Thought Feeder cover photo for Episode 40. Images of the hosts are featured in a square image with a triangle pattern over their heads. White text reads "Since we've been gone. An update from the past year"

Episode 40: Since We’ve Been Gone… An Update from the Past Year

Thought Feeder cover photo for Episode 40. Images of the hosts are featured in a square image with a triangle pattern over their heads. White text reads "Since we've been gone. An update from the past year"
Thought Feeder
Episode 40: Since We’ve Been Gone… An Update from the Past Year

After more than a year apart, Joel and J.S. chat about what’s changed over the past 365 days. They also dig into Higher Ed trends and share what the future looks like for the Pod.

Transcript for Since We’ve Been Gone

Joel Goodman: From Bravery Media, this is Thought Feeder. Welcome. Uh, my name is Joel Goodman with me as always is the mythical Jon-Stephen Stansel and hey, we’re back. Like it’s been forever and we’ve put some lost episodes out, but we’re back. It’s good to see you J.S.

Jon-Stephen Stansel: Yeah. It’s good to see you as well. It’s been like, it’s been almost over a year now, so yeah. 

Joel Goodman: So J.S., I think last time we officially recorded, you were dipping your toes into the freelance world, and now you’re back to a full-time gig, right?

Jon-Stephen Stansel: Oh, my goodness. It’s been a, it’s been a year. It’s a, a lot of learning, really busy, a lot in a good way. Um, I. The freelance life for about a year, worked with some amazing clients in start the startup world in the entertainment industry, comic books, movies, TV shows, all of that. Uh, and, uh, one of my clients said, hey, we’ve got a company that we work with.

They’ve got an opening. Would you be interested in talking to them? And, uh, it was Chaotic Good Studio. So right away, the name was like, okay, this, this sounds awesome. Uh, and spoke with them, thinking they were gonna be another freelance client, but they were actually wanting to bring, you know, interested in, in hiring full time.

And I was a little hesitant about leaving freelance cause I was enjoying it. And. , but I can’t talk too much about it. Cause like my NDAs have NDAs, like it’s very secret, but they, you know, they said, you know, we want you to come work on these projects. And that was just too exciting to say no to. So I’ve been doing that since November of last year and really enjoying working with them.

They do, uh, franchise management in, the entertainment industry. So mainly focusing on sci-fi and fantasy franchises. So. From books, uh, movies, TV shows, video games, all of that, and working with lots of different things, which is really exciting. So it’s a kind of a new challenge every day, uh, kind of to put my finger in a lot of different pots and, and play around and, uh, just have, have learned a ton.

It’s it’s it’s been a blast.

Joel Goodman: You were living your best geek life when you were doing, you know, the freelance work and then you got this job, and it sounded like you were living an even better. The, an even better, best geek life.

Jon-Stephen Stansel: Extremely nerdy and I get to do I get to do social for nerd stuff and it’s, um, and build strategy and kind of it it’s a little bit less of the day to day, social media management, and a little bit more of big picture, strategy building. Um, we have an amaz, you know, get to work with a team of, I’m not doing all the things by myself.

We actually have like, Incredibly intelligent data team that, uh, parses so much social listening data and we get to get, and then build strategy off of that. Um, it’s really fascinating. And really, um, I’m also learning a lot of lessons that I feel like higher ed could use like a lot of the things that I wanted to implement during my time in higher ed and feel kind of validated like, oh yeah, this is what gets done in social media. When you have resources and you are working with people that, um, really understand the value of social media.

Joel Goodman: So. You know, touching on anything that an NDA would, would, uh, would, would prevent you from touching on, like, I’d love to, to hear like some of the, some of the differences that you’re experiencing between the day to day stuff versus, uh, being able to step back and do a little bit more. Of this strategy and planning and, you know, putting thoughtfulness into it because, you know, we’ve, we’ve touched on that a lot in past episodes.

