Notes From Building B-Schools Symposium: Day 2

Two years ago, social media was a hot topic at AACSB conference. This year a talk on social media sounds dated. Nevertheless, Samantha Novick who is the new media specialist for Thunderbird School of Global Management gave an insightful presentation on how to engage alumni using LinkedIn. The communication team in the School of Business doesn’t do much with LinkedIn since the Career Center handles it, which makes more sense in our case.

The last session was on maximizing marketing and communications reach with minimal resources. Stop outsourcing is one of the most effective cost-saving strategy and bringing staff in-house is a great move. Though hiring one person who handles both print magazine and web site design and development is the right method. I am not doubting that print designers can’t create a web site or vice versa, but to get the best from the both world is easier said than done. For me, someone with a strong web design background (HTML, CSS, SEO) and some graphic design skills is a much better fit for business school.

While all the sessions I had attended are informative, what I find most interesting is building a brand culture. How can we create something that is unique for our school? How can we position our school beyond our location, the usual academic programs and the overselling if “leadership?”

I didn’t expect to learn anything technical here, but it seems to me like everyone is struggling with its own CMS and some is looking for workaround using WordPress. Each mentioned about mobile version in development, but none makes use of its current content with responsive web design. I am more surprise that none of these schools is doing anything for the iPad. I could see all the cost of printing magazine, annual reports and publications could be saved if we start thinking about marketing our message for e-readers.