Day 2 in Singapore

Posted by Brad J. Ward | Posted in Technology | Posted on 24-02-2009-05-2008


Day 2 in Singapore! I’m only going to be here for the beginning because I leave at 3:30am tomorrow and want to get a little sightseeing in.

Today’s all-star speaker is @tomabbott.  Very smart guy, lots of great ideas.  Anyone who can compare Shakespeare to Gen Y and then follow up with a great demonstration using @zefrank gets 2 thumbs up from me.

Digital Transparency – Tom Abbott, Online Communications Office, University of Warwick

Take extraordinary and make it ordinary.  A lot of this is new but different. Needs to become a fabric of who we are. Students expect it.

How do we as universities take the extraordinary and just make it the ordinary? Mentions that what I talked about in my presentation yesterday might seem new and different, it needs to just become a fabric of who we are. Students will expect it.

The digital challenge is not the technological challenge.  It’s more social, ethical, etc.

Have to provide content when they want to access it, not only when you want to provide it.

Nike: “For us, it makes no sense to use anything other than digital to connect with customers.”  Just Do Digital. Audience is not reading newspapers or watching television.

You have 1 mouth and 2 ears, use them in that ratio. You have to LISTEN.

Provide something of value, or people won’t really care and won’t stick around.

Digital media = look at Obama.  But can he transition all of this digital media and all of these people who have bought in to him to the governmental space? Do they stick with him when the honeymoon is over?

What IS a digital University? Blogs, iTunesU, open courseware, wikipedia, etc. The full package.

Check out eduPunk.

Research-TV : initative by the University. VNR service for university research using a partnership model.  Free to broadcasters via satellite. Was providing video online and embeds way before it became the norm.

Warwick Blogs – built its own platform rather than using WordPress or other platform. Sold it to VP’s as a ‘reflective environment’, but it became more of a social network.

http:/ – 5753 different blogs, 116257 entries. 120,707 images.  Discussive environment with interaction.  1.7 comments per post on average. Generated by Warwick students (Long Tail!!) Much of the social interaction of Warwick Blogs is shifting to Facebook and Bebo. The content is becoming more educational in nature.

Warwick blogs is a great place to explore what students think of the University and what their experience is like.

Warwick Podcasts - Just did it.  Figure if they got a committee together to do it they’d still be talking about it. (LOL!!!)

All sorts of subjects and topics.  Great way to get the academics comfortable of moving beyond text to talk about research and teaching. Warwick Arts Centre, Writing Challenges, Medieval Islamic Medicine, A Short History of Symmetry, etc.  Some getting as many as 4,000 downloads a week.

Most of it is self-produced by academics, they produce the rest.

Warwick iCast - Took audio approach from podcast and switched to video. 140,000 views on YouTube.  Used an outside agency to produce.

Digital Press and iTunes U – Launched in January. Not exclusive arrangement, can use with any channel. After first 5 weeks, 56,000 downloads. 4 promotions on iTunes U homepage. Modes of reading – 5 downloads a day to 250. Positive feedback from users. Student interest in production is huge.  Academic engagement is increasing. Relevant and exciting content at the right time will help get promoted by iTunesU.  Do relevant content.  i.e. Obama in January, Darwin last few weeks, etc.

Showed some examples from iTunesU. The 3 we saw were videos.  I always think of iTunesU as audio podcasts. Good reminder.

Social Media - No ‘official’ presence, but they are listening and answering questions and addressing comments when they need to. Be aware of the conversations going on. “If Twitter means nothing to you at this point, it will in about 6 months time.”

A few themes to finish:

  • Creativity and Innovation
  • Environment (Learning Spaces available for students to collaborate in. Learning Grid is a ‘social space’ for students that allows them to rearrange the area into spaces that they can work in.) Collapsible cardboard video booth that you can put on campus and capture student input and insight on video.
  • Management and Capacity (resources.)
  • Skills and Capability – don’t need to teach Gen Y how to do it, DO need to teach academic/staff though.
  • Sustainability  – budget, getting organizational buy-in.
  • Brand and Reputation
  • Importance of Transparency

Great presentation, Tom!  And a good conference overall. I’ll post more thoughts later. Take care!

Blogging from Singapore

Posted by Brad J. Ward | Posted in Technology, Thoughts | Posted on 23-02-2009-05-2008


Photo by Christopher Chan

Hello from the other side of the world! I’m here for the Innovative Branding & Marketing for Higher Education Conference in Singapore, and it’s been a great experience so far. There are about 75 delegates from 41 institutions and 11 countries and everyone has such a unique experience to offer.

