It’s time for the annual look back at the year’s blog post and re-share the ones that gained the most interest.
Here are the top five, as judged by pageviews.
- Battling brand fatigue in #highered. Like much of what I blog about here, this post was inspired by content seen elsewhere. In this case, it was an article in the January-February 2017 issue of CASE’s magazine, Currents. In “Let it Go to Let it Grow,” the University of Arizona’s Tony Proudfoot describes the challenge brand managers face in gaining buy-in for a rebranding effort or brand refresh. Proudfoot describes Arizona’s approach of loosening the official grip on the university’s brand — a decision that led to greater acceptance of the brand across the university.
- A new Twitter list for #highered news junkies. On somewhat of a whim but also to help myself better track what’s being reported and written about higher education, I decided to create a Twitter list of higher ed journalists and media outlets. This was the post that introduced the list to readers. It’s garnered a whopping 33 subscribers, so some of you must find it useful.
- The college presidency: a tough job, about to get tougher. This post stemmed from an Aspen Institute report that outlined the demands and increasing complexities of college and university presidents. My take focused on the branding, marketing and PR challenges of the job. “This growing pressure for our leaders to be the spokespeople presents additional challenges for those of us in marketing, branding and strategic communications,” I wrote. “As we enter an era where our ability to control the message is diminished, it’s important that we think about how we can, to borrow [ University of Maryland, Baltimore County President Freeman] Hrabowski’s phrase, have our audiences ’embrace the problem with you’ — and, we hope, help us develop solutions.”
- What does Level 5 Leadership look like in #highered marketing? Once again, CASE comes through to inspire a blog post. This time, it was a presentation from last summer’s Summit for Leaders in Advancement that looked at advancement leaders (read: chief fundraisers) who were tops in their field, all in the context of Level 5 Leadership, a concept introduced by Jim Collins in his book Good to Great. In this post, I pondered what qualities chief marketing officers might need to attain Level 5 Leadership. I still don’t have an answer, but I’m intrigued by the question.
- The end of #highered as a public good. This was kind of a depressing post. In it, I attempted to weave together strands of negative news about dwindling state support for public higher education and a growing perception that colleges and universities provide little value to the public. I also ask: “Was higher education ever a public good?” Or is that just a myth we’ve built for ourselves over the past 60 years or so?