Ideas, musings and inspirations.

The golden age of print magazines long ago expired (Time once reached 20 million readers a week at peak circulation). Still, writers, editors and photographers charged with producing a college or university magazine juggle the same risk/reward choices as their … Continue reading

Posted in: , , , , ,

As revenue pressures grow across higher education, so do board- and cabinet-level imperatives to “define the brand.” Easier said than done, true. But also worth every ounce of effort. At its best, a brand discovery should yield an authentic and … Continue reading

Posted in: , , , ,

Former Indiana University basketball coach Bobby Knight famously said to an audience of newspaper reporters, “All of us learn to write in the second grade. Most of us go on to greater things.” Part joke, part poisoned-tipped joust, the heralded … Continue reading

Posted in: , , , ,

While all .edu websites send important signals and establish vital threads of connection to stakeholders — corporate recruiters, research partners and regional funders/allies — a business school website does so with greater urgency and a far more explicit mandate. We … Continue reading

Posted in: , , ,

A colleague of mine spoke a phrase several months ago that won’t stop ringing a clear and undeniable truth in my ear. After I showed him video from a flash mob brand launch, he said, “I hate that kind of fake energy.” That … Continue reading

Posted in: , , , , ,

Too often, a college or university approaches a brand development exercise unprepared for the journey ahead, and unable to fully realize the rewards at journey’s end. We offer a 5 point checklist to ensure a better experience and outcome at every step. 1. Know Your … Continue reading

I enjoyed a rare two-hour sit down recently with an entire marketing and communications team at a major university — and we never once talked about story. They, like many of you, spoke of feeling beleaguered by the demands of an … Continue reading

Posted in: , , , ,

Why, despite our best intentions and efforts, can we all make bad decisions? Social scientists point to the phenomenon of “cognitive bias”  — a scholarly and polite way of saying that we should not so quickly and easily believe everything … Continue reading

Posted in: , , ,

We recently met around the conference table at Elliance to discuss the pros/cons of pursuing an RFP opportunity —  a major state research university wanting to sharpen its brand focus and tell a better capital campaign story in order to … Continue reading

Posted in: , , , , , ,

Most people draw a clear line between conventional marketing of products and services, and social marketing, which broadly defined applies marketing principles to change human behavior in order to improve health or benefit society. But what happens when you bring … Continue reading

Posted in: , , , , , ,