If your PR people are spending most of their time reaching out to journalists (or even aghast bloggers), then your PR folks are underutilized. They should instead be spending most of their time training, supporting and coaching all the people (everyone) who work in your organization to join the marketing department.
Your people are your most powerful marketing and communications resource. Every single person who works in your organization can use Twitter, comment on news stories, comment on or write their own blogs, record/upload/comment on podcasts or screencasts of videos, and participate in online discussions and debates.
It is notoriously difficult to reach and influence decision makers in higher ed. Developing long-lasting, complex, and mutually reinforcing relationships is the only way to achieve success in this market. Social media platforms have become an essential connector in the network of higher ed buyers and influencers.
1. Every single person who works in your company/institution/organization should think of themselves as working in marketing.
2. Every single person who works in your company/institution/organization has the ability to share core values, message, and services of your with the world.
3. Every single person who works in your company/institution/organization should be free to publicly express their own ideas and beliefs, and to share how they are informed (but not determined) by where they are employed.
4. Every single person who works in your company/institution/organization can embed herself or himself as active and productive participants of the online communities that form around particular industries, technologies, or practices.
1. Do your employees believe they will have the company/institutional support to comment on (or create) blogs or news stories?
2. Do your employees believe that they need to get public posts / comments approved when writing about the company, competitors or the industry?
3. Do your employees, the ones who are the most active participants in social media that aggregates your potential customers, receive recognition and rewards for these activities?
4. Is participation in relevant social media communities an activity that is considered an essential work activity, one in which time is carved out in order to facilitate these actions?
Are your employees your social media plan?