Archive for December, 2009

| posted by Joe Hice |

Trauma in The Gator Nation as Urban Meyer resigns (temporarily) as head football coach

It’s kind of surreal in Gainesville tonight; Urban Meyer announced he is stepping down as head coach of the University of Florida football team and the news is everywhere.  Every television station, every radio station, every blog, facebook and twitter feed is talking about it.  Heck, I think I heard a loudspeaker in the neighborhood announcing it and my mom even called me to ask if I knew anything more.

“I certainly appreciate what he has meant to the University of Florida, our football program and The Gator Nation,” said UF Athletic Director Jeremy Foley.  I’m sure Jeremy will have more to say in the future.

For himself, Meyer said he would remain in Gainesville to help the university, but added that had no immediate plans to return to coaching.  My suspicion is that he’s applying for my old job at UF.   He’d be an ideal candidate to lead The Gator Nation campaign for UF because even though he was the football coach, he understands that The Gator Nation is about much more than football.



| posted by Joe Hice |

Science behind St. Nick’s magic sleigh

Santa skeptics have long considered St. Nick’s ability to deliver toys to the world’s good girls and boys in the course of one night a scientific impossibility. But new research shows that Santa is able to make his appointed rounds through the pioneering use of cutting-edge science and technology.

“Santa is using technologies that we are not yet able to recreate in our own labs,” explains North Carolina State University’s Dr. Larry Silverberg, a professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering who just completed a six month visiting-scholar program at Santa’s Workshop-North Pole Labs (SW-NPL). “As the first scholar to participate in the SW-NPL program, I learned that we have a long way to go to catch up with Santa in fields ranging from aerodynamics and thermodynamics to materials science.” (more…)


| posted by Joe Hice |

Passion Rules! and the Holiday Season

Kind of slow with the students (and most faculty and staff) gone for the holidays.  A good time to reflect on the past three months and to look forward to the next 3, 6, 9, 12 and so on.  Lots to do.

Our success at NC State will depend on the hard work of a lot of people and the passion we all have for this great university.  I believe we can achieve that Passion by following a few simple Passion Rules!

  1. You must have Passion for the institution…
  2. To create Disciples for your brand…
  3. By Connecting to the customer…
  4. And Imprinting the experience in their minds
  5. You must also engender trust & preference
  6. Connect & converse – Talk to them…
  7. Demonstrate Creativity – the Wow Factor
  8. Consistency, consistency, consistency

We will talk more about each one in the future.  For now, treat ’em like a nice scotch or fine wine.  What do you mean?  Well, if the Passion Rules! were a fine wine, it would go something like this: (more…)


| posted by Joe Hice |

Twitter going to the Dogs. Dog Book No. 3 in Tweets. A big bow wow to dog lovers

From; Using both Twittercounter and Twitterholic (both of which actually have slight variations in their charts), and checking as much as I can on itself, I’ve taken a minute to calculate who it is that’s tweeting the most on Twitter, and (where possible) what is they’re talking about.Here then, are the top ten, ranked by daily average:

1. @Market_JP (1,560,818 tweets, 43 followers, 2,268 tweets per day)
The runaway leader on Twitter, and the only account with more than one million tweets, is @Market_JP, which seems to be some kind of feed of news from the Nikkei, the Japanese stockmarket.

2. @Nieuwslijstnl (529,393 tweets, 443 followers, 2,126 tweets per day)
News from Holland, and broadcast from Amsterdam at an astonishing rate.

3. @dogbook (470,210 tweets, 1,238 followers, 1,992 tweets per day)
Dogbook is the Facebook app that lets dog owners connect with each other. The @dogbook feed seems to tweet the updates from these folks’ dogs. At a rate of almost two thousand times per day. Good times.  Wuf Wuf. (more…)


| posted by Joe Hice |

2010 is gonna be a great . . . but busy year at North Carolina State University

Hard to believe the year is almost over and that I’ve been here three months.  My how time flies . . . when you’re having fun!  Definitely true in my case and I hope so with all of you.

Before we all leave for the holidays I’d like to thank everyone who has helped make the past three months (56 days) so fulfilling.  There have been challenges for me, but most involve getting accustomed to the Raleigh area, not NC State.  The reason for that is the welcome I’ve received from everyone; from all of you.  So thank you for that.

I’m excited to begin the new year with our goal of creating a strategic communications plan for the university.  Sure, our timetable is aggressive, the work almost impossible, the expectations great…but what more could you ask for.

So thanks to everyone, especially those working on the STATE Comm committees we’ve created.  Check out the list below and remember, if you’re not on one of the committees, its not to late.  All volunteers are welcome.

STATE COMM Steering Committee

  1. Joe Hice (University Communications — Chair)
  2. Kylie Cafiero (Education)
  3. Jay Dawkins (Student Representative)
  4. Mark Dearmon (CALS)
  5. Mike  Giancola (Center for Student Leadership, Ethics & Public Service)
  6. Dave Green (Vetmed)
  7. Kathy Hart (Alumni)
  8. Louis Hunt (Enrollment Mgmt.)
  9. Stephanie Parker (Chancellor’s Office)
  10. Tim Peeler (Athletics)
  11. Jo-Ann Robinson (Diversity)
  12. Dee Shore (CALS)
  13. Rob Stevenson (HR)
  14. Jenny Weston (Engineering)
  15. Kay Zimmerman (DELTA)

Ex-officio members: Keith Nichols, Stephanie Hlavin, Tim Jones & Lauren Gregg (more…)


| posted by Joe Hice |

Purdue’s reason for cutting communications budgets

We’ve called out Purdue University recently for its approach to communications consolidation and while the effort began about 18 months ago, yesterday’s news from Indiana might spur additional reductions  The state wants $150 million in additional budget cuts from its public universities by early January 2010. That’s right…less than a month from now.  Talk about ruining your holiday break!

