Should Your College President Be Blogging?

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This question still might be asked by some communications and marketing folks in higher education.

You would think the answer would be a resounding ‘yes they should!’ But the answer is not that simple.

Obviously in today’s world of Twitter and Facebook, blogging can be another tool in a president’s belt to achieve their goals.  Maintaining a blog can be a great way to reach audiences in a less formal way that promotes two-way conversation more than an e-mail blast or official update would.

Lethbridge College President, Dr. Tracy Edwards has started a blog which she uses to share insights on education and provide updates to external and internal audiences.

But before jumping head first into blogging, consider the following points:

  • Does your college president have a firm grasp on social media? Do they have accounts on Facebook or Twitter? Jumping into blogging without understanding social media could prove to have unfavorable outcomes.
  • Make sure that clear goals and target audiences are established.  Just like any communication tool, understanding the goals and audiences help shape the message.
  • Establish an editorial schedule. Dr. Edwards has committed to post a blog weekly each Monday.  This establishes expectations for the readers and provide guidance for your president.  I have come across several president’s blogs where the are several months in-between posts (I will not mention them, but you can find some by Googling ‘college presidents blogs‘). A blog that has inconsistent posting can be damaging to your brand and comes across as a lack of commitment on the president’s part.
  • Establish a marketing plan for the blog.  Ensure that the blog address is promoted very well to ensure maximum exposure.  A president’s time is very limited and maintaining a blog that no one reads is a waste of time.

It’s only been a few weeks since Dr. Edwards has started blogging, but I’m very excited about this communication tool that she is beginning to leverage.

I do think that every college president should be blogging, but only after the above points have been considered.  As younger generations grow up with social technologies, adopting them as a form of communication will not be innovative, but required.