Quick Study: Universities ‘Admit’ Social Outreach Has Advantages; Corporate Reputation and Single vs. Multiple Brands

â–¶ Social Media Proves Efficient Among Academics: In a study of MBA programs at schools across the U.S., two out of three social media managers and admissions officers say that social media outreach was more efficient and effective than traditional PR outreach—which allowed for cost cutting in admissions offices. The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth Center for Marketing Research has been watching trends in social media usage at U.S. colleges and universities since 2007. Other study highlights include: • Reduced costs for traditional media are attributed to use of social media. Schools report 33% less spent on printing, 24% less spent on newspaper ads and 17% less spent on radio and TV ads. • 92% of undergraduate admissions officers agree that social media is worth the investment they make in it and 86% plan to increase their investment in social media in the next year. • The most useful tools for recruiting undergraduates include Facebook (94%), YouTube (81%), Twitter (69%) and downloadable mobile apps (51%). • Monitoring reputation and relevant online conversation has declined over the past few years. In 2009-2010, 73% reported monitoring their brands. In 2010-2011, that number dropped to 68% and now is 47%. Source: University of Massachusetts Dartmouth Center for Marketing Research â–¶ Reputation Views Differ from Single- to Multiple-Brand Companies: Over 80% of major companies believe enhancing their corporate reputation is vital, but strategies vary considerably depending on whether firms are a “house of brands” or a “branded house,” says a study released July 2012 by Weber Shandwick and KRC Research. Polling 575 executives worldwide, 92% of the respondents from “single-brand” firms agreed that augmenting their reputation at the corporate level matched the importance of enhancing the standing of their goods. That figure fell to 75% among their peers working for players operating a “house of brands” model, examples of which include Kimberly-Clark, Procter & Gamble and Unilever. Other findings include: • 87% of businesses from single-brand companies actively promote and communicate the reputation of their company, as opposed to 80% from the multiple-brand companies. • 61% of respondents from firms selling products under one name would rather see news showing they were listed in “most admired” rankings than for strong share-price forecasts. This figure fell to 49% among the multiple brands. • The main benefits of corporate branding for its adherents include the “halo effect” it has on their goods (65%); serving consumer interests (55%); and increasing transparency (50%). • 46.5% believed it was advantageous to unite all their products with a common voice; 43.5% perceived this approach as being “more efficient” from a marketing perspective. Source: Weber Shandwick/KRC Research

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