Education Leah Holmstrom Introduction to Public Relations November 11, 2010
Colleges and Universities Higher education is big business in the United States. 16 million students are enrolled at more than 4000 colleges and universities. Almost every one of these institutions has personnel working in public relations, marketing communications and fund-raising.
Development and Public Relations Offices The president, or chancellor, is the chief public relations officer. Large universities: the vice president for development and university relations is responsible for: Supervising the office of development Division for alumni relations The office of public relations Smaller institutions combine these functions
Development and Public Relations Offices Development and alumni personnel: Seek to enhance the prestige and financial support of the institution Conduct meetings and seminars Publish newsletters and magazines Arrange tours Maintain a public relations web page for the institution
Responsibilities of Personnel Build alumni loyalty Considered the major foundation of any fund-raising effort Fund-raising has increased in recent years. $31.6 billion in 2002, which represents 13% of charitable giving that year. Generate funding from private sources Donors who are not alumni Donations based on their interest in a particular field of study
News Bureau Most visible aspect of a university public relations program Produces hundreds of news releases, photographs, and special columns and articles for the print media Prepares programs of news and features about faculty activities and personalities for stations Provides assistance and information for reporters, editors, and broadcasters affiliated with the state, regional and national media Responds to hundreds of telephone calls from news media and public seeking information.
Serving the Publics Public relations specialist must be a part of the management team of the institution Attend all top-level meetings involving the president and other administrators Learn the whys and wherefores of decisions made Lend counsel Then Develop action programs Respond to questions from the publics those programs concern
Faculty and Staff Involvement Able college presidents involve their faculty in decision making to the fullest extent possible. Faculty and staff serve as major public relations representatives. Communication through: E-mail Internal newsletters and newspapers Periodic meetings at which policies are explained and questions are answered.
Faculty and Staff Involvement Faculty and staff who fully understand the institution’s philosophy, operations and needs generally will respond with heightened performance Example: The University of Georgia sought $2.5 million in contributions from its faculty as a part of an $80 million bicentennial enrichment campaign. The faculty contributed nearly $6 million dollars, more than double what the school had anticipated.
Student Involvement Students make up the largest public relations arm that an institution has. Determinants of students allegiance to an institution: Quality of teaching Sound administrative attitude toward student body Involving students as much as possible in decisions that affect their campus life Communication Student publications Broadcast stations
Government Involvement State and federal governments hold the vital key to whether or not an institution is receiving sufficient monies to maintain facilities, faculty and programs. Large institutions have someone, a government relations coordinator in most cases, who regularly monitors the state legislature. This person’s work involves Competing with other state institution for money Defending proposed increases in higher-education budgets and protecting against cuts Establishing an institution’s identity in the minds of legislators Responding to lawmakers’ requests for favors
Community Involvement Colleges and universities must maintain a good relationship with the community in which they are located. Faculty and staff are encouraged to achieve community visibility through work with civic and other organizations.
Prospective Students Many institutions have turned to highly competitive recruiting methods to lure prospective students. Extensive advertising in print and broadcast media and on billboards Brochures with four-color, slick materials that use bright graphics and catchy headlines The web
Elementary and Secondary Schools Public relations professionals at this level are faced with many contemporary issues. Necessity for sound community relations. Primary publics: Teachers Children Parents Staff The community
Building Community Support When an issue is brought forward it is the public relations professional’s job to come up with a plan that can include: News releases TV and cable messages Fliers or brochures to parents and community members
Crisis Communication For any type of emergency such as, sudden loss of utilities, fires, school shootings, bomb threats, a communication plan should be in the ready. The public relations professional(s) should be prepared to: Deal with various media outlets Help the community deal with any tragedy Restore calm and confidence in the school system