day while the president took on the student's classes and schedule for the day.

Office Space: Social Connection
CURRENTS Article In this column, a young social media coordinator discusses the mistaken notion that age should be a factor when it comes to working in social media and offers advice to people working in the field and the people who manage them.

Honesty Is the Best Policy
CURRENTS Article In this article, Tina Hay, editor of The Penn Stater, discusses the editorial decisions the magazine made in covering the child molestation scandal that erupted at Penn State in November 2011.

Communicating Up
CURRENTS Article This article examines the benefits to the institution, the board, and the communications operation when the chief communicator has a relationship with the institution's governing board, whether direct or indirect.

What to Ponder Before You Pin
CURRENTS Article This article discusses the criteria that the social media staff at Marquette University developed to help them decide whether to devote time and resources to new social media platforms. It also looks at how Marquette University and advancement professionals at other institutions use social media channels such as Pinterest, Instagram, and Tumblr.

Office Space: A Resolution for the Digital Revolution
CURRENTS Article This article looks at the effect that email and other forms of electronic communication have had on how people communicate inside and outside the workplace, particularly how they have shifted people's expectations of appropriate response times, following up, and relationship building.

Mascot Madness
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.

Watch Your Language
CURRENTS Article Since 1976, Lake Superior State University in Michigan has released a list of words that should be "banished from the Queen's English for misuse, overuse and general uselessness." Submissions to the list are submitted by the public and come in from all over the world. The self-proclaimed publicity stunt, released each New Year's Day, earns the small institution media coverage from dozens of media outlets.

Odds and Ends: Talkin’ ’Bout Their Generations
CURRENTS Article Jane Buckingham, CEO of the market research and trend forecasting firm Trendera, discusses generational differences and how they relate to students belonging to Generations Y and V (her term for the latest generation because so much of their experience will happen virally). In this Q-and-A, Buckingham talks about marketing to these age groups, how institutions are doing communicating with them, and how to teach young people about using social media responsibly, among other issues.

Artistic Statement
CURRENTS Article Simon Fraser University brings its strategic vision statement to life with a graphic animation video that illustrates its priorities and brand attributes.

Hail to the Tweeps
CURRENTS Article This article looks at how college and university presidents and chancellors are using social media channels, particularly Twitter, to communicate and engage with students, faculty, staff, parents, and the campus community.

Odds and Ends: Online Life Is a Virtual Cafe
CURRENTS Article In this Q-and-A with Jonah Peretti, CEO of BuzzFeed, he discusses virality, social readers, and how people portray themselves on social media, and likens how people use social media and the Internet to time spent in a Paris cafe.

Going for Gold
CURRENTS Article The story profiles eight of the 2012 CASE Circle of Excellence Award grand gold and gold award winners.

Keeping Pace
CURRENTS Article This article looks at how the continuous change in technology and communications tools—particularly social media—are changing the way advancement communications offices operate.

Say What?
CURRENTS Article Middlebury alumni and students have recorded memories, or Murmurs, to engage alumni and prospective students.

Odds and Ends: A Chat About Change
CURRENTS Article Paul Heaton, director of the CASE Center for Community College Advancement, talks to Jeff Selingo, vice president and editorial director at the Chronicle of Higher Education, about the debate over the value of a college degree, the future of higher education, and the death of the press release.

How Permissive Are You?
CURRENTS Article Manage the permissions of your social media accounts through the website mypermissions.org.

Did You See That?
CURRENTS Article Part art and part science, a good video can be an incredibly powerful tool to connect with your audiences.

Atrévete a Ser el Primero [Dare to Be First]
CURRENTS Article The University of Delaware launched a website in Spanish in November 2011. This online foray into another language is an important step in the institution's continuing globalization and its goal to develop a more diverse campus community.

Outlook: Just Do It
CURRENTS Article Social media is a tool in an organization's communications arsenal, not the sole means of disseminating a message.

President’s Perspective: Politically Correct
CURRENTS Article CASE President John Lippincott provides his perspective on five questions about political correctness.

States of Emergency
CURRENTS Article Given the stakes and the current economic climate, U.S. higher education officials across the country are stepping up their advocacy efforts.

Give Them What They Want
CURRENTS Article The University of Connecticut is devising new communications strategies, including experimenting with email segmentation, to make its philanthropic messaging relevant.

Good Question
CURRENTS Article Does CASE have any recommendations or best practices for developing a mobile website and samples from institutions that have already done so?

Fast, Broad, and Frequent
CURRENTS Article Social media tools (now used in some form by 100 percent of all four-year universities in the United States as a way to reach students, according to a 2011 University of Massachusetts Dartmouth study) have become essential for university communication departments, and they take on even more importance during emergencies.

Odds and Ends: Device Daze
CURRENTS Article CURRENTS talks to MIT professor and author Sherry Turkle about the adverse effects of our digital dependence.

The Move to Mobile
CURRENTS Article It’s clear that students, not to mention higher education’s other audiences, are in the mobile space. So now what? This article explores how colleges and universities are forging ahead with mobile strategies and learning from one another.

Outlook: Rhetoric and Priorities
CURRENTS Article The writer, an employee of Syracuse University, argues that all higher education institutions need to go to the mat to make college more affordable and provide all students with an appropriately broad and deep liberal arts education that at the same time prepares them to take on the complex challenges of the world.

The Cinderella Effect
CURRENTS Article This article examines the effect a school's athletic success has on the institution's advancement efforts.

Outlook: The Front Line of Engagement
CURRENTS Article Michael M. Crow, president of Arizona State University, argues that advancement professionals play a critical role in articulating the unique identity, mission, values, and goals of their respective institutions. Rather than trying to imitate what are considered to be elite universities, such as Harvard and Berkeley, he argues that higher ed institutions must differentiate themselves from their peers and embrace their own unique identities.

Upending a Negative
CURRENTS Article Brock University in Canada got creative with a student recruitment video that confronts head-on a longstanding saying about the institution and realized benefits in terms of goodwill and increased applications.

On the Blog
CURRENTS Article This article looks at the positive effects having faculty members blog for your institution can have in terms of attracting and recruiting students, providing information to parents, giving people a window into what life at the institution is like, and getting your institution's name out on the web in a different way that is still allied with generating positive attention for your institution.

Plus One More?
CURRENTS Article This article looks at Google's latest foray into social networking, Google+, a tool that debuted in summer 2011. Higher education social media and communications professionals discuss the potential of the new tool and its uses and implications for higher education institutions, particularly in terms of its brand pages, which were released in early November 2011.

Office Space: How Heaven Has Changed
CURRENTS Article Jeffrey Lott, longtime editor of the Swarthmore College Bulletin, offers some parting advice, remembrances, and a few things he'll be glad to be rid of in this essay that looks back at his experiences over the past 20-plus years.

Outlook: The Reality (Show) of Higher Education
CURRENTS Article The University of California, Riverside recently had an opportunity to have its institution and president featured on a popular primetime reality program. Not without its risks, it was an opportunity to tell the institution's story in different way.

Office Space: Pitch Craft
CURRENTS Article This article is intended to help communications professionals improve their relationships with reporters by offering tips for them to be better sources of information and ideas.

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.

Crème de la Crème
CURRENTS Article In 2011, 268 bronze, silver, gold, and grand gold Circle of Excellence awards went to 171 colleges, universities, independent schools, and nonprofit organizations worldwide. Eight of those grand gold and gold award winners are profiled here.

All Together Now
CURRENTS Article This article looks at how the public affairs department and admissions office at the College of the Holy Cross collaborated to overhaul and update the college's admissions recruitment materials, print and online, and how the process not only improved the products but also improved the working relationship between the departments and set an example for the campus. The authors discuss the lessons they learned from the process and the importance of some of the choices they made along the way.

United by Goals
CURRENTS Article This article looks at the importance of communications and marketing being an integral part of the integrated advancement team and the benefits that can result from such an arrangement.

Annual Report Angst?
CURRENTS Article A chart shows different formats for foundations' annual reports and what percentage of foundations are using each format.

Professing Pride
CURRENTS Article Canada's University of Windsor devises a handy way to make the university community aware of its strategic priorities and encourages members of the community to share why they're proud of the university and what it's done for them. As a result, the public affairs and communications office has a supply of examples that demonstrate the institution's strategic priorities put into practice and communicates them through every available outlet, building awareness and pride along the way.

Office Space: Wiki Wisdom
CURRENTS Article This column discusses why Wikipedia and higher education have a natural relationship; why understanding how Wikipedia works is an important media literacy skills for students, faculty, and staff in higher education; offers brief explanations about the Wikipedia editing process; provides some do's and don'ts; and highlights the recently expanded Global Education Program, which encourages faculty to include Wikipedia editing in course curricula.

Prepare to Engage
CURRENTS Article This article discusses the importance of focusing on building community and creating a two-way social media conversation with your institution's constituents. Experts advise that institutions using social media should be less concerned with the tools they're using and more concerned with whether and how they're engaging their alumni, students, and other constituencies. In addition, rather than jumping into using several tools, it's more important to first use a tool well before moving on to add another tool. The article also discusses some of the findings from the 2011 CASE/mStoner/Slover Linett social media survey.

Use Them … or Lose Them?
CURRENTS Article This short feature article offers a point-counterpoint view on using quick-response codes, known as QR codes. Chuck Cunningham of the University of Guelph in Canada advocates for using them, citing his institution's positive experience including them in Guelph's viewbook and other admissions marketing materials. Meanwhile, Cassie Dull of Park Tudor School in Indiana argues that QR codes are more of a trend than a useful marketing innovation, suggesting that those who use them may be suffering from shiny object syndrome.

Tiempo en pantalla
CURRENTS Article Con el lanzamiento y popularidad the iPad y otras tablets así como el Kindle, una gran cantidad de revistas de exalumnos de Universidades han dado un giro experimentando con nuevos formatos electrónicos.

Screen Time
CURRENTS Article With the release and growing popularity of the iPad and other tablets as well as the Kindle and other e-readers among alumni, a handful of college and university alumni magazines have taken the leap into experimenting with these new electronic formats.

Odds and Ends: Eyes on the Hill
CURRENTS Article In this interview, Brian Lamb, the founder and CEO of the cable public affairs television network C-SPAN, discusses the renaming of Purdue University's college of communication after him, why he doesn't use social media, and why he prefers nonfiction over fiction.

Inside Out
CURRENTS Article This article looks at how campus internal communications has changed as communications vehicles have moved increasingly from print to online, how this shift has led several larger universities to embrace the news center model, and how this opening of communication has expanded the audiences that internal communicators address.

Office Space: Meet the (Student) Press
CURRENTS Article This article looks at why it's important to have a good relationship with the campus newspaper and offers tips on building a positive and professional rapport.

These Gowns Are Made for Walking
CURRENTS Article This article discusses Brigham Young University's "Walk" campaign, the centerpiece of which was a lighthearted yet sentimental YouTube video designed to encourage students to participate in commencement.

Past and Circumstance
CURRENTS Article This article looks at efforts in California to award honorary degrees to U.S. students of Japanese descent who were forced to leave the state's colleges and universities as a result of Executive Order 9066, signed soon after the December 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor. Santa Ana College is looking for these former students to honor them in the campus's 2011 commencement ceremony. Meanwhile, the California State University system is working on a project to educate people about what happened using video footage and interviews of its 2010 commencement ceremonies at six CSU campuses.

Behind the Numbers
CURRENTS Article This article by Web strategist Shelby Thayer looks at the importance of applying Web analytics to higher education websites and discusses how the data from analytics can inform and improve strategy for admissions efforts and marketing campaigns and help drive traffic to a website. The article delves into why website managers and higher education leaders should be interested in this data, particularly as it relates to outcomes or conversions.

Inside Moves
CURRENTS Article This article looks at the way communications and marketing offices are changing how they work and realigning their staff in light of technological advances, the increased use of mobile communications and social media, the strategic importance of online communications and marketing, and how these changes have affected campus relationships, such as the role of admissions marketing.

Worldwide Connections
CURRENTS Article A chart shows social networking usage data by country.

Virtual History
CURRENTS Article This brief article discusses the University of Massachusetts at Amherst's Digital UMass project, which has digitized documents, papers, other materials, and more than 13,000 photos that trace the history of the college and placed them online for the public and researchers to access and explore.

