The Push-Pull of Communications and Marketing: Reduce Spending, Extend Reach
The Push-‐Pull of Communica2ons and Marke2ng: Reduce Spending, Extend Reach Michael Warden, APR VP, Ins2tute Communica2ons Georgia Ins2tute of Technology Ron Sauder VP, Communica2ons and Marke2ng Emory University
Emory & Georgia Tech • A rare public-‐private partnership • Top-‐rated Biomedical Engineering Dept. • Also a wide range of other collabora=ons: – Nanotechnology research – Georgia Tech–Emory Center for Regenera=ve Medicine – Emory-‐Georgia Tech Predic=ve Health Ins=tute – TI:GER: patent law and tech transfer • Both of us subject to “pushes” and “pulls”
Do More With Less, or The Marketer’s Lament • Veteran communicators and marketers are used to hearing deeply ambivalent messages from senior leadership. On the one hand: “We’ve got to tell our story beQer.” “This place is the best kept secret in _________ (ﬁll in the blank)." • But on the other: “What’s the ROI for public rela=ons?” “We’ve got to ﬁgure out how to get smarter and leaner.” • In the face of these conﬂic=ng pressures, and as higher educa=on moves ever more deeply into the “new reality” of the Great Recession, communicators and marketers cannot expect to be showered with money.
Constant Needs, Fickle Media • “We’ve got to tell our story beQer” – Trustees o[en say – envisioning front-‐page proﬁles, network interviews • But the Tradi=onal Media are changing rapidly – we are losing channels to reach the mass audience • Just the latest example: the incredible shrinking Washington Post – Newsroom downsizes from 1,000 >> 640 – Coordina=ng cake par=es for depar=ng staﬀers
Post-‐World War II Trends • “Subject” to “Soundbite” – In 1946, 53% of ar=cles in the NY Times men=oning a research university were about that university, focusing on its research or ac=vi=es. – Today, just 15% of ar=cles men=oning a university are about that university – 85% simply cite high-‐stature faculty for soundbite commentary on current events. • Sustained Interest – The New York Times has shrunk in half, while the number of news ar=cles referencing research universi=es has remained constant. – higher educa=on has increased nearly linearly, to 13% of all ar=cles and 21% of all front page ar=cles today. “ … as a whole, universi:es appear to have become news commentators as opposed to news makers.” Leetaru, Kalev & Magelli, Paul. (September 2010). The Soundbite University: 60 Years of University News Coverage.
Lessons for Prac22oners • Be relevant; respond to what’s driving the news • Cul=vate faculty media brands • Media-‐train faculty • Generate media guides “Many universi:es are rela:vely tone-‐deaf in their press contacts, pouring out a constant stream of press releases on a preset schedule. The news media no longer devotes space to the latest university news and instead ins:tu:ons should look for :e-‐ ins with current events and more strongly promote stories with the greatest resonance and relevance to current events.” Leetaru, Kalev & Magelli, Paul The Soundbite University
Extending Reach We suggest three keys to making our bosses happy, at least some of the =me, by extending reach – with no more money -‐ in the “new normal” • Strategic Alignment • Focusing All the Pieces • New and Social Media Key Outcomes: repe22on & consistency
Strategic Alignment • Understanding and aligning ourselves and communica=ons/marke=ng ac=vi=es and programs to ins2tu2on’s strategic plan is cri=cal to delivering value to leadership – Start with the lifeblood of higher educa=on – Admissions, Government and Community Rela=ons, and Fundraising • Start with the ins=tu=on’s strategic plan – then develop a strategic communica2on plan that supports it in tangible, measureable ways
Why a strategic communica2ons plan? • It forces you to think and act strategically • It helps you to say “no” • It makes you look smart • It will help you get a seat at the table • It is expected of top communica=ons and marke=ng execu=ves* *Lori Doyle, SVP, University Communica=ons, Drexel University
Focusing All the Pieces • Uncovering and making use of all of the hidden communicators (and budgets) tucked away throughout our organiza=ons – Touch points you may overlook: • President’s oﬃce • Switchboard • Alumni oﬃce • Admissions oﬃce • Government and community aﬀairs • Not just about “news oﬃce” – Cri=cal both for promo=on and advocacy – vital for crisis communica=ons and issues management
Skep2cism requires repe22on UNITED STATES MAJORITY NEEDS TO HEAR INFO 3-‐5 TIMES TO BELIEVE Ten or more 2mes (10+), Once (1), 6% 10% Six to Nine 2mes (6-‐9), Twice (2), 12% 6% Three 2mes (3), 34% Four or Five 2mes (4 -‐ 5), 32% 3-‐5 2mes 66% Q148. [TRACKING] Think about everything you see or hear every day about companies, whether it is posi=ve or nega=ve. How many =mes in general do you need to be exposed to something about a speciﬁc company to believe that the informa=on is likely to be true? Please enter the number of =mes below. (Excludes ‘Don’t Know’ responses) Informed publics ages 25-‐64 in the U.S.