And I mean, just in conversations with everyone we know in the higher ed industry, but, you know, what’s the, what are some of the benefits that you’ve seen with doing that and have felt, are just like really important to, to being able to do good work?

Jon-Stephen Stansel: Well, it, it, it’s being able to zoom out bigger picture and plan more long term, uh, of, of what’s going to happen, not just next week, but months from now, when things happen when maybe a trailer launches or for, for a film, or just almost like, you know, even working on what an account that doesn’t even exist yet.

It is going to look like how it’s going to be launched, where it’s going to be in a year. Um, all of that planning rather than just like, oh, we’re starting an account today. And you know, wouldn’t it be fun to have a TikTok for this department? It’s no. Okay. What is our overall social strategy bef even before accounts get started even before, anything is going on, um, has been really interesting. Uh, it’s a little, it’s a change of pace, cause it feels very theoretical sometimes where it’s like, okay, this property hasn’t even been created yet, and we’re planning out the social media strategy for it. Sometimes like two or three years ahead of time.

Joel Goodman: Do you feel like you’re in your element? Like, so like, cuz like I think you always really enjoyed the day to day management, you know, despite the frustrations that just come with any large organization that isn’t really putting the proper emphasis on, on the practice. But like, you know, if you were to wave between the two of doing less of the day to day and more of the strategy versus the actual being out there on, you know, on the web, on the internet, talking to people where, where do you kind lie in, uh, in your, your favoritism between them?

Jon-Stephen Stansel: Uh, I think it has to be split evenly. Um, and, and I do get to, to do a little bit of day to day, uh, here and there, but it’s nice to be able to, to, to focus. big picture rather than just like, okay, what are we doing today? Or how are we responding to this? And, and, and be more, you know, thoughtful and mindful of what we’re doing rather than like reacting to the, the most recent need.

Um, that’s really, really interesting and really fun to do. And then also just, you know, actually. using social listening data to in data driven decision making. Right? it’s wow. What, what a concept and actually having, uh, now granted it’s not like grass is always greener, on the other side, there are still some of the same problems that you have in higher ed.

There are silos. Um, there are egos, there is, you know, granted. I feel like the data with the studios and, and clients we work with, like they actually do read and are concerned about the data. Um, they don’t always draw the same conclusions we do, uh, and it takes some, some convincing to do. But I, I do feel like, Uh, the social is more valued and the data is more valued than it. It is in at least my higher ed experience and, and from many other higher ed folks I’ve, I’ve talked to. So that’s really good. And I think that’s a lesson that, you know, higher ed needs to learn. We say like, look, these other industries are, are doing this.

They’re capitalizing on, uh, their social listening data. And you need to be doing this too. It’s really useful.

Joel Goodman: Do you think institutions can afford to do the, I mean, maybe not the level that you know, your, your current employer can, but like, I keep going back to like where money is spent in higher ed. And I wonder if this is something that most schools can afford or maybe, uh, it’s something that they just need to rearrange their budgets for to make more,

Jon-Stephen Stansel: Can they afford not to Joel? That’s the question? Um, well it just comes down to, I think they budgets need to be arranged like, hey, maybe you don’t need that, that airport advertising. I was just in an airport yesterday and looking at all the university ads and thinking like how and knowing how much money, those, cost and what, they could get with that same amount of money in social, if they were to invest there and what value they would get, um, that has been one culture shock is actually having budget to do stuff like the first big strategy assignment I was given, I came up with all these ways to save money and like, we could do this and we could reuse this and save money here and save money there.

And my bosses were like, whoa, the client has money.

Joel Goodman: Let’s do it the right way.

Jon-Stephen Stansel: Don’t, you know, shoot, shoot for the moon. If they think it’s too expensive, we can scale back. But like, the social budget is them saving money. like, you know, so that has been an adjustment of being like, oh wow. I actually do have money to spend.

And like, I don’t have to make all of these assets by myself. Like I can say, oh, we need a video that does X, Y, and Z, and I’m not the one filming it and creating it. like, I can actually hire a video team to go make this thing, uh, or, or even just basic graphics. Like I don’t have to be the one to make it, uh, which is really nice.