Outlook: New Directions
CURRENTS Article As education and advancement leaders are exhorted to be more open, they fret about letting go of control. What leaders need to accept to succeed in today's social media landscape is that they are no longer in control (and probably never really were to the degree they thought).

Office Space: Backing the Brand
CURRENTS Article This article discusses the Communicator Certificate Program at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. Run by the institution's university relations department, the program is a series of professional development workshops designed for full-time employees who are involved in managing and communicating the Rutgers brand. The program is also open to any full-time or part-time staff member who wants to learn more about the university. A recent assessment of the program found that it is achieving its goals, making for more coordinated and effective campus communication.

Global Greetings
CURRENTS Article This article discusses Mount Holyoke College's efforts to involve its international alumnae and other audiences to make the inauguration of its 18th president a global event. The communications team leveraged the Web and social media, in addition to traditional communications tactics and tools, to reach out to its constituents. The article also discusses how the team measured and followed up on its efforts, from thanking staff to increasing its use of video to communicate with alumnae and other audiences.

Taxing Times
CURRENTS Article In this article, Caroline E. Mayer reports on the increase in payments in lieu of taxes (PILOTs) being requested of colleges and universities in light of the budget shortfalls that municipalities are facing as a result of the recession. It explores successful PILOT agreements as well as unsuccessful attempts by local leaders to push for these payments and highlights institutional efforts to better communicate the value and benefits they bring to their community.

Detrás de los Números
CURRENTS Article En este artículo, la estratega web Shelby Thayer de Penn State expone el caso por lo que una institución debe contar con una analítica web.

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.

Building Something More
CURRENTS Article The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign uses a website, social media, video, and photography to highlight the facelift of an institutional landmark while investing in the future with a scholarship program for its students.

Partners in Crisis
CURRENTS Article A consortium of Chicago area higher education institutions developed and signed a mutual aid agreement that is intended to provide support—such as access to facilities, equipment, and personnel including police, human resources, and communications staff—to member campuses in the initial hours of a crisis situation. The agreement has garnered approval from risk management experts, who tout the benefit of such cooperative emergency planning efforts.

Homing in on Hits
CURRENTS Article A flash mob at The Ohio State University's student union that went viral got a campus communicator thinking about what makes some videos popular, which has led to some experimenting and strategizing to develop ideas that elicit what may be the key: authentic, happy reactions.

Office Space: Asset Management
CURRENTS Article Today's students are naturals when it comes to creating content for the Web and social media. This article discusses how to involve them in telling the story of your institution and things to consider when working with these content creators.

Sour Notes
CURRENTS Article At some institutions, time-honored fight songs have devolved into fighting words, and alma maters have become lightning rods for controversy. Alumni relations and public relations directors are then called on to find a peaceful solution.

Core Communications
CURRENTS Article In this article, three communications professionals from San Diego State University, Hamilton College, and Michigan State University, respectively, describe the processes their campuses went through in redesigning their websites and the issues they had to address, including content management systems, accessibility for people with disabilities, what should be included on the home page and why, and training campus site editors to maintain site consistency as well as ease of use.

Clean Break
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.

Hacer contacto
CURRENTS Article Este artículo habla sobre cómo las instituciones están utilizando, mensajes de texto, video, correos electrónicos, blogs, foros de discusión en línea, redes sociales y aplicaciones para el teléfono celular como medios de mercadotecnia para alcanzar a futuros y actuales estudiantes que consideran que el correo electrónico es un medio lento y pasado de moda.

Top 10 Global Markets for Twitter
CURRENTS Article A bar chart showing the top 10 global markets for Twitter.

Office Space: Strategic View
CURRENTS Article This article discusses who at an institution, depending on the campus, may be involved in devising social media strategy but makes it clear that partnerships across departments are essential. It also provides examples based on the experience of a few institutions and offers a sample social media brief that helped guide the author in discussions with colleagues who requested a separate social media presence for their group, office, or department.

President's Perspective: A Failure to Communicate
CURRENTS Article CASE President John Lippincott shares his list of top 10 mistakes in advancement communications.

Making Contact
CURRENTS Article This article discusses how institutions are using texting, video e-mail, marketing techniques, student blogs, private social networks, mobile applications, and more to try to reach prospective and currents students at a time when e-mail is viewed as old-fashioned and slow.

Location, Location, Location
CURRENTS Article This article discusses several location-based social networking services (also known as geosocial networking), including Foursquare, Gowalla, Loopt, Whrrl, and Facebook Places, and provides information about how some institutions are experimenting with them to connect and engage with campus constituencies.

Talking Points: Speaking to Values
CURRENTS Article Independent schools are wise to publicize new programs that might philanthropically engage their constituents.

Medios combinados
CURRENTS Article Manejar el fragmentado entorno mediático actual y aprovechar las redes sociales son acciones críticas para el éxito de la prensa.

The Power of Two
CURRENTS Article BI Norwegian School of Management publishes two alumni magazine, one in Norwegian and the other in English. The English-language magazine has helped keep international alumni engaged.

Rising Above
CURRENTS Article This article highlights eight of the 2010 Circle of Excellence Award winners. Each year the awards recognize the best programs and products in advancement services, alumni relations, communications, marketing, and fundraising.

Social Experiments
CURRENTS Article This article presents results from CASE's first social media survey. Nearly 1,000 advancement professionals responded to the survey, which asked them, for example, who managed social media activities in their office, how successful were their social media efforts, which platforms did they use the most, which barriers to social media success were most common, and much more.

The Future Is Here
CURRENTS Article Research universities have banded together to create Futurity.org, a website that aggregates their research in the form of accessible, engaging news stories.

Opinionated Tweets
CURRENTS Article Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University have found that Twitter messages are capable of capturing "important large-scale trends" in much the same way as public opinion polls do.

Office Space: A New Breed
CURRENTS Article The role of the social media community manager is not just about technology or updating content. It is about engaging various constituencies in thoughtful, strategic ways.

Mixed Media
CURRENTS Article Successful media relations in today’s world require institutions to communicate their message online and across several social media platforms as well as to traditional media. The article discusses institutions’ use of YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, blogs, and distinct distribution channels to disseminate stories to their various audiences and constituents.

Odds and Ends: Where the President Knows Your Name
CURRENTS Article In this interview, Walter Kimbrough, president of Philander Smith College, talks to CURRENTS about his use of social media, as well as the impact philanthropy can have on historically black colleges and universities.

Sizing Up Social Media
CURRENTS Article As institutions increasingly engage in social media, it’s important to understand what effect these efforts are having on your different constituencies. Jerold Pearson, of the firm eAdvancement and director of market research for the Stanford Alumni Association, looks at the findings of a survey about the social media usage of Stanford alumni as well as surveys of how alumni of other institutions use social networks, particularly Facebook and LinkedIn.

Following the Threads
CURRENTS Article In early 2009, Oregon State University halted all of its print publications and focused its communication and marketing resources online by diving into social media. While Oregon State’s "Powered by Orange" is among the most respected social media campaigns in higher education, it is also an anomaly. Most institutions enter into social media by dipping one toe in the water. This article discusses how different institutions have approached various social media platforms; such as Facebook and Twitter, the role that campus leadership plays in their success; and the financial investment and staffing adjustments involved in these efforts.

To the Rescue?
CURRENTS Article Faced with large and continued cuts in state funding, U.S. public postsecondary institutions are looking for new ways to both communicate their needs and garner support. This article discusses how they are calling on long-time supporters, enlisting new allies, developing strategic alliances, and crafting new messages and campaigns, all to underscore the importance of higher education.

News That Woos
CURRENTS Article Bowdoin College offers alumni, students, and friends an online news website, the Bowdoin Daily Sun, that keeps them up-to-date about campus happenings as well as aggregates news clips from other, national publications about what's going on in the world.

Holiday Hijinks
CURRENTS Article During the holiday season of 2009, marketing staff at the University of North Carolina used UNC School of Medicine faculty to create a humorous video in which psychology experts discussed the cantankerous nature of Dr. Suess' the Grinch. The video led to many hits on YouTube and was picked up by several news outlets.

Bird on a Wire
CURRENTS Article New social media platforms are emerging, but how do you know what is best for your institution? Author Brad Ward examines the landscape of Twitter in higher education and looks at its positives and negatives.

Virtually Yours
CURRENTS Article Technology is providing alumni relations professionals with a new way to organize events and engage more alumni, but it also offers us the opportunity to look at our field through a new lens. For example, using webcams and digital recorders, brick-and-mortar events can be retooled to reach more than just those people who attend. Alumni leaders now have the ability to engage their entire database worldwide without being limited to a particular venue, region, or timeframe.

Virtualmente suyo
CURRENTS Article La tecnología ofrece a los profesionales de la vinculación con exalumnos un nuevo prisma para ver los eventos. Es el fin de una era en las relaciones con los exalumnos. Las evidencias están a la vista, y la mayoría de nosotros no las hemos visto o no estamos dispuestos a aceptarlas. Para muchas asociaciones de exalumnos, la asistencia y la participación en eventos y programas siguen disminuyendo mientras los costos que conllevan siguen aumentando. Los sitios de redes sociales, y otras herramientas web 2.0 ofrecen nuevas formas de comunicarse con los egresados, sin mencionar que son nuevas formas para que éstos se comuniquen entre sí sin la participación de las asociaciones de exalumnos.

Talking Points: Road Map to Campus Calm
CURRENTS Article The potential H1N1 crisis presented public relations practitioners with perhaps their first opportunity to use their full arsenal of communications tactics to reach and influence key audiences.

Office Space: The 10 Laws of Storytelling
CURRENTS Article To keep someone clicking on your site, give them quality content.

Selling Science
CURRENTS Article This article explains how communications professionals at colleges and universities can take complex, technical stories about science and research and make them sing for mass audiences.

Advance Work: Tweet and Greet
CURRENTS Article The University of Leeds uses Twitter to communicate about its annual fund drive. Student phonathon callers tweet about the nightly results and other information of note.

Advance Work: Viva la Vida
CURRENTS Article Mexico's Universidad Anáhuac produces a monthly magazine aimed at prospective students. The magazine features photos of secondary students at their own schools as well as at university events and helps the teenagers feel connected to the university before they have even applied.

Advance Work: Word Play
CURRENTS Article Educational institutions should consider adding video captioning to their online multimedia content. Captioning not only helps users who are hard of hearing, but it also increases Web searchability.

Advance Work: Truth and Dare
CURRENTS Article Skidmore College's president recently held town hall meetings in which he asked parents, alumni, and prospective students whether the college was worth the money. In reaction to the responses, the college is creating new learning goals.

Main Squeeze
CURRENTS Article The CASE Member Magazine Readership Survey reveals interesting findings on actions readers take after reading the alumni magazine as well as on credibility and engagement.

Paper Trails
CURRENTS Article In this changing digital age, do printed magazines still have a place? Readers say yes, and editors who think otherwise may find themselves saving costs, but losing alumni.

Odds and Ends: Internet Innovator
CURRENTS Article CURRENTS interviews Guy Kawasaki, co-founder of Alltop, an "online magazine rack," and previous Apple Fellow at Apple Computer Inc., about the future of print magazines.

Advance Work: Not the Same Song and Dance
CURRENTS Article While poking fun at themselves, the University of Delaware admissions department might have shown potential students the lighter side of the institution.

Office Space: Inside the Box
CURRENTS Article Why are we always asked to think outside the box, when sometimes we need guidelines to help along the process?

Security Locks
CURRENTS Article Institutions should create a communications policy that reaches anyone with access to data.

In Full Bloom
CURRENTS Article The digital age is upon us, with technology reshaping the way institutions interact with students, faculty, alumni, and donors. Find out how this new age is changing the world of communications and marketing, alumni relations, and development.

Advance Work: Optimize Primer
CURRENTS Article As SEO becomes a larger part of communications and marketing, institutions need to reevaluate their own Web sites.

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.

Recetas para Alcanzar el Éxito
CURRENTS Article Las redes sociales están cambiando la forma como interactúan las instituciones con los estudiantes, los profesores, los ex alumnos y los donadores. Debido a su tamaño, las escuelas independientes se encuentran, a menudo, a la vanguardia de la tecnología. Descubra cómo se comunican de forma más eficiente las escuelas a través de las redes sociales.

