Can You Make It Pretty?
Can You Make It Pretty?Feb 17, 2022
Boring Meetings, "Everyone's a Marketer," and Creative Burnout: Tips to Make Your Lives a Little Easier
Three topics that come up A LOT in marketing, especially at community colleges:
- Too many boring meetings.
- Dealing with clients who think they're marketers.
- How to handle creative burnout.
Chris and Jenny Schell are the co-founders of Design Rangers, a Colorado Springs design firm that specialize in camps (not meetings), asserting your expertise in marketing, and tips to keep yourself engaged when the burnout is lurking. They chatted with Can You Make It Pretty? live at the District 4 conference in Colorado Springs on Oct. 13, 2023.
Staying Excited & Inspired at Your Two-Year College Marketing Job
Four NCMPR president emeriti, who have a combined 103 years of marketing and communications experience at community colleges, discuss how they stay excited about the job, how to beat imposture syndrome, how marketing can get a say at the college president's table and a whole lot more. NCMPR's 2023-24 president Jeff Julian guest hosts this episode, which was recorded live in St. Charles, Missouri, at the joint District 3/5 conference Oct. 6, 2023.
- Jeff Ebbing, from Southeastern Community College in Iowa, who was NCMPR president in 2022-23
- Lynn Whalen, from Lincoln Land Community College in Illinois, who was NCMPR president in 2019-20
- Heather McDorman, who is retired from St. Charles Community College in Missouri and was NCMPR president in 2010-11
- Alan Campbell, who is retired from Eastern Iowa Community Colleges and was NCMPR president in 2001-02
Launching a Successful, Targeted Digital Marketing Campaign
Saddleback College wanted to launch a targeted digital marketing campaign, and it wanted to ensure it got the details and audience right. As an HSI – Hispanic-Serving Institution – the California college needed to speak its audience's language, both literally and figuratively. Jennie McCue, Saddleback's executive director of marketing and communications, talks through how it selected its vendor, the research conducted, and the (successful!) results of the campaign.
Building a Vendor/College Marketing Relationship
How can you get the most bang for your budgeting buck with your vendors? And build the best relationship so you're not stuck in the awkward position of having to break ties with your vendor? With experience on both sides of the college/vendor relationship, Cheryl Broom – CEO of GradComm and former community college marketer – shares some tips for community colleges to ensure a fulfilling, fruitful relationship with their vendors. Plus, co-hosts Stephanie and Matt start with a bit about how their colleges use AI for their communications.
Marketing + Government Relations, and Creating a Personal Brand: Chatting with the 2023 Communicator of the Year
In college, Fiona Lytle thought she was going to be a dentist. Like so many community college marketers, though, her path changed. Today, Lytle is the chief communications officer and legislative liaison at the Colorado Community College System. She's also NCMPR's 2023 Communicator of the Year. Fiona shares how she got into her current job role, some tips for marketers on working with government officials and the importance of creating a personal brand.
How to ID and Address Unconscious Bias in Marketing
Identifying something that is unconscious can be tricky. How can we even pick out a problem if we don't realize it's happening? TaChelle Lawson – president of FIG Strategy & Consulting out of Las Vegas and a diversity, equity and inclusion trainer – discusses unconscious bias: What is it? How does it affect our relationships and our marketing? And how can we address it? Here's a hint: It may not ever become a comfortable topic, but it does it easier.
The Winding Path to Community College Marketing: A Chat with NCMPR's 2023-24 President
Before he found himself as Harper College's chief of staff, NCMPR's 2023-24 president worked in marketing, yes. He also worked in construction, in radio, for the American Library Association, and filing taxes in a cat-filled basement. Jeff Julian, whose résumé also includes "former co-host of Can You Make It Pretty?," chats about how NCMPR continues to help him do his job better (even though it's not technically under "marketing"), how he builds off his predecessors' goals as the org's president, and lunching with Snoopy's PR rep. Also: Stephanie has a new co-host! Meet Matt Radcliffe, digital marketing strategist at Pikes Peak State College in Colorado.
