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Mission Control / Higher Education and Nonprofit

The Secret Weapon in Boosting Your Institution’s Reputation? Content People Care About

In an era of US News & World Report rankings, it’s clear that reputation matters. Here’s why creating compelling content should be part of your outreach strategy.

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Your institution is doing big things. Big, headline-worthy things — things that can go a long way toward boosting your reputation and bolstering your visibility come rankings season. But how do you get the word out there?

The answer, for many institutions — including the four mentioned below — is to create engaging content and to get that content in front of those who need to see it. Read on for tips on incorporating reputation-boosting content into your marketing strategy.

1. Reach your audience where they are.

Press releases on a medical center’s news and communications site touting medical advances are easy to overlook, especially if the target audience is busy physicians. To engage a physician audience — whether to recruit or to encourage referrals or collaboration — you’ve got to take a different tack. The team at Vanderbilt University Medical Center created Discover, a physician-focused digital journal, to serve as a one-stop resource for medical professionals — and, ultimately, to foster a foundation built on trust and expertise. Content, which spans the gamut from the latest VUMC trials to headline-making research discoveries, is shared via Twitter and email to reach physicians where they prefer to be reached.

2. Share personal stories from the faces behind the institution.

Who is Georgetown University? That’s a question that’s front and center on the institution’s home page, guiding the reader to content about its people on both sides of the podium. Faculty “stories” are just that — engaging, well-told stories that take the form of profiles and news-worthy articles — and are weaved through the site in a way that feels organic and relevant. They’re coupled with compelling imagery and pull quotes — a magazine technique turned digital to pique the interest of scrolling readers.

3. Do not underestimate the power of (well-designed) print.

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University was looking to showcase both its groundbreaking research and its position as an innovator in the aeronautical field. The answer came in the form of ResearchER magazine, which provided in-depth coverage of its latest game-changing research projects. Through consumer-friendly articles, imagery, infographics and more, ResearchER offered a Wired-esque look into the latest innovations coming out of the institution — one that stood out in a sea of staid academic research publications.

4. Go beyond the written word.

Podcasts, live surgeries, video conferences — technology has given physicians and medical professionals a wealth of tools to connect, collaborate and establish relationships both within and beyond their organizations. One of the leaders in digital connectivity is Cleveland Clinic, which employs numerous multimedia outreach efforts on its physician-focused hub, ConsultQD. Videos and podcasts bring a human element to research-focused content, while live events offer the Clinic a way to stay relevant and respected in the eyes of its audience.

We never take a one-size-fits-all approach. Let’s chat about a strategy that meets your needs.