Wednesday, August 23, 2006

WOM in Higher Education and the HigherEdBlogCon

I recently presented at an innovative institution of higher education. I spoke to the division of enrollment mangagement and college relations as part of their day-long retreat. This division includes such departments as admissions, alumni relations, financial aid, athletics, the career center, etc.

The first part of the presentation was an introduction to WOM marketing. In this opening presentation I discussed reasons for the resurgence of WOM, motivations for spreading WOM, WOMM ethics, and then layed out a number of different case studies, both from the corporate world, as well as higher education, to illustrate some basic WOM principles. Then the next session was an activity where participants applied those principles of WOM in the first session to developing their own WOM marketing programs.

I also prepared a resource packet for the participants and one of the resources was a web-based conference called HigherEdBlogCon. Of immediate relevance to this audience was the section of the conference devoted to Admissions, Alumni Relations, and Communications & Marketing: Below is a sampling of the topics discussed:

How Can I Learn More About New Media
The Teeming Web (This includes a very helpful primer on social networking sites relevant to a higher education audience (PDF).
Blogging & Podcasting for Student Recruitment
Freshman Reveal Their Secrets: The Mansfield University Podcast
Alumni E-Networks: Using Technology to Engage Alumni and Constituents
Online Networks: A New Tool for Alumni Relations
Social Networking: What Is It and Where Does It Fit In the Alumni World?
Using Wikis to Facilitate Communication, Collaboration, and Knowledge Sharing Among Admissions and Administrative Personnel

I also suggested a few blogs that are relevant to higher education:

Karine Joly
An excellent source for what to do as a university looking into new media

Dan Karleen’s blog

Director of New Media, Thomson Peterson’s, Organizer of Higher Ed Blog Con

The Future of PR

All about blogging and wikis in higher education.


Thursday, August 03, 2006

Need The Latest Stats on Word-of-Mouth For Your Presentation Tomorrow?

I receive a call or e-mail at least once a week from a reporter, a company, a student, etc. where a question is asked about the latest stats on WOM. Well my life just got a lot easier because I can refer them to a resource provided by the Word of Mouth Marketing Association called "Stats, and Data, and Numbers, Oh My!" (PDF).

It's billed as "all the facts and figures about word of mouth that you can eat" and it's a good thing because there's a lot of hungry people out there looking for this information.

The stats are organized according to four areas: 1) why WOM is important, 2) who is creating and relying on WOM, 3) where WOM is happening, and 4) what is being said.

The numbers were compiled by Ann Green of Millward Brown, Ed Keller of the Keller Fay Group, and Greg Wester of VoodooVox for WOMMA's recent WOMBAT 2 conference in San Francisco.

Bon app├ętit!

Hat tip to the WOMMA Research Blog

Disclosure: WOMMA Advisory Board Member