And a luxury that I’m, really lucky to have, so yeah, that that’s been really exciting, and, and taking some, getting used to, and again, higher ed granted does not have the same budget that, you know, a giant motion picture does, but they can find at least some of that money and reallocate things to, make it happen because it it’s important.

And I think it’s a better. Use of your money than an airport ad that most people just ignore.

Joel Goodman: Totally. I was, uh, I, I was flying out to Charlottesville, Virginia, uh, for a client visit, uh, a month ago, a couple months ago. And I thought the same thing I walked like through the terminal, and I just saw this giant full wall ad, uh, like at the end of my, like walking actually through the doors of my gate, like walking into the airport, I’m like, oh, that’s one, not my client, but like, you know, the like a giant university, but I’m like, if you’re going through an airport, I don’t think that that billboard, that like piece of wallpaper is the thing, that’s gonna convince someone to check out your school.

Jon-Stephen Stansel: Again, I, I, I was just in an airport yesterday and, and looking at all of the, the airport advertising. So it’s top of mind for me. I was just thinking how many of these are there, because they feel like, because our competition is there, we have to have advertising there too? And And it’s not really doing the university any good, other than the fact, like a Bo, a, a trustees member, who’s going through the airport, isn’t complaining to a president going, why did I see, you know, three other universities advertising the airport and not us. And I think presidents and.

Joel Goodman: I heard that exact thing from, from a client, just like, why are we spending the money on this? And It was exactly, I think it was like a trustee wants to see it and, you know, and, and maybe someone else in, you know, in, in a, a high up leadership positions feeling the same way. And it’s just like that money could be better spent somewhere else.

Jon-Stephen Stansel: Exactly. Exactly budgets are tight and I, I harp on billboards and stuff like that, and they’ve got their place, but the, the amount of money spent on it that could be better allocated in other areas is just, um, but yeah, so that’s, I I’ve been staying super busy, which is good.

I’ve been really enjoying what I’m doing, doing a few, few side freelance gigs. I’m still doing a little work on Invincible between seasons. No, I don’t know what season two is going to come out. I know they’re working really hard. I’m gonna make it really good. Yeah, I’ve been getting to do that. I just spoke at, at, uh, Georgia Tourism Conference yesterday.

It was my first in person speaking engagement since the pandemic. And I really, man, I missed, I missed being in front of a crowd, like, uh, doing conferences virtually, you know, via zoom. it’s great, but it, that you can still do it, but you just not being able to see the audience, not being able to kind of play off their energy.

Um, it, I really missed that. Um, so hopefully I’ll get to do a bit more of that. I’m speaking at High Ed Web about specifically, like what higher ed can learn from the entertainment industry. Um, I have. Put that together yet, but I’ve got some ideas. I, I think it’ll mainly focus a lot on, on the social listening aspect and, and what, the entertainment industry does as far as social listening and how they respond to that and how that informs decision making on, on, on very high level stuff.

Not just like the marketing, but like what the plot of the sequel is going to be. Um, so, so like major, major decisions are made based upon what the fans want to see. So, 

Joel Goodman: I’m looking forward to your talk and. I don’t think they pitted us against each other at High Ed Web. I’m trying to remember. I don’t think so. I think I’m like, I think maybe mine’s like right before or right after your, your session. So, uh so I’ll at least get to hear you talk.

Jon-Stephen Stansel: Excellent. Excellent. There, you know, hi, I love High Ed Web so much. Like they’re so good about how they arrange their, their sessions and you don’t. I mean, there’s always like you’ve got, those are. Choices. You’ve gotta make, like, am I gonna go see this session or this one? But generally they do a really good job of kind of lining up in a way where, if your interest is one thing, you’ve got time to go see other stuff, but you’re not, there’s not too many conflicts there. Um, so that’s really good. I’m looking forward to that. So, but Joel Bravery is growing. Like I saw you you’ve hired new people. You’re taking on new projects.

