The Power of an Apology

I’m often asked for examples of apologies and have trouble sharing solid samples. A sincere apology in higher education, politics, pop culture or everyday life is rare. There are many attempts that miss the mark because they fall short of accepting responsibility, misinterpret what needs to addressed or deflect blame. An apology only works if it is sincere, addresses the hurt or mistake and discusses future improvements.   For that reason, below are two of the best I’ve seen this year. Neither is perfect, but … Read more…

29% of Undergrads are Traditional Students: Market Accordingly!

It’s last week’s news, but I still can’t get over it! Only 29% of college undergraduates are traditional students. That’s right, according to data from the U.S. Department of Education as reported in the Wall Street Journal, just a fraction of the country’s 18 million college students are 18-22 year olds attending four-year, non-profit institutions on a full-time basis. (The graph below shows more of the breakdown.)     This number should make campus administrators take note. After all, the data has serious implications for how … Read more…

What I Read: Keeping Up with Current Trends

I’ve had some recent conversations with people who indicated that at times it feels like a daunting task to have to stay current on a variety of trends in addition to a normal day’s workload. However, as a communications professional it’s imperative to have a grasp on what’s happening in a variety of industries (including our own), as well as current events around the country and world. If you’re one who finds the thought of this to be overwhelming, it might be helpful to actually … Read more…

Faculty Experts & Media: “What’s In It For Me?”

The volume of major news stories in the past few weeks has been staggering. Headlines in recent days have included landmark Supreme Court decisions, Edward Snowden’s intelligence leaks, political unrest in Egypt, the George Zimmerman trial, new climate change initiatives announced by President Obama, deadly wildfires, a plane crash in San Francisco, and a train accident in Canada, among many others.   Chances are there’s an expert on your campus that has in-depth knowledge of these stories or related issues. But they’re not always eager … Read more…

Demystifying Media Relations

I spent the weekend (on the beach – yay!) celebrating the upcoming marriage of a friend with a new group of women. Pretty quickly upon meeting them, they asked what I did for work. When I said I was in media relations, I was greeted with a few blank stares and obligatory exclamations like “Oh,” or “Wow. That’s great!” Realizing I would have to give more details, I launched into my elaborated explanation, complete with examples.   It was a good conversation starter, but it … Read more…

Ringing in FY 2013-2014 with the Wisdom of Vince Vaughn

  Sunday serves as the higher education equivalent of New Year’s Eve. I’m always up for a new start or a celebration, so know on Sunday I’ll be writing my new year’s resolutions and lighting sparklers (this actually, and perhaps sadly, is true).   My biggest goal in the coming year is to learn more about what’s new and effective in social media, with status as a dinosaur at stake. At my daughter’s request, our family recent saw the movie “The Internship,” There was a moment … Read more…

The Supreme Court, DOMA, Prop 8, and Your Experts

This has been a big week for news from Supreme Court, but two of this year’s most highly anticipated rulings are still yet to be handed down. We will know tomorrow the Court’s opinions on two landmark cases related to gay marriage –Windsor v. U.S. (Defense of Marriage Act) and Hollingsworth v. Perry (Proposition 8).   And, whichever way the justices rule, the media attention is likely to be substantial—which will provide plenty of opportunities to get your experts’ thoughts and opinions on this topic … Read more…

Paying for Positive Coverage: Good Business or Breach of Ethics?

Last Friday, NPR’s All Things Considered reported on an arrangement between The Orange County Register in Southern California and three local universities—Chapman University, the University of California, Irvine and California State University, Fullerton—which essentially allows the institutions to pay for positive, feel-good feature stories and guest columns by faculty and administrators.   With a price tag of $275,000 annually, it’s an enticing proposition for both sides.  After all newspapers are struggling to bring in revenue and fill pages with fewer resources.  And colleges are clamoring … Read more…

Mining for Gold in Your Own Backyard

I field a number of questions from peers asking what they should read to stay up-to-date on our industry and expand their own knowledge base.   I usually rattle off my own daily and weekly reading routines, which include a healthy mix of local, regional, national and trade outlets, blogs and newsletters. But when it comes to the people I suggest talking to, I often suggest taking advantage of the human resources in our own backyards.   For this reason, I recently asked the TVP … Read more…

MOOC Mania: What You Need to Know

If you feel like you can’t escape news about MOOCs, you’re not imagining it. People in academe were still wrapping their minds around Georgia Tech’s MOOC master’s program when Coursera burst onto the scene early this morning to announce its new partnerships with 10 state university systems. Unlike a lot of things in higher education, “MOOC Mania” is moving at lightning speed—and leaving many institutions, faculty and administrators very anxious.   That’s why, for me, today’s Inside Higher Ed webinar, The MOOC Moment, could not have … Read more…