Archive for the ‘Fall 2009’ Category

SEEN AND NOTED

Seen and Noted

Tuesday, September 1st, 2009

It’s fall and time to rethink all the ways we communicate our messages.

REAL WORLD MARKETING

Miscellaneous observations from an educational communicator’s perspective

Branding the neighborhood, Hon

Tuesday, September 1st, 2009

Branding the neighborhood, Hon Baltimore restaurant owner Denise Whiting did not invent the pink flamingo yard ornament or the beehive hairdo, nor did she coin the salutation “Hon.” But she has taken all of these Baltimore traditions and associated them with the neighborhood of Hampden. When Whiting opened Café Hon on “The Avenue” in Hampden, she encouraged other restaurant and shop owners to take the chance on the area, too. Whiting even createdHonFest, a huge two-day summer festival that celebrates Baltimore’s colorful customs. And now, Hampden is well known as a fun, kitschy place to eat, drink, and shop. At first, it may seem counter-intuitive to call attention to the cheesy and maybe outdated traditions and events that make your institution different, but the point is to stand out from your competitors. Emphasizing your homey, familiar side might just win the hearts of your audience.

REAL WORLD MARKETING

Miscellaneous observations from an educational communicator’s perspective

Fast food joints upgrade their ambience

Tuesday, September 1st, 2009

Fast food joints upgrade their ambience Have you noticed that your favorite fast food restaurants (McDonald’s, Burger King, and Taco Bell) are all getting makeovers? When you walk into one of their newly renovated locations, you have to stop and wonder if you walked into the wrong place. This building with modern décor and ambient lighting can’t possibly have your favorite #3 value meal on the menu…can it? Yes, it can. But does the new interior make the food taste better or improve your experience? We think that a comfortable atmosphere contributes to the experience of comfort food. Furthermore, an improvement in experience improves customer loyalty to the brand.

REAL WORLD MARKETING

Miscellaneous observations from an educational communicator’s perspective

Capitalizing on distinctiveness

Tuesday, September 1st, 2009

Capitalizing on distinctiveness Taco Bell has rolled out heavy marketing for the limited-time addition to their value menu, the Black Jack Taco. They have done what we advise our clients to do—take whatever it is that makes you or your program unique and find memorable ways to emphasize that specific characteristic. Television and radio spots promote and emphasize the unusual color of the new taco, making a connection to black boots, black dresses, and even black sheep in an edgy, seductive way. Social networking sites are buzzing with references to the black taco, both good and bad. But the point is, they are buzzing. What can your marketing do to get people talking about your school?

REAL WORLD MARKETING

Miscellaneous observations from an educational communicator’s perspective

Coming unglued over see-through envelopes

Tuesday, September 1st, 2009

Coming unglued over see-through envelopes I’ve noticed an increase in the number of transparent cellophane envelopes in my mailbox. Many of these pieces arrive from photographers and artists, but I’ve seen them used to carry admissions pieces from colleges, too. The see-through stock allows you to entice the recipient with a preview of the letter’s content. At first glance, it makes brilliant sense—but there is a downside that should be considered. The glue that holds the envelope together is also visible, and it is not pretty. The stock is quite brittle, making it difficult to open. Add to these disadvantages the need to place a label on the face of the envelope, which creates another visual distraction. My conclusion? What appears to be a good solution is really a problem in disguise. I’d rather focus my energy on great copy or images imprinted on a non-transparent envelope.

REAL WORLD MARKETING

Miscellaneous observations from an educational communicator’s perspective

Going green goes the distance

Tuesday, September 1st, 2009

Going green goes the distance  The recent Baltimore Marathon was one of the first “green” races in the country. All clothing items discarded during the race were donated to the Salvation Army. All cups and other trash were recycled. All commemorative t-shirts were made from recycled materials. Organizers must have known that participating in eco-friendly activities matters to people. According to a global study on consumer response to climate change:

  • 79% of consumers would rather buy from companies doing their best to reduce their impact on the environment
  • 89% of people are likely to buy more green goods in the next 12 months
  • 74% of consumers feel they can actively contribute to solving climate change

(Conducted by IPSOS over nine countries—US, UK, Germany, France, Spain, Mexico, Brazil, India, and China—using over 11,000 online interviews and 18 focus groups)

Take a look at your campus activities and ask, could this be made green? After all, it’s not just about capturing more of the green market, it’s more about positioning your institution as a leader in preserving the environment for future generations.