Like what, what have you been doing this past year?

Joel Goodman: Yeah. So, uh, sometimes, well, things blew up last year. Uh, I think actually we, like when we were probably last recording our last episode, a Thought Feeder last year, I was, uh, I was realizing how many marketing departments in higher ed had not spent any of their budget in the previous year and needed to hit that year end fiscal that, that fiscal year end, uh, we gotta spend this so we can get budget.

Next, next year’s sort of, uh, mark. And so I started doing a lot more strategy work. We’ve been doing a ton of research, a lot more, like UX research, general usability research, a lot of SEO working with, uh, my friend JP Rains up in, up in Canada and, just really digging into data. And then the whole idea was to, to turn around and give institutions a game plan.

Like, you know, we’re gonna just audit your full website. We’ll look at design, we’ll look at content. We’ll look at competitors, look at gap analysis, look at SEO, all this stuff, and then we’ll tell you exactly what to do to fix it. And if you wanna work with bravery to do that, that’s cool. We’re happy to come in and help actually do the execution.

If you wanna take it to another agency that you have, or you wanna do it in house, awesome. You’ve. You’ve got a roadmap. Like you can just take it on and. Those are fun. And I love doing those because, uh, you know, you start to see a lot more commonalities between different institutions where like they’re doing this one thing wrong, that’s pretty easy to fix and they can get really big gains and improvements from it. And so trying, starting to see these patterns, we started getting more and more design work, uh, based on, on those reports that were going out. And I brought in, well, I got to the point where I was just like, do, all this and my all my subcontractors are awesome.

And, uh, they were getting overworked. I was like, oh, I need to find more contractors. Or I just need to like, try and hire some people full time. And so, uh, brought in some friends. Uh, that run a, uh, business operations consulting firm here in Austin. And they, uh, looked at everything and they’re like, hey, you really should hire people now because you need it.

So, um, yeah, so we’ve got, uh, we, our first hire was a Director of Marketing. That’s that’s Kevin who’s, our, our producer here. And, uh, people I’ve been, people been asking like, why’d you hire a director marketing first. I was like, cause I, I can’t have time to do it. like, and I need to like, even, like, I think, you know, this podcast in particular was one of those things where I think for both of us, J.S. That’s like having, being, being able to have this longer form.

outlet for, you know, showing why our on our hot takes online are actually not hot takes, uh, was important. I think probably in, probably in you being able to transition out of your university gig and me being able to solidify some of my ideas, but also get a little bit more work and, and have a bigger voice.

Um, and also I think like for me, I don’t know if you felt the same way J.S., but like you were talking about the. like missing speaking in front of people and, and that sort of thing, like this kind of this podcast kind of scratches that itch a little bit, because we got to talk about really big ideas and we got to interact with people that have different thought processes and, and, you know, connect a bunch of these dots that, you know, I think we generally find ourselves connecting when putting together a conference session talk or like at a conference talking with people.

And so. I missed that. And I didn’t have time to edit episodes and you didn’t have time to edit episodes. And so.

Jon-Stephen Stansel: I agree. I think like my whole motivation for, for having this podcast is purely greed as far as, getting to talk to people that I want to I’m interested in or doing interesting things and just wa wanting to have a conver an excuse, to have a conversation with really smart people that I see online and would like to have more than just 280 character exchanges with.

So, um, I’m looking forward to bringing on some more guests and talking to some other folks and, um, in, in higher ed and out like shifting out of higher ed and learning lessons that I think we can share with our audience and, and share with others of, of like here, this is what higher ed can start doing because so many other industries are doing these things and Higher Ed’s gonna get left behind.

Um, and, and we need to, to play some catch up.

Joel Goodman: And that’s, that’s part of the, I mean, that goes back to part of the work that we’ve been doing. We’ve been trying to figure out what these gaps are at institutions, not just in terms of what they’re doing or not doing, but, uh, staffing and, you know, we’ve seen. Seen a lot of the reports coming out from, uh, you know, Simpson Scarborough did a, a big CMO survey.

