Archive for January, 2010

| posted by Joe Hice |

Strategic Social Media Integration

We talked a lot, well, maybe a little, about social media during the Advancement Summit yesterday.  People are definitely interested and I think just about everyone is participating in this form of communications.

But man are there lots of questions.  How do you do it? What tools do you use?  How do you create, disseminate, control your messages?  How, What, Why seems to dominate the discussion.

Came across this list of things to do with social media on one of the sites I frequent;  Check it out.

  1. Listen and educate internal stakeholders
    • Invest some time and energy in learning about social media.  Listen to the social web for sentiment about your company, and also learn from competitors and other categories.
  2. Understand your audience and how they currently interact with social media
    • Using simple techniques and tools, learn which topics are important to your customers.  Find out how your customers are engaging with other companies.
  3. Determine social marketing objectives
    • What do you hope to achieve with social media?  Are you interested in using it for customer service? To create a closed customer-feedback loop?  To provide product information?  To promote your products?  To build your brand?  Make sure that internal stakeholders agree on objectives and how to measure against them. (more…)

| posted by Joe Hice |

Making change work at NC State University

The University Advancement retreat today was very nice and worthwhile.  Had a chance to preach the Passion Rules! gospel and talk about change.  Because the Passion Rules! portion was somewhat off the cuff, I’m just posting the change stuff here.

Hope it’s useful

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

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

Coaches change.  Even senior leadership changes…perhaps more than we’d like, but even in the really good times, things change.

Look at me; I’m standing up here before you because change happens.

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.

Betsy Flanagan talked about change as it relates to campaign planning and advancement.  Who would have dreamed two years ago that the Internet would help Barack Obama raise more than $500 million for his presidential campaign.  About half of his donations were made online and the average donation…less than $80 a pop!

Now that’s change.

Just two weeks ago, who would have dreamed that your cell phone would help raise millions to help the earthquake victims in Haiti.  And at just $5 or $10 a pop.

Now that’s change.

Chancellor Woodward talked about change at NC State from a personal perspective.

As the glue that helped hold this place together for the past six months, Woodward represents change.  Professional change and personal change.  If you don’t think the Chancellor went through a lifetime of personal change during that short period of time, think again.  He was just starting to enjoy retirement when everything changed.  All this man has done since July is deal with change. (more…)


| posted by Joe Hice |

Never screw up on a slow news day!

It has been a little hectic around here the last couple of days (I mean months) and I’m taking the easy way out on the Blog today.  Following you’ll find suggestions on dealing with the media.  I encourage you to share with your deans, directors and department heads and anyone else interested.  Really no magic involved.  Be yourself, be prepared, be honest, be …

It’s been so long I don’t remember where these come from but I think they may be from a friend and media consultant in Sarasota, David Voss.  Thanks David.

Passion Rules!

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Time and space limitations

Think news value, not fluff

We need the press

They won’t go away

Understand the press (news values, local philosophy, key players, competition)


Increase personal media consciousness and analyze the news

Understand the organizational structure of your media outlets

Keep up-to-date information readily available

Delay if necessary by asking questions (“When is your deadline?”), then do your homework and prepare a message



| posted by Joe Hice |

Ram Roast? I thought it was a bar-b-que!

You have to love big rivalries on the college level and today one of the biggest in the nation is on center stage.  Rivalries bring graduates back to campus for the day, stir old memories and create new.  They bring out the passion in fans and you know how much I love Passion.

As a new member of the NC State family, I joined the Wolfpack to celebrate today’s rivalry. Started with the women’s basketball game where the Reynold’s Coliseum was really rocking then walked through the Free Expression Tunnel to the bar-b-que, I mean, Ram Roast.  Pride in NC State was everywhere and people were having a great time. Now this morning I figure some kids have pulled a prank on the student newspaper until I realized the name on the masthead, “Daily Tar Hell,” was a spoof and the stories too.  Good stuff.  Passion Rules on campus today.

Pay attention when you’re walking around today or at the game tonight, because the emotional branding I talk about all the time will on display in all its glory.  It’s this level of connection, this emotional connection, that we have to access if our strategic communications plan and our branding approach is to be successful at NC State.  We’ve got to connect with people on a personal and holistic level if we’re to imprint NC State on their psyche and we’ve got to do it day in and day out.  When the rivalry games occur, we’ve got to seize the moment to drive our message home.  It’s hard work trying to burn your message into someone’s mind.  Its even harder to make sure athletics is only a part of that connection.  An important part, but just a part.  Remember, STUDENT athlete.




| posted by Joe Hice |

NC State branding ideas from 2007

From a report completed by Art & Science Group LLC. a few years back.  Some pretty interesting stuff.  What do you think?

The big issues that NC State should position itself as taking a leading role in addressing are:

  • Producing leaders for the state, nation, and world
  • Energy and the environment
  • Health and well-being
  • Educational innovation across all grade levels
  • Economic development and social equity

Realize that this information was gleaned from several hundred interviews in early 2007.  From focus group research conducted around the same time and from “man-on-the-street” discussions on campus, in town, and around the nation.  Sure the world has changed a lot since then, but many of the findings could still be valid…couldn’t they?

I’m planning to post the longer report from Art & Science Group and others on the NC State Communicators NING site.  Probably won’t happen for  few days, but keep your eyes open.  The recommendations in the reports are great thought starters and I suspect that many of them will weave their way into our strategic communications plan.  In fact, many of them are already in the plan we’re following today around NC State branding.

Passion Rules!