Office Space: Show Don't Tell
CURRENTS Article In such a crowded digital world, institutions' Web pages need to be the providers of fresh and interesting content.

Plugging In
CURRENTS Article Good public relations starts with the face of your institution, but what if your institution's leader needs a face-lift?

Recipes for Success
CURRENTS Article Social media is changing the way institutions interact with students, faculty, alumni, and donors. Because of their size, many times independent schools are on the bleeding edge of technology. Find out how schools are communicating more efficiently through social media.

Advance Work: Talking Through Twitter
CURRENTS Article Though Twitter is becoming more mainstream, university and college faculty are still slow to adopt this new media tool.

AdvanceWork: Do-it-Yourself PR
CURRENTS Article Problem/Solution

AdvanceWork: Say No to Flack Attacks
CURRENTS Article Four effective alternatives to aggressive PR pitches

First in Class
CURRENTS Article This story presents profiles of eight Grand Gold winners of the 2009 Circle of Excellence awards.

Messages from Within
CURRENTS Article After conducting a review of internal communications, Northwestern University finds that the electronic newsletter still reigns supreme.

The Sea of Social Media
CURRENTS Article As social media grows in use, institutions need to look closely at how they are using these new tools in communications and marketing. Some institutions are charting a course by using different mediums to meet its strategic goals.

Advance Work: News at Your Fingertips
CURRENTS Article The University of Waterloo is offering its iPhone- and BlackBerry-wielding alumni the option of receiving school news on their mobile devices.

Reunion Is in Hand
CURRENTS Article For its 150th anniversary of class-based reunions, Princeton University created Reunions Mobile, a mobile Web site that provides a portable way to communicate maps, schedules, and important messages to thousands of returning alumni.

Operation Reputation
CURRENTS Article In today's world of social media, users can post their own thoughts, comments, and content, and readers can take it as fact. So how do institutions navigate the networks and find fact rather than fiction? Take a look at how you can police the posts and still maintain credibility.

Write-Minded: Crystal Clear Communication
CURRENTS Article Tips for avoiding jargon in writing.

The Whirlwind of Media Relations Technology
CURRENTS Article How to stay abreast of promising technologies without getting confused by the dizzying pace of change

Advancement Achievers
CURRENTS Article Profiles of selected 2002 Circle of Excellence winners

Rebirth and Renewal
CURRENTS Article How Adelphi University has revived its reputation

Scientific Inquiry
CURRENTS Article A Pulitzer Prize-winning writer analyzes the forces shaping science journalism

Closing Remarks: Mind Your Ps and Rs
CURRENTS Article A recent study offers a new perspective on institutions' pursuit of prestige and reputation

Tech Support: The E-mail Manifesto
CURRENTS Article It may seem mundane compared with a whiz-bang Web site, but e-mail works

President's Perspective: A Is for Advocacy
CURRENTS Article CASE's president summarizes the organization's recent advocacy efforts, both within the United States and abroad as well as within the halls of government and academe.

Advance Work: Make It Brief
CURRENTS Article Birkbeck, University of London is shaping debate with its new communications vehicle.

Community Connections
CURRENTS Article A recent CASE survey suggests that community relations efforts at both private and public institutions are somewhat different but that professionals working on both sides can learn from each other. Respondents from public institutions were quick to connect their work with local and state government relations. Conversely, professionals at private institutions were especially concerned about the fundraising and development programs of the school or university. The survey also suggests that both types need to communicate better with their own institutions about their work.

Advance Work: Theft Provides Publicity Boon
CURRENTS Article Stolen mascot costumes at Butler University provided the perfect excuse to go viral and drum up some great publicity for the institution.

Office Space: Found in Translation
CURRENTS Article Knowing how to navigate the wild frontier of Web 2.0

Streaming Media
CURRENTS Article In today's changing digital landscape, marketing and communications professionals need to develop a strategy for how to integrate the new media with the old.

Living in a Digital Age
CURRENTS Article Moving your university publication online is no easy task. Publications managers should be aware of staffing, IT, and content issues.

Advance Work: Slim Jim: More Than a Snack
CURRENTS Article The University of Colorado has physically downsized its alumni magazine to 5.25-by-10.75 inches in an effort to cut costs look a little different.

Odds and Ends: Commence Operations
CURRENTS Article Judy Woodruff, veteran journalist and commencement speaker, shares her thoughts on how to deliver a memorable speech at graduation.

Code Readiness
CURRENTS Article How crisis communications has changed in the past two years

Outlook: The Perfect Storm for Reform
CURRENTS Article U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan describes "a historic alignment of interests and events that could lift American education to an entirely new level."

Reaching Out
CURRENTS Article Independent schools continue a historical mandate to serve the greater good by connecting with their communities.

Advance Work: All a Twitter
CURRENTS Article A recent look at college and university Twitter accounts reveals that many institutions are not exactly "tweeting" up a storm.

Talking About Transparency
CURRENTS Article Institutions must demonstrate accountability and transparency in order to earn the trust of their varied constituencies. Campus communicators play a vital role in this process.

总裁之见:通讯的失败
CURRENTS Article 教育促进与支持委员会总裁李彬与您分享教育促进通讯中十个最大的常见错误。

Advance Work: All for One
CURRENTS Article The Foundation for California Community Colleges and the Network of California Community College Foundations have teamed up to produce a statewide community college alumni magazine and companion Web site.

Yes, You Can
CURRENTS Article This article takes a close look at the presidential campaign of Barack Obama, which merged old-fashioned grass-roots politics with new technology, shattered fundraising records, and energized millions of people, and explores the ways in which its lessons can be used by advancement professionals.

Advance Work: Off to College, Via Reality TV
CURRENTS Article Five U.K. universities offer full-ride scholarships via an unusual reality TV program.

Advance Work: Podcast Pushers
CURRENTS Article The use of podcasts is steadily growing, according to a May 2008 survey, and higher education is helping this growth.

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.

Advance Work: Hip to Be Square
CURRENTS Article Little booklet has a big impact for the University of Liverpool

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.

Advance Work: Map Attack
CURRENTS Article Dickinson College is using Google Maps to put a new spin on the alumni directory.

President's Perspective: Endowed with Wisdom
CURRENTS Article CASE President John Lippincott describes why legislative attention to educational endowments is both welcome and worrisome.

Advance Work: Work with What You’ve Got
CURRENTS Article Live video of a robin's nest with eggs drew an unexpected following for Duke University's Web site and underscored the power of social networking.

Winning Ideas
CURRENTS Article This article gives in-depth profiles of eight of the 2008 CASE Circle of Excellence Award winners. These winners were chosen to represent a wide range of types of institution as well as each aspect of advancement: fundraising, alumni relations, communications and marketing, and advancement services.

Advance Work: Facebook or Bust
CURRENTS Article A survey of 18- to 24-year-olds found that lack of access to Facebook or YouTube at work would cause some to quit.

Career Path: In the Know
CURRENTS Article The author discusses what he's learned about alumni magazines in his 18-plus years as editor. The article offers five steps to achieving success.

Closing Remarks: Connecting the Dots
CURRENTS Article A university president discusses the challenges and benefits of regional stewardship.

Good Neighbors
CURRENTS Article Every campus faces town-gown issues at one time or another.This article looks at the ways in which four institutions handled potential problems and improved communications with their communities.

Covering Controversy
CURRENTS Article Find out what other editors have to say about how to cover controversy in their alumni publications.

Fanning the Fire
CURRENTS Article Every institution has stories to tell, but is your alumni magazine engaging readers with the right ones? This article looks at the importance of storytelling and examines how an editor can make a case to administration that interesting articles are the key to alumni engagement.

Making Magazine Magic
CURRENTS Article Alumni magazines need to tell compelling stories to engage the reader ... but how? The author gives 10 tips on how to find creative content that will leave your readers wanting more.

It Takes a Community
CURRENTS Article Although an independent school's strongest constituents may live nearby, activities that are unpopular in the neighborhood can still strain relations. The author looks at how to maintain good feelings within the community.

Campus Confidential
CURRENTS Article One year after the tragedy at Virginia Tech, are institutions better prepared to handle students with mental health crises? Take a look at how a variety of institutions are changing the way they share information about students at risk while they navigate the muddy waters of FERPA and HIPAA regulations.

Reflections After the Storm
CURRENTS Article One year after the shootings at Virginia Tech, the author looks at how institutions are reassessing their crisis plans. Most important, this examination looks at how institutions are making the decision to lock down a campus and examines the results of these decisions.

Postcard from Brussels
CURRENTS Article At the International School of Brussels, imagining the possibilities has led to action to educate students, faculty, and the community about sustainability.

Repair Required
CURRENTS Article Managing internal communications can be a challenge. But the way that communications are set up internally really gives the external world a clear picture of your institution's brand and message.

Advance Work: No Turning Back
CURRENTS Article The University of Pittsburgh alumni association stopped printing an annual alumni report and instead put it online. This switch not only saved money but allowed the association to better communicate with alumni.

Advance Work: Digital Dos and Don'ts
CURRENTS Article Digital photography might cut back on the boxes of photos an institution accumulates, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't follow a protocol for taking and keeping photos.

Advance Work: In the Zone
CURRENTS Article Pennsylvania was experiencing a brain drain--college graduates were leaving the state in high numbers. A state initiative is helping cities and counties collaborate with the higher education institutions to keep students in the state when they become alumni.

Sweet Smell of Success
CURRENTS Article The 2007 CASE Circle of Excellence grand gold and gold medal winners profiled in this article have taken their advancement publications, events, and programs to a higher level. These featured winners, however, are a small sample of the 319 winners from 195 institutions.

Springboard for Life
CURRENTS Article This article focuses on public perceptions--and misperceptions--of community colleges and explores how these institutions fit into the overall landscape of higher education in the United States. It also looks at what community colleges are doing to combat some negative images that persist about them.

Advance Work: YouTube to the Rescue
CURRENTS Article When California State University, Fresno, wanted to take the focus off some questionable student content on YouTube, officials decided to use the online video site to the university's advantage.

Talking Points: Text Vexed
CURRENTS Article In the wake of the Virginia Tech tragedy, campuses are looking for ways to communicate more quickly and effectively during a crisis. Many institutions are exploring Short Message Service, also known as text messaging, a technology that sends short messages to and from cell phones. This article explains what SMS is, why it is useful, how it works, and more.

Virtually Secure
CURRENTS Article Institutions are being hacked into more often, and it's the role of campus communicators to educate the campus about risks and precautions. But the task isn't easy. It's difficult to make individuals truly aware of how security issues affect them. This article explores the security problems and issues that institutions face and the strategic communications associated with them and will offer ideas for successful internal communications campaigns based on marketing techniques.

From Page to Pixel
CURRENTS Article This article describes strategies for creating online alumni magazines that are more than a posting of the hard copy and offers practical advice for building a compelling, engaging, and interactive site.

Advance Work: Get a Life
CURRENTS Article Case Western Reserve University allows prospective students to tour the campus from the comfort of their bedrooms via Second Life.

Advance Work: Here We Are
CURRENTS Article Liverpool Institute for the Performing Arts in England found the perfect way to get alumni to update their address and job information: offer them the chance of some free publicity.

Fear and Loathing in Web 2.0
CURRENTS Article This feature explores the challenges and opportunities at the heart of the struggle taking place as campuses get on board (or not) with Web 2.0 technologies. What's at issue is not necessarily the technology, but the idea of giving up control of the message.

Ground Control
CURRENTS Article This article takes a close look at one campus's process for developing a policy and guidelines for faculty and staff blogs. Included are what led to the development of an official policy, how the conversation began on campus, what administrators hoped to accomplish, who was involved in the discussion, and what issues (legal and otherwise) were considered.

Ethics Case Study: Hide and They'll Seek
CURRENTS Article A sexual assault takes place in a dorm in which both the victim and the suspect live. After checking with the student affairs office, it's discovered that the suspect was not actually enrolled at the time and should not have been living in campus housing. The student affairs office asks that this information not be shared with reporters. Of course a reporter does call and asks for the suspect's hometown, which is provided, but nothing else. Is it ethical to respond to only those questions the reporter has asked? Is it ethical to withhold information about the error? CASE members respond.

