ROI, Digital Identity, Student Engagement and More: 2013 CASE Content to Guide Your 2014

2013 Content to Guide Your 2014

Instead of a “top 2013 content” post, we decided to ask several CASE content creators and curators about the articles, books and stories that were popular with readers, that pointed to possible trends in 2014 and what they enjoyed working on. We thought it’d be a good way for you to revisit articles, products and posts that might help spark ideas as you plan for 2014. (Note that you’ll need to be a CASE member to access some of the content below.)

Here’s what they said:

Ken Budd, editor-in-chief, CASE CURRENTS

In my opinion, two CURRENTS issues stand out from the rest.

  • The return on investment section in the July/August CURRENTS (“Like Nailing Jell-O to the Wall,” “Proving Your Success,” “Putting Your Arms Around Smoke“) resonated with readers because it covered three disciplines—communications and marketing, fundraising and alumni relations—and because it’s a subject that people are talking about and struggling with—plus it was presented in a way that was easy to digest. The Jell-O cover made a dry topic seem instantly accessible. It was our way of stating that the magazine will take more risks and have more personality going forward.
  • CASE received a number of comments about the October 2013 story, “Looking Back at the Boston Bombings.” It was different approach for CURRENTS in a variety of ways, from the portrait photography to the first-person perspectives. The piece offers dramatic storytelling, yet it’s also a strong service piece, mainly because the subjects not only discussed the challenges they faced, but the mistakes they made.

Janna Crabb, director of online communications and editor of the CASE Blog

In 2013, CASE published 82 blog posts, many written by CASE members. Each offered great content and advice, but I’ve highlighted several posts on topics I believe will remain in the spotlight in 2014.

  • Coffee, ROI and Student Engagement: Living Western Washington University’s Brand. This post, by Matthew Anderson at Western Washington University, looks at ways an institution can engage with students on social media and help build brand and memories.
  • Curating a Social Website. This post, by Mike O’Neill (formerly at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and now at Ithaca College) addresses an ongoing challenge for many institutions—effectively combining web and social in an online presence.
  • Facebook Metrics: But Do You LIKE ME, Like Me? In this post, Keith Hannon of Cornell University writes about Facebook and measuring return on investment using Facebook likes. While this is just a small piece of the measurement pie, this speaks to the importance of finding new ways to measure the return on investment of social media—a focus that is likely to grow in 2014.
  • Lock the Door or Open It? Why My Digital Identity is Public. This post, by Meg Bernier at St. Lawrence University, looks at have to find a balance between the personal and professional—the conversation around this topic will continue in 2014 as more people use social media for work and institutions continue to institute guidelines and policies around social media.
  • 2013: The Year of Digital Identity Development in Higher Education. This post, by Becca Ramspott at Frostburg State University, addresses the importance of creating and managing your digital identity—I think we’ll see even more focus on this in 2014 as social media and online presences continue to grow.

Doug Gouldenberg-Hart, director of editorial projects at CASE

Our 2013 bestseller was Net Proceeds: Increased Revenue from Enrollment & Advancement Guaranteed! Authors Robert Moore and Tom Abrahamson make a cogent case for why marketing efforts, planned and executed well and measured correctly, can boost educational enrollment and fundraising with an increasing return on investment. And what educational marketing officer doesn’t need the help making that case?

As the competition for enrollment heats up, this book demonstrates why marketing matters throughout the whole lifecycle of engagement. Moore and Abrahamson argue for the importance of calculating the lifetime value of students and alumni, and they link that metric (and others) to student recruitment and retention, alumni engagement, fundraising, and the quality of the educational experience at independent schools and colleges.

In addition to being timely, it is fun to read: Moore and Abrahamson have a lively writing style, and their chapters are laced with anecdotes and scenarios that are both amusing and memorable. And the color section on successful recruiting and fundraising marketing campaigns is a visual treat!

Sarah Raezler, senior information specialist at the CASE InfoCenter

The CASE InfoCenter produced more than 15 quality sample collections for the website in 2013 and updated many more, but my favorite of the year was the Student Engagement & Philanthropy Day 2013 Activities. This collection highlights 29 institutions that participated in the inaugural Student Engagement and Philanthropy Day in February. SEP Day, organized by CASE ASAP, encourages institutions to introduce and engage students with educational advancement.

It was fun to see the enthusiasm with which students embraced the programs on their campuses and the range of activities they implemented—everything from ice cream socials to scavenger hunts. As a result of SEP Day 2013, thousands of thank you letters were written to donors and funds were raised for scholarships at institutions all over the world.

It was an exciting collection to build and I hope to see it grow next year—the second annual Student Engagement and Philanthropy Day is Feb. 27, 2014!

David Moltz, writer/editor

We produced a number of e-newsletters and podcasts in 2013 but three stand out in my mind:

  • Advancement Talk. June 2013. “Establishing a Women’s Philanthropy Initiative on Campus.” Women’s philanthropy was a hot topic among CASE membership this past year, and guest Kathleen Loehr with Orr Associates Inc., provided useful and relevant information on the topic in an engaging style. Our guest, Kathleen Loehr, came to our Washington, D.C. offices to record in person.
  • Advancement Weekly. Jan. 28, 2013. “The Most Hazardous Word in the Office. This was among the most-read bits of advice we shared in Advancement Weekly last year.
  • Community College Advancement News. February and March 2013. “A Call to Action on Advocacy” and “The Road to Changing State Policy. An interview with officials from the Louisiana Community and Technical College System proved so fruitful that we decided to run a two-part series—a first for Community College Advancement News—on the success they achieved advocating for education-related legislation.

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