In Leadership Training, Growth is as Much Personal as Professional
To maximize professional leadership potential, it's about personal growth. You can't succeed without a team whose strengths complement yours. It also helps to have a support network who's got your back. These are some of the takeaways of the 2022-23 cohort of NCMPR's Leadership Institute. A trio of new graduates--Laura Inlow, marketing and public relations manager at Lewis & Clark Community College in Illinois; Jennifer Pue, strategic communications planning manager at Alamo Colleges District in Texas; and Joe Vinduska, public relations and social media specialist at Barton Community College in Kansas--share why they signed up for the Leadership Institute, what they learned in the program, and why other NCMPR members should sign up, too. This episode was recorded live at NCMPR's national conference in Orlando, Florida, on March 31, 2023.
Bringing Admissions and Enrollment into Your Marketing Strategy
We’ve heard it a lot: Areas outside marketing don’t really know what we do. One way they get around that at Cape Cod Community College in Massachusetts is to approach areas like admissions and enrollment and say, “You tell us the stats.” By brainstorming with Student Services, marketing ensures the message focuses on the right students – and what they care about. Our guests are Patrick Stone, Cape Cod’s director of strategic communication and marketing, and the college’s digital marketing specialist, Jonathan Fonseca. Plus, it’s Jeff’s final episode co-hosting with Stephanie … so things get just a little off the rails.
Meet Zaria Parvez, a Forbes 30 Under 30 Winner and Closing Keynote Speaker at NCMPR Under the Sun
S4, E2: In September 2021, Duolingo, the world’s most popular language-learning platform, had 50,000 TikTok followers. As of late January of this year, it had 5.7 million. That increase is due in large part to Zaria Parvez, Duolingo’s global social media manager and one of Forbes’ 30 Under 30 in social media last year. Zaria is this year's closing keynote at NCMPR Under the Sun. She shares how she achieved that monumental goal. Hint: You can't achieve it if you don't trust your audience. And it doesn't hurt if the face of your brand is an unhinged owl.
- A New Job Comes to the College Cabinet: Chief Experience Officer (The Chronicle of Higher Education)
Getting to Know NCMPR: If You're a Member or Want to Be, Here's the Scoop
S4, E1: For the first time in three full seasons, we're talking exclusively about ourselves. Natalie Daggett, NCMPR's associate director of district operations, details the ins and outs of the org: the best ways to get involved, how the board of directors works, and what keeps members coming back year after year. Plus, she and co-hosts Jeff Julian and Stephanie Reyna share how they got involved in the first place (in at least one instance, it might date back to the hospital nursery). Welcome to season 4!
How to Improve Your College's Resources for LGBTQ+ Students
S3, E12: The LGBT+ Club at Inver Hills Community College in Minnesota wrote a letter to the administration with four requests to improve the LGBTQ+ resources on campus. Club sponsor, Dr. Amy Zsohar, made it her personal mission to ensure all four asks were granted. It took four years, but she succeeded. Zsohar shares the importance of persistence -- and identifying the right people on campus who can help -- in achieving a goal that requires change on such a systems level.
Producing A Successful Radio Ad, in English and Spanish: A Live Peer and Simple Interview in Houston
S3, E11: More than 95% of the population in Laredo, Texas, is of Mexican descent, and Spanish is the dominant language. Obed Guerrero, the community and media relations director at Laredo College and former radio DJ, chatted with Peer and Simple cohost Stephanie Reyna – live at NCMPR's District 4 conference in Houston – about how to produce a successful radio spot in Spanish and in English.
Self Care at Work Beyond the Pandemic: A Live Peer and Simple Interview in Chicago
S3, E10: Mike Barzacchini, the director of marketing services at Harper College in Illinois, learned a lesson during the heart of the pandemic, and it's something he brings to his team daily: The importance of self-care at work. At NCMPR's District 3 conference in Chicago, Mike chatted with Peer and Simple co-host Jeff Julian –who's also a longtime friend – about how he prioritizes his employees' well-being. They cover how administrators can better connect with employees, the necessity of generosity in leadership, and that time Mike had eight dogs in the house at once.
