Archives—April 2017

Put Away the Megaphone and Talk to an Audience of One

As marketers and communicators we want crowds. Crowds of students at our events. Crowds of alumni during Reunion. And crowds of fans on social media. Our audiences inspire us to raise the bar—they don’t want to be part of the crowd and they certainly don’t want to feel marketed to. They want to feel unique and valued.

No billboards or blasts here. One by one, we’re interested in creating lasting relationships with real people, conveying our brand essence—honestly. Over time It leads to real impact for Michigan Tech.

Picture your audience in your mind—a single person. It’s more than their interests or age. What are their daily struggles? What does the average day look like for them?

Now have a conversation.

Tell Stories

Humans crave good stories. Telling them in clear, simple, relatable terms naturally elicits a response. Michigan Tech’s brand has thousands of stories to tell—each connecting to the people, experiences, and opportunities here. Amy Karagiannakis with Pavlis Honors College does an incredible job curating brand stories that naturally and holistically communicate Pavlis’ offerings. Amy changes the homepage out frequently to feature a new student story—often they’re just a few sentences long and coupled with a compelling photo (usually provided by the student!).

Think Radio

University Marketing and Communications as a hack for on-brand, written messaging: Think about radio broadcasting. Seems weird, right? But radio DJs or scripts get to the point sooner, use shorter, more casual sentence structure, and are altogether more direct. They begin sentences with “And” and “But. It’s not forced, it’s just how real people talk.

Address a Single Person

What do you want your audience to do? Research proves a more sure-fire way to ensure clicks, opens, and returns is to use a targeted call to action (CTA). Read more. Click here. Apply now. These are generic call to actions used for the masses. Drill it down and craft a powerful CTA that singles out your audience, yet tells them exactly what you want them to do.
“Alumni Huskies—Volunteer for an archaeological dig abroad.”

Provide an Engaging Experience

Social content managers are careful with each post. Which photo? Which link? The right message. The social forecast demands we look at our inbound messages with a similar care.

On Facebook.com/michigantech we often ask targeted questions. Do you remember your Senior Design project? Do you dunk your pasty in ketchup or gravy? It gets our students and alumni talking! And we love to hear their responses. We try to take some time each day to check in, answer any questions folks have, or respond to cool stories. Most times we “sign” each comment with our name, because we’re humans talking to humans.

It takes a little more time. But we think it’s the right style for us. Honest.

–Shannon Rinkinen
Brand Manager