NCMPR 2006 summary, etc.

Update: Janelle Runyon of Lower Columbia College reminds me that I haven’t posted my notes from the course schedule roundtable. (They haven’t yet made it over from the MDA.) When the computer, the MDA, and an appropriate USB cable are all in the same general area, I’ll post those notes, too.

I’ve had a couple of days to let all this simmer in my head, so I think I’m ready to write up my take on a summary, assembling some meaning, and making some suggestions of things we (my employer) might want to try.

The thing I keep coming back to is the gap between the keynote and everything else. Near as I can tell, the techniques discussed throughout the sessions were aimed towards or designed for just the sort of middle-class audience that the keynote speaker was NOT talking about. I guess there’s not a whole hell of a lot of research or focus on marketing towards people in generational poverty…which sounds like a horrid thing to do, except that here we’re talking about marketing education.

The generational marketing session reverbed most strongly for me in this way. When I see her chart of key events and pop culture references for the generations, it’s totally obvious that it’s (mostly) a middle-class white suburban lexicon.

I was involved in some really good thoughtful conversations outside of the sessions, including over a few drinks. Somebody questioned the value of taglines in our context. Also some discussions of the futility of competing — can we collaborate more and get a rising tide to lift all boats? (This is particularly critical in my environment: 4 community colleges and 2 technical colleges all within rational commuting distance.)


  • ASU president’s blog (I can’t believe I remembered that!)
  • Census bureau poverty stats (approx 10% poverty in Pierce Co. Slightly higher in families with children 5-17. And of course that makes the effective poverty rate more like 20%.)
  • (Middle class) boomers are a good target for both high-end CE programs and direct mail. Hmmmmm.
  • It may be time to progress on my idea about 1st day of school SMS messages.
  • Oh, heck, I need to get Brian M’s PierceTV/YouTube page set up.
  • More people should present w/out Powerpoint.
  • I should find some faculty who want to blog. A chancellor/presidents’ blog might be a nice touch, too, although perhaps more interesting on the intranet.
  • Ken came up with an interesting alternative to student blogging, using our current approach of testimonials in combination with additional contact info. Do we have any crash test dummies available?
  • Send notes from new media session to Sally.
  • More email newsletters/cards! Theater, arts, CE? Do we collect email addresses from CE students?
  • I wonder if we should be segmenting our visual and verbal style more, and more consiously.
  • Ideas: CE “sample day”, invite-a-friend, coupons.
  • Who is talking about us, if anyone? What are they saying? How do we find out?
  • What do we do that’s GREAT?
  • Give fliers from keynote to student services, get a copy to everyone!
  • 68% of people in her research, when they deal with professionals, walk away not knowing what they’re supposed to do next. Is there anything that we (CR) can do about that? Better takeaways?
  • Is there any research available on how poor people get information? Any differences with overall stats? What’s a good media mix for transitional ed programs?

Whew. I think that’s it.