TikTok for Community Colleges and Making It In Marketing When Your Background Is Not: A Chat with NCMPR's 2022 National Rising Star
S3, E9: Elissa Kojzarek, the communications and social media manager at Elgin Community College in Illinois, never thought she'd find herself in social media: She rarely got on Facebook and used Instagram only sometimes. Now, she's leading breakout sessions on TikTok for her peers and has her eye set on hitting 1,000 followers for Elgin's account. Elissa, who is this year's NCMPR national Rising Star, talks about how she found herself in community college marketing (spoiler: the path took her through Jakarta, Indonesia) and what the future of social media just might look like.
+ Read along with Elissa, Jeff and Stephanie: "Facebook misinformation is bad enough. The metaverse will be worse." (The Washington Post)
Introducing a New College President to Campus and Community Members
S3, E8: The new president at Langara College in British Columbia, Canada, began on June 6, but the marketing office started prepping for Dr. Paula Burns' arrival back in January. Langara's public affairs manager Mark Dawson shares why preparations kicked off so early, plus the steps they've taken to ensure employees, students, the community and key stakeholders get to know their new leader. He also points out the most vital to-dos, specifically for smaller marketing staffs ... just in case you don't have the resources to tackle every single one of those steps.
Data Dig 2022: What Issues Do Community College Marketers Face Today?
S3, E7: Data Dig 2022 reveals the issues we face in the field, the racial and ethnic makeup of NCMPR membership, and the staffing areas most lacking on our teams. NCMPR worked with Graduate Communications to conduct this first-of-its-kind survey of community college marketers. Cheryl Broom, its CEO, chats about some of the survey's findings and shares ideas about how NCMPR can best help our members moving forward. Plus, in the newly named Chit Chat, Peer and Simple hosts Jeff Julian and Stephanie Reyna share their tips for naming projects – everything from marketing campaigns to bands.
How To Successfully Promote Your College to AAPI and Other Minority Students
S3, E6: Oakton Community College in Illinois recently received a $1.5 million grant to help support its Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) students, who make up about 23% of Oakton's student population. Dear Aunaetitrakul, the grant's senior program manager, shares how Oakton promotes the grant and supports Oakton's large AAPI population – including some thoughts about why it might be time to start a subject-specific podcast at your own institution.
When its Audience was Sick of Hearing About COVID, This College Turned to Interpretive Dance
S3, E5: COVID-19 information fatigue is real, but Northern Essex Community College in Massachusetts was determined to inform their employees and students about the college's coronavirus safety measures. When presented with a budget to make a video, Allison Dolan-Wilson, vice president of institutional advancement, and creative director Trevor Stair knew they had to do something memorable. They share how they crafted the perfect irreverent tone to ensure their audience would listen up. Watch their bronze Paragon Award-winning project, in Promotional Video-Short Form, on YouTube. Plus, hosts Jeff and Stephanie discuss the benefits of a little um'ing. (For all you um-counters out there, get your answers in no later than June 1, 2022!)
Karaoke King, One-Person Marketing Staff Cheerleader, U2 Lover: Meet Your NCMPR 2022-23 President
S3, E4: NCMPR's new president takes the reins each March at its national conference. Meet the org's new leader, Jeff Ebbing, who chats about visiting THE Joshua tree, mediocre sushi and how he went from NCMPR blogger to 2022-23 president of the board (and how you can do the same). Plus, host Jeff Julian welcomes cohost Stephanie Reyna, a long-time NCMPR member, recent Leadership Institute graduate — and honorary Jeff.
Whether or Not You're a Manager, You Are 100% a Leader
S3, E3: The first cohort of NCMPR's 10-month Leadership Institute graduated in March. Three graduates discuss what they learned, how the Institute is helping them do their jobs better, and why you should be a part of the 2022-23 cohort. This episode's guests are Leslie Ouellette, associate director of integrated marketing and communications at Bunker Hill Community College in Massachusetts; David Barnhardt, director of communications and student recruitment at West Virginia Northern Community College; and Stephanie Reyna, new media and marketing specialist at Saddleback College in California.
