On the drive in today, I did my normal Monday routine listening to the latest TWIT podcast recorded Sunday night (TWIT stands for “this week in tech” and is hosted by my favorite tech expert, Leo Laporte).
About 13 minutes into the podcast they discussed the news that President-Elect Obama is going to have to give up his Blackberry, to which he is apparently addicted to like many of us smart-phone users are.
The conversation turned to how the President would communicate with the public during his tenure. He has already created a new website and posted his first YouTube video. Would he continue to interact with his constituents online in these ways as compared to the traditional weekly radio address (started in 1923 by FDR) and prime-time television broadcasts (again, first done by FDR in 1939)?
Even these tech-experts couldn’t necessarily agree and kept falling back on the idea that the best way to reach the largest audience is by these traditional means, not by posting YouTube videos or regular Twitter posts. However, this next President is clearly from a different era, one that embraces technology as a means of communication.
And how many of us actually listen to the weekly radio address? How many of us are frustrated when the President interrupts our favorite primetime show to give us a state of the union or other important message? Why wait until those fixed times when you could update the world online in a matter of minutes?
The conversation turned to concerns of email accounts and websites being hacked, questions of when would the President have time to “tweet” (ObamaTweet: I’m about to meet with Putin. Wish me luck.) and really how many people actually have an use a Twitter account or watch important videos on YouTube?
My point here as to how it relates to higher education is this: is your President and other campus leadership still using traditional media that the people they are trying to reach no longer use? What marketing technique are you using today of which your intended audience no longer rely on? How do we advance forward like we’ve done so many times in the past? I’m sure the first time FDR did a radio or television address many of the same questions and concerns arose. But we got past it and moved on.
Time for those still stuck in the traditional ways of communication to do the same or get left talking to themselves.
Read more about our authors. Brian is the CEO and Co-Founder of TargetX. Over twenty years ago, he started his career in admissions at a small, liberal arts college. He was a constant thorn in the admission director’s side – always wanting to try new ideas and technology. He took his energy (and vast collection of suspenders – it was the early 90′s) to lead the graduate and adult enrollment and marketing at a national university. In this leadership position, he helped differentiate his employer in one of the most crowded higher education marketplaces in the country and pioneered the use of the Internet in recruitment marketing. His passion sparked the genesis of TargetX, the company he has served for over 14 years as its co-founder and CEO. Along the way he’s earned his master’s degree in education at the University of Pennsylvania and built TargetX into a multi-million dollar technology and consulting firm serving over 450 colleges and universities. Brian is now a voice of change in an industry at its tipping point, helping colleges who have the gumption to embrace more effective recruiting techniques as traditional methods wither away. He is also the author of “Overthrowing Dead Culture: A Vision to Change the World of College Recruiting” available on Amazon.com and BN.com.