How do we, as expert communicators, engage with our university communities to help build stronger brands and enhance value to society?
That’s a key question to be tackled at the #EUPRIO2019 annual conference in Poznań, Poland, from June 16-19.
Here Nic Mitchell takes a first look at how some of speakers and workshops will develop the theme.
Inspire, Include and Engage
Helping to set the scene will be the workshop on ‘Reputation Management and Building through Key Audiences: Inspire, Include and Engage’ led by Aikaterini (Katerina) Nikolaidou on the first full working day (Monday June 17, at 13.00, repeated at 14.15).
She intends to move university communications away from trying to maintain a polished image to the external world to focus on what our own university community members think about our organisations, particularly our students and researchers, and asks whether the university can really use students and staff as ‘ambassadors of good will’?
During her interactive sessions, Katerina from the University of Cyprus will explore differences amongst the participant’s universities and attempt to clearly separate external and internal audiences and identify the most effective communication tools to enhance the ‘user experience’ and maximise the benefit for the institution.
This theme will be developed further in other workshops, including one on ‘Building Blocks for Reputation’ the next day (Tuesday June 18, at 9.30; repeated at 10.40) with Herwig Dämon and Joanna Kumpula from the University of Liechtenstein.
They will be discussing how to achieve your reputation goals with content marketing. “It is all about getting the right content to the right people in the right place at the right time,” says Herwig.
The workshop aims to enable participants to develop and execute an effective content strategy that connects your university’s content efforts with its business goals – related to reputation, recruitment and community engagements – and audience needs.
Let the reputation games begin
To go into things in more depth, a masterclass from 13.00 to 15.15 on Monday June 17 (not repeated) will be led by Ferran Llunell Camps from Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona, Spain, on ‘The reputation games: Improving university reputation by engaging your internal stakeholders on social media’.
Ferran was appointed the university’s full-time social media specialist in 2016 and his session will look at how internal stakeholders can be your best ambassadors or your worst enemies.
His key point is that reputation is a long term building process, which requires patience and hard work. Yet it is extremely fragile and a simple tweet, Facebook comment or Instagram stories can cause a reputational crisis at some point.
The masterclass aims to define university reputation in order to set up a mental framework to open a debate to share strategies and experiences and find the right tools to engage internal stakeholders.
Ferran is keen to explore the differences between concepts such as reputation, prestige, image and influence and why what is said about us is more important than what we say about ourselves, particularly in the social media environment.
And now for something completely different!
In our digital world, keeping data secure is a challenge – especially for the education sector – which has increasingly become a target for cyber-attacks from criminals to nation states.
So how timely that a new face at EUPRIO conferences, Tom Clegg, who leads internal communications for IT Services at the University of Manchester in the United Kingdom, should invite conference delegates to ‘Come fly with us on your cyber journey’ (Tuesday June 18, 14.30, workshop, repeated at 15.40).
His session will tell of Manchester’s multi-channel campaign to educate staff and students about the importance of cyber security and how the university has become a leader in this field in UK Higher Education.
You’ll also get top tips on how to stay safe online and reduce your risk of being a victim of cybercrime and realise that cyber security is not just something for IT to address. “Human behaviour plays a big role and today, cyber security has become a life skill for all,” says Tom.
To find out who else is speaking at #EUPRIO2019, see here
Main photo: Venue for #EUPRIO2019: Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznań, Poland, from June 16-19 2019