Today is World Maritime Day – but even without that reminder, our thoughts continue to be with everyone still struggling in the wake of hurricane Fiona in Atlantic Canada.
Today, we continue with some of the news aimed at members of the Marcom Circles – but first, one story that seems to have captured everybody’s attention…
Without a doubt, one news headline under the “labour relations” tag captured more eyeballs on Eduvation Circles this month than any other…
U St Paul pilots 4-day week
U St Paul (affiliated with uOttawa) is trialling a 4-day work week for admin staff, according to this news story in University Affairs. Admin staff get full pay, time off and pensions, but work just 28 hrs instead of 35 each week. The 4-month pilot, “the first step of its kind” in CdnPSE, began in July – so perhaps we’ll hear more by year-end! USP leadership may bring the option to the bargaining table when the collective agreement is up in spring 2023. Within a few days, I came across this report of a massive pilot in the UK, and added it to the conversation. So far, 88% of UK employers say the 4-day week is working well for them!
Members of the Marcom, CMO, and Guild Circles get access to a range of marcom resources, like a collection of Brand Campaigns, marcom policies, org charts, ICYMI videos and more, that are being augmented and updated in realtime. Over the past 2 weeks, several new CdnPSE brands were unveiled…
JIBC Takes Flight
JIBC unveiled its new brand identity this month – ditching the mythical griffin, a longstanding heraldic symbol of colonialism, for the native BC eagle. The eagle’s extended wing conveys a sense that it goes “above and beyond,” just like the first responders JIBC trains. Comment in the Marcom Circle
Brock Breaks Through
Brock U unveiled a refreshed visual identity this month, just in time for this weekend’s Ontario Universities’ Fair. After months of consultations, and hearing from 2,300+ members of the campus community, “an overwhelming number” apparently wanted to get rid of the thumbprint in the “o.” The new brand promise, “Break through at Brock,” is intended to convey “that anyone, from any walk of life, can break through personal, professional and societal barriers at Brock.” I shared some sample ads and layouts in the Brand Campaigns resource on Circles.
Centennial College also released a new brand platform, although without any change to their visual identity. (See ICYMI below…)
There are many challenges to those CMOs leading campus marketing and communications offices, and while (obviously) I won’t share their discussions with you, here are some examples of stories I shared with them recently…
Marcom Budget Issues
Even in the US, a recent Simpson Scarborough report observes that marcom budgets for higher ed are substantially lower than for other corporate marketers. More strikingly, however – the way those corporate marketers spend that budget is vastly different too! Most marketers spend half as much of their budgets on salaries and labour, and about 9x as much on their marcom technologies, as do their campus counterparts. In a tight labour market, where big corporate budgets are winning the war on talent, there may be a lesson here for CdnPSE: invest more in systems and automation, and you can get by with a smaller team! Comment in the Marcom Circle
Most CdnPSE CMOs I know are still trying to find the resources to hire marketing analytics talent, to help them make more data-driven decisions about target markets, media, and messaging. Meanwhile, Gartner reportsthat 60% of corporate CMOs are planning to cut back on marketing analytics personnel – so perhaps this will be a hiring opportunity for PSE? Comment in the Marcom Circle
Back in Theatres
Movie theatres were hit harder than lecture theatres by the pandemic, but it looks like Cineplex is bouncing back – up to 85% of pre-COVID levels. (We should start seeing more CdnPSE ads designed for cinema runs any time now.) Believe it or not, they tried to get into streaming with the Cineplex Store, but somehow I suspect that was far less successful than universities’ pivot to remote instruction… Comment in the Marcom Circle
Ads in the Metaverse
I remember long ago, when some CdnPSEs were early adopters, staking out virtual campuses in “Second Life,” for recruitment and even pedagogical experiments. Now, Roblox has unveiled plans to offer “immersive advertising” in its virtual world, to reach its 58.5M daily users. So far, it doesn’t sound like CdnPSE marketers are paying much attention, but if you are, let me know in the Marcom Circle!
Nix the “Frosh”
We all knew that “freshmen” was a sexist way to describe first-year undergraduates, but apparently now the gender-neutral “frosh” is considered offensive too. Officials at Western U explain that a similar-sounding Italian word, “frocio,” translates to a homophobic slur. The student newspaper, on the other hand, assures us that “some Italian speakers have cast doubt on this.” Either way, Western wants to see other terms used during orientation week, in keeping with its EDI efforts. Western Gazette | London Free Press | CTV News | Comment in the Marcom Circle
Members of the CMO Circle, the Guild Circle, and the Marcom Masterminds Group have also been engaging in live roundtables on Zoom, and private conversations via chat and posts. If you’re a CdnPSE marketing or communication leader who would like more information, check out the Marcom Circles brochure.
About 2 weeks ago, Centennial College released a set of 4 videos on YouTube that caught my eye, and led me to write them up in the #ICYMI resource on Circles…
Centennial College’s :90 sec overview vid opens on a note of anticipation as students gear up to deliver presentations or record a song, fine-tune an aircraft engine for takeoff, solder a circuit board, attend a patient’s bedside, or prepare the next culinary delight. Over an upbeat music bed (“I’ll rise to take it on in the middle of it all”), title cards urge us to “Be Ready… to Lead… to Create… to Thrive… to Take Flight… to Speak Up… to Taste the World… to Hone Your Craft… to Spark Change… to Find Your Purpose… Be Ready for Anything.” The video description elaborates: “There’s a big difference between being simply ready to work, and being ready to build a life that works for you. At Centennial, you’ll develop the right technical skills to break into your field, and the life skills you need to stand out. So don’t just get an education – get the skills you need to seize every opportunity that comes your way. Be Ready.” YouTube | Read more/comment on Circles
As always, thanks for reading!
When you have a couple of minutes, I hope you’ll take the leap and join Eduvation Circles. (If you already have a LinkedIn profile, you can “sign in with LinkedIn” and half the setup will be done for you automatically.)
With luck, I’ll be back again tomorrow with one more instalment to summarize the past 2 weeks on Circles – this time, with a focus on lighter fare (since it’s Friday).
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