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…

Where Higher Ed Sites Need To Go

The single most important thing higher ed websites can do is change the fundamental organizing principle away from the org chart (content organized via department) and toward people. This means organizing content via degree programs which represents the fundamental connection point between student and school. User tests show that students have consistent informational needs when deciding which university to attend: Do you have a program of study that interests me? Can I afford that program? Does the school’s culture/vibe feel right (will I fit in)? Grad level students’s needs will lean more towards faculty, their interests and research opportunities away…

Calculating Social Media ROI? Is it Possible?

There’s a lot of talk about how to measure the ROI of social media. For marketing campaigns, it can be captured easily enough: track people from exposure to sign-up or purchase or whatever the final goal is and then compare that against what the campaign cost. However, for social media interactions without any predefined parameters of success, the ROI debate needn’t happen. For example, does anyone track the dollar value of a sales clerk who answers a customer question while they’re going about their primary job duties of stocking shelves, cleaning up, etc.? No, because answering customer questions is the price…

Life After Grad School

My MBA program ends in four weeks. In no particular order, a short list of my immediate plans: Read a book of my own choosing Help myself to a hell of a nice bottle of wine Once again go to the gym, snowboard and rock climb Nothing, absolutely nothing, just sit there and have no cares Sell a few textbooks (thanks Bree!) Play the guitar again (what did I do with it, come to think of it?) Revamp this site- long overdue

If Steve Jobs Never Returns…

I know a few Apple haters. You probably do too. They dislike that Apple is “closed,” “elitist,” “think they know best,” or otherwise. I can appreciate those opinions and why they exist. I can also understand the thought that Steve’s recent departure (maybe forever?) is the beginning of the end for Apple. I understand and appreciate all of these ideas, I do. But I always come back to one conclusion, however subjective it may sound: As an Apple customer, I’ve been the beneficiary of the best computer products ever made in their time- innovative, easy, elegant. Apple detractors, on the…

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…

What Marco Said…

Marco Arment’s post about the Android/Windows Phone 7/etc. market is spot on. I’m continually at a loss as to why companies in this market make it a priority to pump out new and different products as quickly as possible. Their product mix becomes so fractures it confuses customers. Now, none of these companies owns the entire vertical to the extent that Apple owns theirs which is the core of the problem. Since there isn’t tight integration (companies would likely disagree with me on that point), they can’t create a single (or, at the very least, a small number) of well…

5 of 10
123456789