How Your Marketing Team Can Support Ukrainian Students
S3, E2: At Norwalk Community College in Connecticut, 7% of the student population was born in Ukraine. To craft NCC's response to the conflict in Ukraine, marketing and the diversity and inclusion committee are working together. Committee chair Pracilya Titus and Mario Haimindra, the marketing and PR associate, chat with Peer and Simple about NCC's programming so far, the importance of both active and passive marketing and how to determine which world topics receive this kind of attention.
How to Successfully Prioritize DEI at Your Two-Year College
S3, E1: Season 3 of NCMPR's Peer and Simple podcast kicks off with Dr. Kevin Christian, the director of diversity, equity and inclusion at the American Association of Community Colleges in Washington, D.C. Community colleges started to contact him about their chief diversity officer positions back in 2017, but the push grew after George Floyd's murder. Christian discusses the importance of a DEI team (in lieu of just one person), good data and a meaningful budget.
How Arsenio Hall Changed the Career Path for One NCMPR Member
S2, E12: "What happens when you go to Washington is, you get recruited." After serving as a press secretary under President Bill Clinton, Kerri Glover was recruited by a PR firm repping "pretty much every education association you have ever heard of." Then she worked for a tech firm. And Ogilvy. And the Sierra Club. Glover shares how that resume informs her decisions and work as Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College's community relations and marketing director.
Need Some Motivation? Dr. J Can Help
S2, E11: Dr. Joshua Fredenburg – or Dr. J, as he likes to be called – is an internationally acclaimed speaker, author, TEDx speaker and leadership and diversity consultant, as well as the president/founder of the Circle of Change Leadership Experience for students. A keynote at NCMPR's District 1 conference in October, Dr. J shares some leadership tips, how he gets motivated when he's just not feeling it ... and why his youthful dream job included "FBI agent." This episode was taped live at District 1's conference on Oct. 26, 2021, in Long Branch, New Jersey.
A Meet & Greet with District 4's Rising Star and Communicator of the Year
S2, E10: Katie Norris' path to Ozarka College in Arkansas, where she serves as director of public relations & marketing, started when she enrolled as an Ozarka student. And Kim Lessner came to her role as vice president and chief operations officer at Tyler Junior College in Texas after she retired. As District 4's Rising Star and Communicator of the Year, respectively, Norris and Lessner chat with Peer and Simple guest host Matt Radcliffe, the District 4 director and digital strategist at Pikes Peak Community College in Colorado Springs, at their district conference in Hot Springs, Arkansas, on Oct. 23. Norris shares how her experience as a community college student gives her an important perspective in marketing the college, and Lessner discusses how her past life in corporate marketing informs the work she does for TJC.
Lessons From a 21-Year Industry Veteran: 'Find Some Outlets to Get Creative and Refresh Yourself'
S2, E9: What lessons from journalism inform community college marketing? How can young professionals assure they have staying power at a new gig? North Dakota vs. South Dakota? Erin Wood, director of college relations at Lake Region State College in North Dakota, chats live at District 5's conference in Omaha, Nebraska, on Oct. 11, 2021, in this special episode of Peer and Simple. Wood shares insight into this year's NCMPR Leadership Institute cohort – the first! – and a bit about her state's history.
Let's Talk about Photography
S2, E8: Steve Jessmore and Mark Carriveau have a combined 55+ years of photography experience. Jessmore, a Michigan-based freelance photographer, and Carriveau, who shoots for Elgin Community College in Illinois, discuss their careers, what community college marketers can learn from photographers and easy-to-follow tips for non-photographers to capture great art. This episode of Peer and Simple was recorded live on Oct. 5, 2021, at NCMPR's District 3 conference in Grand Rapids Michigan.
The Importance of Music in College Branding
S2, E7: Finding the right music for your video promotions or commercials can be tricky. How can you find a tune that fits with your college's branding? Where can you find a clip that's affordable? Bret Figura, graphic designer at Moraine Valley Community College in Illinois, is also a drummer, and he talks about the importance of your institution's audio brand and how he wrote and performed the score for a Moraine campaign last year.