What I’ve been most struck by in my research of Asian culture and from being here is the penetration of mobile devices into the lives of everyone. I’ve always read and heard about how far ahead Asia is in mobile technology vs. the US, but to actually see it…. wow.  There are stores on nearly every block dedicated to selling phones and accessories.  While in Tokyo at the airport, a girl in front of me had a text message from McDonalds.  She showed it to the cashier and got a discount on her meal. 9 year olds on iPhones, everywhere. The amount of text messages being sent all around us is staggering.

You’ve heard it before, I’ve said it before, but I’m going to reiterate it again.  Mobile phone technology IS the future. But enough of that, let’s get into some key points from a few presentations today.

Preparing Programs and Strategies for the Next Generation of Students – An International PerspectiveZ
Robert Lawrence, Managing Director at Prospect Research and Marketing

“This information may not be copied, broadcasted, distributed, published or released to any party without written consent of the author. This paper may NOT be uploaded onto the Internet.”

Sorry, folks.  Basically, Gen Y/Millenials are coming. They’re different and they want to study abroad and they have career aspirations. That’s all.

Promoting University of Hong Kong in a Globalized Education Landscape
Professor Ka Ho Mok

Issues: Globalization, Competition State and a changing University Governance as well as the corporatization  of public universities (Singapore, Taiwan, Japan, Hong Kong, Malaysia).

Core commitments: social innovation and global citizenship

Internationalizing HKU – Worldwide recruitment of academic staff and international students, internationalizing curriculum, super-exchange programs.

Using ‘student voices’ to tell the story of the university through web and print.

Wide range of minors and double minors available in all sorts of areas, which tie into partnerships/internships around the world.

Strengthening a Global Brand through Alumni Giving and Sponsorship
Donald Kirkwood – Executive Director of External Affairs: The Americas, London Business School

What does marketing have to do with fundraising? Selling is about product to…. Marketing is about customer need for… The human impulse to give should be nurtured. The corporate responsibility to give must be encouraged.

The giving campaigns that fail are only because the school did not ask for the gift! Fundraising is in the relationship business. People give to people. (Friendraise before you Fundraise.)

Different nations and regions have different social rules for asking for donations, and how much is given.

London Business School has the lowest endowment of the Top 10 business schools. (In Pounds Sterling, 8 vs. 1400 for Harvard). LBS used a plan of Graduation Class Gifts and Reunion Gifts to increase and encourage giving.

“By the school, through the school, for the school.”

Between 2003 and 2008, they increased graduation class gift amounts by 400% and the % of the class who donated by 33%. The mean gift went from 118 pounds to 1,833 pounds. This is because it was a high profile and very visible effort and following classes saw how the classes before them graduating did and wanted to beat it. Announced at graduations, etc.  6 month process, but drive was only a 6 week effort.

Simple branding – They got . How many universities and colleges in London want that?

Are your alumni proud to put your university on their CV/Resume?

Your alumni are one of your most important assets. You have them for life! They bought ‘the product’ and believe in it, so keep them happy and ask them to give back to you in proportion to their benefit!

Challenges in Building a Global Footprint – How did Monash University Make the Successful Transition from a Local to International Brand?
Lee-Ann Norris, Deputy Vice-President, Advancement and Divisional Director, Marketing and Student Recruitment, Monash University
(You should see her business card.)

Goal : One of the best universities in the world by 2025.

Campuses all over Australia. Also in South Africa and Malaysia.

Higher Education is Australia’s 3rd largest export, behind coal and iron ore and ahead of tourism. Monash has the largest number of international students of any Australian University.

Marketing and Student Recruitment Division = 160 staff. Agent network = 150 agents with 640 offices

Make every dollar count!  Ensure every dollar spent has a return to the university.

Managing reputations for universities is a critical role.

Marketing Foundations: Market Position, Research Profile, Internationalization, Teaching Profile.
Student Recruitment Foundations: Faculty, Quality, Campus, Diversity
KPIs: Revenue, Numbers, Research, Brand Profile, Governance

Facebook: Fan Page or Group?

Posted by Brad J. Ward | Posted in Facebook, Higher Education, Marketing, Recruitment, Social Media, Thoughts, Web | Posted on 18-02-2009-05-2008


My good friend @HowardKang is a senior at the University of Illinois at Springfield (my alma mater!) and is currently helping the Volunteerism office get started with social media at his internship.

