Appendix B

Candid conversations about higher ed in 10 minutes or less.

Text reads Appendix B - Brand Differentiation vs Personality
Episode 47 —

Brand Differentiation vs Personality

When we talk about branding in higher ed, are we considering the differences between brand differentiation and personality? Kristin Van Dorn has studied branding in higher ed for years and has a few thoughts. Bravery Media can help you with all manner of brand research.

Text reads Appendix B - Design Follows Content
Episode 46 —

Design Should Follow Content

Web design projects in higher education should never start before content has been firmed up. Joel and Kristin from Bravery dive into the reasons why in this podcast episode.

Request a Benchmark performance report from Bravery Media.

Text reads: Appendix B How to design a higher ed homepage. From bravery media.
Episode 45 —

How to design a higher ed homepage

How do agencies approach designing a higher ed website? Joel and Kristin break down Bravery’s approach to homepage content strategy. This is the first in a series covering the strategies that higher ed web agency apply in designing a new university website.

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Appendix B Episode 36, text is present that reads, "Become the Taskmaster."
Episode 36 —

Become the Taskmaster

After hearing a recent Harvard Business Review podcast episode featuring concepts from Frances X. Frei’s “Move Fast and Fix Things,” Kristin thought, “Yeah, maybe speed ISN’T detrimental to productivity.”

In this 10-ish minute convo, Kristin and Joel chat about how if institutions remove roadblocks for staff, and give them more trust, they’ll feel empowered to work faster and more efficiently than ever before.

They close by discussing the need for a permissive work culture that allows folks to make quicker decisions at all organizational levels.

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Harvard Business Review podcast episode Kristin mentioned

Appendix B Episode 35, text is present that reads, "Maximizing Career Potential in Higher Ed Marketing"
Episode 35 —

Maximizing Career Potential in Higher Ed Marketing

Kristin and Joel are curious about professional development in Higher Ed. Which kind or type is the most beneficial to folks? Which is the most difficult to obtain permission to pursue?

In this episode, the gang explores other options beyond traditional methods, such as informal learning through podcasts and YouTube videos, institutionally sponsored programs, compliance training, technical skill upgrades, and personal development like pursuing advanced degrees.

They also highlight the challenges faced by folks at smaller institutions and emphasize the importance of improving support and access to professional growth opportunities.

Please take our Professional Development Survey for Higher Ed Marketers

Appendix B Episode 34, text is present that reads, "The State of Professional Development in Higher Ed"
Episode 34 —

The State of Professional Development in Higher Education

Have you ever asked yourself, “What do I particularly love about my job, and what would I like to learn next?”

We hope you can answer that question, and that you feel supported by your managers whenever you express an interest in professional development opportunities.

Today we talk about our own experiences with professional development, and about the various challenges folks face regardless of what school they represent.

Professional Development Survey for Higher Ed Marketers

Appendix B Episode 33, text is present that reads, "Video Marketing Tips and Tricks"
Episode 33 —

Video Marketing Tips and Tricks for Universities

Are you using video effectively in your MarComm office? Are you repurposing content? Are you aligning video goals with specific audiences and platforms? Are you over-relying on YouTube? Are you using video to personalize the recruitment process?

Whether you’re a seasoned professional or new to video marketing in Higher Ed, we’ll help you elevate your institution’s video presence.

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Appendix B Episode 32, text is present that reads, "Avoiding Information Overload: Less is More"
Episode 32 —

Avoiding Information Overload: Less is More

How do you decide which content belongs on an institution’s website and which content should be included in an email? Higher Ed Marketing pros have to deal with this every day. They worry about email bloat, and whether there’s “too much info” on the institution’s website.

The key is to simplify the entire communication process. Deliver concise, relevant information in messages that are tailored to specific student populations. Remember, less is more!

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Appendix B Episode 31, text is present that reads, "No More Multi-Level Fundraising!"
Episode 31 —

No More Multi-Level Fundraising!

Newsflash… alumni fundraising campaigns shouldn’t feel like Multi-Level Marketing. And if they do, maybe it’s time to take a closer look at the relationship between alumni engagement and university marketing messages.

The harsh truth is that former students might not want to fundraise for their alma mater simply because they don’t fully identify with it anymore. But luckily, Joel and Kristin have thoughts…

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Appendix B Episode 30, text is present that reads, "Early Strategies for Student Retention"
Episode 30 —

Early Strategies for Student Retention

You might be thinking to yourself, “Our students just arrived. Should we already be thinking about retention?”

Yes. The biggest priority needs to be the student experience above all other things. Make sure they feel supported from the moment they set foot on campus.

And we’re not just talking about software solutions. Think personal engagement, simplified administrative processes, and creating an environment where students feel empowered to navigate their academic journey.

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Appendix B Episode 29, text is present that reads, "No News is Good News."
Episode 29 —

No News is Good News

Sorry, but a homepage feature about someone giving a keynote is not news. It’s just cluttering up your site and making it harder for prospective students to apply.