Everything Speaks
CURRENTS Article Everything about an institution, from the tidiness of lobbies to the smile on the receptionist’s face, “speaks” and makes critical impressions on students, visitors, and others. Paying attention to such details can make the difference in whether a campus achieves its strategic goals. This article shares advice on how to incorporate the “everything speaks” marketing philosophy on campus and use it to generate results. The accompanying sidebar highlights the importance of employees and internal communications to this philosophy. It offers suggestions for keeping an institution’s faculty and staff members informed and showing them they are vital to the school’s mission.

Advance Work: It's Not What You Think
CURRENTS Article Take a look at donor and alumni profiles from a different perspective. What should they not be about?

Advance Work: Op-Ed Cred
CURRENTS Article Quick and easy tips for writing an op-ed that newspapers can't help but print.

Hiding in Plain Sight
CURRENTS Article This article, a complement to "User Generation," examines how, with the advent of Web 2.0 technologies, crises can blow out of proportions in a matter of minutes. The author outlines strategies for preparing, managing, and surviving a crisis in a hyper-connected, always-on news world.

User Generation
CURRENTS Article Web 2.0 might sound like tech jargon or just another buzzword, but it's more than that--it's a paradigm shift in communications that is greatly affecting education. This article defines the term and offers some background, describes how it relates to technology, outlines how and why Web 2.0 affects education, and offers a detailed description of the new mix of marketing and communications channels campuses should consider as part of a strategic communications plan. A sidebar, "Steps to You 2.0," outlines practical recommendations to get advancement/marketing professionals up to speed with Web 2.0. A complementary article, "Hiding in Plain Sight," explores effective crisis communications in a Web 2.0 world.

Advance Work: Chalk Talk
CURRENTS Article This article highlights one institution's efforts to publicize a new campus service.

Advance Work: When Good Events Go Bad
CURRENTS Article This article offers a look at events gone awry on three campuses and how planners managed each situation.

Higher Ground
CURRENTS Article Millions of dollars poured in to help restore campuses devastated by Hurricane Katrina and other Gulf Coast storms. This story is about what these colleges, universities, and independent schools did with the donations. In salavaging their campus community, they also found a higher purpose in helping the larger communities in which they reside.

Advance Work: Preparation Pointers
CURRENTS Article Members of the College Communicators Association of Virginia and the District of Columbia got together to discuss how to prepare their institutions for a potential bird flu outbreak.

See and Be Seen
CURRENTS Article Information properly tailored for the right audience can help attract minority students, and communications professionals are fine-tuning their traditional delivery tools and adopting new methods to reach multicultural audiences with information. This article, part of the this issue's cover focus on advancement and demographics, focuses on communicating with growing multicultural audiences and explores what evaluating demographic information can do for planning and policy-setting. It outlines strategies for how to communicate with these groups and how to market to them.

A League of Their Own
CURRENTS Article The 2006 Circle of Excellence award winners profiled in this article are hitting it out of the park. This article describes a few of the grand gold and gold medal award winners.

Career Path: Growing Good Relationships
CURRENTS Article A former speechwriter learned how to do her job in legislative affairs by mimicking the work of a good development officer.

Click This Way
CURRENTS Article Campus Web sites are the first place most people turn for information of all kinds about an institution—admissions requirements, program details, course descriptions—but they probably aren't the first place people turn to learn about a particular subject or topic. But they can be. This article describes how to market campus Web sites that aren’t admissions-related—institution sites with more of a specialized appeal: an online gallery of comics, a database about classical music, library special collections, art exhibits, etc. This article describes Duke University's experience with such sites and its strategies to get news outlets, blogs, and other online publications to link to and cover them.

PR's Dirty Secret
CURRENTS Article As budgets get tighter and the "accountability" word gets tossed around more freely, campus PR shops are reminded that they need to find better ways to stay relevant. And so the age-old conversation of measurement bubbles up again. In this article, the author addresses the measurement conversation and argues that what PR/media pros do is indeed measurable. He posits that if campus PR pros are to be meaningful contributors to the strategic direction of their campuses and are to demonstrate how PR done right can impact the bottom line, they need to embrace a set of metrics. Big clip books and ad values are impressive in girth, he says, but don't help make the case that what PR pros do is either measurable or strategic. He offers advice and strategies for measuring what matters and includes examples from his campus.

Leader of the Pack
CURRENTS Article This article looks at a few U.S. colleges and universities that have built retirement communities on their campuses. It remains to be seen if bequests or alumni donations will increase due to these communities, but at the very least retirees add a whole new element to campus life.

Advance Work: Blast from the Past
CURRENTS Article After the creation of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the University at Buffalo developed a series of visually interesting postcards to inform government and funding leaders about its security-related research.

The Art of Advocacy
CURRENTS Article As more state budgets are slashed, lobbying has taken on more prominence, with some campuses keeping lobbying firms on permanent retainer. States are being squeezed by health care, Medicaid, and K-12 costs on one side and a low-tax ideology on the other. The article looks at these and other related issues and what the government relations function looks like in this new political environment. The article gives an overview of the how the political and legislative climate is affecting higher education, and in turn, how campus government relations and advocacy functions are responding and changing.

Advance Work: Printing Primer
CURRENTS Article A printing consultant offers tips on how to get the best print job at the best price.

Quest for Clarity
CURRENTS Article Bad news travels fast. Getting ahead of it requires a quick, coordinated, and calculated effort. Advancement professionals whose institutions have survived campus crises and emerged with reputations for accountability intact (if somewhat tattered) share what they have learned the hard way. The sidebar, "Crisis of Faith," goes with this article.

Crisis of Faith
CURRENTS Article This sidebar to the article "Quest for Clarity" provides tips for averting and getting through a campus crisis.

Advance Work: Virtual Security Blanket
CURRENTS Article Eckerd College launched an online community to help incoming students get to know each other--and the college--before they arrive on campus. Eckerd was looking for an inexpensive way to reach out to admitted students and reduce the number who send in a deposit but don’t end up attending the institution.

Advance Work: The Future's in the Palm of Their Hands
CURRENTS Article To show that it understands how today's students like to get their news and information, Fitchburg State College is using podcast technology to send its acceptance letters. But mom and dad can still expect to receive the old-fashioned paper version in the mail.

Web Usability
CURRENTS Article Now that campuses have sophisticated web sites and are using content management systems, are Web sites doing what campuses want them to do? Does the site work? This seeks to answer these questions by examining examines the concept of Web usability. It describes a quick and easy exercise for testing and evaluation and why and how it works. It also looks at the advancement-IT relationship and how communications and marketing professionals can and should be a part of Web usability tests.

Web Sight
CURRENTS Article Writing for the Web is not just a matter of writing shorter--it’s more than just "write short heads and get to the point." People who know the technology aren't familiar with some useful design/editorial principles that are print-based but still applicable to the Web. People who know print don't think much of it is transferable to the Web or they get at it from one angle and don't see the communications gestalt. This article explores these ideas and describes how to use marketing, cognitive, and linguistic strategies to produce text, which is different from just "writing copy."

Advance Work: Channel Your Research
CURRENTS Article Calling itself the C-SPAN of the academic research world, ResearchChannel gathers the video content for more than 50 member institutions and distributes it to more than 21 million U.S. households through the DISH satellite network and cable television systems in 36 states.

Beyond the Welcome Mat
CURRENTS Article We hear so much about communicating with students during the recruitment phases, but what happens once they get in the door? This article explores the ways in which campuses communicate with students while they’re on campus. It looks at how--and how often--communications offices communicate with students other than during crises and what they communicate about.

Mass Produced
CURRENTS Article In the often harried world of institution advancement, e-communications can easily become a victim of project complacency, with e-mail appeals and newsletters turning into just-get-it-out-before-deadline pieces of communications collateral. But with rapidly improving technology and audiences that are increasingly becoming moving targets, it is essential for campus communicators to discover new ways to use e-mail, the Web and dynamic content to appeal to our constituents, and to embrace the notion that integrating technology is an investment, not an expense. Using examples from the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics, this article addresses ways to ensure e-mail appeals stay fresh and effective and discusses reassessing content and ideas prior to hitting the send button.

Advance Work: Keeping an Open Mind
CURRENTS Article Princeton University's publication--Uninvisible: Student Voices on Psychological Health and Well-Being--opens a window into troubled students' minds and identifies campus sources of help.

Manager's Portfolio: Secrets to Powerful Presentations
CURRENTS Article In this article, an experienced presenter gives tips for making your presentations memorable and even moving. Such talks start with practice, are delivered with passion, and end with the audience taking away a call to action.

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.

Changing Lanes
CURRENTS Article Aided by advances in Internet and cell phone technology, "citizen" journalists are shaping the news like never before. But this new brand of journalism isn't dependent on tragic events or breaking news--blogs, podcasts, and more affect the gathering, transmission, and shaping of the news. This article examines these and other trends in journalism, including information on demand and audience fragmentation, and how they might affect education. This article does not include case studies or tips for navigating this new media landscape, but rather offers campus communications professionals serious food for thought.

AdvanceWork: Black and White and Raspberry All Over
CURRENTS Article Campus designers should consider color trends when looking to update campus logos or create publications. Using a new generation of colors can help communicate to younger students and even help attract enrollees. Hot colors include lime green and retro shades such as pink and turquoise. Designers can tone them down for other audiences.

Talking Points: Pod on the Quad
CURRENTS Article As campuses continue to explore ways to communicate with constituents, many are embracing new technologies such as podcasting. Podcasting allows users to download various types of audio content, including newscasts, speeches, and more to their computers and MP3 players so they can listen to it whenever they want. Many mainstream media outlets offer podcasts, and their uses for campuses are plentiful. This article explains what podcasting is, why it's useful, and how to use it. It also offers an inside look at how the University of Florida News Bureau is already putting this technology to good use and how it plans to use it in the future.

The Real World
CURRENTS Article Blogs began as something quite different than what they are now, and although they’ve lost some of their grassroots quality as more mainstream outlets embrace them, they are becoming a vital communications tool. They enable organizations of all kinds--including education institutions--to reach out to constituents in a simple and direct way. And as institutions continue to fine tune their marketing efforts, blogs can become an important and effective communications tool, particularly for student recruitment. This article explores important issues for campus communications professionals to consider, including the pros and cons of blogging, authenticity, and control.

Advance Work: Up Close and Personal
CURRENTS Article A new video magazine is bringing the University of Texas football program into the homes of alumni and fans. The Texas V-Mag delivers full-screen, broadcast-quality video stories to paid subscribers.

Closing Remarks: States of Emergency
CURRENTS Article Even as federal and state dollars for U.S. higher education decline, for public institutions the proportion of public funding from all sources still exceeds that of private gifts. With that in mind, the author questions why public institutions spend so little time and money on state and federal government relations. Using alumni and donors as campus champions and understanding state and federal budget cycles are two strategies she suggests for improving government relations.

Closing Remarks: Disaster Drill
CURRENTS Article In the wake of a disaster that affects a campus--regardless of its origin--education leaders need to know how to respond to keep students, faculty, and staff members safe, maintin order, and manage risk. The author suggests several steps campus officials can take to develop sound disaster response plans. Those steps include reviewing and refining existing plans periodically, rehearsing plan elements with emergency response team members, planning for the expected, and developing mutual aid agreements with peer institutions.

Talking Points: Paying Complements
CURRENTS Article Microsites, also known as landing pages, are powerful tools that allow audiences to respond to an appeal without having to navigate a main Web site. Institutions can use microsites to communicate personalized, focused marketing messages to specific target audiences. This article outlines some of the ways in which campuses and other organizations are using microsites, including handling such tasks as registrations and online ordering, and the benefits of using them, such as that they create more interest, more interaction, and greater measurement opportunities.

Fresh Connection
CURRENTS Article Campus community relations efforts have changed from one-way communications to a long-term dialogue and vision that requires the use of new communication outlets and skills. The new community relations is a mixed bag of voluntarism, service-learning, scholarship, and economic development. This article explores the motives behind today’s community relations efforts, which include a rethinking of the role of higher education and its civic responsibility, the curricular need to include experiential learning to enhance student career readiness, and fierce competition for prospective students and faculty.

Weathering the Storm
CURRENTS Article Hurricane Katrina and a subsequent flood dealt areas of the Gulf Coast a punishing blow—more than 1,000 people died, some 900,000 people were displaced, and countless neighborhoods, homes, and businesses were destroyed. Nearly three dozen colleges and universities and dozens of independent schools sustained damage—some of it severe. This article reports on the effects of the hurricane on Gulf Coast institutions, some campus-based relief efforts, and other elements of the storm’s aftermath.

