Successful Methods of Engaging the University PR Office with the Folks at Home! 6th Annual University/City Relations Conference University of Colorado-Boulder Marc C. Whitt, Presenter
Successful Methods of Engaging the University PR Office with the Folks at Home! Bridging the Town & Gown Communications Gap Seizing Opportunities to Communicate & Collaborate Engaging With the Community
Life has become much more complicated for the university PR person!
Once upon a time… Prepared News Releases Wrote, Edited & Designed Publications Placed Advertising Organized Special Events Managed Photography Assignments
Today’s Higher Ed PR World… Write and Respond to Hundreds of Emails Per Day Update Social Media Sites 2-3 Times Per Day Attend Several On-Campus Meetings Throughout the Day Put Out PR Fires Prepare Positioning Statements for the President Respond to Media During Campus Crises Maintain Consistent & Frequent Communication with Faculty & Staff Maintain Consistent & Frequent Communication with Students and Student Organizations Maintain Consistent & Frequent Communication with Governing Board Maintain Consistent & Frequent Communication with Alumni Maintain Consistent & Frequent Communication with Media Maintain Consistent & Frequent Communication with Legislative Leaders Respond to Early Morning Calls from Media that Work on a 24/7 News Cycle Organize Special Events Manage Institutional Identity/Branding Oversee Licensing Issues and Agreements Manage Photography Assignments Prepare Print & Electronic Newsletters Prepare Print & Electronic Media Kits Request & Organize Editorial Board Meetings for President Manage University-Wide Marketing Projects/Campaigns Attend More Meetings Prepare News Releases Come to Work Early and Leave Late Respond to Phone Messages on Office Land Line Respond to Phone Messages on Cell Phone Attend Professional Development Conferences Manage Issues And “All Other Duties as Assigned!”
It’s no wonder this has now become the PR person’s survival tool of choice!
Seizing Opportunities to Communicate & Collaborate
Never underestimate the importance of the folks at home! They supported you first!
230 respondents/2,8oo surveyed with Community Relations involvement
Stewarding donation; promoting lecture series; organizing a day of service in city; reviewing & awarding grants to local nonprofits.; packing/ mailing university sweatshirts to high school graduation events typical
2/3 surveyed don’t have “Community Relations” in title
No common office: PR & Marketing, Alumni, Development, General Administrative
Community relations is strategic, has institution-wide impact
Public institutions: government, economic development tie-ins
SOURCE: Mark Kembell, Office of the Dean, Oregon Health & Science School of Medicine, Council for Advancement & Support of Education, April 2009
Eastern Kentucky University Examples of Engaging the PR Operation
Southern Growth Policies Board Community Forum http://www.youtube.com/powerofmaroon#p/search/1/_yH1FKc7l7g
Direct & Indirect Results of Community Forum February 2011 will mark 5th year Best attended community forum in South past 4 years Madison County youth engaged in dialogue with community leaders, vice versa Madison County Superintendent’s Teen Task Force expanded
Ongoing efforts to support what will become Madison County’s FIRST comprehensive economic development plan! Cost? Nearly Nothing! Results? Priceless.
Additional EKU PR Involvements Richmond Chamber of Commerce Richmond & Berea Chambers of Commerce Annual Leadership Trip Commerce Lexington Regional Public Policy Group Bluegrass Tomorrow
EKU Center for the Arts Board (ex officio) International Town & Gown Association (City of Richmond/Eastern Kentucky University) Service Region Chambers of Commerce
Engaging with Community Be Smart. Be Targeted. Use Time Well. And Make Things Happen!