After events, I will emphasize the college’s
messaging with complimentary messages
about the college presentation from my
Twitter account. Twitter analytics reveal
that visits to our college account tripled
from September 2016 to September 2017.
These results are also consistent across
our Facebook and Instagram platforms.
Two other tactics on which I work
with the Strategic Communications
team are to develop a monthly President’s
Perspective newsletter and to present
the President’s Report to our board of
trustees. The President’s Perspective provides a glance into activities occurring at
all locations of NWF State College, and
throughout our communities. It’s emailed
to approximately 1,300 community members, mailed to 530 community members,
and 1,270 are distributed to all college
locations. The President’s Report to our
trustees is a monthly PowerPoint that
recaps all community involvement from
the president’s office. This PowerPoint is
a tool I use to keep our board visually
engaged in the day-to-day activities of
our college, while also equipping them to
share our message and vision.
In the Learn stage, I discover through
environmental scanning ways to identify
opportunities to further our mission
by equipping our internal audiences
to help us share our communications.
I also used emotional intelligence
tactics to ensure that all stakeholders
were engaged and communicating the
college message with a united voice, and
I extended the Learn phase to others to
educate these critical constituencies.
Collaboration with our faculty and staff
(our top brand ambassadors) is essential if we are to convey the vision of our
colleges. Without employee collaboration and buy-in to the vision, there is no
guarantee of success.
To efficiently share my leadership
vision with our internal audience, I have
developed a “to keep you informed” email
that I regularly send to our employees.
I believe it is crucial for them to hear
information directly from me before they
hear rumors. By collaboratively working
with our Strategic Communications team,
presidential messages create transparency
and affirm to our team that I am engaged,
listening and responding to their needs
Last is the Launch stage. This stage never
ceases as I strive to bring life to ideas,
thoughts, and dreams of our team. In
launching, we advance the strategic plan
congruent with the college’s mission
and vision to make a positive impact.
Through these strategies, our employees
have been empowered to work together
to pull our college out of a seven-year
enrollment decline. This success is due
in large part to effective communication.
I encourage you not only to listen
but also to communicate carefully with
your Strategic Communications team.
While the 4L’s are critical in achieving
success as a president, they will assist
you in developing the balance of leader-
ship and trust with these key employees.
Look, listen and learn to find out what
support they need from you as the chief
marketer to advance the mission of your
college. As you launch, be transparent
in conversations with your communi-
cation leaders so that they hear your
vision without filtering, but continue to
listen and observe so you can empower
your team to be successful. The best way
to predict the future is to create it, and
there is no better team to help you build
that future than your “chief creative
team” in Strategic Communications.
Devin Stephenson is president of Northwest Florida State
College in Niceville, Florida.
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