Georgia Tech Logo: Evolving The Georgia Ins=tute of ® Technology Logo The Georgia Tech Logo ®
New and Social Media • Learn from the Tradi=onal Media – Forced march onto the Web and new media – Washington Post – from front page to home page – and blogs • Reporters required to ﬂag Google-‐friendly key words in their stories before they can be edited … • 35 diﬀerent daily reports track Web traﬃc … • “Editors receive a midday performance alert, telling them whether the site is on track to meet its traﬃc goals for the day. If it appears they might miss their goal, editors will order up fresh content.” NY Times, Jeremy W. Peters, February 12, 2012
What’s grist for the blogs? College Inc.: “The business behind the school” • Much less ‘celebra=on’ of ins=tu=onal • Md. college leaders praise ‘Dream Act’ milestones and • Professors start their own MOOCs accomplishments • College voices: The free online fron=er • Higher ed: The coming disrup=on • Much more consumer-‐ Campus Overload: “Juggle everything: Achieve. oriented And s2ll have fun.” • Obama’s reelec=on sparks racially charged protest at Ole Miss • ISU Republicans mourn loss • R.J. Kirk resigns from U-‐Va. board • How do women up their salaries?
What is Ampliﬁer? • A mul=-‐contributor news blog pairing current issues with commentary from Georgia Tech experts and providing a forum to spotlight, "What does Georgia Tech think?" • Primary goals: – BeQer posi=on Tech as a research/thought leader – Provide a unique forum to posi=on Ins=tute exper=se in social media space – Allow all audiences to par=cipate in a dialogue associated with Ins=tute researchers/experts – Help media more easily connect GT experts with =mely news stories – Create a ﬂow of high-‐value, =me-‐cri=cal content
Ampliﬁer – Current Status • Launched spring 2012• Paired the blog with a Twitter feed where links to commentary are shared with targeted journalists & bloggers “followed” by Georgia Tech staff• Built-in interactivity to allow for monitored comments• Building momentum will take time … already connected Georgia Tech experts with CNN, USA Today, Chris`an Science Monitor and other top tier media outlets• Currently “pulling” info from campus experts – Goal is to eventually have them post their own commentary
Ampliﬁer News Blog hQp://www.ragan.com/Main/Ar=cles/44755.ashQp://www.ragan.com/Main/Ar=cles/44755.aspxpx
Empowering Our Ins2tu2ons • Our best brand ambassadors: faculty and students • Leverage them with new media – Student reporters – put them on YouTube – All-‐pla•orm promo=on of faculty experts – Galloway/AJC
Best Kept Secret • Are Communica=ons & Marke=ng staﬀs and exper=se the “best kept secret” on your campus? • How do we change the conversa=on? • Doing “PR for PR” on campuses…
Contact Info and Therapeu2c Counseling Michael L. Warden email@example.com Ron Sauder firstname.lastname@example.org
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