There’s been a couple of other larger agencies that have looked into, uh, how the, uh, I guess the, the temperature of, uh, of the job of the, the current state of employment within higher ed is going.

Jon-Stephen Stansel: It was the Inside Higher Ed article where the survey was like over 50% of current university employees are thinking about leaving within the year. Like they are actively looking. So like, if, if you’re a director of a department, half of your staff is looking for another job. Like, that’s unreal. Like I, I knew it was high, but over 50% is just high.

There’s going to be a, there already is a staffing problem in Higher Ed.

Joel Goodman: Yeah there already is a problem.

Jon-Stephen Stansel: They’re or it is already there and it’s just gonna get worse. And what can higher ed do to retain talent? Like almost every time I check Twitter or LinkedIn, it’s another person from higher ed going, okay. I am, I’ve got a new job and it’s either, either a they’re they’re leaving the industry entirely.

They’re moving into the private sector, but still in higher ed or they’re just, they’re going to another university. Um, that last. uh, category is by far the smallest. 

Joel Goodman: Maybe I’m just a pessimist. I mean, I probably am, but, retain like, you know, we talk about like, may how, how do we retain talent in higher ed and do all this? Like, I just, I don’t know that higher ed can, I don’t and I don’t know that they should honestly, like, I, I, I think that the, the only ways that they can retain talent are going to be by completely upending their,

kind of their, their human resources and, and care for staffing because one of the big issues and, you know, like we see, you know, you and I J.S. know a couple of really, uh, really good folks that have been on this podcast. And folks that haven’t been, that are, uh, working to make sure that their staff have, you know, flexible work options can be remote, even if it’s, you know, even partial, you know, that sort of a thing, but coming out of a pandemic where, you know, most of the people we know in higher ed were far more productive working from home or, you know, wherever they wanted to work from than they were in an office.

You even at the, you know, at the time. And then, uh, being forced to come back in the office, you know, now that now that we’re, we’re kind of living with living with COVID, as an ever present, uh, you know, bogeyman in the in the world, like that’s, that’s frustrating. I think for a lot of folks, because they had a, a year and a half to two years to kind of structure their lives around this flexibility and figure out how to work in modalities that allowed them to get a lot of the work done or all of the work done and probably more work than they would’ve if they were in the office. And now they’re being asked to.

Uh, to upend that and without more pay, without better benefits, um, you know, if you work at a state school, like you get, you should get pretty good benefits, but like private, private institutions, a little bit iffy-er you know, without, without childcare considerations, all this stuff that you can get in any other industry, I don’t know that higher ed can or should retain that talent because they’re gonna have to just sink a lot of money into a single person that may be very good when they really need a team.

But if they’re getting a team they’re only gonna get a team of kind of, okay, mediocre type people that are learning and entry level and all the really good folks that have been higher ed and have suffered and have realized how disrespected they are leaving for other industries.

Jon-Stephen Stansel: Yeah, I, I don’t think it’s anything like we can fix, cause it’s a perfect storm of so many factors. Like, you know, there’s only so much a person will do for the mission of higher ed. How much sacrifice they will make for that, that mission. Like, for the longest time and I still believe in the mission of higher ed, um, but what am I willing to sacrifice for it?

You know? Okay. Maybe I’ll, I’ll take a little bit lower pay, but if you can’t give me the lower pay, you know, the higher pay at least give me the flexibility, give me, you know, some task off of my plate. Uh, respect is a major factor. Like I want to feel that I am all the hard work that I’m doing is being, valued and actually I’m being listened to.

And my, my expertise is valued rather than, and, and this is just not just for the realm of MarComm folks and social media folks. for your, your student advisors, your, um, admissions counselors, all of those folks. Um, they need to feel valued. They need professional development, you know, and that’s another part of budget and allowing the time and the budget for them to do that needs to be there.

