Working with Faculty Experts to Build Reputation and Market VisibilityDecember 10, 20194 min read
The Baylor University Playbook Featured in CASE Currents Magazine
PHOTO CREDIT: BAYLOR UNIVERSITY MEDIA COMMUNICATIONS
As traditional and social media organizations such as Facebook race to expose and disrupt the onslaught of “fake news”, a major opportunity exists for higher education institutions to more prominently feature their research and expert opinion to quell this steady flow of misinformation. We know that the gold standard of news reports and social media posts are substantiated with expert research and opinion. What gets in the way of comprehensive reporting and dialogue? It’s often the lack of input from great institutions and their experts.
More than ever, traditional media organizations need to provide a steady flow of credible information to trump the influx of unsubstantiated content. But the media (from local mainstream editors to award-winning international investigative journalists) struggle with big challenges: growing editorial demands, small budgets, little time, limits to accessing information – all restricting their ability to pursue new research, data and expertise. So how do they get around this and cut through the clutter?
A lot of the responsibility falls on organizations to be more approachable to journalists to help them with expert sources. Schools doing this well are already boosting their reputation with media and other key audiences by showing the relevance of their institution and faculty.
In this month’s CASE Currents magazine, a feature article titled “Are Your Professors Ready for Their Close-Up?” Eric Eckert, Baylor University’s Assistant Director of Media Communications and Faculty Development, shares with other institutions the process his team took to prepare its faculty experts for the media spotlight with an in-house training program and the necessary tools to succeed. the Baylor playbook is a great read for any organization looking to boost media coverage and build reputation.
Eckert, whose list of responsibilities at the university includes “Faculty Experts”, notes:
“We demonstrate our commitment to this program by investing in tools that spread awareness of our researchers’ work. In addition to the time we devote to training and promoting our faculty members, in 2017 our office started using ExpertFile, a content marketing platform that includes the capability to create dynamic faculty profiles that expose our professors to a wider audience of journalists. We can also manage media inquiries through the platform. The software has reduced the time we spend updating faculty profiles. We can quickly add photos, videos, and links to an expert’s media hits and create faculty spotlights—a feature that helps us rapidly promote a professor’s expertise to take advantage of breaking news.”
ExpertFile worked with Baylor to develop a searchable platform and content placements for their experts integrated into the Baylor website. To extend the reach beyond the website, Its experts are now also synchronized with the ExpertFile global experts directory and are also visible to thousands of newsrooms throughout the world through our partnerships with the Associated Press and Dejero. Eckert goes on to explain his organization’s use and success with ExpertFile Spotlight. Spotlight is a unique content hub solution that is growing in popularity with marketing teams looking to quickly feature their experts in the context of breaking news, emerging stories, valuable research and newsworthy events. Virtually all of our clients are seeing the importance of providing relevant story angles that can be produced to help journalists on same day deadlines.
Eckert goes on to speak of his experience with Spotlights: “In September 2017, we created a spotlight to distribute a Baylor law professor’s comments on President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw authorization for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. A media inquiry received through ExpertFile resulted in a guest appearance on a nationally syndicated radio program in Canada.” Other coverage generated recently by the Baylor team includes:
The Washington Post
The Toronto Star
The profile that experts develop through thought out programs such as Baylor’s can extend well beyond media to other key stakeholders, including potential research partners, funders, event organizers, student enrollment and employee recruitment.
How are your marketing, communications and media relations’ teams working with your experts across the campus to build market visibility and reputation for your institution? We’d like to know. For more information on how ExpertFile Spotlight works or to read more success stories please drop me a line at Deanne Taenzer at firstname.lastname@example.org
Deanne Taenzer Vice President
Connecting Experts, Thought Leaders and Great Minds