TVP Communications Week in Review

What a week! Before you head off to celebrate the weekend, check out all the things TVP Communications has to celebrate in the news this week…including Paul Rudd!


What’s new this week:


We had some excellent client success this week, and the TVP Communications team made a splash in the news, too!


University of Redlands was featured in a front-page profile of two very generous alumni, Rich and Ginnie Hunsaker. Their love for their alma mater inspired them to donate $35 million to create a new scholarship for the university.


Higher One got a shout out from grant winners for the company’s prize to promote financial literacy programs on campus.


With the Ebola outbreak at the forefront of the nation’s news, Professor Bianca Mothe at California State University, San Marcos offers tips on what will (and what won’t) keep you safe.


Principal Teresa Valerio Parrot’s expertise in university crisis management was quoted in a Chronicle article about Title IX.


Congratulations to Kyle Gunnels, who was recognized by University of Alabama’s Communicator Magazine as one of 40 outstanding alumni. Check out page 35!


Ali Lincoln reflected on her past role as a college counselor and brought that experience to the FAFSA position debate in an op-ed for Inside Higher Ed.


What we’ve been talking about:


We were so pumped about Kyle’s recognition from his alma mater that Teresa blogged about him and his success in the communications field.


Kristine Maloney bridged the gap between publication expectations of the media and academics with her insight on deadlines and drafts.


Follow us on Twitter!                    


Are you following the TVP Communications team on Twitter? Here’s a look at what we were tweeting about this week:

Deadlines and Drafts: Where Higher Ed and the Media Diverge

Of all the questions and comments I receive from faculty and administrators about working with the media, the ones that seem to come up most frequently revolve around deadlines and drafts. And it makes sense, when you think about it—because the reality is that these two things function completely differently on college campuses than they do in newsrooms.


Take deadlines, for example. In academia, it’s very common to have weeks or even months between project deadlines—or at the very least, days. Soft deadlines and extensions are also not unusual. Not so in the fast-paced media and social media world. Reporters often have mere hours to turn stories around, which means they need expert sources right away. They don’t have the luxury of scheduling interviews out three weeks in advance. Everything is “last minute.” So, if a reporter asks you to be available within a few hours, don’t take it personally. It’s not a show of disrespect for faculty calendars and responsibilities. It’s just the way a reporter’s world works. The truth is, it’s a compliment when a reporter takes the time to find you and reach out in the first place.


Then there are drafts. In higher education, it’s acceptable—and even encouraged—to give sources and other colleagues the opportunity to make edits, change quotations, and even major editorial revisions. After all, when you are telling your own (or your institution’s) story, you should take advantage of every opportunity to make that story perfect. In journalism, participating in these kinds of activities, as harmless and natural as they seem to non-journalists, could cost a reporter his or her job for violation of ethics. As with many ethical dilemmas, sharing drafts with sources is a hotly debated practice. The American Journalism Review had a great article years ago that touches upon many aspects of the debate and Louisiana State University’s Steve Buttry, a visiting scholar and journalist, also has a great list of pros and cons worth checking out. But the fact remains that the large majority of reporters just don’t do it.


There are practical reasons for not sharing drafts as well. Emails are easily forwarded and a reporter could risk their story being leaked too early, or even getting scooped by another source. Then there’s the time issue again. Deadlines usually don’t allow for enough time to have sources review pieces.


All of this means that sometimes mistakes are made. Unfortunately, that’s the risk we take when we choose to engage with the media. I still believe that the potential (remember, it’s not a given) for minor errors is well worth the benefits of a well-placed media piece. There is still no better, more objective way to tell your story.

Week in Review

It’s been a wonderfully busy week here at TVP Communications. While members of the team kept their noses to the grindstone this week, we made sure to save time for some important introspection.


Here’s a look at some things that kept us busy and caught our attention this week.


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What’s new this week:




What we’ve been talking about:




Follow us on Twitter!                    


Are you following the TVP Communications team on Twitter? Here’s a look at what we were talking about this week:




And because it’s always nice to end the week on a warm and fuzzy note:


Financial Literacy Education–an Issue on which Both K12 and Higher Ed can Agree!

Yesterday I had the pleasure of attending “Bridging the Gap: Increasing Financial Capability Among College-Bound Students,” a financial literacy symposium hosted by Higher One. To me, one of the most fascinating aspects was the event’s focus on both the higher ed and K-12 space, which is different than many gatherings that focus solely on one perspective.


The symposium started off with a presentation from Eileen Klein, president of the Arizona Board of Regents, on the AZ Earn to Learn initiative that aims to “prepare high school students for college with financial education and matching funds.” This innovative program works directly with low- and limited-income Arizona high school students to build financial skills and a focus on saving for college, while providing matched-savings funds (with an 8-to-1 match). I highly suggest reading about this program and its many nuances.


After hearing about the most recent Money Matters on Campus survey data from Mary Johnson,  a panel of high school educators and innovators discussed the ways in which they have addressed financial literacy in high school classes and peer-to-peer mentorship programs, including the Moneythink model. Brian Page, a panelist and educator at Reading (OH) High School, detailed how he teaches his students money management lessons via engaging ways, some of which were covered in this New York Times article.