REAL WORLD MARKETING

Miscellaneous observations from an educational communicator’s perspective

Admissions departments enlist student bloggers

Tuesday, September 1st, 2009

Admissions departments enlist student bloggers  GCF interns, Beth Kelley and Jenna Mucci share: The very first thing I do when I’m about to schedule classes for the upcoming semester is visit ratemyprofessors.com and scroll through the numerous blogs about instructors. Over the years, these blogs have helped me choose my ideal professors. Recently, colleges and universities have begun placing student blogs directly on their admissions sites. In these blogs, current students write about classes, professors, events, politics, gossip, and an endless array of other topics. Not every school has been eager to feature non-edited student blogs, but institutions such as MIT, William & Mary, and UMBC have already embraced the concept. There are many things to consider when choosing a class or a college. Student blogs provide an insider’s perspective that helps round out the available information.

REAL WORLD MARKETING

Miscellaneous observations from an educational communicator’s perspective

Mixed message of the month

Tuesday, September 1st, 2009

Mixed message of the month  Sloppy punctuation makes this sign humorously confusing. But there’s a serious lesson to learn: Why give audiences a chance to get the wrong idea? Better to be clear up front and avoid having to eat your words later.

FEATURE : A conversation with Judy Phair: communicator, marketer, innovator

A conversation with Judy Phair: communicator, marketer, innovator

Tuesday, September 1st, 2009

How did you get started in higher education?
“I came in through the back door. I was a reporter and moved because my spouse’s job moved. We went from Chicago to Cincinnati, Ohio. I looked for a reporting job there and took a job with University of Cincinnati instead. It seemed more interesting, so I took it. I was a public information officer—PIO. Basically the job was similar to a newspaper reporter. There were departments you were charged with covering. It was a lot of fun. I had a wonderful time learning about so many areas. I worked with students as well, and it was very exciting to learn so much that stretched my communications skills. I liked the stimulation of the academic setting and was intrigued by the multiple constituencies that needed tailored messages. There was a team of about five writers and news gatherers that drew a picture of the university for the outside world.

Where are you currently working?
“I’m currently at the Graduate Management Admission Council, the international association of graduate admissions. We also orchestrate the GMAT. GMAC was founded in 1953 by deans to administer their own tests. I have been there three years, and my role is to head the communications department, which includes PR, print, and electronic communications. We are getting into social media, and every media release includes Twitter and Facebook. We also revamped our website, blogging, and Facebook pages for our conferences, and are looking at a host of other things.

“India and China are big markets for us. The growth of international students who are interested in business is huge, especially in graduate management.

How is educational marketing different, or is it?
“I think the major difference between an airline and a university is the audience. The neat thing is the diversity of the audience and the different needs. Students, faculty, parents, alumni, state legislators, the federal government, etc., are all part of the audience. And now we have to deal with international audiences. There are also many differences in the programs within the university. All need plans. It requires a lot of sensitivity to the multiple audiences who will see and react to the messages.

How has educational marketing changed?
“The big change has been the advent of the Internet, now with viral marketing, 24/7 news, and the need to get information out quickly—ready or not. A minor incident ends up on YouTube and becomes a crisis. Information is seen by more than the targeted audience. You have to know the implications of the message as it is seen by every audience. Your message will end up all over the world. Everything is everywhere.

“Social media has given us incredible ways to get the message out. It’s opened ways to reach people that we have not had before.

“The age of students forces us to constantly change and respond. Things can be out of date or out of style in six months.