On this episode, Kristin and Joel chat about the misconceptions surrounding news stories on university websites, and share why news content often fails to engage prospective students.

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Appendix B Episode 28, text is present that reads, "How Campuses Can Win on Organic Social Media: featuring Jenny Li Fowler"
Episode 28 —

How Campuses Can Win on Organic Social Media

Our first guest! MIT’s Director of Social Media Strategy, Jenny Li Fowler, joins the show to chat with Joel about the different ways campuses should be thinking about organic social media. Everything from what platforms to be on and why, to challenging the assumption that there’s a one-size-fits-all solution. Jenny also tells us about her upcoming book, Organic Social Media: How to Build Flourishing Online Communities.

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Preorder Jenny’s Book —> Use promo code KPFRIENDS for 20% off

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Appendix B Episode 26, text is present that reads, "Rethinking Storytelling on Higher Ed Websites"
Episode 26 —

Rethinking Storytelling on Higher Ed Websites

What role should storytelling play on higher education websites?

Joel and Kristin think there should be a shift in perspective. Maybe we should think about institutional websites as world-building experiences that empower students to be the main characters. This would allow them to navigate their own educational journey at their own pace, and hopefully, enhance the overall enrollment process.

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Appendix B Episode 25, text is present that reads, "The Trouble With Icons"
Episode 25 —

The Trouble with Icons

Kristin and Joel enthusiastically discuss the use of icons in web design and highlight the potential pitfalls of using them in generic and inconsistent ways. While icons can be useful for wayfinding and simple actions, they should NOT be used as cheap replacements for rich illustrations or photographs, because this can lead to confusion and miscommunication. It’s also important to consider the cultural and semiotic implications of icons and folks should think about using them judiciously to enhance user experience and avoid undermining the intended message.

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Appendix B Episode 24, text is present that reads, "Moving from Order-taking to Strategic Frameworks"
Episode 24 —

Moving from Order-Taking to Strategic Frameworks

Kristin Van Dorn discusses the presentation she recently gave at PSEWEB on transitioning from order-taking to strategy in Higher Ed digital roles. She shares her experiences dealing with disconnected leadership and offers insights on overcoming challenges, and introduces organizational frames by Bolman and Deal, which include structural, political, human resource, and symbolic.

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Appendix B Episode 22, text is present that reads, "UX Principles: Cognitive Load and Effective Communication"
Episode 22 —

UX Principles: Cognitive Load and Effective Communication

Why should university websites use negative space and be simple in their design?

In Part Three of our series on UX Principles, Kristin and Joel chat about how excessive complexity and cognitive load can make for a poor user experience. When a potential student can’t figure out how to navigate a university website, they might associate that frustration with the institution itself, and abandon their plans to enroll.

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Appendix B Episode 20, text is present that reads, "UX Principles: White Space for Inclusive Design""
Episode 20 —

UX Principles: White Space for Inclusive Design

What role does white space play in web design?

In Part One of our series on UX Principles, Kristin and Joel dive into the impact white space has on UX.

There are three key reasons for utilizing white space: it conveys a sense of quality and focus, it improves user engagement by reducing cognitive load, and it creates a psychologically comfortable experience.

What was that adage again? Oh, that’s right. Keep it simple, seriously.

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Appendix B Episode 19, text is present that reads, "Reducing friction points and impacting Summer Melt"
Episode 19 —

Friction points and their impact on Summer Melt

It’s cruel (cruel) cruel Summer (Melt).

And a really low-hanging fruit sort of way to address it is by taking a look at the role of friction in the acceptance-to-enrollment journey for students.

Joel talks about the importance of identifying friction points within the process and shares tips on how to mitigate them from a user experience and service design perspective.

And Kristin, drawing from her UX background, stresses the significance of giving students control over the onboarding process.

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Appendix B Episode 18, text is present that reads, "Not today, Summer Melt"
Episode 18 —

Not today, Summer Melt

How can Higher Ed marketers deal more effectively with summer melt?

It starts by maintaining some continuity in content strategy during the summer months. Marketing materials that incoming students are receiving should be similar in tone to what they’ve been used to.

If we treat the new student experience as “onboarding,” we can create a strong foundation for the incoming class.

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Appendix B Episode 14, text is present that reads, "Is your website your employee of the month?"
Episode 14 —

Is your website your employee of the month?

A college or university website should reflect the organization behind it, and if things are going well, it should act as an employee of the institution itself. However, if there’s a mismatch between operations and the website, it can cause confusion for all stakeholders.

This confusion can lead to problems with on-page content, design, and information architecture. So avoid making promises on the website if you can’t actually fulfill them because of staffing limitations.

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Appendix B Episode 13, text is present that reads, "AI and the erosion of trust in Higher Ed"
Episode 13 —

AI and the erosion of trust in Higher Ed

That AI. So hot right now.

In a world where Higher Ed MarComm professionals are always seeking out more efficient workflows, large language models like ChatGPT have been touted as the modern marketer’s “ultimate weapon.”

