So less than a week after I announced my latest indefinite hiatus from blogging, Georgy Cohen of MeetContent posts a great entry about the future of public relations in higher ed. The post consists of a Q&A with four higher ed PR folks representing a fairly diverse group of universities — Joe Bonner from (@bonnerj) from Rockefeller University, Tracy Mueller from the University of Texas (@tracymueller), Lori Packer from the University of Rochester (@LoriPA) and me. It’s interesting to read the different perspectives each of us brings to our changing roles, and to find some common threads.
One of those threads is something I discussed in a blog post earlier this year, Thinking like a media organization. In this post I borrowed heavily from author David Rogers (@david_rogers), who discusses the shift occurring from traditional brand-building techniques (read: advertising) to one less dependent on established brands and traditional channels. In a video of one of Rogers’ talks, he explains that “from a brand point of view, what this means is rather than piggybacking on this really powerful brand with a huge built-in audience [i.e., television], we need to look for opportunities to engage by creating our own content. Thinking like a media company, not like an advertiser.”
Similarly, those of us who have been doing media relations and PR work in higher ed need to think more and more like a media company, rather than a PR firm.
And for those of you who don’t get the reference in my headline:
We now return to our previously scheduled hiatus.