Good Neighbor Policy
CURRENTS Article As Hurricanes Katrina and then Rita began to dominate the news, the long-scheduled theme of community relations for the October 2005 CURRENTS gained immediacy. Few examples of the interdependent relationship between campuses and communities are as powerful or as democratic as natural disasters. Yet the bonds between campuses and communities are equally powerful; both contribute to and are fueled by the same momentum to rebuild and recover.

Cream of the Crop
CURRENTS Article This article profiles a few of CASE's 2005 Circle of Excellence award winners in the fields of fund-rasing, special events, campaigns, marketing, alumni programs, stewardship, and advancement services operations.

Talking Points: The Other White Meat
CURRENTS Article Earmark grants can be an important funding source for institutions, and the authors of this article posit that some campuses don’t pursue them because of a lack of understanding about what they are and how the process works. They define earmarks--appropriations that members of Congress award for projects involving specific colleges and universities, bypassing the normal competitions for federal funds--offer examples of campuses that have received them, outline the process for securing an earmark, and discuss the pros and cons of hiring a lobbyist to help secure them.

AdvanceWork: Spamalot?
CURRENTS Article Communicating with constituents via e-mail has gotten harder now that so many e-mail users have installed spam-filtering programs on their computers. Experts cite several strategies advancement officers can use to strengthen the legitimacy of their electronic messages.

AdvanceWork: Mission Accomplished
CURRENTS Article For 30 days in January and February 2005, Seattle University fulfilled its service and social-justice mission by hosting the residents of Tent City 3, a local homeless encampment. This article describes how SU got involved in local, national, and international efforts to bring attention to homelessness and how Tent City’s presence on campus influenced constituents’ perceptions of the university and its place in the community.

Closing Remarks: Novel Ways
CURRENTS Article Branding is commercial storytelling, and campus communications and marketing pros should consider using the elements of fiction--character, plot, dialogue, scene, place, point of view, and sensory detail--when they are writing and telling their institutions’ stories. The author describes how campus writers can persuade readers of an institution’s virtues and still tell a compelling story.

AdvanceWork: The Paper Chase
CURRENTS Article Why do some institutions continue to publish paper media guides when journalists can access the same information from their Web sites? Campus communications and marketing professionals say they are sticking with print because paper guides provide easier access to information and can be used for institutional marketing and public relations purposes.

Time Out
CURRENTS Article At first glance, the concept of outsourcing might seem somewhat antithetical to advancement--counterintuitive even. Advancement is all about building relationships and working together across campus, and outsourcing might work against that. This article explores whether outsourcing is hitting campuses the same way it's hitting the corporate world. It features examples from several campuses that currently outsource projects and addresses cost-cutting issues, making decisions about what to outsource, and more.

Inside Voices
CURRENTS Article Internal communications ought to be every bit as strategic as external campus communications, but internal audiences often are overlooked or treated as an afterthought. This article tells how Northwestern University diagnosed its internal communications challenges and responded to them. Northwestern officials conducted extensive market research with 10 different campus subgroups to reveal how each group used the existing channels of communication on campus and how it preferred to receive information. The findings led the university to make significant changes in how it communicates with students, faculty, and staff.

Second Site
CURRENTS Article Campus Web sites are most effective when they're well-organized, easy-to-use tools with a consistent look and feel. Content management systems help campuses to create and maintain effective Web sites and offer a checks-and-balances approach that allows people from all parts of the institution to contribute. This article describes St. Boanventure University's decision to redesign its Web site using a CMS and the process the campus went through to implement the system. A related sidebar ("Look Before You Leap") contains additional advice to consider before investing in a CMS.

Talking Points: Pick and Choose
CURRENTS Article RSS, which stands for really simple syndication or rich site summary, is a new tool used to collect news feeds from various Web sites through software called a news reader or news aggregator. This article gives an overview of the technology--how it works, why it's important--and its implications for marketing and education. It also includes examples from campuses already using RSS.

AdvanceWork: Windblown
CURRENTS Article Florida’s colleges and universities were forced to deal with an unprecedented summer of stormy weather in 2004. This article outlines the best practices campus communicators followed to keep their constituents informed and safe.

AdvanceWork: Caging the Cardinal
CURRENTS Article Stanford University constituents seeking information about campus activities need look no further than the Web, thanks to the efforts of several Office of Communications staffers. In May 2003, these campus communicators launched events.stanford.edu, an online events calendar that details campus activities in more than a dozen categories. The site is the winner of a 2004 CASE Circle of Excellence Silver Award.

Winners at Heart
CURRENTS Article Profiles of 12 winners of CASE’s 2004 Circle of Excellence awards. The winning alumni relations programs offered creative ways to generate revenue, use technology, or support a campus cause. In the development categories, campuses showed how to use flash e-mail annual giving solicitations and speech-writing students to attract donors. Communications winners relied on humor, creativity, and unconventional publications. And top advancement services shops highlighted the importance of identifying top campus prospects, working as a team, and maintaining accurate data.

Talking Points: Net Assets
CURRENTS Article More than 200 academic institutions, 60 corporations, and 40 research and education organizations are part of Internet2, a member-based, nonprofit corporation working to develop a faster, more reliable, private, and more secure Internet. Building on the partnership that developed the original Internet, Internet2 seeks to contribute to the next wave of advanced networking.

Talking Points: Canning Spam
CURRENTS Article With campuses increasingly relying on e-mail to reach constituents, advancement officers should be familiar with the 2003 CAN-SPAM legislation. This article explains the new U.S. law, including why it was passed and what it seeks to do, as well as specifics about how to comply and penalties for not doing so. Although the legislation doesn't apply specifically to nonprofits, the author recommends that all organizations adhere to well-defined best e-mail practices.

AdvanceWork: Eyes Are the Prize
CURRENTS Article Half of the 10 most popular science and technology press releases distributed by EurekAlert! in 2003 were generated by colleges and universities. The senior program associate for EurekAlert!, the online news service of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, says that catchy headlines and compelling news are most likely to capture readers’ attention. Top releases in 2003 came from the University of Utah, Imperial College London, the University of Southern California, Stanford University, and the University of Washington.

Meet the Prez
CURRENTS Article There are many reasons why CEOs want to get in front of journalists--the campus just survived a major crisis or is moving in a new direction, for example. As the people charged with making it happen, public relations pros should carefully plan visits with editorial boards and other media representatives to make the most of these important meetings. The author, a seasoned journalist, outlines several strategies for making such encounters as effective as possible, including timing, who to meet with, who to bring, and what to say.

Come Together
CURRENTS Article Communications professionals increasingly discuss what stays in print and what goes on the Web--often with budget-cutting in mind. In this article, the authors point out that Web and print are two very different mediums and content for one can't just be retrofitted or repurposed for the other. They outline strategies for making the two mediums work together more effectively.

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.

AdvanceWork: Periodicals' Progress
CURRENTS Article In the publishing world, student and alumni magazines are a hot commodity, according to an Oxbridge Communications study. The number of titles in the segment grew 43 percent over a 10-year period.

AdvanceWork: Sorry, Charlie!
CURRENTS Article Web site error messages don't have to be unfriendly and ugly. Savvy Web designers and editors will replace "404: Not Found" with text that helps Web site users find what they're looking for and an appearance that resembles the rest of the site.

AdvanceWork: We Hereby Resolve
CURRENTS Article Communications and marketing professionals share some lighthearted, work-oriented resolutions for 2004.

Get Real
CURRENTS Article Alumni magazines face stiff competition for readers' attention, primarily because many readers don't take them seriously. A seasoned alumni magazine editor offers 10 ways to help make them into publications that readers respect and want to read.

Burden of Proof(reading)
CURRENTS Article With the advent of desktop publishing, the ability to make changes up to the very last minute has resulted in a loss of quality control. The author offers tips for editors and designers on making the publications process more efficient.

AdvanceWork: Dear Diary
CURRENTS Article Campuses including Proctor Academy and Furman University are using Web logs, or blogs, to bring personality and encourage repeat visits to their institutions' Web sites.

Closing Remarks: Media Plan
CURRENTS Article Campuses increasingly face scrutiny from reporters and editorial boards amid one of the worst economic downturns academe ever has experienced. The quality of press coverage about education varies widely, and some news reports are simplistic, overly critical, or inaccurate. But rather than bash the media, campus leaders need to heed the new realities.

Mining for Gold
CURRENTS Article Profiles of 12 CASE Circle of Excellence 2003 winners. Member institution nominees were judged on the creativity of their alumni relations, communications, and development initiatives, including alumni publications, reunions, constituency giving, stewardship, and alumni relations programs. Profiled winners include Brigham Young University/University of Utah; Columbia College Chicago; Georgia Tech Alumni Association; Goucher College; Imperial College London; the Institute for Shipboard Education; Lehigh University Alumni Association; Monroe Community College Foundation; Pennsylvania State University; the University of Chicago; the University of Iowa Alumni Association; and the University of Miami.

A Delicate Balance: Athletics and Campus Identity
CURRENTS Article Intercollegiate athletics presents both opportunities and pitfalls for college and university communicators. Recent controversies are forcing communicators and administrators to take a close look at the complexities and the impact of athletics on their campuses to determine the best way to manage institution messages.

AdvanceWork: Alumni Relations Gains Ink
CURRENTS Article A recent jump in mainstream media coverage of alumni relations is primarily related to affirmative action and legacy controversies. Alumni officers can prepare to meet the press by investing in media training.

Living Publicly
CURRENTS Article A 24/7 news cycle, the Internet, an accountability revolution, and a smaller news hole are just a few of the factors changing campus media relations programs.

Well Schooled
CURRENTS Article Media training for campus leaders, administrators, faculty, and communications staff has become even more important in an era of increased media scrutiny. This article outlines the characteristics and purposes of media training programs and includes a short sidebar with tips for selecting a program.

Making the Right Connections
CURRENTS Article Six senior advancement practitioners, including consultant Michael Stoner and ProfNet founder Dan Forbush, discuss how technologies such as databases, the Internet (both Web sites and e-mail), and cell phones have affected campuses' relationships with their constituents and the work of advancement. Part of the issue focus on five forces shaping advancement.

From Traffic Jam to Easy Street
CURRENTS Article To do a better job of maintaining an institutional Web site’s appearance, speed, comprehensiveness, and accuracy, campuses might want to consider installing a content management system. A CMS is a back-end database combined with a suite of software tools that give staff without programming expertise the ability to manage, maintain, and change a Web site’s content. This article outlines the typical features of a good CMS, how to assess readiness to install a system, the pros and cons of building from scratch or buying ready-made, typical costs, and questions to help select a vendor. Also included is a list of 12 CMS vendors. The article is of interest to communications staff who work with campus Web sites and advancement managers concerned about technology.

AdvanceWork: I Heard It Through the Grapevine
CURRENTS Article Campus urban legends present a special PR challenge, especially when these stories contain a kernel of truth. This item debunks the “swim-test legend” at Swarthmore College and the question of whether Harvard University refused admission to Leland Stanford. This Advancework item is of interest to public relations officers.

Clarifying Complexity
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.

AdvanceWork: Big News From Small Colleges
CURRENTS Article New Web site draws attention to liberal arts institutions

Keeping off Thin Ice
CURRENTS Article Because public relations officers are adept at issues management and crisis communications, more campuses are including communicators in the assessment and prevention aspects of the risk-management process. Their most significant contributions include raising hard questions; forging good relations between the campus and the media and community; and tracking litigation patterns. This article, which also discusses potential future issues that will challenge campuses, is of interest to media and community relations officers, PR managers, and chief advancement officers.

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.

AdvanceWork: Prescription for Sanity
CURRENTS Article Unrealistic media expectations can plague CEOs, faculty, and advancement officers. This AdvanceWork item looks at four common problems and suggests strategies to solve them. It is of particular interest to media relations professionals.

Turbulence at Ground Level
CURRENTS Article As higher education institutions close and consolidate at unprecedented rates, advancement officers can play a vital role in assessing their institutions’ vulnerabilities. The authors present six warning signs and corresponding recovery strategies, with special attention to how advancement officers can help. This article is of interest to managers of development, alumni relations, and communications programs, as well as campus CEOs.

