The academic world all over the globe has started exploiting newer PR strategies to harvest incredibly astonishing dividends.
Earlier academicians used old press release based communication models which are rapidly being obsolete. Even established academic institutions have started creating very different management-PR synergies that suit their immediate admissions, placements and the other requirements.
The old PR models basically relied on media manipulations. With the growth of word of mouth publicity methodologies all such gimmicks have lost their sheen. The advents of multiple social platforms that magnify, multiply and affect public opinion, feedback and flaw have changed the rules of the publicity games.
Today the academic public relations are mostly used to project the organizational image in such a manner that may favorably enhance its magnetism that may attract more and more new admissions, concurrently convincing the valuable corporates to endorse & participate in the campus placement activities each year.
This new publicity orientation and approach is coined as two way management PR synergy. In this methodology, the modern Academic Institutions utilize the two-way symmetrical communication model that churn out more public attention without chasing the news media. In Australia and the US, no reputed institute is following the 19th century model of propagandistic communication that was madly in love with the traditional media attention.
Merging & Emerging: Public Relations are playing a major role all over the world in Higher Education Intuitional growth as well. Without specific public relations support to the marketing strategies of the institute even the strongest of the existing brands are going to eat dust. In recent years, numerous universities have established strong public relations departments to strengthen their human resource, marketing and personnel offices and all of such units are thriving well as academic mitochondria.
Newer Synergies: Such newer synergies have cropped up in order to better communicate with students, alumni, donors, neighboring communities and other publics. Universities look to public relations units to manage crises, boost rankings, increase donations, and carry out a variety of other tasks.
How these newer public relations synergies are affecting the growth of the academic institutions and prospering them immensely is an interesting phenomenon all though not very well understood so far.
The Excellence theorists (Jim and his wife Lauri Grunig , 2002) identified several excellence principles of an excellent public relations and communication department. If we apply their principles on an academic institution then a better picture will emerge by:
- Empowering the departments to have their small public relations units
- Each Department Communicate properly with other units of the university or college
- Strengthening HR Department to boost placements
- Involving Academic & other communities in a better way using all sorts of social platforms.
Changing Roles: First of all the empowerment of various departments to have their separate PR units run by the students and teachers both is also a sort of public relations exercise that gives an opportunity to the subject practitioners explore their needs and report their requirements to the HR forming a significant coalition not common in any academic setup. This will help the departmental experts to get customized solutions and suggesting strategic changes. When such bonding develops it further strengthens the university brand across the student community because these operations are already partnered by them. Any academic institution whose public relations function adheres to these characteristics is more capable of effectively balancing its needs with that of publics. Such empowering further helps the colleges and universities quickly recognize issues related to their publics before they become problems.
Secondly promoting Communicator Roles within various units of any academic institution creates innumerable opportunities where the departmental experts and the students start sharing their original and out of box ideas to sort out issues. Such environment sets a chain reaction that ultimately boosts the brand value of the particular academic institution.
In the new century the lead role of HR Department has also changed greatly. Now it is supposed to create two different streams of investors. First stream is of the aspiring students and the other the hiring organizations. The HR departments are strengthened in such a way with multiple inter departmental coalitions which helps these streams flow towards a particular college or university uninterrupted.
Radical Shift: Usually, so far all sorts of the academic public relations units were responsible only to maintain normal media relations, publicity, advertising and entertaining the journalists. A radical shift in this responsibility is visible now. In the successful academic organizations the role of media relations has gone to the departmental public relations units. The media coordination job still rests with the HOD of Public Relations apart from its newly created management role. Today an integrated public relations unit is more able to respond to issues and allocate resources to address problems without delay. The dirty practices are dying fast which dominated the academic scenario earlier in which the institutes spent a lot of time and effort to determine how to persuade publics to behave in the way the organization desires.
The newer management synergies are now supporting the HR, Marketing, Personnel, Academic Brand and Reputation in a better and more effective manner evolving truly impressive influencers who are transforming their new universities and institutions into talent pool magnets attracting the students and the employers both.
Copyright © 2016 Dr. AshokKumar Sharma. All Rights Reserved.