There’s a lot of like give and take people are willing to do, but it feels almost like Higher Ed is just kind of take, take, take. And that’s not everywhere. Like, I don’t wanna be like the person who left higher ed and is like, oh, I’m here are all the problems with it. And this is why I left.

But I also feel like having left that I can, I’ve got a little more liberty to like, say, hey, here are the problems that need to be fixed without being like, oh, I hope I don’t lose my job because I’m saying, um, so I, I don’t want to come across as, a downer on higher ed, but it has real problems that need to be facing.

They are losing talent left and right. And you can’t just fill it with fresh graduates who don’t really wanna leave campus yet and take an admission counselor job or, or fill that social media manager role, cuz you’re not gonna you, you can’t, I mean, experience is, is, so valuable.

Joel Goodman: Well, and the competition levels are so different these days too. I mean, cuz I, you know, I think you and I both entered higher ed. Uh, fairly, fairly early in our careers. like, I mean, me, it was, you know, after, after working at Old Navy for eight months, it was my first gig with a real, real full-time job with a, you know, with a salary that was way too low and, uh, benefits that weren’t good.

And I just kind of like jumped into everything that, uh, I, I now know and, and have, you know, started developing in that, in that role, but, the, the competition levels were completely different in the early Aughts or the, even the mid Aughts. Um, and, for people that started working in, uh, in this industry, in the nineties or the eighties, like that’s even, even less of a competitive level because we’re at the point where we’re

all compete, like all the institutions are competing with each other. And then now we’re competing with these outside pressures from, uh, well, I mean, like there have been a, there’s been a bunch of news about OPMs going under or like, you know, uh, the Arizona State like buying their OPM, which yeah, of course, uh, that, that also is something that happens, I guess.

Uh, but the pressures aren’t just us trying to compete and find a unique brand position, for our institution, it and, and competing against other institutions. It’s us competing with all these external tech pressures with the general, uh, discourse in society about the value of higher education, about all this stuff, you know, about, uh, different online learning capabilities, about giant tech companies.

Uh, you basically having their own universities in house to train people, to stay within their kind of walled garden. Like it’s, it’s a different, it’s a different animal. And if you just have someone that’s very green coming in without any, uh, without any leadership that can help grow them and sustain them into becoming a good marketer.

And, you know, because you’ve lost all your staff, you’re not gonna, you can’t compete at that level. Like you, you can’t even really make a difference unless that person gets real lucky or is extremely, extremely good.

Jon-Stephen Stansel: Yeah. And, and if they’re extremely, extremely good, you need to lay out a path for advancement for them. Like that was one of the frustrations I’ve I’ve always had with higher ed is like, okay, well I can do my job really, really well. Where am I? You know, right before I left, um, my, my higher ed position, I was asked myself where if I stay here, where will I be in five years?

And. The only clear path to advancement for me was for one of my bosses to quit. And for me to apply for that position and get it given that everyone else at my level would probably be applying to as well as outside hires, like. How, how do I grow? Like I, you know, want to grow in my field, like, and it’s not a mon part of it is money because of, we need money to survive.

We live in a, a, a very, very capitalist society. But also of like, I, I I’d like to have more responsibility and do more things. Cause I, I, I care about the work I do. And, it’s not like a greedy ambition. It’s just, I, I don’t want to stagnate.

Joel Goodman: Even just being able to do your job better, like, you know, you want expansion of budget. You want someone to be hired to take over something so that, you know, like right now, so that you can spend more time figuring out what’s a good strategy for this and integrate it more into general marketing plans and all that kind of stuff.

Jon-Stephen Stansel: I’m not worried about like the day to day interactions of social at, and I can step back and go, okay, where do we want this account to be in three years, rather than oh, There’s, you know, a fire I gotta put out today , you know, um, so that’s, that’s extraordinarily helpful. And I, And in the realm of social that just does not really exist very much in higher ed it’s whoever’s running those accounts is like, what are you doing today?