Rounding out the event was a discussion about the different ways Sam Houston State University, The Ohio State University and Tyler Junior College, implement programs to engage students with financial education. Bryan Ashton, from OSU, highlighted his institution’s approach as “preparing students for successful citizenship beyond college.” All in all, it was an event in which the attendees were engaged and truly learning from one another about how each “side” works to reach students with key financial literacy skills.


A very small collection of tweets from the event, some of which link to financial literacy resources, are as follows:

Smart Marketing Doesn’t Have to Mean Selling Your Soul

I’ve been a member of the TVP Communications team for three months now. Not brand-spanking new anymore, but new-ish. For those who don’t know me, my background is in communications and marketing. I have a lot of experience on the public and media relations side, but my passion is marketing.


Prior to joining TVP Communications, I worked on the marketing team at the American Council on Education, where I learned how a high-functioning marketing unit could serve as a valuable component of an overall communications effort for a higher education organization.


Part of the reason I decided to join TVP Communications was because I was excited for the opportunity to develop marketing strategies for the fantastic institutions and organizations on the client roster. So, naturally, I read last week’s Chronicle of Higher Education article about marketing in higher education with great interest.


For the most part, I think Mr. Gardner captured the importance of marketing as well as the challenges involved in marketing for higher education, an industry that has traditionally viewed the field as “selling your soul.”


I absolutely understand the apprehension. There is a lot of bad marketing out there. There are too many under-researched marketing campaigns consisting mostly of bad copy, generic messages and stock photos – all of which waste time and money and none of which really reflect institutions’ “souls” at all.


I think that good marketing strategies are built on a genuine understanding of an institution, its mission and its audiences. That comes from taking the time to get to know the people – leaders, faculty, students etc. – that make an institution special and turning that into an authentic, smart campaign. Good marketing campaigns should not feel “icky.” They should feel like an honest reflection of the institution and they should resonate with their intended audience(s).


Part of why I’m so interested in marketing and communications for higher education is because there is so much excellent work happening on campuses. It can be difficult for faculty or institutional leaders to know how to effectively communicate that great work to the outside world. That’s where marketing comes in, in my opinion. It’s about using research and data to find smart, creative ways to connect with your audiences. It’s finding ways to develop a clear message platform that effectively captures the work of all departments on a campus into one cohesive communications strategy.


It still may not feel 100 percent wholesome to those who see any effort to promote as contrary to the traditional mission of higher education institutions. But the fact is that colleges and universities are having to adjust to a “new normal” of lower enrollment, continued state budget cuts and more questions than ever before about whether the traditional college experience is worth the rising cost. And those are just a few of the challenges facing institutions today.


From where I’m sitting, it is more important now than ever before that institutions understand what makes them unique, know their audiences and find creative ways to connect with those audiences.

TVP Communications Week in Review

Hooray—it’s October! If you’re looking for important updates in the Internet cat world, Erin Hennessy has you covered. If you’re looking for updates in the higher ed world, read on for our take.
What’s new this week:
The first semester can be tough on students financially. Higher One’s Financial Literacy and Student Aid Policy DirectorMary Johnson has great advice on the Huffington Post for parents on talking to their freshmen about money.
More advice for parents on the Huffington Post: Frostburg State’s president Jonathan Gibralter on how parents can be partners for keeping students safe at school—great follow up to the school’s efforts to reduce binge drinking on campus.
The Chronicle featured Maharishi University of Management’s unique loan program for international students, a program that gives real world experience and an easier way to pay for school.
The national edition of Deseret News included Talent Dividend in an article about college completion emphasis in faith-based communities.
Farmer School of Business students were highlighted in the Wall Street Journal blog CMO Today for offering insight to advertising agencies.
What we’ve been talking about:
Erin got click happy with her take on reading the news. She has some great suggestions for what media outlets to follow for the latest information.
Ali posted some tech-savvy ways for students and those who work with students to stay organized and master time management.
What’s coming up: 
Next week, Kyle Gunnels will be at the Council for Economic Education/Higher One symposium—Bridging the Gap: Increasing Financial Capability Among College-Bound Students—in conjunction with the CEE’s 53rd annual

Financial Literacy and Education Conference. The symposium will focus on ways to better prepare students for real-life money management.
Follow us on Twitter!
Are you following the TVP Communications team on Twitter? Here’s a look at what we were talking about this week:


And Traveling Teresa had a whole lot of love this week:


For all of the latest news and media successes from TVP Communications, be sure to follow us on Twitter.

Time to Get Organized

It’s October 1—time to flip over to the new month in the calendar. Well, I guess only if you’re like me and still use a paper calendar.


Even though I can access several calendars on my phone, computer, and tablet, a paper planner is still my go-to object of organization. And yes, just like Leslie Knope, one of my favorite activities is “jammin’ on my planner.”


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When I was a teacher, my students hid my planner once and it was the closest I came to crying in class. And as a college counselor, my students teased me constantly about being “old school,” even as they complained about their time management and organization issues.


