Here are some ways to prove them otherwise

Back in the early 2000s when Facebook was created — giving us the excuse we needed to abandon MySpace and stop stealing music from Napster, it became apparent that social media was “for the kids.” Fast forward and all marketers and communications professionals regardless of age, should appreciate these social media tools and the team members who manage them.

The power of platform metrics, targeting, and content creation continue to develop to the point that if you’re an “adult” and don’t know or appreciate what these tools can do for your brand…


Don’t lie, you’ve probably done several of these…


The vaccine AND your mask are your ticket to normalcy.

The reward for receiving the COVID-19 vaccine isn’t to ditch the mask — the reward is to significantly minimize your chances of severe illness or death.

We must reframe our thinking and our expectations if we are to reclaim a sustained sense of normalcy.

I get it, “What is normalcy?” When I think about life and how to find meaning, it is about experiences. It is about seeing your friends and family and it is about exploring this wonderful world.

Given the number of unvaccinated population (by choice) coupled with people who aren’t eligible for the vaccine, wearing a mask…


At a clubhouse nestled in the mountains, a once friendly game of mahjong was about to commence. The “regulars” took their usual seats while the more casual players sat at the first open table. There was hardly ever fresh blood within this room and for good reason — this was a close-knit group where small town gossip and drama ran amuck. This beloved Mahjong Club was forced on hiatus during the height of covid and, after a year of waiting, regulations were relaxed and people felt comfortable coming back while wearing a mask.

We’ve fast forward to the vaccine era…


Dig out your photos from 2019, it’s time for some “maskless” marketing.

Wait, stop. Don’t you dare do that.

Colleges and universities are announcing Fall reopening plans and though it sorta kinda feels like normal, it isn’t pre-covid normal.

Marketers need to embrace what campus life will be like in the Fall and not advertise what they’d like it to be. For higher education marketers, we still bear the responsibility of preventing a bait and switch. Yes, we have dozens of maskless, “ad-ready” photos, but don’t be too quick to exclusively use these.

It’s not untrue that people are ditching the masks, but it’s also misleading to depict this as 100% the…


Let prospective students tour colleges THEIR way

Remember in 2016 when college marketing and admissions teams learned about Pokémon Go? Yes, you’re probably saying. And, why is this relevant?

It isn’t.

Except that, we really discovered was the power, and relevancy, of augmented reality to engage students.

Institutions are run by adults who seek to recruit — mostly 18–23 year old students. We spend a significant amount of time and fiscal resources trying to provide engaging experiences, differentiate our institution, and stay relevant.

Allow me to make an assumption: the majority of colleges realize that the campus tour is where…


Institutions decide on commencement ceremonies

Remember when the biggest worry of a commencement co-chair was pronouncing student names?

Oh, the days.

Spring commencement — what was once routine tradition, is now at the center of heated discussions.

For months, commencement committees across the country engaged in planning and re-planning, while monitoring the CDC guidelines.

None of us knew where we’d end up by May so we were once again saddled with our newest tradition in higher education — scenario planning.

I’ll leave the internal politics at the door for now so the light can dimly shine on what committee members grappled with during planning.

From my vantage point, there are three significant factors to account for.

These are:

  • guidelines and protocols…

What higher ed marketers need to know

Most of us took at least one marketing course during our undergraduate years or through continued education post-graduation. However, it may have been years since you’ve sat, crusty-eyed in your 8:30 am Principle of Marketing class, so allow me to level set.

Marketing is not just sales, nor is it only about the production of products. Marketing is a beautiful blend of art and business with a focus on current and future customers. …


Welcome to the treasure trove of Higher Education Twitter hashtags

Always searching for the trendy hashtag that will make your institution’s content “go viral?” Waking in the middle of the night wondering if you’ve missed big news? Discovering endless threads of discussion you didn’t know existed?

Well, by golly! You’ve come to the right place.

Cheesiness aside, if your job description includes digital marketing, public relations, social media, or communications, you know it’s challenging to keep up with an ever-changing social media.

The expectations for your institution to remain relevant, contribute to thoughtful discussion, and avoid self-tackling by creating a crisis are real.

These expectations are stress inducing and daunting…


By 2020, Gartner analysts predicted that AI would be in nearly every new software product and service.

If you’re from an industry, e.g. higher education, or work at a small-medium size business or marketing agency where the thought of tackling AI makes your head explode…saddle up.

Marketing technologies, in particular, can be overwhelming especially when these continue to evolve. It takes a commitment to the “craft” to ensure you’re up to speed on tools that will drive business goals, but it can be done.

Prior to working in higher education, I was at several marketing agencies helping clients with marketing…

Michelle Bartonico

Senior Strategist and Project Manager at Trinity University. I write about higher education, marketing, project management, and a few wild hair topics.

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