Magazine article University Business

Answering Opportunity's Knock: Grab the Low-Hanging Fruit for Public Relations and Marketing Success

Magazine article University Business

Answering Opportunity's Knock: Grab the Low-Hanging Fruit for Public Relations and Marketing Success

Article excerpt

As one who enjoys reading history, I often ponder those moments of missed opportunity by myopic individuals or organizations. History is rife with such tales.

Consider the executive at Decca Records, for example, who nixed a recording contract with the legendary Beatles because he didn't see the group's musical style and compositions as unique or marketable. Of actor Nick Nolte, who reportedly turned down the role to play Indiana Jones on the big screen, allowing Harrison Ford to become the persona etched in our minds for that character. Or when the president of the Western Union Telegraph Company passed on buying the patent to the telephone, telling Alexander Graham Bell, "We have come to the conclusion that it has no commercial possibilities."

Those of us who serve in higher ed public relations and marketing must be careful not to make similar errors.

In an increasingly competitive and global higher education marketplace, it is incumbent upon those of us who manage and lead our institutional relations programs to do so with a spirit of eagerness, enthusiasm and openness, and maintain an eye for appreciating the big picture.

When opportunity knocks

It's no secret that public relations and marketing funds are tight at nearly every public and private institution across the nation. Rather than waving the proverbial white flag, we should accept this financial reality and view it as an excellent opportunity to flex our creative, professional muscle.

I have found that if I am able to demonstrate tangible results with the funds I am budgeted one fiscal year, there is a strong likelihood I will be provided a bit mote funding the next year and the year after that. Success breeds success.

Forced to do mote with less, we must seek out low-to no-cost public relations and marketing objectives that are high impact, efficient, effective and measurable. I have often found these to exist as low-hanging fruit staring us in the face.

When I was a child, my grandparents had a large apple tree behind their house. One year at harvest time I noticed a large, ripe apple high atop the tree, just begging for 8-year old Marc to pick.

I conceived several crazy and, perhaps, dangerous ways to pick that apple. There was nothing wrong with me setting my sights high on that one ripe apple. …

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