Hey, I need you to post this flyer. And so much time saying no to things that you don’t really have time to plan and say yes to stuff. Um, so that that’s really vital.

And, you know, there’s just the, um, the increasing pressures of, of higher ed, where everything seems to be absolutely urgent. You know, that’s one of the things that strikes me as, working in an entertainment industry. I thought the pressure would be higher. And it’s actually in some ways a bit lower, like the, the it’s a terrible person to quote, but Henry Kissinger once said the reason why university politics are so vicious is because the stakes are so low.

And don’t say that to me, demean things at higher ed, cuz it’s very important but, I think everybody listening has had this experience where something, if you’re a social media manager, a very inconsequential thing has top priority. Like why haven’t you got this post out about this professor’s research into the mating habits of, of tree frogs, you know, and, and granted that’s important and that has value, but we know our audience doesn’t want to hear that. And there’s so much time and effort into that. Whereas I feel now when there is pressure, it’s on something like, oh yeah, this is really important.

And this really requires me to get to ship this in a timely manner in a way that is quality because there’s, you know, millions of dollars behind this thing. 

Joel Goodman: I was talking about that same thing with, so Bravery also hired a new Head of Client Strategy and Research, and she and I were talking yesterday. About that same thing happening with just general website content. Right. So it, and it, so it’s, it’s kind of a pervasive problem in higher ed, but like we’ve taken on a client and, um, and we’re, you know, they, they similar, they lost their, they lost their, their main, uh, their main web person don’t have anyone else.

Uh, and we’re now realizing like all the stuff that person was having to do as part of their daily job and, it’s it’s interesting because there there’s a lack of governance. There’s a lack of kind of strategic mentality around how content is written, what content goes on the website, what content needs to be updated, urgently, what the website is for?

You know, I, I, if, if there, I don’t know what’s going on with their social media side of things, but I would assume that it’s kind of similar and it’s just. on demand. Hey, we gotta have this. And so part of what we’re thinking through at bravery is how do we put together some, I don’t know if it’s like really training materials or just kind of like a, a kinda like a standard operating procedure document that we can hand over to people that just says like, okay, There’s a problem and we want to help you fix it.

So here are our recommendations in terms of putting governance into place, in terms of getting back your control as a, you know, as a marketing office or whoever it is that has control and making sure that you are, you know, you’re, you’re not just having to, to post stuff for the, because someone asked you on demand because it’s because everything is urgent for some reason.

And you know that because it makes no sense, it makes no sense that, you know, that, that putting. Like you, you know, like you, like you said, like, uh, well, I think way, like going like deep into the archives of the show is like some article about Japanese paper lanterns or something is coming to mind like, oh, it’s very important that we update that news article that no one reads ever and it needs to be done now.

And when that happens, you can’t actually spend any time on strategy. You can’t think about who is this reaching? What is the website doing? Is it performing?

Jon-Stephen Stansel: Right. And that’s another thing, striking me about entertainment industry versus higher ed. Like you would think egos would be bigger in the entertainment industry than higher ed, but it’s about the same and actually probably skews higher in higher ed. We’ve gotta keep this professor happy or this director happy because this thing is really important to them.

And we just can’t say no, like this doesn’t align with our strategy currently.

Joel Goodman: J.S. You had, I think you re you did. I saw you retweet this, article that talked about how a bunch of university presidents are kind of scared to, to be on Twitter, or it may not really be on Twitter, but to

Jon-Stephen Stansel: Be on social.

Joel Goodman: be on social media and voice their opinions because, uh, they’re, they’re just gonna get, uh, they’re gonna get.

Jon-Stephen Stansel: Lambasted by somebody and no, it was in the Chronicle and it was an anonymous survey of university presidents and their thoughts on sharing their opinions on social issues or just any issue at all, uh, in the overwhelming response. They saw was just university presidents don’t wanna speak out on anything cuz either, and, and they feel kind of damned if they do damned if they don’t.

