Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Integrated marketing in higher education: Nice work at Portland State University

I had a chance recently to hear people at Portland State University talk about what they are doing in social media as part of their overall brand marketing. I was impressed.

At the gathering of District 8 of the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education, PSU and others are recognizing that universities face great challenges: greater competition for students, faculty, research dollars and donor support. If you factor in the rise of for-profit universities, online learning and a new thinking in how state and federal governments relate to higher ed -- it's a new world. All the more reason to work harder to differentiate your institution and better tell you story. Success means a strong institutional commitment, a well considered plan and measures, execution by people with authority, message discipline and a relentless focus on evaluation and re-assessment. Oh, and some resources. If you don't invest in this effort, you can be certain of falling behind competitors who are making smart investments.

Here's a link to PSU's marketing page. And check out their photo contest.

The people of PSU said one of their foundations for their marketing was a video that sought to capture the essence of their university. Doing such a video is ambitious and risky. So many institutions are doing these -- so how do you re-invent the messages of academic excellence, the student experience and transformation that awaits those for whom your school is a great fit? What visual "vocabulary" and style do you use?  Here's what PSU did. One noticeable element: they embraced the character and beauty of Portland. What do you think?

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