2009 Digital Readiness Report

Posted by Brad J. Ward | Posted in Marketing, Research, Strategy, Web | Posted on 08-10-2009


Here’s a recent report that’s sure to ruffle a few feathers in the higher ed arena.

The 2009 Digital Readiness Report, a study conducted by Eric Schwartzman with the support of online newsroom provider iPressroom, Korn/Ferry International, the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) and Trendstream, also identifies which new media and social media communications skills are most important to today’s hiring decision makers.

(Don’t want to give your contact info? Here’s the direct link.)

The Digital Skills Rank, in order, for Academic Institutions is:

1. Blogging/Podcasting
1. Social Networking
2. Media Relations
3. Microblogging
4. SEO
5. Content Management
6. Email Marketing
7. Social Bookmarking

How would you rank these 8 items within your office?  Keep in mind this is from a PR perspective, but I certainly didn’t expect email marketing to fall slightly above Del.icio.us.

Comments posted (15)

“…but I certainly didn’t expect email marketing to fall slightly above Del.icio.us.”

Did you expect it to be higher, or lower?

Here is what intrigued me. E-mail marketing ranked 6 of 7 for digital skills rank – academic institutions, as your screenshot indicates.

In contrast, e-mail marketing ranked at the top (diagram 4), at nearly 80%, for this question: “Which of the following activities does your organization currently employ as part of its web-based comunications?” Note that this was overall including all institution types, not specific to academic institutions.

A number of conclusions could be drawn from that. These might or might not be correct conclusions, but are food for thought:

1. Academic institutions undervalue the usefulness of e-mail marketing vs. the overall PR industry.

2. Academic institutions underestimate the complexity of e-mail marketing done well. It is just e-mail. It is simple and anyone can do it, right?

3. Academic institutions/execs are drawn to what is shiny/trendy vs. what performs.

4. Academic institutions have already dedicated significant staffing and training to e-mail marketing.

Some of those are intentionally loaded conclusions reflecting my bias that higher ed underestimates the value of e-mail marketing in PR/institutional marketing.

Content management is also too lowly ranked, in my opinion. It can be foundational to the other efforts.

Interesting. While this is from a PR perspective, it indicates a merging of new media with old media (“media relations” is skill No. 3). I would take a step back and put “writing/editing” No. 1 because you can’t be a decent communicator (whether that’s blogging, email marketing, media relations or some other digital skill set listed) without a strong grasp of good writing/editing skills. Maybe that’s too basic, and maybe the study’s authors assumed that good writing/editing is a given.

Also, as someone who manages graphic designers and videographers along with PR/media relations and web/emarcomm folks, I’d be interested in seeing how much blending/merging of the design side will occur.

I agree with Rob. If e-mail is so important, but not a skilled that’s valued, they don’t understand the problems like blacklisting, ticked off constituents, violating federal law, little stuff like that which can come from e-mail marketing done poorly.

Hats off to Andrew’s comment. Writing/editing is extremely foundational. I mentioned that content management seemed like it was ranked too low, but the content itself needs to written well and written appropriate to the medium (which is part of writing well that is too often overlooked, imho).

[...] New and Social Media Communication Skills in Higher Education [...]

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[...] Hvis man skal kunne håndværket digital markedsføring og PR, skal man kunne beherske flere forskellige typer af værktøjer. Det er temaet i SquaredPeg – What skills do you need in higher ed?. [...]

Email marketing is quite effective in lead generation. i made a couple of affiliate sales by email marketing alone”`’

sometimes i hate e-mail marketers coz they email me some spammy stuffs.,’

microblogging is funstuff just like regular blogging:`”

email marketing is great specially if you have a large list of email address of potential customers’*-

microblogging is nice but it also limits how much you can say about your daily activities-”*

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