And that, that is true. Like, I I’ve had had where we posted the same press release on Twitter and Facebook. And it’s been like on Twitter, the president’s accused of being far too conservative and on Facebook, like you’re super liberal and like it’s the same exact message.

Or if they say nothing, they get, you know, they lose control of the narrative and that, that’s the thing they’re like, oh, I’m just gonna say nothing. Cuz people are gonna attack us either way. So I’d rather, which I think is just completely, uh, cowardly. like, you know, and when we talk about like social issues, like.

human rights is not a, a, a social issue that you need to be afraid of making a stance on, like, you know, and if it’s a value of the university, like if your university’s one of your pillars, one of the, your core values is embracing diversity, you need to take a, you need to be a leader and take a stand for those values and be the person that gets the repercussions of it.

And I understand that university presidents are under an enormous pressure and they’ve got to keep state legislatures boards of trustees happy. Um, they don’t wanna upset alumni donors, but at some point you have to say, these are the principles of our university, and we are going to take a stand for that, um, or change those university principles, I guess, you know, like, um, don’t, don’t say on one hand that you value diversity on your campus and then, 

Joel Goodman: Stay stay silent outside of it. Like not actually represent that anywhere else.

Jon-Stephen Stansel: Or do the opposite

Joel Goodman: or do the opposite. Yeah.

Jon-Stephen Stansel: you know, the same principles that you say you value when you’re speaking to faculty and staff directly, you need to be willing to say openly and public. 

Joel Goodman: it’s also part of the job like being under scrutiny is part of the job don’t don’t angle

Jon-Stephen Stansel: That’s up 

Joel Goodman: don’t angle for a presidency. If you’re not going to actually represent your institution publicly in, accurate ways or, oh, Yeah, hopefully accurate ways. Uh, you know, I mean, if, if, if you are, if, if you are bigoted and have a bigoted institution, like, I guess you should probably be honest about that too.

Jon-Stephen Stansel: Well, I mean, at, at the end of the, you, you’re a leader and a leader has to lead and you know, you can’t just stay, stay silent because you’re afraid somebody’s gonna be mean to you on Twitter. Like, and again, if you stay silent, you forfeit the narrative. People will believe whatever they want to believe based upon your silence.

And they know don’t just believe that about you. They believe that at, at about the university. So, um, you know, reading that article, I just felt like, I don’t wanna be a jerk about it, but like what a bunch of cow, like, I can be a jerk about it. They. Uh, you know, they, they make way more money than I do.

They, they, you know, universities give ’em fancy houses and all of this stuff that like, so like step up and, and be willing to lead and be willing to take those risks. Cuz you’re just silent. Like, and

Joel Goodman: It’s an abdication. It’s an abdication of responsibility.

Jon-Stephen Stansel: you can be afraid of it, but do it like.

Joel Goodman: Uh, JS has been great having this conversation. It’s been too long. Um, For listeners, we recently released a very special conversation that we had, that’s that’s near to us with Anastasia Golovashkina who, uh, sadly has passed away and we just wanted to recognize her and, uh, the impact that she’s made on, uh, not just the, not just the political, social media landscape, but on, uh, I, I think, I think for all social media managers that pay attention to their profession, um, she. Uh, she was well loved and appreciated by so many people, including us. And, uh, so we, we just wanted to, to give her some props today,

And coming up, we will have plenty of new episodes. We are looking at an, every other week’s schedule. Uh, you know, probably Thursdays, like we have been doing, so make sure that you subscribe on apple podcasts or Spotify or wherever you like to subscribe to your podcast. We are still there. I believe, although Google’s giving you some issues.

So we’ll see if that gets fixed. You can also visit us at thought feed, We’ve got transcripts for all of our episodes, as well as all the past episodes listed there and links to all of the various places you can subscribe. You could also tweet at us at Thought Feed Pod on Twitter thanks so much for listening and, uh, we will be back with new episodes very soon.