Ridiculous, I know, but as the story below indicates, the state is serious about the cuts, regardless of the pain and suffering.  Purdue is a big university, but its proportional share of a $150 million cut would be about $38.25 million…by January 8.  We should all count our blessings that we’re in North Carolina and at NC State University.

As far as the story from Indiana goes, it’s interesting that the media focuses on athletic cuts.  Never mind that entire programs and majors may be forced to go away.  How about the elimination of a college or two while you’re at it.

55 of 100 (more…)


| posted by Joe Hice |

Graduation and happy holiday season! My favorite time of the year


For many, December is their favorite time of the year.  I count myself among that group.  As an employee of the state’s largest (and best) public university, it is an especially wonderful time.  Why, “holiday graduations.”  I was a holiday grad way back when and I can’t think of anything better than graduating from college and heading right into the traditional holiday season.

North Carolina State University will confer more than 3,000 degrees on graduating students during its fall commencement exercises this Saturday.  Activities will begin at 9 a.m. in the RBC Center in Raleigh.  The public is welcome. (more…)


| posted by Joe Hice |

The face of change at NC State

If there is one constant at NC State University, it’s change.

Students change. Faculty members change. Courses and graduation requirements change.

We can’t do a lot about change and most of us don’t like it. We dislike change so much that we may resist it and that just adds to the stress of day-to-day life.

Understanding how change affects our lives can help reduce that stress and make change work for us.

A good friend back in Florida, Ron Kirsch,  Executive Director of the Leadership Development Institute in Gainesville, speaks about change on a regular basis and he explains that we all go through phases when dealing with change:

React. When things change, our first reaction is shock and denial.

Denial is a coping mechanism. We approach change with the attitude that if we ignore change and wait long enough, it will go away and things will get back to normal.

Reflect. Even when we perceive that it won’t go away, we still believe that things worked better before the change. So we try to bargain for reinstating the old system. We reflect on the “good old days.”

Reality eventually steps in and we realize that change is here to stay. We have to acknowledge that before moving forward.

Renew. We begin to let go, to see the value of what is coming and we actually begin looking for ways to help make change work for us. Our faith is renewed

Managing change successfully starts with new goals and a plan. (more…)


| posted by Joe Hice |

So what would success look like here

The Ten Marketing Concepts  post from yesterday has generated quite a bit of interest.  Blog responses, email, even a phone call.  I’m making the assumption its the marketing ideas and the post about how Purdue has taken a slash and burn approach to its marketing  that has generated the discussion lately.

But seriously, what would success look like at NC State?  Jane Albright put it nicely in quoting Stephen Covey;  it’s best to start with the end in mind — or at least some kind of goal. So, what does success look like here?

I’m going to use the classic cop-out here and say that we (that’s the collective we) are the only ones who can determine what success looks like at NC State and that’s my hope for the strategic communications planning effort we’ve just started.

Does success look like Purdue where all communications are centralized in a single unit.  All college and unit communicators reporting to a single person.

Does success look like Ohio State where almost 200 communicators report to about 20 different offices with little centralization.

Does success look like Michigan where each college has a communications director (some even have a small communications staff — read 2 or 3 people) and a larger central communications services unit.


Is success at NC State the same as success at North Carolina State University, NCSU, State or NCST (used infrequently by ESPN on the box scores).

Perhaps. (more…)


| posted by Joe Hice |

Ten marketing concepts of the decade; Will they work at NC State?

While I have been involved in the marketing of higher education for a few years now, my roots are still in consumer marketing.  Brand identity, creating disciples for your brand, message consistency, etc., are all concepts born out of the consumer marketplace.

Advertising Age just published a list of 10 Marketing Concepts for the decade and many of the concepts we’ve been discussing are included in the article.  The words might be different, but the concepts are the same. Bottom line, it’s a new world out there and to survive, let along thrive, you’ve got to be willing ot change with the times.  Go with the flow, you might say.

So, because it’s a busy day today (parties and holiday cheer, don’t ya know) and because the concepts are worth consideration, take a moment to read and reflect and ask yourself a few questions.  Do the top 10 work in higher education? Will the top 10 work at NC State?  If not, how many will work?  If so,  how do we go about implementing the concepts.  We could eliminate any semblance of individuality in  communications and control it from the top, a la Purdue.  We could maintain independence at college and unit levels and control it from within, a la Michigan.  We could just ignore marketing and let it happen, a la Ohio State.

Well, we could do a lot of things couldn’t we.  So lets think about what makes sense and use the top 10 to generate ideas.  We can compare those ideas with the ideas from the Brown Book (Building Brand Momentum) and go from there.  And just think, we have 10 days or so coming up where we can just sit back and reflect on the 10 things that follow.  Or not. (more…)