Do emoticons have a place in the workplace? Check out this article and let us know your thoughts!
At this year’s AMA Symposium in Chicago, Paige Booth of St. Edward’s University and I, hosted a “salon.” “What is a salon?,” you ask. It’s an informal gathering under the roof of an inspiring host (yours truly!) held partly to amuse but also to share knowledge through conversation. (Definition modified from wikipedia.) For years, Paige has been suggesting to me that the AMA should hold some sort of event for chief marketing officers; an event that would allow them to get to know each other, share their experiences, and learn from one another. So, this year, we agreed to host a salon in my suite at the Marriott. We invited a small group of VP level higher education marketers…..and every single one accepted the invitation. Clue #1 that this was a good idea.
We met for a few hours on Tuesday afternoon after the luncheon keynote session. Attendees included:
- Teri Luce Thompson, VP for Marketing and Media, Purdue University
- Heather Swain, Interim VP for University Relations, Michigan State
- Terry Flannery, VP for Communications, American University
- Tony Proudfoot, Associate VP for Marketing and Communications, Ball State University
- Marie Power-Barnes, Associate VP for Marketing, Thomas Edison State College
- Paige Booth, VP for Marketing and Enrollment Management, St. Edward’s University
- David Perry, Chief Marketing Officer, Bentley University
- Patricia Geraghty, VP of Marketing and Communication, Marquette University
- Eric Maguire, VP of Enrollment and Communication, Ithaca College
- Jason Simon, Director of Marketing and Communication Services, University of California System
- Camille Barkley, Director of Marketing and Creative Services, Auburn University
- Deedie Dowdle, Executive Director of Communications and Marketing, Auburn University
We spent some time just getting to know each other and comparing notes on positions, staff sizes, roles, and responsibilities. Then we had a good discussion about “wins” and “challenges.” When 5pm rolled around, we had drinks and snacks and continued the lively about developing a focused brand, working with boards and cabinets, the creative process, visual identity, and org structure.
In my opinion, what made the salon productive was that we were in a private, quiet space with a small group of select high-ed marketers. Everyone was at the same level and facing similar challenges. It was the kind of discussion where we all agreed, “what is said in the salon, stays in the salon!”
Paige and I are thrilled with this “test” and definitely plan to expand on it for next year. We might bring in a high level speaker to stimulate our thinking and give us new issues to discuss. We certainly hope to make it an annual event!
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What has the Penn State scandal taught University presidents? The Washington Post asked a group of DC-area presidents and, in response, they said three lessons emerged:
- Create a culture of openness and protect whistleblowers.
- Ask tough questions, even when a school’s image is at risk.
- Strengthen oversight of athletics.
The Penn State scandal not only raises questions about the culture of college athletics, but it encourages all of us to more diligent about how universities are run.
I ran across this graphic the other day and was immediately pulled in by the image and the text. I definitely fall somewhere in between with many left brain attributes (I love the familiar, I love to categorize, I am order, I am logic, I know exactly who I am) and a few right brain ones as well (I am the urge to paint on an empty canvas, I sense, I feel). Would love to hear where YOU fall on this left brain/right brain debate!
The text reads as follows:
“I am the left brain. I am a scientist. A mathematician. I love the familiar. I categorize. I am accurate. Linear. Analytical. Strategic. I am practical. Always in control. A master of words and language. Realistic. I calculate
equations and play with numbers. I am order. I am logic. I know exactly who I am.”
“I am the right brain. I am creativity. A free spirit. I am passion. Yearning. Sensuality. I am the sound of roaring laughter. I am taste. The feeling of sand beneath bare feat. I am movement. Vivid colors. I am the urge to paint on an empty canvas. I am boundless imagination. Art. Poetry. I sense. I feel. I am everything I wanted to be.”
SimpsonScarborough discussed with Patricia Geraghty, Vice President for Marketing and Communications at Marquette University her thoughts on the marketing research SimpsonScarborough recently conducted for Marquette.
Q. You conducted extensive marketing research to prep for the arrival of Marquette’s new President in June 2011. What was the purpose behind the timing?
A. Our new president, Scott Pilarz, said from the day of his announcement that his first priority would be “listening and learning.” Our image and branding study, which included extensive qualitative research with five different external audiences, was really a form of listening. It brought the opinions of the outside world inside the university, contributing to an even more complete picture of Marquette and its opportunities.
Q. What were the primary questions you were attempting to answer through the research?
A. We wanted to identify Marquette’s perceived competitive strengths and weaknesses and how they could differentiate us. We also wanted to understand how different programs at the university contributed to the overall brand. While we’ve used market research consistently with prospective students and alumni, we wanted to dive into some new audiences, including higher education peers, community leaders and employers.
Q. How are you using (or planning to use) the resulting marketing intelligence?
A. For the marketing team at Marquette, which I have the privilege to lead, we are integrating it into almost every goal that we have for the next three years. In particular, we’re exploring new initiatives and partnerships with faculty and academic leadership; the research clearly showed that it is their work that makes the biggest difference to the all-important outcome of academic reputation, so what can we do together? And its helped us specifically hone in on how we talk about Catholic and Jesuit identity, which form the foundation of our brand, but which are often misunderstood in the marketplace. Long-term, we’ll use the data to benchmark our progress. I also expect that it will be helpful in the next round of strategic planning at Marquette, providing a starting point for questions about identity and reputation.
Q. What advice would you have for another university embarking on the same body of marketing research?
A. Establish good partners for the process; I was able to work with Marquette’s Vice Provost for Undergraduate Programs, and he provided great counsel and leadership at key points along the way. I would also make sure you dedicate the right internal resources to the project, especially at the beginning. There can be a lot of heavy lifting in terms of survey design and list management, but that good work up front will pay off in the end.