All Along the Watchtower
CURRENTS Article PR professionals are confronting a new breed of problems with rogue Web sites and damaging e-mail messages. Campuses must deal with these unconventional attacks on a case-by-case basis. But they should also adapt their issues management and crisis communications plans and techniques to include online responses to known and anonymous critics. This article is of interest to PR professionals and Web managers who handle issues management and crisis planning and management.

Home Field Advantage
CURRENTS Article Every integrated marketing program should include a multifaceted internal marketing effort. Drawing on his experiences at Texas Christian University, the author suggests several steps, including a campaign to get buy-in, faculty/staff orientation, customer-service training, and better communications with students and between supervisors and staff. This article is of interest to marketing communications managers.

Cultural Awakening
CURRENTS Article This case study from a British university traces the development of a comprehensive communications strategy. Among the steps are achieving university-wide buy-in, developing and implementing a strategy, and conducting evaluation. This article is of interest to PR managers and marketers who want to develop a campus-wide culture of communication.

Signs of the Timing
CURRENTS Article Alumni magazine editors say good editorial planning is essential to good content. They use brainstorming retreats and frequent planning meetings to stay on track even as they realize they’ll have to cope with changes brought on by shifts in budget, advertising, campus priorities, and editorial snafus. This article is of interest to alumni magazine editors.

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.

AdvanceWork: Best in Snow
CURRENTS Article Give ho-ho-hum holiday cards the heave-ho with these three ideas

Fair Share
CURRENTS Article Campus communicators can find themselves enmeshed in community debates about the effect of their institution on local resources and quality of life. Problems are more readily resolvable when an institution builds and maintains strong community relationships, takes local concerns seriously, communicates freely, and tends to internal as well as external constituencies.

AdvanceWork: Spinning Straw into Gold
CURRENTS Article A North Carolina community college successfully turned an abandoned textile mill into classroom, office, and community space. Local residents contributed generously to the $1.8-million campaign that made the conversion possible, and by restoring a site with significance to many in the area, the institution built stronger community relations.

Tech Support: Click to Proceed
CURRENTS Article Event planners and Web staff should ensure that online registration forms for advancement events are as simple, easy to use, and interactive as possible.

Speaking Through the Media
CURRENTS Article When crucial issues such as public funding for higher education are being debated, the right media coverage can make an important difference in the attitudes of legislators and taxpayers. Media relations and government relations staff sometimes find working with reporters to be challenging. But the article includes numerous examples of institutions that have successfully reached out to legislators and the media on key issues.

AdvanceWork: Keeping Tabs
CURRENTS Article A pro bono partnership with area newspapers keeps one campus in the spotlight

Gaining a Reputation
CURRENTS Article An image audit, also known as a reputation audit, helps communications and marketing officers understand how their campuses are perceived by key constituencies. This process can serve as the first step in developing a comprehensive communications and marketing plan. Jarrell provides advice on focusing an audit, conducting an audit with and without consultants, building on-campus support for the effort, and acting on the audit’s recommendations.

AdvanceWork: Drawing Attention
CURRENTS Article An idea of interest to Web and design staff comes from Simon Fraser University, where the external relations office has made its Web site more appealing and personal by including watercolor sketches of each staff member.

Closing Remarks: Spider or Fly?
CURRENTS Article CEOs must be attentive to an institution’s Web presence, since it is becoming the most important means of advancement. Prospective students will compare campus sites to commercial sites, so consistency, ease of use, and carefully designed e-commerce capabilities are important. Web sites are an ongoing financial commitment and should be part of an overall marketing and communications strategy. The Internet will also lead to new constituent demands for involvement

Closing Remarks: Advancement's Siren Song
CURRENTS Article In this Closing Remarks column, a university editor and publications manager shares her feelings that, although advancement professionals are often underpaid, they are rewarded by a deep sense that what they are doing is important and intrinsically worthwhile. Further, the profession is great fun—especially for editors.

AdvanceWork: Picture This
CURRENTS Article Plan carefully to get the campus photos you need

Pressing Questions
CURRENTS Article An interview with Bob Durkee, former editor of the Princeton University student newspaper in the 1960s, now the university's vice president for public affairs, on the relationship between the campus administration and the student press. He discusses how the Internet has changed the role of student journalism, editorial and financial independence, and how student editors' interests and goals have changed over time.

AdvanceWork: Taking Stock
CURRENTS Article In this AdvanceWork piece, the author advises communications professionals how to sort through campus publications in order to determine what types of photos they use most often and the images they need, in order to plan for creating a photo CD library.

Science Lessons
CURRENTS Article Public information officers often find themselves in the midst of controversy surrounding their institutions’ scientific research activities. That’s only one part of communicating science, however. Even though not every project will make headlines, PIOs must communicate important, complex research every day. Key to that task is establishing rapport with the scientists, presenting science to lay readers, and explaining why it’s important without overhyping.

AdvanceWork: Photo Finish
CURRENTS Article If a picture is worth a thousand words, imagine the value of a CD photo library

AdvanceWork: CPR for Ailing Newsletters
CURRENTS Article How to bring tired periodicals back from the dead

AdvanceWork: A Fun(d) List
CURRENTS Article This AdvanceWork item notes the retirement of Steve Hirby from his seven-year volunteer position of running Fundlist, a listserv focusing on technology and its applications in advancement. Hirby, director of administrative information management for Lawrence University, reflects on the changes in the listserv and the concerns of development professionals during his seven-year tenure as list owner.

AdvanceWork: Camera-Ready
CURRENTS Article Putting your professors at ease with the media

Closing Remarks: Courting Disaster?
CURRENTS Article A recent New Jersey court ruling regarding Rutgers Magazine jeopardizes the authority of institutions over the content of campus magazines. This column outlines the legal arguments for reversing this decision, maintaining that editorial decisions concerning a magazine’s content are not subject to the First Amendment, and that campus magazines may reject ads that conflict with reasonable policy.

Write-Minded: Other Voices, Other Rules
CURRENTS Article To write speeches, letters, and other material for your campus president, you have to capture the right tone. Walker offers eight tips on infusing your writing with the confident voice and broad perspective of a CEO.

A Case of Mistaken Identity
CURRENTS Article Colleges and universities may have trouble differentiating themselves from unrelated institutions with similar names. This article describes the effects of name confusion on such institutions as Seton Hill College, Miami University, Trinity College, and Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Public relations officers at these institutions describe strategies they use to establish their identity with journalists and members of the public.

September 11, 2001
CURRENTS Article The 2001 terrorist attack placed many demands on advancement offices. Institutions in New York City established command centers to manage communications and emergency response amid human loss and facility damage. Elsewhere, advancement professionals dealt with such tasks as reporting the status of alumni and parents, connecting campus experts with reporters, rescheduling alumni travel, rewriting magazine issues, and postponing or adjusting fund-raising calls.

When Silence Speaks Volumes
CURRENTS Article The devastating effect of AIDS on Africa’s universities is made even worse by administrators’ reluctance to deal with or even acknowledge the crisis. A case study of seven African universities explores the reasons behind institutions’ inadequate response and describes the impact of AIDS on enrollment, admissions, staffing, and institutional finances. The study provides lessons for campus communicators, strategic planners, and other administrators at institutions worldwide.

Write-Minded: Shelving the Books
CURRENTS Article Here’s a guide to online resources for writers, including translation programs, money and measurement converters, dictionaries, thesauri, grammar and style guides, and quotation collections.

Tech Support: You Ought to Be in Pictures
CURRENTS Article Video news releases can have benefits well beyond media coverage. Massachusetts Institute of Technology prepares video news releases that each consist of a brief story plus extra footage that journalists can use as they like. In addition to generating extensive broadcast coverage, the tapes have proved valuable both on and off campus for uses such as Web sites, faculty grant applications, conference presentations, museum exhibits, high school classes, and more.

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.

Write-Minded: The Write Stuff
CURRENTS Article These tips can help alumni periodical writers and editors to create articles that will catch--and keep--a reader’s interest.

AdvanceWork: Make It Personal
CURRENTS Article Tips for pitching successful commencement stories

Taking Issue
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.

AdvanceWork: It's Show Time
CURRENTS Article One university president's dual role as a local TV host

Closing Remarks: A Matter of Trust
CURRENTS Article In the familiar battle between alumni magazine editors and campus administrators, Jones says, the civilian casualties are the magazines' readers, and their trust and faith in their institutions suffers the damage. A chief advancement officer with a development background, Jones crosses the traditional battle lines to take the side of the editors, maintaining that attempts at information management betray administrators' commitment to the purpose of higher education.

Hot on the Cybertrail
CURRENTS Article Officers in alumni affairs, development, public relations, and admissions at the University of Dayton use statistics on user access to guide their decisions about the structure and content of their Web site. The article describes how to interpret log files to find out who your users are, how they view the site, and what pages they find most interesting. Similarly, redirect links can help measure the effectiveness of targeted e-mails.

Form Follows Function
CURRENTS Article Barnard College found that the best way to approach redesigning its Web site was to divide responsibility for specific functions--PR, academic, administrative--among the various departments that had already established operations in these areas. The article lists different approaches to institutional Web sites, notes users’ expectations, outlines important principles, and describes how Barnard carried out the redesign process.

Many Happy Returns
CURRENTS Article In the two years after launching a free monthly e-mail alumni newsletter, the Stanford Alumni Association conducted three surveys of recipients. The results provided information on reader preferences for length, format, and content. Data also suggested that the newsletter promotes positive feelings and a sense of connection with the institution. An additional study of giving records found higher donor participation among newsletter recipients.

AdvanceWork: Your Themes Are Showing
CURRENTS Article Two alumni magazines tackle the challenge of developing single-topic issues

Write-Minded: Style Matters
CURRENTS Article A campus editorial style guide can improve the overall quality of an institution’s communications. This article offers tips for creating a style guide that staff and colleagues will find helpful.

A Labor of Love
CURRENTS Article Viancourt describes how Oberlin College restructured its alumni magazine from the ground up. The 15-month process involved such steps as creating a policy statement, conducting a readership survey, choosing a designer, creating a new nameplate, and reworking such elements as typeface, paper, department names, page format, color use, editorial content, and advertising and subscription policies.

From the Barbershop to the Boardroom
CURRENTS Article A $3.1 billion higher education bond issue in North Carolina passed a statewide vote with 73 percent of voter support, thanks to a large-scale collaborative campaign by the state’s 16 universities and 59 community colleges. The campaign involved a huge, multi-institution advancement team and support from business and community leaders. The authors give a step-by-step account of the organization an

AdvanceWork: In the Dark--and in the Limelight
CURRENTS Article The power crisis that struck California in the winter of 2000-2001 posed new communications challenges for colleges and universities. This article describes how California State Polytechnic University, Pomona College, and Claremont McKenna College handled blackouts; how Saddleback College responded to high electric bills; and how Humboldt State University gained media attention for its alternative energy research programs.

AdvanceWork: Boost your site's prominence in Web search results
CURRENTS Article Search optimization tips

Write-Minded: The Learning Curve
CURRENTS Article The editor of the alumni magazine at Northfield Mount Hermon School describes what she learned in her first months and years on the job. She offers some tips for generating fresh story ideas, such as keeping files of newsworthy alumni, looking for human-interest stories, borrowing elements of fiction, using a variety of genres, and searching creatively for writers.

Measuring Up
CURRENTS Article Alumni magazine editors are increasingly accumulating data to demonstrate their periodicals’ influence in alumni cultivation and to justify their costs. Editors have used statistical evidence to show, for example, that alumni use the magazine as their primary information source and that a magazine can foster feelings of pride and connection with the institution. Data may take the form of formal reader survey results or informal anecdotes.

Think Strategic
CURRENTS Article In a survey of more than 600 college and university presidents and nearly 300 chief public relations officers, presidents felt that their PR officers would be more effective if they took a more strategic approach. The article explains the difference between tactical and strategic thinking, and then outlines eight steps to improve the PR office’s effectiveness along with the president’s perception of its importance.

Write-Minded: Show Us Your Stuff
CURRENTS Article Readers are a source of knowledge and memories that can enliven an alumni periodical. To encourage readers to offer material for publication, present their voices in many ways, such as through class notes, letters, or opinion surveys. This article offers topic ideas for reader participation features and provides tips for maximizing response.

