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 […]

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 […]

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? […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Health Care Bill(s) & (Many) Higher Ed Websites

Some random connections: Similar in that the “solutions” don’t account for the real audience that matters: patients / students Similar in that those with ultimate decision making authority are swayed too much by lobbyists and insiders Similar in that those in positions of power tend to be too insular in their thinking and don’t go […]