By Reto Caluori, Head of Communications at the University of Basel (@retocaluori).
A to Z through Day #2
A as in Alumni: Having focused on graduation for a long time to establish a relationship with students, Stanford Alumni now shifts their efforts to freshmen, juniors and seniors. A team of tree full-time staff members takes care of student relations.
B as in “Biggest Threat”: Immigration policy constrictions would put an end to Silicon Valley, says Chuck Darrah. To a great extent, the Valley “is built on CHIPs” (i.e. Chinese and Indian professionals).
C as in “Change Lives, Change Organizations, Change the World,” motto of Stanford Graduate School of Business. Think big. Don’t be modest. Take risks.
D as in decentralized: A word often heard when you ask people what collaboration with other bodies of the same university looks like. Seems like Public Affairs, Alumni Relations, Schools and Departments are all very clear about their own goals and objectives and therefore act pretty autonomously.
E as in essential posts: According to Karen Lee, Social Media Strategist at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business, the most successful posts are facts, quotes and photos. Safe bet: Pair photos and quotes together.
F as in “Focus on Problem Solving”: In Silicon Valley, a fair amount of professionals have a background in engineering, as a result of which they are focused on solving a problem and not on discussing it. This pragmatic attitude is one of the secrets of the Valley’s success, says Chuck Darrah from San Jose State University.
G as in “Go Bears!”: Traditional Saying on Stanford Campus (as we were assured by several sources in Berkeley).
H as in “How does the perfect student look?”: At the Stanford School of Engineering he is T-shaped: Broad social skills and a deep technical knowledge.
I as in Instagram: Stanford’s GSB uses it mainly “to show people what it is like to be on campus.”
J as in “Jump into the Middle of the Media Pyramid”: Between mass media and scientific journals there is a layer of specialized media and technical newspapers. This is one of the most promising target groups for science communicators, says Tom Abate.
K as in Karen Lee, who gave an extremely efficient and focused presentation at Stanford GSB.
L as in Lunch: Eating stuffed eggplant at Stanford canteen.
M as in Moments: Creating “Moments of Pride” is what Adam Miller thinks is the most successful content on Stanford Alumni’s social media channels. The same goes for Dan Colman of Stanford University Continuing Studies, who tries to establish “Life Moments” through events. For best practice look at Giovanni: he caught the opportunity of featuring an Uni Neuchatel Postdoc right on the spot.
O as in Opportunity for Entrepreneurship: The Common Core State Standards Initiative is expected to change the educational system in the US more than anything before. What that means for the Edtech industry was discussed at the VLAB Event “Education Technology Tsunami.”
N as in new products: Stanford GSB uses a new tool called Chute to manage content on different social media.
P as in “Power from the Pooh”: Finding a catchy headline opens a path to even challenging content, former newspaper man Thomas Abate from Stanford School of Engineering pointed out. Combine it with an intriguing picture and you will earn a lot of attention (and have a fallback headline like “Waste-Powered Microbes” in mind if someone finds your initial proposition too offensive).
Q as in Queen of the Road aka Julia, who still had the energy to drive us home safely after a long day.
R as in “Reach, Serve and Engage all alumni”: Mission statement the Stanford Alumni Association
S as in Silicon Valley: In the morning, Chuck Darrah drew a differentiated picture of an somewhat fuzzy area, which is a great job machine and which at the same time is good at outsourcing the human costs of its dynamic.
T as in Transport, Traffic and Tesla: Driving to Palo Alto provided a rich first impression of Silicon Valley, its geography, its high-tech products and its infrastructure.
U as in Universe: “People think of this place as the center of the universe,” describes professor Chuck Darrah speaking on the Spirit of Silicon Valley.
V as in Vertigo: Don’t miss the view from Standford’s Hoover Tower Observation Platform. You will even get a super quick 30-second tour in the elevator.
W as in Wegner: Artist Peter Wegner created “Monument to Change as it Changes” for the Stanford Graduate School of Business’s new Knight Management Center.
X as in …: OK, that’s a tricky one! I will go for XXL to describe Stanford’s Gift Shop, which is way bigger than any brand centered store that I have seen (even larger than Manchester United’s store, I suppose). On the day people queue to buy your merchandise, you will be pretty well off.
Y as in yummy: see L as in Lunch
Z as in Zurich University of Applied Sciences: Adrian: “Hi, I am deputy head of communications at the School of Management and Law of the Zurich University of Applied Sciences. Sorry, this is quite a long job title.” – Adam: “Hey, you need a pretty wide business card!” ☺