Marketing Fails: From Typos to Double Entendres
S2, E6 – Marketing fails: We've all faced them. Sometimes, no matter how many eyes study a project, a typo or an unfortunate photo still gets through. Or no matter how many times you host an event, you miss how much a factor like the weather can affect turnout. Four marketing professionals share some of their biggest marketing fails in this special video episode of Peer and Simple. View some of the marketing fails in the links below, or watch this episode on YouTube.
NCMPR's special guest host is Jeff Ebbing, director of marketing and communications at Southeastern Community College in Iowa and NCMPR's 2021-22 vice president/president-elect, who shares a marketing fail of his own. (the piece as intended / the fail)
Our guests are
- Wendy Trujillo, advertising and social media director, and the supervisor for the Communication Center and mailroom, at College of the Canyons in California.
- Barb Dreger, director of college marketing at Fox Valley Technical College in Wisconsin. (marketing fail 1 / marketing fail 2: the whole picture / zoomed in)
- Melony Martinez, director of marketing and public relations at National Park College in Arkansas. (marketing fail / and the recovery)
- Brittany Lippert, associate director of marketing at the Kentucky Community & Technical College System.
TEDx Speeches, Vulnerability and Microaggressions
S2, E5 – Dr. Toya Webb is a life coach, a TEDx and motivational speaker, and NCMPR's district 3 director. She discusses the importance of vulnerability in the workplace, plus some findings from her doctoral research, about the impact of microaggressions on Black women in leadership. This is Peer and Simple's first podcast recorded in-person – at the Gaylord Rockies Resort & Convention Center in Aurora, Colorado, site of NCMPR's 2022 national conference.
'It's the Way You Get the Most out of People'
S2, E4 – Sally Chapman Cameron spent more than three decades at Bristol Community College in Massachusetts. Though she's retired from the college, she's still active in NCMPR, presenting at conferences, writing for Counsel magazine and dropping in for a Peer and Simple interview. Chapman Cameron is 2021's Petrizzo Award winner, which recognizes a career of accomplishments. In this episode, she talks about the early days of marketing, how she got the most out of her team and why she just can't leave two-year colleges behind.
Find Chapman Cameron's Petrizzo acceptance video, which starts at 17:49, on NCMPR's YouTube page: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qe39aK_Iz38
Minneapolis College and George Floyd
S2, E3 – Minneapolis College is just down the street from the spot where George Floyd was killed on May 25, 2020. As the community responded and the city became a center of the nation's social justice movement, the college had to figure out the best way to craft its messaging to the campus and larger community. Deanna Sheely, the college's vice president of advancement and marketing communications, and Patrick Troup, its vice president of student affairs and interim diversity officer, discuss how they worked together to ensure communications stressed the necessary heart and emotion while maintaining the college's voice.
Getting to Know You, with NCMPR’s 2021-22 President
S2, E2 – Meet Debra McGaughey, NCMPR's 2021-22 president. She chats with host Jeff Julian about how she got involved with NCMPR, why she wanted to move up to the executive board and her experience so far on the council's Diversity, Equity and Inclusion committee. Plus, she shares her experiences as a professional journalist and gives a peek into the memoir she's writing.
The Coronavirus: A Year Later
S2, E1 – Three community college marketers who are still working remotely due to the COVID-19 pandemic chat with host Jeff Julian about how their year has been going, what they miss about working in an office, and how they've stayed connected to colleagues. Guests are Greg Harris from Portland Community College in Oregon, Lisa Brosky from Pima Community College in Arizona and Shannon Rooney from Community College of Philadelphia.
Writing it Right
S1, Episode 12 – In 2020, both NCMPR gold Paragon awards for writing went to Seattle Central College: AK Sterling, partnership services manager, for short form, and Roberto Bonaccorso, director of communications, for long form. The two discuss their favorite writing tips and what makes a memorable, award-winning story.
'It Goes Back to How I Got Involved'
S1, Episode 11 – Host Jeff Julian chats candidly with friend, colleague and new NCMPR Executive Director James Walters. The National Council for Marketing & Public Relations is the leading professional development association exclusively serving those working in communication at two-year community and technical colleges. NCMPR is the organization two-year college communicators turn to, first and foremost, and Walters shares why he's so excited to take on this role at its helm.