With all of the smartphones, tablets, and ed tech out there, I can understand that students have MANY other ways to stay organized and perhaps paper planners are old school. But time management is timeless, and it’s a much-needed skill for college success.


Students need to actually weed through the thousands of apps and calendar options to find what works for them. So many first year college students really struggle to develop strong organization and time management skills, and I think it’s worth it for them to test out any new ideas, even maybe things that they didn’t need in high school. Check out some of these (mostly free) awesome organization tools that are not only helpful for students, but also for those of us who work on campuses or with students:


Good old Google is an organizational powerhouse. Place to store documents, check. Place for to-do lists, check. Place for calendar events, check.


iStudiez Pro is worth the $2.99. It’ll help anyone stay on track with academics.


Studious is a great planning tool for the scatterbrained, forgetful student. Bonus: silences phone during class.


If professors are using, then myHomework becomes double magic and syncs automatically. And if they’re not, it’s still helpful for capturing the details for daily assignments not in the syllabus.


StudyBlue lets students study anywhere with flashcards, notes, and quizzes they won’t lose. Unless they lose their phone.


Get things done by making lists and prioritizing with


Evernote is a multi-tasker for doing research or group projects. They can type notes, save photos, record audio, and attach files and everything syncs to all connected devices.


Pocket helps procrastinators stay on track, saving all of those must-see viral videos and Buzzfeed quizzes for later. It’s also good for saving articles for paper writing instead of procrastinating with internet trolling.


While I’m sticking to my beautiful Moleskine, I’d love to hear more organization ideas for students (or adults, no judgment). Please leave your comments below or tweet your ideas to @alilincolntvp.

My Media Diet

One of my long-time favorite features on The Atlantic website is the Media Diet. The premise is simple – prominent people in a wide variety of fields are asked what they read on a daily basis to get a handle on what’s happening not just in their field, but in the world. Some of my recent favorites include HBO’s John Oliver, who likens researching his show, “Last Week Tonight,” to “the process of imbibing as wide a variety of poisons as possible,” and Rusty Foster, author of “Today in Tabs,” who advises, “I think more people could do well to remove sources of media from their lives and figure out what they really can’t do without.”


Reading these posts got me thinking about my own media diet.



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I start everyday like most people in higher education, reading Inside Higher Ed and The Chronicle of Higher Education’s morning news digests (in my case, before I do anything else, including getting out of bed), along with whatever Google alerts have come in overnight. If it’s Tuesday or Thursday, I’ll also read the American Council on Education’s Higher Education & National Affairs to catch up on policy developments and headlines I might have missed.


After my grueling commute of approximately 35 seconds from bedroom to living room, I put on the first two hours of The Today Show (morning shows are a great barometer of what’s a kitchen table issue this week) and turn to Twitter. Most of the news I read I come to via links from Twitter. I try to be thoughtful and follow a wide range of accounts – journalists at national publications as well as local ones across the country; presidents and communicators and faculty members at all types of institutions; and people and publications that have nothing to do with higher education. And from time to time, I spend some time browsing the people you all follow, to see what I’m missing.


Later in the morning, I read two POLITICO newsletters – Mike Allen’s Playbook and Morning Education. In addition to feeding my need for Washington scoop, both also highlight interesting trends, good journalism on a wide range of topics, and smart perspectives on things happening outside the Beltway bubble.


I read a lot of non-higher education publications as well – both online and in print – and I frequently find pieces that offer interesting parallels to higher ed issues or shed light on challenges we face as communicators, no matter our industry. Among the magazines that arrive in my mailbox are Fast Company, The New Yorker, New Republic, and The Atlantic. Outlets bookmarked in my browser include BBC, NPR Ed, Vox, Grantland (beyond sports, it offers great cultural commentary), Businessweek (a Teresa Valerio Parrot favorite), and a number of major daily news papers (The New York Times, which I read in hard copy on Sundays, as well as The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, LA Times, Chicago Tribune, etc.).


Two last categories that are commanding more of my attention lately: podcasts and email digests. I use Downcast to stream podcasts like On the Media, Fresh Air, Pop Culture Happy Hour, Slate’s Political Gabfest, and This American Life. And I’ve recently subscribed to a bunch of email digests, including Jason Hirschhorn’s MediaREDEF, The Ann Friedman Weekly, and Catilin Dewey’s Links I Would Gchat You if We Were Friends (hat tip to Brian Wachur).


So there it is – my media diet. It seems pretty overwhelming when I lay it out like that, but writing it out helps me notice some patterns. A lot of my news comes from email newsletters, either those that come direct from publications or those that curate good online content. Broadcast news factors very little into my day though I do watch its stories, surprisingly enough, via Twitter. And while print is still important to me, it makes up a pretty small percentage of what I’m reading on a daily basis.


I’d love to find new sources to add to my diet, so I’m planning to follow The Atlantic’s lead and reach out to some higher education colleagues and ask them to share their diets. I can imagine where the similarities might be, but I’m really interested to see where our paths diverge.


Please use the comment section below to both share the most valuable parts of your media diet and to let me know whose media diet you’re most interested in discovering.