What are the current marketing challenges?
“This is a very volatile market. You also don’t know how well social media is working. Twitter is in vogue right now, but it may be on its way out. Technology is hard to measure and know how effective it will be. This makes it time-intensive and expensive.

“Another challenge is the economy. It has had an enormous impact and will for some time to come. The jobs that have been lost will be a while in coming back. That poses challenges in the way to implement new needs. Customer care is critical, but the resources aren’t there.

“The challenge to be authentic and transparent is critical. You won’t be able to communicate as effectively if you are not authentic and transparent. Young people have lived in this high-pace environment their whole lives. They don’t want to be over marketed to. You have to be very responsive.

“The customization of marketing is expected. What does the audience want to know and how do they want to get that information? This drives everything. They want what works for them. It’s consumer driven.

What are the rewards?
“I think it’s more exciting than ever to be in educational marketing. There are all kinds of new challenges, but the opportunities are just incredible. Education is changing in ways I never thought it would change. There are a lot of new models, new modes of education, new ways of teaching, and lots more ahead. We need to prepare for the unexpected and learn how to be a jump ahead of everything.

“All this points to what I’ve believed all along, that research is more important than ever and needs to be done more frequently than ever. If you have research in place you can be ahead of the changes.”

Judy Phair is a public relations executive with extensive experience in marketing, media relations, fund raising, legislative relations, and communications. As vice president, communications, for the GMAC, Judy leads the Council’s worldwide strategic communications planning and oversees all marketing, advertising, media relations, and publications activities. Previously, she was vice president for public affairs at the Council on Competitiveness, a nonpartisan, nonprofit Washington, D.C.-based association of corporate chief executives, university presidents, and labor leaders working together to set a national agenda for U.S. leadership in global markets, technological innovation, and education. She has also served as vice president for institutional advancement at the University of Maryland Biotechnology Institute, assistant dean of external relations at Johns Hopkins University, and vice president for public relations at Goucher College.

FEATURE : Branding the newest school in America’s first research university

Branding the newest school in America’s first research university

Tuesday, September 1st, 2009

At The Johns Hopkins University Carey Business School, we are committed to transforming business education through a uniquely humanistic, integrated approach to instruction and research.

The statement above lies at the core of the branding strategy for Johns Hopkins’ newest program—the Global MBA of the Carey Business School. GCF is working with the School to create materials that convey the program’s emphasis on business with humanity in mind. The program will cover the essential subjects of business education but with an innovative academic structure and a philosophy of producing students who want to profit society as well as turn a profit.

The Johns Hopkins Carey Business School shares the Johns Hopkins University’s dedication to improving lives on a global scale by addressing pivotal societal issues, including health, poverty, education, and environmental sustainability through rigorous research and education.

NOTEWORTHY

Amore

Tuesday, September 1st, 2009

Amore  Domenica’s shot taken in Sicily is the opening spread in the latest issue of UCDA Designer magazine.

NOTEWORTHY

Changing other people’s minds

Tuesday, September 1st, 2009

Changing other people’s minds Sensing the motives and feelings of others is a natural talent for humans. The more interesting—and difficult—question for marketers is how to change what other people think and believe. In her TED talk, “How we read each other’s minds,” scientist Rebecca Saxe shares fascinating lab work that uncovers how we can alter the way the brain thinks about other people’s thoughts.

NOTEWORTHY

Cell phone apps for college students

Tuesday, September 1st, 2009

Cell phone apps for college students  Cell phones can do more for college students than just distract them when they’re supposed to be listening to a lecture or studying for upcoming exams. New apps like Exambusters study cards, graphing calculators, iHomework, foreign language apps, StudentDocket, and more help the studious get organized and prepared.

NOTEWORTHY

How to tweet in higher ed

Tuesday, September 1st, 2009

How to tweet in higher ed  Do colleges and universities belong on Twitter? Of course! But not in the way you might think. This article lists ten tips for edu-marketers looking to join the conversation on Twitter. The basic premise of the author’s advice? Be represented by an individual with personality and sincerity who can become a functioning member of the Twitter community.

