Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Where is Butler University?

Founded in 1885 and located 5 miles from downtown Indianapolis, Butler University is home to more than 4,000 students. Butler is ranked as the 2nd best university in the Regional Universities Midwest category of the 2011 U.S. News & World Report America's Best Colleges. This same publication ranked Butler as the No. 1 "Up-and-Coming" institution among Regional Universities Midwest, and one of 68 nationwide. Of their incoming freshman class for 2011-2012, 50% ranked in the top 10% of their high school class. Pretty impressive stuff…….

But who REALLY knows Butler University? When I was looking for colleges coming out of Boston Latin School in 1981, I had never heard of Butler, never mind thought of going there. This morning, odds are most of the US population knows of Butler University. Why? Because they made it to the finals of one of the world’s premier sporting events…the NCAA Basketball Championship……for the second year in a row! And the national press coverage they’ve been getting has opened our eyes….I was asked twice yesterday by friends “Where is Butler anyways?”….

I think we can all agree that questions like “Where is Butler anyways?” should make the Butler University administration rethink the use of their advertising budget.  After all, we all know Harvard is in Cambridge, Mass, Notre Dame is in South Bend, and UCLA is in Los Angeles.

While the Cinderella story didn’t have the ending Butler was hoping for as the Bulldogs fell to the UConn Huskies last night, 53-41, the Butler season remains a great storyline for millions of fans.

Now is the perfect time for the Butler administration to jump all over the publicity and start a campaign to boost the University’s recruiting efforts. With a jump start from the national press coverage they’ve received, a good, focused informational campaign targeted at high school juniors and seniors would greatly enhance the reputation of Butler University and lift the school to new heights in the recruiting arena.

Not only would this approach help the Bulldogs to continue to recruit world class high school athletes for their sports teams, they also could reach out to more world class scholars to consider their university. There are loads of National Honor Society students who don’t play interscholastic sports, but they may be participating in the marching bands for those teams. Or they could simply be a fan of great college basketball and want to have the opportunity to attend championship level games on their home campus as part of their college experience. What student wouldn’t want to go to a university whose sports programs offer them the opportunity to travel the United States with their friends, attending some of the country’s most prestigious campuses, while supporting your school and getting a great education, all at the same time?

The problem is how could the administration get the message of this great school out to the future high school graduating classes? Social media…..that’s how!

Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, Flicker, Foursquare, MySpace, and hundreds of other sites are all helpful in delivering your message to the public. The issue is how to get it done?

Like it or not, Social Media is here to stay.  Social Media is an information explosion taking place before our eyes. Most of us are involved in it in some way, shape, or fashion, even if we don’t recognize it. Think you’re not part of the craze? How then did you find this post? Social media….that’s how?

If you have a story like Butler’s or want to create one to capitalize on the opportunity to generate more buzz about your business’ brand, drop me a note @davehanron on Twitter or Dave@socialstrategy1.com on email. I’ll be happy to help provide advice on developing a targeted social media campaign for you.

1 comment:

  1. Shameless plugging of the self. Go sell your wares elsewhere.