Tech Support: My Word, Not Theirs
CURRENTS Article Some features of Microsoft Word can be more of a nuisance than a help. This article tells you how to banish the “office assistant,” turn off autocorrection functions, and eliminate the colored lines that flag possible grammar and spelling errors.

AdvanceWork: Internet Disconnect
CURRENTS Article The "most wired" colleges don't always have state-of-the-art Web sites

AdvanceWork: New Cues on Hues
CURRENTS Article To appeal to today’s youth, campuses need to expand their color repertoire in recruitment and marketing publications. Creative use of vibrant hues can attract attention and breathe new life into print materials. To spot current color trends, a design consultant recommends looking at teen fashions and cosmetics, designer paints, and MTV.

Campus Cheerleader Or Independent Press?
CURRENTS Article Is the mission of a faculty-staff periodical to be a good-news mouthpiece for the administration or to objectively report issues and events? A little of each, says Kelly, editor of the internal campus newspaper at American University. She describes how AU’s newspaper developed credibility, built readership, and maintained the administration’s trust even while reporting on controversial issues.

A Crisis of Legendary Proportions
CURRENTS Article Simpson, vice president for public affairs at Indiana University, describes how IU’s communications team handled a six-month media firestorm over basketball coach Bob Knight. The team followed a predetermined crisis communications strategy that called for developing a media relations plan, establishing a single media spokesperson, maintaining open and continuous communications, and expecting the unexpected. Simpson also describes what his team learned from the experience.

AdvanceWork: Names and Faces
CURRENTS Article It's homecoming weekend and you're a frantic alumni relations officer trying to round up graduates for a class photo.

AdvanceWork: The Well-Stocked Editor's Desk
CURRENTS Article Where do alumni magazine editors go to check facts, figures, and style issues?

All Elian, All the Time
CURRENTS Article For the University of Miami news media office, the Elian Gonzalez saga meant a crush of requests for interviews with faculty experts and the university president. The public relations staff found ways to handle the media frenzy judiciously and parlayed it into mentions in more than 1,500 news stories.

Write-Minded: The Inside Story
CURRENTS Article To keep faculty, staff, and students well informed and connected to their institution, public relations staff should put a high priority on internal communications. The author describes the online and print publications created for campus audiences at George Mason University.

Tech Support: Is Your Web Site Media-Friendly?
CURRENTS Article Public relations staff should ensure that their media Web sites meet the needs of reporters and editors. The site should be easy to search and navigate and quick to download; content must be up to date, well organized, and simple to skim, with contact information integrated throughout.

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: Inside Information
CURRENTS Article University of California, Davis designed a Web site to teach faculty members the right way to interact with the media

Write-Minded: I Spy a Story
CURRENTS Article Magazine staff can find story ideas through sources like faculty grant proposals and sabbatical applications, news clips, and student publications, as well as by asking development staff, student telephone callers, and others to pass on the tales or trends they come across.

Data to Benchmark By
CURRENTS Article A survey of more than 400 campus news departments reveals that many suffer from low staffing levels, outdated mailing-list technology, and a mismatch between budget priorities and mission statements.

Make Managing Your Web Site a Mission: Possible
CURRENTS Article Your mission, should you decide to accept it, is to seize control of your Web site.

Tech Support: Come One, Come All
CURRENTS Article Make your Web pages accessible to those with disabilities while you prepare for emerging technologies

Moving Mountains
CURRENTS Article Alumni magazine editors often must operate with insufficient staff. One way to solve the problem is to use freelance writers and editors, student workers, and contract editors. Faculty, professional contacts, communications officers, local journalists, students, and alumni are all potential candidates. The author provides advice on managing outside workers to maximize their usefulness and minimize problems.

AdvanceWork: Pre-flight Checklist
CURRENTS Article It's an exciting feeling: The latest issue of your alumni magazine arrives from the printer, still smelling of fresh ink. Then, the horror. There's the front-cover headline, in all its four-color glory-with a 36-point typo.

Tech Support: Film on File
CURRENTS Article Nordfors, director of publications at Seattle University, describes how he designed a database and filing system to organize photo archives. The system combines database software with a physical filing system using labeled photo sleeves. All staff members can access and search the photo records for photos of specific subjects or general themes.

Cultivating the Benefit of the Doubt
CURRENTS Article One way to head off negative media attention is to develop a constructive relationship with the media. Communicators and campus leaders must look for opportunities to establish personal and intellectual capital with journalists and to build respect and trust. To do this: 1) Help reporters do their jobs by supplying helpful sources and responding quickly. 2) Join local journalists in supporting local charities, and also in supporting the field of journalism. 3) Become a leader in the community -- for example, by joining service clubs or volunteering for community projects.

AdvanceWork: Pardon Our Dust
CURRENTS Article Our students called it a random act of kindness. I called it a photo op.

Write-Minded: Speech Writing that Sings
CURRENTS Article These tips may help speechwriters produce speeches that match the voice and character of the people delivering them: 1) Listen carefully to the speaker's rhythmic flow to pick up on the person's individual quality. 2) Phrase the message to give it the shape and style typical of the speaker. 3) Find out who will be present and what they expect to hear. 4) Expect to be responsible for speaker satisfaction. 5) Rehearse the speech before turning it over to the speaker.

The Accountability Game
CURRENTS Article Mahoney describes a model by which public relations officers can determine quantitative measures for evaluating PR activities. The model blends evaluation with strategic planning by measuring public relations activities against larger program goals. It follows four basic steps: 1) Identify your office's programs, components, and activities. 2) Categorize activities according to standard PR tasks. 3) Select a goal and measurement tools for evaluating each type of task. 4) Measure the activities and analyze the results. Accompanying charts show how Mahoney has applied this model at Australian National University.

Spreading the Good Word
CURRENTS Article Some campuses use special publications to highlight their role in the community and regional economy. The article profiles outreach publications from Ohio University; Clark University; University of California, San Francisco; and American University.

Mending Fences
CURRENTS Article A college addresses strained community relations through intensive research, extensive communication and organizational change.

AdvanceWork: New Year's Listserv Resolutions
CURRENTS Article Listservs, or free online discussions lists, can be both a blessing and a curse.

AdvanceWork: Testing, Testing, 1-2-3
CURRENTS Article As Web Editor Missy DeYoung set out to redesign Drake University's World Wide Web site, she realized that she needed a quick and inexpensive way to survey regular users on possible site enhancements.

Tech Support: Shape Up Your Web Content
CURRENTS Article Institutional Web site content must be focused, concise, current, and personal. To achieve this: 1) Craft the core content on high-level pages to directly support central institutional messages. 2) Make copy brief and present it in small, easily scanned portions. 3) Set an expiration date for your content and work hard to enforce it. 4) Provide content that meets the needs of the individual, using customized pages, "microsites," identifiable spokespeople, and opportunities for feedback.

AdvanceWork: When Professors Talk …
CURRENTS Article … reporters listen. A guide to institutional liability when faculty members speak out of line

AdvanceWork: Fruitful Marketing
CURRENTS Article Last year, Silicon Valley community-college administrators became concerned that the region's four-year institutions were attracting potential community-college students by incorrectly implying that community-college courses take longer to complete and are less relevant to the job market. Administrators needed to get the word out fast that their campuses offer convenient, online, weekend, and evening classes and cutting-edge programs for Internet-related careers. This article describes a collaborative public-service campaign to solve the communication problem.

AdvanceWork: Out of the Loop
CURRENTS Article A Pennsylvania survey finds campus PR pros aren't involved in key decision making

Write-Minded: Talk Amongst Yourself
CURRENTS Article Keiger, a magazine writer, explains how keeping a story journal for a large writing project helps him record and examine observations, impressions, research findings, questions, and other details that contribute to a finished article.

Small Office: Maximizing Output
CURRENTS Article Two directors of small communications offices offer four strategies to help ensure staff productivity: 1) Strategize as a group in weekly planning sessions. 2) Establish credibility with the media by working with integrity and providing information quickly and accurately. 3) Train faculty members in media relations so that their efforts complement yours. 4) Streamline and recycle news releases by sending tip sheets via fax and e-mail, and by finding new angles for stories that aren't picked up on the first pitch.

Got Personality?
CURRENTS Article Alumni magazines should have identities that are as unique as the institutions and communities they serve. To infuse personality into a publication: 1) Make a statement with the cover design. 2) Choose feature topics and approaches that reflect the magazine's personality. 3) Make class notes as unique as your institution's alumni. 4) Use the editor's note to start a conversation with readers. 5) Spend time interacting with members of the institutional community. 6) Use good writing to figuratively bring alumni back to campus. 7) For influences, reach beyond alumni periodicals and look at magazines from all fields. 8) Use humor, in the form of witty headlines, cartoons, or oddball features.

AdvanceWork: "Double" Trouble
CURRENTS Article An impending enrollment glut sends Ontario universities into crisis-management mode

Write-Minded: Global Vision
CURRENTS Article Cultural, historical, linguistic, and legislative factors affect how people interpret what you write. When writing for an international advancement audience, keep in mind these possible sources of confusion: 1) terminology, because the same word can mean different things in different countries; 2) titles, which vary within and between countries; 3) idioms and jargon, which can be hard for people from other cultures to understand; 4) differences in educational and legal systems; 5) sweeping generalizations, which can be offensive or inaccurate; and 6) references to location and money.

Think Different
CURRENTS Article The first commandment for adapting your alumni magazine to cyberspace

Beyond Slogans
CURRENTS Article Use research—not empty phrases—to communicate campus quality

AdvanceWork: Let Their Fingers Do the Walking
CURRENTS Article Problem/Solution

Small Office: Lift the Fog
CURRENTS Article Communicating with faculty and staff is as important to fund raisers as reaching external constituencies. These strategies can help a development office raise awareness: 1) Get the word out through such channels as the annual report, the campus newsletter, and voice-mail and email broadcasts. 2) Recruit and educate volunteers from the faculty and staff. 3) Use unrestricted dollars to offer competitive professional development grants for faculty and staff. 4) Meet and greet campus colleagues by sponsoring social functions, attending division meetings, volunteering for other offices' projects, and having lunches with faculty and staff.

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;

Write-Minded: Once upon a Narrative
CURRENTS Article Storytelling tricks to bring short, factual pieces to life

Closing Remarks: Keep Those Letters Coming
CURRENTS Article Editorial guidelines for alumni correspondents

AdvanceWork: Holding Your Own in a Hostile Interview
CURRENTS Article Five pointers for keeping cool when you're in the hot seat

Herding Cats
CURRENTS Article Nine incentives to keep your publications team purring

Finding the Perfect Fit
CURRENTS Article Five ways to structure the communications office

AdvanceWork: He Said, She Said
CURRENTS Article Problem/Solution

Closing Remarks: Desperately Seeking Sizzle
CURRENTS Article A free-lance writer describes how he finds inspiration in even the least promising subjects for alumni profiles.

Write-Minded: Expert Opinions
CURRENTS Article By writing newspaper op-eds, college and university representatives can help elevate an institution's profile in the eyes of important leaders, donors, alumni, parents, and the media. Capuano, a media specialist at Old Dominion University, tells how ODU has trained faculty members and administrators to write timely and newsworthy op-eds. She also provides tips on placing op-eds with the media.

Handle with Care
CURRENTS Article Public relations officers often must take the lead in handling campus crises -- a job requiring many levels of negotiation, compromise, communication, and implementation. The article describes how five campuses are successfully managing these potentially explosive situations and keeping their institutional reputations intact. Examples include campus protests (Georgetown University), student demonstrations (Henry Ford Community College), alcohol abuse (Michigan State University), racial tension (University of Hartford), and sexual misconduct (University of Toronto). A sidebar provides seven crisis-planning tips.

AdvanceWork: Do You Own the Rights?
CURRENTS Article Can an institution legally post a recent article from its alumni magazine on its alumni website without getting the author's approval?

AdvanceWork: Is Anybody Out There?
CURRENTS Article Problem/Solution

Write-Minded: Fact Check
CURRENTS Article Writers can fact-check articles without surrendering control to sources and subjects. Keiger recommends preparing a fact-check list for each person who supplied information. The document should include a list of all factual details, paraphrased quotations, and judgments the author expects to make. Keiger does not promise to make changes other than correcting factual errors, but he agrees to discuss significant problems.