NOTEWORTHY

Desperately seeking…something

Tuesday, September 1st, 2009

Desperately seeking…something Seeking: that’s what scientists are calling the insatiable human desire for information. It’s the behavior that makes us love Google, Twitter, text messages, and emails. According to this article in Slate Magazine, the problem with seeking is that our brains are more stimulated by the search than by the findings. That’s why when you sit down at the computer to Google one phrase, you sometimes “wake up” an hour later to find that you’ve gotten completely off track. The more we seek, the less likely we are to find the satisfaction we are looking for. It’s the behavior, not the results of the behavior, that’s turning us on. Maybe it’s better, then, to turn the “Crackberry” off once in a while.

NOTEWORTHY

Pyramid scheme

Tuesday, September 1st, 2009

Pyramid scheme  Dassault Systèmes, a French software company, spent 5,000 hours creating a 3-D computer simulation of the construction of the Great Pyramid. The animation is interactive and allows the visitor to rotate, zoom in, out, and fly over the site. The result is breathtaking. You’ll need to wait a minute or two to download viewing software, but it is well worth the wait. The simulation visualizes a new and thought-provoking theory on the construction of the pyramid. Read our article about the genius behind the theory in last winter’s issue of Cram.

COOL TOOLS

Cool Tools

Tuesday, September 1st, 2009

Customize your Google
Personalize your favorite search page with iGoogle. Choose themes for the search bar at the top of the page, and then select modules for the rest of your home page (such as weather, mail, news, Google calendar, Sudoku, etc.).

Practicing world-wide business on the world wide web
The Global Business Strategy Simulation helps students of business learn how to participate in a global economy. Players from around the world compete with each other by creating a brand for their company and measuring their financial performance by earnings per share, return on investment, stock price appreciation, and credit rating.

Textbooks for rent
Rising textbook costs have been in the news for a while, so it’s no surprise that textbook rentals (such as CampusBookRentals.com) are becoming more popular. Now institutions around the country are joining the movement to rent books to students. Does your bookstore rent textbooks yet?

Stitch multiple images into stunning panoramic campus shots
We’re very impressed with the results of PTGUI, a panoramic photo stitching software that is available for both Mac and Windows platforms. How easy is it? The software allows you to take photos of your subject without worrying about consistent camera angle or level. It then stitches the images together seamlessly with wonderful results.

CLICK-ALICIOUS

Click-alicious

Tuesday, September 1st, 2009

Fun and/or informative links for the discerning info-snacker.

Need a fresh photographic eye on campus? [ o ] Bill Denison is one of the best!

First there was the news ticker, and now there’s Newsdeck. USA Today created this web page that divides headlines into eight specific categories for your information pleasure: News, Travel, Money, Sports, Life, Tech, Nation/World/Health, and Offbeat. If you click the white arrow at the top of each box, you can find links to the most popular stories in each category.

Google and Hasbro have taken a venerable pastime to a whole new level with Monopoly City Streets. The online game uses Google maps as the board.

For a mentally stimulating diversion, try Sporcle.com. Take new quizzes every day in various categories such as entertainment, sports, geography, history, literature, movies, music, science, and television.

Here’s an ingenious gift for the person who loses track of time: an ink calendar that works by itself.

Need a moment’s entertainment? This fun and oddly touching short film breathes life into airport pictograms.

Be careful how you format that email, or you might find yourself out of a job.

Taking the stairs just got a whole lot more fun.

Sharp Foam: oxymoron yes, beautiful art yes.

JUST FOR FUN

Fun and/or informative links for the discerning info-snacker.

Just For Fun

Tuesday, September 1st, 2009

Going mad for Mad Men.

A fun and creative way to engage people.

FEEDBACK

Do you have comments, questions, or story ideas that you’d like us to cover in an upcoming issue of the Cram Quarterly? If so, email Brenda or call her at 410-467-4672.

SUBSCRIBE

Know someone who would like to be on our newsletter mailing list? If so, click here.

If you would like to unsubscribe from our mailing list, please click here.