Communications to Advance Great Ideas

Tips & Ideas

Here are ideas for tackling an array of communications challenges. I add material regularly from my publications and social media accounts. Join me on LinkedIn and Twitter and check in here occasionally for suggestions that can help you and your organization communicate better.



Strategic Planning:

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Key Questions for a Useful Communications Strategy

December 19, 2017

The goal of any communications strategy is to connect the institution with constituents in a way that inspires the desired action. In the education sector, this action can be of many kinds, such as giving, applying, visiting the campus, attending an event, recommending the school to friends or even just coming back for further news. (read more)


Strategic Planning:

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First Steps to Alignment in a Communications Strategy

December 12, 2017

A communications strategy would be easy to create if it didn’t matter how true it was to an individual institution. But of course the main goal of such a strategy is to align a specific place with specific messages to specific audiences to inspire specifically desired actions and emotions. (read more)


Media Relations:

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3 Quick Tips for Writing Opinion Pieces for Media Publication

November 8, 2017

During #2017CAOI Carol Schadelbauer and I represented The Voices Group in sharing tips for scholars on getting opinion pieces ("op-eds") published in newspapers and major online media, including: (read more)


Media Relations:

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7 Takeaways from CASE’s Recent National Media Relations Conference

September 28, 2017

What was the news from the CASE Annual Conference for Media Relations Professionals in Philadelphia last week? Maybe it’s this: the profession has never stood more at the intersection between the public and our institutions. So maybe it’s not a surprise that this was the biggest turnout for this conference in several years. (read more)


Media Relations:

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Creating Strong Faculty Partnerships within Higher Ed Institutions is Key

September 12, 2017

Is there any better response to the public’s many doubts about higher education than to stress the value of our academic mission? The start of the academic year is a good time to make sure we’re doing everything we can to promote it. It is, after all, the primary reason our institutions (and therefore our offices) exist. And since the faculty define the academic mission as teachers and scholars, our communications require a strong partnership with faculty. (Originally posted via Insidehighered.com Call to Action blog


Creative Strategy:

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Seven Strategic Steps to a Radical Website Redesign

May 10, 2017

In 2014, the first sentence of a New York Times column noted that Bucknell University had attracted a record number of applicants. In fact, applications had grown 40% in one year. At least one part of the reason was a website radically redesigned to target admission prospects. The initial data supporting the site's impact were convincing. (read more)


Crisis Management:

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Get Ready Now for the Next Campus Crisis in the Trump Era

February 27, 2017

If there’s one thing the new president has shown us, it’s that his Twitter account can generate its own kind of campus emergencies. A few Fridays ago, his first immigration ban created chaos of many kinds, including in higher education. Besides emergency work to help students, faculty, and staff affected by the ban, many colleges and universities had to quickly address numerous other issues: What are our related policies on enrollment, financial aid, immigration enforcement, overseas study, and more? Which campus offices should be brought immediately into the conversation? Should we make announcements to the campus only, or to alumni and parents too? With what information, and when? (read more)


Media Relations:

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Higher Education’s Postelection Voice

December 14, 2016

In the wake of the presidential election, most analysts have concluded that the higher education community  was one of the biggest losers. American colleges and universities may offer the education the world desires, but people in huge swaths of the country perceive campuses as elitist and full of political views they reject. (read more)


Strategic Planning:

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Self-Awareness in Hiring

May 8, 2016

A colleague asked me the other day if I had any "tricks" for hiring? Having built several teams, I have found one question I value in particular. I learned it about 15 years ago and find it in some ways been the most useful part of any interview. It is based on the principle that self-awareness may be the most essential attribute in any professional. Because if we don't see our own strengths and weaknesses clearly, what are the chances we're going to seek advice (let alone listen to it), seek continued improvement or strive to grow and contribute in new ways to the team? (read more)


Creative Strategy:

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Today's Smartphone Is Tomorrow's Typewriter

July 28, 2015

All of us of a certain generation have had experiences like this: the other day one of my young daughters heard a new word and asked, "What's a typewriter?”

She was born after the smartphone and just before the last new typewriters rolled off assembly lines. So I said, "It’s a device with a keyboard, like the one Daddy uses to type on a computer. Except instead of the words appearing on a screen, they appear on a piece of paper." (read more)

 


Creative Strategy:

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What Happens When You Leave Your World on Your Phone?

July 18, 2015

Recently I swapped out my defunct iPhone for a refurbished iPhone 6. The new phone came complete with dozens of voicemails to the previous owner. It didn't matter that I had first reset it and then restored it with the data backup from my previous phone. I assume she did not erase her phone content when she was done with it. Neither did Apple. Shame on them too. (read more)