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.

Tech Support: Pixel-ated Photography
CURRENTS Article Publications managers interested in digital cameras must consider whether to buy now or wait for the technology to improve and prices to drop. Eveland explains how digital cameras work and how they compare to traditional cameras. She describes features to consider in evaluating cameras and discusses what improvements are expected in the near future.

AdvanceWork: Getting Your Points Across
CURRENTS Article AdvanceWork: Getting Your Points Across

Write-Minded: News Alert
CURRENTS Article A media advisory is a one-page, easy-to-digest notice designed to enable busy assignment editors and broadcast producers to evaluate an event's newsworthiness. PR consultant Sims offers these tips to construct a successful one: 1) If your event features several headliners, highlight the one most likely to interest the media outlet you're targeting. 2) Customize your headline and lead for the recip

Tech Support: Confessions of a ProfNet Junkie
CURRENTS Article Little, a public affairs director, describes his use -- and occasional overuse -- of ProfNet, an Internet service that enables public information officers to supply experts in response to reporters' queries. He offers tips to help ProfNet users make the most of the service: 1) Know your faculty members, their areas of expertise, and their comfort with the media. 2) Consider the commitment of time

Not Just for Alumni Anymore
CURRENTS Article Campus communicators can use special events to cultivate relationships with reporters, maintain campus relations, and raise the institution's visibility. PR officers from many institutions describe their success with: 1) nontraditional press conferences designed around themed receptions or hands-on demonstrations; 2) creative groundbreaking ceremonies; and 3) thank-you events for helpful journalists.

AdvanceWork: News They Can Use
CURRENTS Article When Fariss Samarrai joined the University of Miami's office of media relations in spring 1993, one of his first projects was to organize a three-day workshop for reporters on the effects of hurricanes on the southeastern United States. Funded by case's Media Fellowship program, the workshop gave journalists access to the experts at the university's Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science.

Step up to the Mike
CURRENTS Article Media training not only prepares your professors for talking to reporters — it can also add more credibility to your PR efforts

AdvanceWork: Weathering the Storm
CURRENTS Article One year after the Great Ice Storm of '98, campus communicators reflect on what it taught them about crisis management

Write-Minded: Interview Savvy
CURRENTS Article Keiger, a senior writer for Johns Hopkins Magazine, offers tips on how to interview people about uncomfortable topics. In dealing with someone who may be defensive, phrase critical questions hypothetically. If a question seems too personal or relates to a painful situation, confess your own unease and present yourself as someone who can empathize. When you have to ask a controversial question directly, phrase it to avoid sounding threatening. Establish rapport with your subject before venturing into difficult territory, but don't leave the delicate questions for the very end of the session. If you get a highly negative response, change the subject briefly to reestablish good terms before returning to the topic.

Tech Support: Untangle Your Web
CURRENTS Article Good management, not clever design, is essential to an effective Web site. Nielsen, a corporate Web consultant, cites nine classic Web site management mistakes: 1) not knowing why the site exists; 2) designing the site to please only internal audiences; 3) structuring the site to match the structure of the organization; 4) lack of a consistent look throughout the site; 5) underbudgeting for site maintenance; 6) using content that is just a rehash of printed materials; 7) weak links; 8) relying on what users say they want rather than what they need; 9) underestimating the strategic impact of the Web.

Illustrious Possibilities
CURRENTS Article Although photography is the traditional choice for viewbooks, illustration can represent ideas that photography cannot capture, such as an abstract concept; imaginative assemblages of objects, people, and ideas; and situations that are physically impossible to photograph. To create balance, be careful in juxtaposing color photos with color illustrations, and avoid combining illustrations and photo

Get Audited
CURRENTS Article Publications professionals offer 10 recommendations for a successful publications audit: 1) focus your study tightly; 2) invite anyone who is interested; 3) choose the right measurement tool; 4) engage team members from multiple offices and levels; 5) make the work fun as well as substantive; 6) keep an open mind to opinions and insights; 7) evaluate the data and distribute the results; 8) use the

Red-Hot Research
CURRENTS Article The author describes six market research strategies colleges and universities are employeeing to better understand and serve today's campus audiences.

Brand Identity
CURRENTS Article Author, John Lawlor, examines the need for colleges and universities to distinguish themselves from other higher education institutions by creating a brand identity. A school with a brand identity conveys consistency, loyalty, and quality to alumni, students, and the public. Lawlor presents a simple plan for building a brand identity by using the acronym, FACTS. It involves focusing, asking, clarifying, telling and showing, which are the first steps to creating a brand identity for a college or university.

In Advance: Spam-Proofing Electronic Lists
CURRENTS Article A server manager's suggestions to prevent e-mail abuse by outsiders

In Advance: Beyond Wayne's World
CURRENTS Article Community access television can be a cheap, successful part of your campus PR plan

Battle Cry of the Web Managers
CURRENTS Article Cornforth looks at how public relations directors take on the task of building a web team and managing their campus web site. Before pulling together a team, it is important to understand and be able to estimate the number of staff and the skills that will be needed, the appropriate hardware and software support, and the financial resources needed for training and equipment.

In Advance: Rules of Netiquette
CURRENTS Article When sending electronic mail messages to the press, remember to use a business style, don’t add the journalist to your mailing list without first asking permission, send attachments as plain text, keep track of responses, and consider if you would want your e-mail messages forwarded to others.

What Are We Doing Wrong?
CURRENTS Article In an interview with CURRENTS staff, Chronicle of Higher Education managing editor Scott Jaschik describes how those who cover the education beat approach sensitive issues like campus crime, or tuition costs, why journalists may feel thwarted by campus administrators in trying to cover these stories, and how providing more information may be beneficial to educational institutions in presenting an accurate picture of these often difficult situations. Specific examples of the types of information the media may want on various issues are presented.

Finding the Perfect Fit
CURRENTS Article Questions to consider when trying to determine the right size advertising program for your magazine include: 1) who are your readers and where do they live?; 2) who is your competition?; 3) what’s your circulation?; 4) what rates will you charge?; 6) who will sell ads, or coordinate materials and billings?; and 7) what postal rate is best for you? A sidebar article looks at postal restrictions and requirements of two alumni magazine mail classifications.

With Limited Hands
CURRENTS Article How do editors and designers continue to march in the face of understaffed and underfunded departments? Indiana University School of Public and Environmental Affairs director of communications and marketing Bate shares some of her secrets, along with those from Cincinnati Country Day School, Eastern Mennonite University, Drury College, University of Lethbridge, Portland State University, and the Five College Consortium.

Entering the High-Tech Page
CURRENTS Article Editors of Middlebury College, Northeastern University, and Harvard University describe the software and cost-cutting tricks they use to produce quality alumni magazines online.

After Class Notes
CURRENTS Article Former Dartmouth Alumni Magazine editor Heinrichs describes his move to founding editor of US Airways Attache magazine. His advice for campus editors includes 1) focusing on the magazine, rather than all types of related chores and issues; 2) limiting the number of meetings you attend; 3) remembering that campus editors are custom publishers, not journalists; 4) playing up the strengths of the institution; and 5) remembering every magazine needs a mission.

In Advance: The View from Capitol Hill
CURRENTS Article An interview with Constance Cook, author of Lobbying for Higher Education: How Colleges and Universities Influence Federal Policy.

Dealing with Dilemmas
CURRENTS Article The author presents ideas for adding to, cutting back, or simply improving the class notes section of an alumni magazine. If more class notes are needed, consider recruiting a few class correspondents to help gather information on alumni and ongoing special events. If the class notes need to be reduced in size, carefully edit and set limits on the content of the class notes.

Class Notes That Sing
CURRENTS Article Class notes can be distinctive and provide readers with information they are looking for. Make them more appealing to readers by having them reflect real life tragedies or accomplishments of alumni. Including updates on all groups within the individual classes is important. No one wants to feel like their group is continually forgotten in the class notes. And finally, asking questions or opinions of alumni helps to open the door for communicating and sharing within the class notes. A sidebar article looks at how to deal with problem class notes. Suggestions from staff of Mount Holyoke Alumnae Quarterly, Brown Alumni Magazine, Smith Alumnae Quarterly, Williams College, University of Missouri-Columbia, Carnegie Mellon Magazine, Macalester College, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Bethel College, St. Michael’s College, Wesleyan University Magazine, Randolph-Macon Women’s College, Drake, and Worcester Polytechnic Institute are among those included.

In Advance: Just the Facts
CURRENTS Article Give a summary of all your facts—already verified, of course—to reporters in advance of an interview. Keep reporters "on message" during interviews. It won't hurt to restate the key facts—and you can cover yourself by asking reporters to verify they received your materials.

What Do They Expect?
CURRENTS Article Retired University of Richmond professor of communications Tarver outlines a six-step plan for making successful presentations to small groups.

Battling the Smiley-Face Boxer Shorts
CURRENTS Article Offers possible solutions for today’s campus communicators to the five issues listed below. First, how do you contend with the decline of mass media and the rise of info-glut? Second, how can you and your staff cope with and respond to change in the communication field? Third, how does your office combine marketing and public relations for your organization? Fourth, how do you deal with hot-button issues, such as affirmative action and tuition costs? And finally, how do you shy away from the Rodney Dangerfield Syndrome in your own career?

Call in the Experts
CURRENTS Article This article discusses issues associated with alumni organizations hiring outside vendors to design alumni organization Web sites. First, know the total cost of a vendor, including annual maintenance fees and start-up fees. Second, understand that a vendor will bring convenience, expertise, and possible delays to the Web site design process. Third, hire a vendor that recognizes the organization’s need for security and privacy. To conclude, five simple suggestions are offered to those alumni organizations that decide to hire a vendor: assess your needs; consider your options; know what you want; use good business sense; and talk with colleagues. Includes a sampling of online vendors that offer services for alumni.

In Advance: Technology vs. Reality
CURRENTS Article The real deal on eight common misconceptions about hardware and software

In Advance: So Many Clips, So Little Time
CURRENTS Article Tired of clipping newspaper articles about your campus? Tom Krattenmaker of Swarthmore College moved from a paper clipping service to an electronic method and cut his news surveillance costs by more than half. Here's how to do it.

Let's Get Fictional
CURRENTS Article Keiger, a senior writer for the Johns Hopkins Magazine discusses the need to develop the essential elements of strong characterization and strong narrative when writing nonfiction. When characterizing something or someone, focus on what is striking or curious. Try to catch subjects in different settings. What do the surroundings say about the individual? Listen to their speech patterns. Remember that photographs are often included in articles and this reduces the need to use traditional descriptions of people or things. It is important not just to write stories, but to tell them. Consider the place of narrative. Some stories may lend themselves to narrative, some may require that you use a hook. The key for the writer is to pay attention.

Speak Up, Speak Out, and Speak English
CURRENTS Article Like renowned scientist Carl Sagan, many campus researchers would like to increase the public's understanding of science. And it is the communication officer's job to help researchers advance the cause of science and technology. After World War II, funding for science was so readily available that "a science agenda was rarely discussed." But the public is no longer willing to write a blank check in support of scientific research, so it is up to the communicators to articulate to taxpayers how their research funds translate into benefits for society. Surveys conducted by the National Science Foundation show the public is interested in science, but that only 10 percent view themselves as well informed on the subject.

Good Chemistry
CURRENTS Article Cornell University professor of science communications Lewenstein talks about the value of bringing scientists and public information officers together during his workshops. These workshops help reporters and scientists understand what the public wants and needs to know about science. In particular, it’s important to focus on providing the public a means to develop both a practical and civic science literacy. For the most part, Lewenstein finds that campuses do a good job of promoting scientific research news.

Need Visibility? Get Integrated
CURRENTS Article Campus communicators are natural leaders for integrated marketing programs. Here's why—and how to pull it off

In Advance: Bring in the Reporters
CURRENTS Article Eight ways to draw journalists to your online press room—and keep them coming back for more

Research: The First Frontier
CURRENTS Article The author discusses a strategy of student recruitment called competitive positioning. The first step in this process is to research where your institution stands at the present time. It is essential to define a target audience and region, determine what positions the target students value, and define your present position. The second step is to plan a competitive positioning program specifically for your institution. Step three is to execute the strategy and hopefully reposition your institution to attract those students in your target audience.

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