However, Higher Ed has a trust problem, and because of that, we need to transparent with our audiences about when and where we’re using AI. Especially in situations where they expect to interact with actual humans.

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Appendix B Episode 12, text is present that reads, "Whoops! Campus leaders made the wrong hiring decision. Now what?"
Episode 12 —

Whoops! Campus leaders made the wrong hiring decision. Now what?

Campus leadership doesn’t always know how to hire the right people for technical roles, but they need to figure it out. Understanding where knowledge gaps exist, and filling them with the right people and tools will be essential for staying competitive over time.

The cost of hiring the wrong person is just too great.

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Appendix B Episode 11, text is present that reads, "The cost of hunting unicorns."
Episode 11 —

The Cost of Unicorn Hunting

In Higher Ed, when job descriptions are too broad, and there’s not enough specificity about the required skills and responsibilities, they end up attracting employees who try to do it all. And that often leads to burnout.

Instead, what if we left it to the potential employees to interpret the roles? What if we let them guide and shape the roles over time?

Joel and Kristin think this will happen more and more as folks realize their worth and the value of their time.

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Appendix B Episode 10, text is present that reads, "No more unicorns."
Episode 10 —

No More Unicorns

If you work in Higher Ed, you’ve likely either worked with a Unicorn or, you’d describe yourself as one.

Either way, you probably know that they typically have a wide range of skills and can do many different things well.

It’s not all sunshine and rainbows, though. Unicorns typically experience burnout, high turnover rates, frustration with slower-moving colleagues, and being underemployed.

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Appendix B Episode 8, text is present that reads, "Just because your institution can have a podcast, doesn't mean it should."
Episode 8 —

Just because your institution can have a podcast, doesn’t mean it should

Does your college or university have a podcast? Do you even think it needs one?

Just like any new media-based venture, many questions need to be asked before even considering it.

Otherwise, the person in your comms office that has a Blue Yeti and some time to spare, is gonna answer that question for you.

And trust us, it won’t end well.

Info about Gen Z’s Podcast Consumption Habits

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Appendix B Episode 7, text is present that reads, "Breaking out of Emergency Mode."
Episode 7 —

Breaking out of Emergency Mode

How many times have you heard, “you know, not everything is an emergency,” in your campus’s MarComm office?

Does your marketing strategy feel more “reactive” than anything?

Are you constantly putting out fires?

Let’s talk about why that might be.

Sometimes it’s because you’re underfunded, or there’s been a change in leadership, but often, it just comes down to setting proper goals and expectations based on the size and abilities of your team.

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Appendix B Episode 6, text is present that reads, "Responsible Website Stewardship."
Episode 6 —

Responsible Website Stewardship

College and University websites need responsible stewardship in order to be successful.
It’s as simple as that.

If you’re spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on it, you better understand if it’s paying dividends, and, most importantly, if it’s aiding in the student experience. 
The key is to stay on top of web and digital trends, run tests continuously, and always be learning.

Any questions?

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Appendix B Episode 5, text is present that reads, "Higher Ed's Differentiation Problem."
Episode 5 —

Higher Ed’s Differentiation Problem

Why is it so difficult for Higher Education institutions to differentiate themselves from each other?

Some institutions push their MBA programs as being new, different, and innovative, but the perceived product of education remains the same.

And trying to differentiate based on corporate marketing techniques won’t work in Higher Education marketing because most institutions are in a model of co-opetition with their peers.

Then there are all of the various structures in place that limit institutional flexibility.

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Appendix B Episode 4, text is present that reads, "Avoiding the Procurement Blues."
Episode 4 —

Avoiding the Procurement Blues

When your department is purchasing new software, tools, or maybe even a CMS, are you thinking about what the user experience will be like for your staff?
Help them help YOU avoid the procurement blues.
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Appendix B Episode 3, text is present that reads, "Dealing with Content and Technical Debt."
Episode 3 —

Dealing with Content and Technical Debt

Joel’s most terrifying recurring dream isn’t about zombies or falling, it’s about the mountains of technical debt on college campuses everywhere.

And Kristin is constantly horrified by content debt and its role in slowing down efficiencies throughout the MarComm office.

What can be done?

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Appendix B Episode 2, text says "Higher Ed Wishlist for 2023."
Episode 2 —

Higher Ed Wishlist for 2023

New year, new Higher Ed wishlist! Joel and Kristin talk about their hopes and dreams for Higher Ed in 2023.

Joel hopes web professionals will keep their eyes fixed on page speed optimization, while Kristin is focused on efficient content strategies.

What’s gonna happen?

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Appendix B - If you build it, they won't come. From Bravery Media.
Episode 1 —

If you build it, they won’t come

Welcome to Appendix B from Bravery Media!

In our first episode, Joel and Kristin discuss the missteps that institutions can sometimes take with their websites. Just because YOU really like that homepage carousel or giant social media feed, doesn’t mean it actually helps prospective students in their journeys. Do better!

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