Archive for March, 2010

| posted by Joe Hice |

We’re gonna be on UNC-TV!

“NC State Night” at UNC-TV is tonight. Tune in from 7 – 11 to see all your favorite NC State people on the air.

We have about 40 volunteers for the last night of UNC-TV’s Festival 2010 pledge drive so give us a call and donate a dollar (or more!)

We’ll have two special “commercials” during the evening.  At 7:55 p.m. CHASS Dean Jeff Braden will address the audience and at 8:23 p.m. Alex Miller from Arts NC State will appear. Sure to be the highlights of your viewing week.

So tune in tonight to see us answering the phones in our NC State t-shirts!

Passion Rules!


| posted by Joe Hice |

Management Styles; by directive or direction

The reorganization of communications on campus has created a lot of good discussion on this Blog and elsewhere.  It’s obvious that some people love the change, while others hate it.  Some want to see more, but faster change.  Some want to see more, but slower change.  Some don’t want to see any change at all:-(

You know me, I love change.  Good or bad, change happens and it is sure to be a constant here at NC State.  Remember, we have a new Chancellor starting on Monday!

But one aspect of life at NC State that is sure to take some time to change, is the decentralized nature of the university.  Randy Woodson will make some changes there, and we’re doing the same in communications.  If I was to be pinned down, I would say I’m in favor of “rapid” change.  Not today or tomorrow change, but certainly not in five years change. Rapid change.

A couple of the blog comments and emails I received after the reorganization announcement got me thinking about the type of management that works best in a university environment.  The traditional corporate model might work in some examples of higher education (one boss, one voice,) but not here.  NC State has  become what it is today because of the strength of it’s colleges and units.  Not the strength of one individual.

Here, and in most examples of higher education, the manage-by-consensus model is most effective.  You work together with the entire organization (a collegial approach, get it) to develop a strategy and move forward.  When possible, you undertake bold initiatives like we’re doing with the reorganization of University Communications and CALS Communications Services.  And there will be more as we continue to advance.  I believe that movement forward in this environment requires starts and stops.  It’s very similar to the management style at Harley-Davidson.

1990 or 2010 Fatboy???????

1990 or 2010 Fatboy???????



| posted by Joe Hice |

What, no comments?

Announce one of the biggest changes in communications on campus in years, and no comments!  Come on folks.  I want to hear from you.  i need to hear from you.  What are your dreams and wishes?  What are your concerns and issues?  If you want to keep your comments private, there’s email or the telephone.

Passion Rules!

1 of Many


| posted by Joe Hice |

NC State Communications Groups Announce Reorganization Plans

In case you missed it, a major change has taken place in the communications organization on campus.  A very positive change in my mind.  A change that took the courage and commitment of Dean Johnny Wynne, the understanding and cooperation of a storied communications group at NC State, the determination of a University Chancellor and his senior staff,  and the patience of Joe (I mean Job.)  Actually it all came together remarkable fast (like 108 days I think) and the passion we all feel for NC State University helped make it possible.

Here’s the memo that started it all or at least a facsimile with some changes from the original.  I should note that the outline reflects work done at the University of Florida as part of its Communications Network ( and strategic communications planning efforts and adapted for NC State use: (more…)


| posted by Joe Hice |


Check back later today for more news about . . .


| posted by Joe Hice |

Publications Subcommittee Update

Like most universities, one of the goals of NC State is to tell the world about the research and discovery taking place on campus every day. Whether it’s through the personal stories of our scientists and students, or the hard news research features, publications are an important part of campus life.  They also play a key role in telling the stories.  But in today’s changing world, where more than 70,000 people a day visit NC State on the Web, it’s important that we stay up to date with how we treat university publications.

The Publications Subcommittee is taking a look at publications across campus and developing a strategic approach to how we handle publications now, and in the future.