He recently posted Facebook: Fan Pages vs. Groups for HigherEd Offices and outlines some great pros/cons when it comes to which you should set up.

Howard says that “I believe the Fan Page should be the main hub of facebook strategies” and “fan pages show more promise in terms of overall reach.” I’ll leave the rest of the article for you to read.

We know that Facebook Fan Pages are going to change soon (hat tip to @rachelreuben!) and things such as FBML might disappear, but Howard outlines a lot of great points to consider.  Make sure you check out his article and take the time to subscribe via RSS.  He’s worth reading and offers a fresh perspective from a current college student view.

Before you upload that school logo to Facebook….

Posted by Brad J. Ward | Posted in Facebook, Higher Education, Marketing, Recruitment, Technology, Thoughts, Web | Posted on 16-02-2009-05-2008


Before you upload that official institution logo to Facebook for your Page or Group, you might want to consider this. is reporting that Facebook’s new Terms of Service (TOS) have had a few minor changes that might have major impact, including Facebook’s ability to sublicense content.

The larger issue at hand for all users of Facebook is the removal of these lines from the TOS:

You may remove your User Content from the Site at any time. If you choose to remove your User Content, the license granted above will automatically expire, however you acknowledge that the Company may retain archived copies of your User Content.

This is no longer true, meaning the license granted will no longer expire and your content is Facebook’s and they can essentially do what they want with it. Forever.

How does this affect colleges and universities? One thought: could Facebook come out with a line of clothing with university logos because someone has uploaded it? I’m no legal beagle, but it seems like they’re looking for more ways to monetize and the possibilities are endless.

Job Open at Butler University

Posted by Brad J. Ward | Posted in Technology | Posted on 09-02-2009-05-2008


Know someone who wants to work at a great University in an awesome position?  Send them this way.  If you have any questions about the position or about Butler/Indianapolis, email me at bradjward (at) gmail (dot) com and I’ll do my best to help in a timely manner.

The Office of Admission at Butler University seeks an individual to take the lead on using new media and electronic communication in recruiting new students for the university. This position assists with the strategy and implementation of communicating to high school students using email, web, blogs, online chats, social networking and other forms of e-communication. Responsibilities also include web content updates, supervising a team of student bloggers, watching web chatter on the university, designing html emails, staying up-to-date on trends and suggesting new ways to integrate print and electronic media. Requirements include a bachelors degree. This is an entry level position and experience with writing for the web/blogging are required. Knowledge of admission processes and recruitment techniques preferred but not required. Candidates must be creative, energetic and have excellent communication and analytical skills.

To apply: Please visit this link and include your resume and cover letter.

Butler University is an equal opportunity employer, committed to building a culturally diverse intellectual community, and strongly encourages applications from women and historically under-represented populations.

Friendraise before you Fundraise

Posted by Brad J. Ward | Posted in Alumni, Fundraising, Higher Education, Marketing, Recruitment, Social Media, Strategy, Technology, Thoughts | Posted on 03-02-2009-05-2008


Just wanted to share a simple thought I had working on a project last week.

Do friendraising before you do fundraising.

I’m more likely to give a good friend the $$ they ask for.  But a stranger or someone I haven’t talked to in years?  Probably wouldn’t give them the $$ they ask for.  Why is that? I’ve kept in touch with my good friend.  I’ve seen all of the great things they have done over the past several years for others (or for me).  I’ve helped them out, they’ve helped me out in the past. We’re friends. We have a relationship.

Compare that to your university or college.  This school in particular told me that they haven’t been very good in staying in contact with their alumni.  There was even a period where donors didn’t even receive a thank you note after giving. People want to feel appreciated, especially when they are giving up their money during these tough times.

It’s all about relationships. And that’s why I’m excited about all of these tools on the web that help facilitate friendships. Nearly every time someone on Facebook or Twitter asks for donations towards a cause, whether it’s a Polar Bear Plunge, March of Dimes, etc. I’ll usually give $5 or $10.  Why? Because I have a relationship with that person and I’d like to help them out. The amount might be small, but the friendship facilitated it.

And what would happen if my Alma Mater asked for a small donation on Twitter or Facebook or LinkedIn after we’d been ‘friends’ and adding value to each other for a few months?  I’d donate.

What can you do for your alumni? What can your alumni do for you?  Work together.  Be friends, and when that time comes, they’ll probably hesitate less to give $$ to the cause.