Welcome to our latest fortnightly eBulletin, posted here on 27 June 2017. In this issue:
I’d never heard of this before a colleague cited it in an email and it made me giggle. It resonated immediately, over the years I’ve seen it so many times. So what is it?
It’s when a company’s obsession with their brand, or with the channels/tactics they typically deploy, dictate the marketing they do rather than the needs and preferences of customers. A typical example is promoting via social media sites that you’ve spent time and resource developing and of which you’re proud, even when your target audiences aren’t using the platforms. Sounds crazy, but this error is so common …
At this time of year you’ll either be re-visiting your marketing plans for the autumn, or you may be starting the process of planning for 2018. Either way, avoid matching luggage syndrome by starting plans with the following three questions (or variations thereof):
Copywriting in publishing can be a challenge. Here are some typical issues raised by our delegates on a regular basis, and which our training is designed to address:
‘How do I judge what will really convince readers when there’s a strict limit of only 100 words?’
‘I find it hard making copy exciting when the products I’m promoting are specialist and even dull …’
‘I don’t have a science degree so I find it difficult to write confident copy for physics journals.’
‘We have loads of titles in the same subject area. How can I make each one sound different when they’re doing very similar things?’
‘The copy I write has to appeal to readers with different needs and getting the balance right is tough.’
‘Authors know their subject so much better so I feel that their opinion on copy should take precedence over mine, but do they really know best?’
‘I’d like to write better copy but I just don’t have enough time!’
Our next Copywriting Workshop runs in central London next Thursday 6 July. If you subscribe to our eBulletins you save £50 as standard on every course booking, paying £349 rather than £399. Music to your HR Manager’s ears.
You don’t have to work in higher education or academic publishing to know that TEF is big news in the UK right now. We’ve featured it in several articles this year but last week the results were finally published. And yes, broadly speaking, they were as expected with many Russell Group universities faring badly and many small, specialist and ‘new’ universities awarded gold status. TEF prioritises the student experience where the league tables have tended to focus on research impact, so these results aren’t especially surprising and may be a better reflection of what students want in exchange for their investment.
Doubtless this story will rumble on over the coming months, but if you’re in academic publishing and haven’t yet looked at the results, this article on the Times Higher Education website is a great place to start.
The dust will have settled and it’ll be an excellent time to consider the impact of TEF on our 2018 marketing plans by the time of our Academic Marketing Workshop on 5 October in London.
One of your titles has featured in the mainstream media and you’re delighted, circulating the link to author(s) and colleagues. Before you move on, though, drop the journalist a quick email to thank them. It’s surprising how few of us do this, yet it’s hugely appreciated, and such a simple gesture. And something I’ve always done since Corinne Julius pointed it out on a Practical Publicity Workshop some years ago. You can, of course, always use the same email to offer up future titles – so long as this message is secondary to your thank you.