Posts Tagged ‘Leaders’


Why Digital Prowess Matters.

By Deborah Mersino

If you identified with the tell-tale signs of poor design from my last post (e.g., clip art apples on your website), I’m hoping you breathed a sense of relief knowing you’re not alone.

The good news is proper design can – and will – create a positive ripple effect for good when aligned with brand positioning. Sage leaders who get support can watch their enrollment numbers, donations, conference registrations, and memberships rise along with their revenues.

Today, let’s move on and address the second of the “Five Common Marcom Mistakes” often made by educational associations and schools – a lack of digital prowess.

Keeping Up

It’s no wonder educational associations and schools struggle with digital prowess. Just 16 years ago, Google was still a dream. {Note: Hard to believe, isn’t it? Here’s hoping you at least rocked the piñata doodle.}

In the last decade, educators have started leveraging everything from whiteboards, apps, administrative software, and Skype to Google Docs, edmodo, blogging, and Twitter. They’re doing this amid dealing with Common Core, shorter schools years, funding disparities, and more.

Simultaneously, association and school leaders must now understand market segmentation, SEO, CMS, and online advertising analytics in a sophisticated manner worthy of new positions and respect. Content specialists, digital marketing managers, and front-end developers are now a requisite to success. Marketing execs should now be fully integrated with IT (perhaps even leading it, but that’s another post}.

Technology has transformed marketing communications; therefore, it’s not surprising many nonprofit and school leaders struggle to keep up with best practices and/or budget properly to achieve success in the new world order.

Just as an educator wouldn’t have a food vendor create his or her next rubric for a PBL project on whether Shakespeare lifted Romeo & Juliet, we shouldn’t expect volunteers and every nonprofit or school exec to know how to increase engagement via a website, an Instagram promotion, a digital show daily, and/or an online advertising campaign. It’s a science unto itself.

If you do nothing else this year besides clarify your brand, you’ll be wise to empower marketing communications staff and/or consultants with digital savvy to grow your organization’s digital footprint.

Remember, it’s okay if you can’t code, add a high-res logo to your Facebook page, monitor a Twitter back-channel, create a conference app, and/or know the difference between unique visitors and hits. It IS essential, though, that you have someone on your team who does.

Stay tuned for more. We’re just getting warmed up!


Global #gtchat Spotlight: The Gatton Academy of Mathematics and Science in KY

Earlier this year, the Carol Martin Gatton Academy of Mathematics and Science in Kentucky became our inaugural  Global #gtchat Sponsor!

Visionary sponsors like the Gatton Academy make #gtchat possible and available for educators, parents of gifted students and advocates worldwide.

Take two minutes to learn more about this incredible institution of learning. The students even produced the clip below. You’re sure to be inspired!

Isn’t it impressive that the Gatton Academy at Western Kentucky University offers a residential program for bright, highly motivated Kentucky high school students who have demonstrated interest in pursuing advanced careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics?  Sixty students each year are admitted through a competitive process. Instead of spending their  junior and senior years in traditional high schools, students enroll in the Gatton Academy and live in a uniquely dedicated residence hall.

The goals of the Gatton Academy are to enable exceptional emerging scientists and mathematicians to learn in an environment which offers advanced educational opportunities while preparing them for leadership roles in the Commonwealth.  Taking courses offered by WKU, their classmates are fellow Gatton Academy students and traditional undergraduate students. At the end of two years, Gatton Academy students will have earned at least 60 college credit hours in addition to completing high school!

I personally want to thank Corey Alderdice (@innervation and @GattonAcademy), assistant director of admissions and public relations at the Gatton Academy, who saw the power and potential of #gtchat from the beginning. In fact, he came up with our Global #gtchat tagline: “140 characters. Unlimited potential.” Thank you Corey! And hats off to the students and faculty at the Carol Martin Gatton Academy of Mathematics and Science in Kentucky. We need leaders and change agents like you!

To stay current on the inspiring learning taking place at the Gatton Academy, become a Facebook fan and/or follow them on Twitter (@GattonAcademy). And to learn more about this Global #gtchat Sponsor, visit