Son of Shameless Self-Promotion

So this morning, I attended the annual welcome back faculty breakfast where we get to briefly gawk at new faculty who're made to pirouette while the higher-ups get attempt to use their vitas as part of a comedy routine. Meanwhile, while we - the entrenched, bored, on-our-best behavior old faculty - stuff our faces with free cafeteria food (I am increasingly convinced there is nothing more enticing to academics than the notion of a free lunch). Also this is where the University president traditionally exhorts us to some grand "moral" goal (the quotes are there because I don't necessarily equate the morals the president espouses with my own). And over the last two years, they've also started introducing us to the university's new marketing plan. That's right, kids, greasy bacon and academic commercials!

Oddly enough, most of us don't ever think about how universities market themselves. I'd imagine if you wanted to sell a university, you'd have to choose the best way to reach your ideal demographic. You'd probably edit your information to appeal to a 19 year old. Or maybe you'd even suggest, in addition to the official information, that someone try to figure a way to make the kids who're already at your university make their own commercials.

First, you target them, then you infect them. Viral marketing has come to the university.

Pause a moment and think about what that would look like. Would it say much about education, amidst all those fast edits and off-center camera angles? Would you even want to? Ever search for your university's name on YouTube? Could be worth looking at whatever turns up.


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