Step it Up
S1, Episode 10 – A virtual sit-down with Juan Gutierrez, 2020-21 president of the National Council for Marketing & Public Relations, who tells how he found himself in a leadership position within NCMPR, how it has benefitted him professionally and personally, and how members can get more involved and take on leadership roles within the organization. Gutierrez, director of marketing and public relations at Orange Coast College in California, has been involved in community college marketing since 2002. His specialties include leadership and team development, community outreach, and branding and promotion. He joined NCMPR in 2010.
In Good Hands – Growing Social Engagement With Student Assistance
S1 Episode 9 – The University of Arkansas Community College-Batesville doesn't have a paid social media specialist, but that hasn't slowed down their marketing efforts. Hannah Keller Flanery, the college’s communications and marketing coordinator and sole marketing staff member, got the idea for a student-driven social media program from a past NCMPR conference. "I’m a one-person marketing office, so I need help," she said. The help she has gotten has turned into a win-win for everyone.
Picking Up the Pieces from a Website Redesign Gone Haywire
S1 Episode 8 – How in the world do you roll out 16 website redesigns in five weeks? Just ask NCMPR's 2020 national Rising Star Jackie Watson, director of web strategy for the Kentucky Community and Technical College System. Watson is a certified content marketing specialist with more than 12 years of digital marketing and content writing experience, and she's spent the last four-plus years developing and managing digital and social media content, ensuring its relevance for KCTCS’s target audiences.
A Date With Data
S1 Episode 7 – Daniel Ramirez, director of public relations and marketing at South Texas College, describes himself as a “data nerd” and unashamedly puts his mathematical mind to work to embrace a data-focused approach to marketing that’s positively impacting enrollment. He answers the question, "If you had one piece of data to help with enrollment, what would it be?"
Consistently Promoting Brand Consistency
S1 Episode 6 – Barb Dreger, director of marketing at Fox Valley Technical College in Wisconsin, is a steadfast proponent of brand consistency. Listen as she shares how to effectively manage marketing projects while protecting the community college's brand.
Winning the Gold
S1 Episode 5 – In the most recent NCMPR Paragon awards, Kellogg Community College in Michigan took home three golds and the best in show. Eric Greene, the college’s chief communications officer, gives an inside look into what makes a gold-winning entry.
A Topical Medley
S1 Episode 4 – In this “topical medley,” longtime NCMPR members Terri Giltner from the Kentucky Community and Technical College System and Heather McDorman from St. Charles Community College in Missouri share their expertise about a variety of topics related to community college marketing and PR.
The Secrets of Long-Term Success in the Business
S1 Episode 3 – The marketing department at Leeward Community College (Hawaii) didn’t exist until the college asked Kathleen Cabral to start it. That was nearly 20 years ago. Now listen as Kathleen, Leeward's director of marketing and communications as well as the 2020 NCMPR national Communicator of the Year, recounts tales of her 30 years in the industry – and how she stays open to discovering new and better ways of telling the LCC story.
A Podcast About Podcasts
S1 Episode 2 – With the highly successful "Redefine U" podcast to their credit, the marketing team from Anne Arundel Community College (Maryland) knows a thing or two about digital storytelling. Listen as Dan Baum, executive director of strategic communications at AACC, talks podcast creation in this month's episode of "Peer and Simple." Get a sense of what they're doing at AACC – and how to replicate their success at your college.
COVID-19: Crisis Communication Like We've Never Seen
S1 Episode 1 – Lynn Whalen, Juan Gutierrez and James Walters, members from NCMPR’s executive committee, discuss the changes their community colleges are making to adapt to closed buildings, cancelled graduations and no end in sight. Whalen, executive director for public relations and marketing at Lincoln Land Community College in Illinois, was NCMPR president for 2019-20; Gutierrez, director of marketing and public relations at Orange Coast College in California, is president for this 2020-21 year; and Walters is director of marketing and communications at Skagit Valley College in Washington and NCMPR’s secretary/treasurer.