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| posted by Joe Hice |

Remembering Abe Holtzman, one of our own

By Jeffery P. Braden:

Perhaps one of the greatest regrets I will have is that I never met Abe Holtzman. Professor Emeritus Holtzman died Monday (1-18-10), leaving an academic legacy that might surprise many who equate NC State with agriculture, engineering, and technology. Abe did none of those things-he was a professor of political science, and his career spanned five decades of scholarship and teaching. His scholarship shaped and influenced his field-and his lectures shaped and influenced generations of NC State students.

Although I never met Abe Holtzman, I know him. I know Abe from the alumni who pull me aside at football and basketball games and tell me about his class and the way he challenged their thinking. I know Abe from his colleagues who can’t hide their surprise when I admit I never met him, but quickly proceed to regale me with tales of his scholarly accomplishments and his stance as a liberal lion and stalwart defender of social justice. I know Abe from an alumnus in the Arizona legislature who called yesterday to express his condolences and tell us of the profound effect Abe had on him and his political beliefs-despite the fact his beliefs are so conservative he decries Senator John McCain as “too liberal.” I know Abe from legislators, judges, engineers, and architects, who run the gamut of the political spectrum, yet are united by a deep and endearing reverence for a man who challenged them, who demanded them not just to voice but to justify their opinions, and who never faltered in conveying and commanding respect.

Abe Hotlzman was the antithesis of our current culture, in which differences of opinion devolve into pseudo-political theater where the loudest voice wins. Abe used debate to bring out ideas, to push students out of their comfort zone, forcing them to examine cherished beliefs and grapple with prickly ideas. (more…)


| posted by Joe Hice |

Even a diamond needs to be dug out and polished

I have often referred to myself as the head cheerleader for NC State University (a nice job to have last night in the RBC Center.  Go Pack!)  I’m proud to be part of the university and I want everyone to know about it.   I suppose that’s what you might expect from a dyed in the wool PR and marketing guy.   Despite their great work, many faculty members are not as outgoing as I might be and that may not do them well within the institution or among their peers in higher education.  At least that’s what Dr. Sastry Pantula thinks.

Pantula is Head of the Department of Statistics and President of the American Statistical Association and he and Steve Townsend (Director of Communications, College of Physical and Mathematical Sciences) have been talking about PR and publicity.  Dr. Pantula might not be the head cheerleader, but he recognizes the importance of individual recognition among faculty members and he shared that recognition with his group recently.  Here’s what he told Steve about a recent article he read:


I enjoy reading Gary Olson’s articles in the Chronicle.  I have shared  the following with our junior faculty.  I appreciate what you and the Dean do with the Scope magazine and Scope Academy also.  I know the more I know about our faculty’s accomplishments, the easier it is for me to help make opportunities for them. Even a diamond needs to be dug out, and polished 😉

Here are some common ways that new faculty members might begin to make themselves known in their disciplines: (more…)


| posted by Joe Hice |

Google to provide student Gmail and other services at NC State University. Sign up now for beta testing.

NC State University has successfully negotiated an agreement with Google Inc. that will enable us to provide improved e-mail and other hosted services for students through the free Google Apps Education Editionâ„¢ program. This action was recommended by the Student E-mail Task Force in their March 2009 report ( ).

Outsourcing e-mail is a growing trend in higher education because it enables universities to improve technology services for students while reducing costs. The Google Apps Gmail services will give NC State students more than 7 gigabytes of storage per account, something they have been requesting for years but the university has been unable to afford to provide. Based on the current level of student e-mail services, the Student E-mail Task Force estimated that outsourcing student e-mail would save the university an anticipated $60,000 per year. In addition to e-mail, Google Apps Education Editionâ„¢ offers a suite of popular communication and collaboration applications designed for schools and universities.

OIT has formed a Google Apps @ NC State Implementation Team to plan the  rollout of the new services. While e-mail and related services (calendaring, online document sharing, etc.) will be provided by Google, students will retain their official address. We expect to launch a student beta e-mail service by mid semester this spring and are encouraging students to request an invitation to participate by visiting NC State’s Google Web site: The production service will be rolled out over the coming year.

More information about NC State’s implementation of Google Apps Education Edition™is also available at

I should note that NC State Chief Information Officer, Dr. Marc Hoit,  and the Office of Information Technology, spearheaded the effort from the administrative end.  You guys Rock!  Now if you can just help me sync my Gmail account to Groupwise we’ll really be in business.

Passion Rules!.

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| posted by Joe Hice |

The yin and yang and yin of higher education; North Carolina State University, UNC — Chapel Hill and Duke

I’m pretty excited about this evening’s dinner with the Boards of Trustees from NC State University and UNC — Chapel Hill.  We all live and work together and are kind of the yin and yang of higher education locally.  In fact, you could probably use the two as the definition of yin and yang in the dictionary…an example of how seemingly disjunct or opposing forces are interconnected and interdependent in the natural world.


I don’t think anyone really knows what will come out of this first meeting between boards, but I’ve gotta believe it will be something good.  But why not push for more?

As I noted last week, the Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill region is a hotbed for higher education.  In addition to the three major universities, we’ve got more than a handful of excellent smaller colleges and a strong community college system.  A mecca for higher education if you will.

So, if our trustees can work well together and our faculty and staff are already working together, what about a joint effort to promote higher education in the triangle.   I think NC State, UNC – Chapel Hill and Duke are up for it.  What about the others in the region. What do you think?

From today’s N&O:

Passion Rules!

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| posted by Joe Hice |

Teaching, Research, Administration, Blue Grass Guitar and Beer; Woodson is already a star in my book!

See today’s story about our new Chancellor Randy Woodson in the N&O.  I think we’re going to really, really like this guy!