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

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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

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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

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In numerous cases, we as marketers ask those we are marketing to become the voice of the company or institution they represent. Their stories give meaning in a deeply personal way. And, in many cases, we ask those that give … Continue reading

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Much like an ill-fitting or dated suit, companies and institutions with out-dated or poorly executed identities need to be aware of the perception their identity has in the markets they serve. Does your identity still fit your organization and what it does? Does it represent … Continue reading

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Neuroscientists would disagree with Juliet’s famous words from William Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet. What’s in a name? that which we call a rose By any other name would smell as sweet Smell as sweet? yes. Perceived the same as a … Continue reading

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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

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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

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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

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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

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