Blog devoted to Admissions Marketing and Recruitment Photography
When are we going to stop trying to 'control the message' and embrace authenticity?
FJ Gaylor Photography
"abilene christian" abilene,
"higher education photographer",
"higher education photography"
If by 'we' you mean you, myself, and others that we interact with daily... it's an every day battle.If by 'we' you mean Higher Ed/Administration, I'm going to go with never. :)
It certainly is a struggle. I think a lot of admins that try to give you direction do not understand what it is potential college students are looking for. Especially in photos! And it's a wonder why students feel the administration is out of touch...
Don't all images contain a message? If so, why wouldn't we want to choose that message? It *is* marketing.
I agree with Jeremy and go with never. I was recently (last Friday) in a meeting with our Provost and our Assistant Chancellor of Advancement (oversees Marketing/Univ.Communications) to present them options for our new web site. I was pleasantly surprised to hear the Provost suggest that we start to gather user generated photos for parts of the site. For a brief second I think "They get it!" and then the other one says "well, I think that we should set a high level of standards and be able to control what goes out." ...back to reality for me it was. But for that brief second there was hope. Unfortunately, the Provost is moving on to another university. My battle continues.
I think it'll get closer to happening when parents and grandparents stop having an impact on where students attend college. As long as that's the case, we have to present what we consider our "best" side. When that day arrives, _then_ we can go truly "authentic" and show the photos that make us cringe when we see them on students' Facebook sites because we know that's the reality of our campuses, even though we don't want to admit it. I think the best we can hope for in the meantime is to find a happy medium between completely sanitized and completely authentic.
I think the good news is that we can't control the message anymore. If a current student takes a crazy pic and tags it with your university's name, it becomes part of your online story. I love the fact that students post stuff to YouTube and tag it with our university's name - it gives us what our official "marketing" stuff is missing - a pulse (and authenticity).Example: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s9ylUUyIp2U
Thanks for all the feedback guys, great to hear different opinions on things
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