Publications Subcommittee

•Scope includes:

–Regularly scheduled documents in print and/or electronic format

–Annual reports, progress reports, newsletters, e-newsletters and magazines

SWOT Analysis for Publications

SWOT Analysis – Strengths:

  • Engaging and well-liked
  • Tell the NC State stories; promote pride
  • Good quality and award winning, esp. top-level pubs
  • Promote the NC State brand; many follow Brand Book
  • Reach a wide and diverse audience

SWOT Analysis – Weaknesses:

  • Too many
  • Varying quality
  • Lack of success measure; goals/purpose unclear
  • Don’t understand the audience
  • Duplication of effort
  • Planning and organization
  • Preaching to the choir (more…)

| posted by Joe Hice |

Internal Communications Update

All the planning in the world can’t make up for a lack of communications with each other.  One of the most challenging aspects of a large public university (Land-Grant Universities especially) is that we have so many internal audiences.  In North Carolina alone we have faculty, staff, students, alumni, all 100 counties, and many many more audiences.  If you can’t talk effectively to each other, how can you be expected to talk to those outside the family, so to speak.  The Internal Communications Subcommittee is taking on those challenges.

Internal Communications Subcommittee Update

•Who are our internal audiences?

•Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities & Threats

•Action items/next steps

NC State’s Internal Audiences:

  • Primary internal audiences: Faculty, staff and students (both on campus and off campus)
  • Secondary audiences (want to be kept in the loop): Alumni, retired faculty and staff, donors, students’ parents, advisers and volunteers
  • Though we are large, NC State is a community.

Internal Communications SWOT Analysis

SWOT Analysis – Strengths:

  • The Bulletin e-newsletter
  • The university’s home page
  • Social media: Twitter, Facebook & YouTube
  • Email listservs
  • Technician and other student media
  • Old-fashioned face-to-face contact with administrators (more…)

| posted by Joe Hice |

SCOPE Academy; We’re talking about SCIENCE!

By Steve Townsend, College of Physical and Mathematical Sciences:


Chancellor-elect Woodson recently stressed the importance of science and engineering in addressing “the grand challenges of society,”  such as water, climate and energy. At NC State, we believe this goes beyond educating those who will work directly in science and technology fields. It’s also important that we develop a strong scientific knowledge base among the general public and those who frame public policy.

Our elected and appointed officials need solid scientific information to make sound policy decisions, and citizens need the background and tools with which to evaluate those decisions. That’s why it’s important that our faculty take an interest in explaining their work outside their disciplines and that our colleges work together to prepare students not just to enter the workforce, but to be well-rounded, participatory members of society. (more…)


| posted by Joe Hice |

Web & Digital Communications Update

As we all know, the Web is one of the most important, most powerful communications tools available to the university.  As such, a great deal of thought and planning needs to go into how we approach Web & Digital Communications.  The subcommittee is taking such an approach.  Check out the actual PowerPoint presentation on the State COMM NING site:

Web & Digital Communications Subcommittee Update


Provide leadership for the university regarding standards and best practices for the strategic, innovative and appropriate use of the web, digital communications and social media.

•Scope Includes:

–Web (standard and mobile; university, college/division, department, program)

–Email (especially bulk)

–Instant Messaging

–Social Media (Facebook, Flickr, Twitter)

–Digital Signage

•Scope Does Not Include:





•However, some cross-over expected

•We will focus on

–How it looks

–The voice it speaks in

•We won’t focus on

–The services themselves (more…)


| posted by Joe Hice |

State COMM reports are impressive! Marketing & Public Relations

When we formed the State COMM Strategic Communications Planning Team in January 2010, I knew the challenges were daunting and the timetable totally unrealistic.  Yet this week’s reports form the four sub-committees were stellar.  All four groups; Marketing & Public Relations, Web & digital Communications, Internal Communications and Publications have made substantial progress toward our goal of delivering a strategic communications plan to Chancellor Woodson (get use to that name) shortly after his arrival.

While the presentations are posted on the NC State NING site,, I’m going to present each report here over the next few days.

To say I was impressed, blown away, amazed, would be an understatement. Congratulations to everyone involved and thank you for your commitment to the process and to NC State University.  This is a world class effort and it will help NC State achieve its dreams.

Marketing & Public Relations Committee

Our Charge:

Communications with a marketing component:

strategic planning, awareness campaigns and advertising.

  • Develop and propose key messages
  • Recommend improved tools, processes and training programs for campus communicators

SWOT Analysis – Strengths

  • University has invested in hiring professional communicators throughout colleges, departments, units.
  • Colleges have strong partnerships with industry.
  • We have strong, relevant stories to tell and an alumni base willing to spread the word about NC State.
  • University has invested in marketing research. (more…)