Higher Ed Highlights #2: Stories for University Communications and Marketing Professionals

Keeping up on higher education and Marcom trends is important for those of us working in university relations roles. I have started saving some of the stories that seem most relevant and/or interesting, archiving them here on marcommunique.com in a new series I call Higher Ed Highlights.

New editions of Higher Ed Highlights will be published as often as time permits. Let me know what you think.

Marketing and Communications

Why Marketers Increasingly Have to Adjust at Warp Speed to Cultural and Technological Change

There was a ton of talk at this year’s South by Southwest about digital transformation and customer experience, the buzz terms of 2017 so far in the marketing industry. Yet, SXSW speakers’ underlying message was fairly simple: Every brand has to move faster while maintaining strategies.

Telling Your Institution’s Story Visually

It’s time to develop a visual toolkit that will work in tandem with your verbal framework to tell your institution’s story. You can get started by focusing on five areas informed by your research that will, in turn, inform how you present yourself visually.

Lessons to Be Learned From Clickbait: #4 Will Blow Your Mind

Five takeaways for higher ed marketers.

College media relations can wield greater influence in digital age

Higher ed tips for telling your school’s story on a variety of messaging platforms

Leadership Resisting Creativity (short audio podcast)

Leaders say they welcome innovation and new ideas, but do they in practice? In today’s Academic Minute, the University of San Diego’s Jennifer Mueller explains why many organizations actually reject creativity. Mueller is an associate professor of management at San Diego. A transcript of this podcast can be found here.

Professor’s Kids Make Cameo in Live Interview

Many academic parents saw their lives reflected in a BBC interview gone viral last week.

Media Relations in the Age of Clickbait: How to Identify Audience-Building Insights That Help Reporters

“Think like a reporter” is something uttered in just about every PR class. But the pressure that journalists are under for their writing to drive visitors to their publications’ social and Internet pages presents a new opportunity for reporters and PR pros to think alike in order to help each other produce content that gets clicks.

Combating Fake News: How to Protect Our Profession, Clients, and Companies

A few years ago, a university journalism professor invited me to speak to his propaganda class.

While offended that my honorable profession was being lumped into a propaganda class, I accepted an order to educate young minds on PRSA’s Code of Ethics and to put this into daily practice.

First, Best, Most: How Superlatives Help Attract Media Attention

Several years ago, two salesmen I worked with approached me one day and asked if I would write a press release for them. Although I had my doubts about their request, I said I would be glad to help them. I asked what they wanted to announce. They proudly told me they were going to be attending an industry conference in a couple of weeks.

“Oh,” I replied. “Are you presenting as subject matter experts or participating in a panel discussion?”

No, they said.

Tweet Success: Fortifying Your Media Relations via Twitter

“How do we get the press to cover this?” is a question that PR pros often hear from their bosses or clients.

Whether it’s a new product release, special event or routine annual kickoff, we all struggle to generate media coverage. A good PR professional knows that the key to attracting press is to establish rapport with relevant media before you have anything to cover. Educating members of the press and developing long-lasting relationships are critical, and Twitter is one way to achieve those goals.

Important Issues

The Future of Science in an Uncertain Era

The Trump administration fails to realize that the scientific enterprise is an economic multiplier with extraordinary reach, creating jobs from the lab to the land, writes David M. Lodge.

Don’t Just Defend Science, Mobilize It for the People

While science is under attack, it could be an opportunity to advance a much stronger vision of how it can serve the common good, writes Sigrid Schmalzer.

Talking Trump in Class

Communication professor establishes ground rules for political conversations with his students in class. Could they be useful to other academics struggling with how to encourage productive conversations about the president, while not losing control of the syllabus

Will International Students Stay Away?

Four in 10 colleges are seeing drops in applications from international students amid pervasive concerns that the political climate might keep them away.

Scientists Fighting Over Gene Editing Patent

In the world of genetic editing technology known as CRISPR, a major battle is brewing between rival scientists who both feel they deserve the patent.

4 Trends Poised to Transform the Future of Higher Education

At the American Council on Education meeting, one presenter shared his bird’s-eye view insight with attendees

A Promise of Solidarity With Foreign College Students

In response to the White House’s Executive Order titled “Protecting the Nation from Terrorist Entry into the United States,” we as leaders at colleges and universities have had to take decisive action to protect our foreign students and faculty members, and to allay the fears of the many domestic students who travel overseas to study.

One ‘Party School’ Tries to Tame The College Brain

Right in the heart of the University of Vermont, Burlington campus, there’s a big dormitory going up, with room enough for 700 students next fall.

The dorm is being set aside for students like Azilee Curl, a first-year studying neuroscience who has taken a pledge — of sorts — to live out her college career at UVM with her health in mind.

She’s part of a growing group on campus who all live together in a clean-living residence hall, have fitness and nutrition coaches at the in-house gym, and can access free violin lessons, yoga and mindfulness training.

There’s also zero tolerance for drugs and alcohol use here — one infraction and you’re out.

Federal Judge Blocks Trump’s Second Effort at Travel Ban

A federal judge on Wednesday rejected the White House’s second effort to impose a travel ban that colleges have said would damage their appeal to international students and scholars but that President Trump has defended as necessary to protect the nation from terrorism.

In a 43-page ruling, Judge Derrick K. Watson of the U.S. District Court in Honolulu granted a request to issue a temporary restraining order, effective nationally, to prevent the new travel ban policy from being carried out.

Plenty of Work Remains in Effort to Close Higher Ed Gender Pay Gap

It’s no secret that, as a demographic, female faculty, staff­ and administrators at colleges and universities across the nation have long been financially compensated at a much lower level than their male counterparts have.

Moreover, while this remains ostensibly the case, new evidence also seems to suggest that, at least in certain areas of higher education — most notably in administration — some colleges and universities have been taking bold and aggressive steps to both hire and retain women by o­ffering them impressive salaries that are commensurate with those of their male colleagues.

Middlebury Maelstrom

Looking back over the long history of controversial campus speakers, what might colleges do differently to avoid uncivil behavior and disruptions?

The March Madness Application Bump

Schools that perform unexpectedly well in the NCAA Tournament net more prospective students the following year.

Proposals would keep Pell level, but cut work-study and TRIO and eliminate SEOG. In science, the president would make massive cuts to NIH and research at Energy Department. And budget formally seeks to kill NEH and AmeriCorps.

 Trump’s Education Budget Revealed

The administration’s proposal includes cuts to federal aid programs and increased funding for school choice.

Higher Ed Leaders Lambaste Federal Budget Proposal

While the federal budget proposal released by the White House stresses national security and public safety, higher education leaders blasted the spending blueprint Thursday as one that will make college less accessible, less affordable and set back the nation’s workforce and research interests.


What do you think of this new series? Is it useful? Do you have suggestions for making it even better? Let me know.

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