Strategy

How Organizational Structure Impacts Brand

A university’s ability to communicate with students is contingent on its internal systems working efficiently and effectively. Otherwise, the institution risks communicating a disorganized message, misinformation and a confused brand. In this presentation, I walk through some organizational structure ideas as they apply to higher ed and how they affect institutional branding. From there, I talk about how structural barriers can be overcome to help dissipate some of the negative effects.

Social Media Fragmentation vs. Segmentation

Susan Talbert Evans wrote a great post about the difference between fragmentation and segmentation when it comes to social media. My university (11-12,000 students) is about to enter into this discussion so this is a timely, well thought out piece. I work in a centralized comm department and my recent census of school related social media accounts turned up what I consider a whopping 240 Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Flickr accounts (I haven’t canvassed for blogs yet). Our school largely operates under an anything goes policy when it comes to social media which has enabled this kind of growth. Susan’s…

To Centralize or Not to Centralize… That is the Question

McKinsey Quarterly takes a look at the centralize vs. decentralize decision so many organizations face and one, in my humble opinion, which higher ed should ask more often. McKinsey recommends asking three questions to frame productive debates on the subject. From the article: Is centralization mandated? Can it add 10 percent to a corporation’s value? Can it be implemented without negative side effects? A proposal to centralize only needs a yes to one of these three questions. Yet they provide a high hurdle that helps managers avoid too much centralization. Moreover, they stimulate open and rational debate in this highly…

Achieve Your Strategy Through Influence

One step you can take to help achieve your communication strategies is to leverage influencers on the web. You can use tools like the ones below to help determine and judge who are good targets. Once identified, take the time to get to know each influencer and the world that swirls around them: how often do they post, what’s their angle and bias, what’s the tone of the overall conversation, how are you networked to them (if at all), etc. So many people on the web and social media channels simply listen in on the chatter and leave lots of…

Higher Ed: Marry Social & Technology For A Win

Universities are social organizations, but there’s little proof of it in how their technology is thought of, planned or deployed. Sure, everyone now has a set of icons that will whisk people to Facebook, Twitter and beyond, but precious few are really embracing what social really is and how to bake it into their core experience. College campuses are inherently social environments. Classmates are friends, roommates, drinking buddies, dates, teammates, maybe all of the above. At a minimum, a typical undergraduate’s social world is inextricably interwoven with the college experience- they’re one and the same. And yet, so many edu websites…

Peter Merholz Presentation: Upgrade Your Mandate

Higher ed organizations are poorly structured to create exceptional customer experiences across all points of contact. In this talk, Peter Merholz discusses the symptoms of broken organizations and how they can become truly customer-centric.

Tension Between Marketing and Usability: Part 2

In my previous post about the push and pull between marketing a site and making it usable, I try to make the case that the DU site leans too heavily toward marketing when all available data suggests usability is more important. However, on second glance, I believe I need to clarify my stance and I’ll use the home pages from Google and Apple’s developer conferences as an example. My bias is toward a balance between marketing and usability, but the bias gives more initial credence to usability than to marketing. Why? Because you can market the hell out of a…

Tension Between Marketing and Usability: Part 1

Nick Denardis of EDU Checkup critiqued the University of Denver’s redesign and gave it a 94%. Pretty good. He liked the strong visual impact of the homepage, that content was geared toward addressing student needs and that the underlying code was done with SEO and accessibility in mind. What Nick didn’t know, couldn’t know, was the drama and politics that culminated in this particular design. One aspect of this hidden world is what I’d like to discuss today- the tension between the marketing and usability camps. While I’d like to think that both can (should) co-exist to support one another, its…

Entropy and the Web

Websites want to be chaotic. They don’t like order, hierarchy, or staying on brand. Your efforts to tame it or control it are largely futile. The best you can do is point it in the right direction and then keep on eye on it. Turn your head for just a minute and suffer the consequences: broken links, inconsistent messages, oddball layouts, one time exceptions, and so on. We usually clammer for more people, more money and more tools as salvation. They’re not. Those things will solve today’s problems, but new ones will arrive tomorrow. No set of widgets, plug-ins or third…

2 of 4
1234