There is a civil war going on. You probably haven’t heard much about it. The combatants in this battle are traditional organizations who allow web practitioners to manage content and handle development, but don’t want to give up control of overall strategy.
On one hand, this is understandable. Marketing strategy is about more than just a plan for what you’ll do with the digital space. It encompasses print and a whole lot more, depending on the size and scope of the office charged with managing it.
The problems are more acute the smaller the institution and the stakes, because we find ourselves embroiled in turf wars that threaten our control over a certain budget, supervision of staff or some other prized asset we’re not willing to give up.
Despite the desire to hold onto what’s dear to us, we need to entrust the very capable people inhabiting the digital space to make bold decisions about where we take communications and marketing strategy in this highly communicative age. The talent exists, there’s little doubt about that. You can read their insights, see their statistics in their incisive blog posts and hear their perspectives at conferences all over the country. I often wonder what higher ed would look like if many of these innovators were given more than just a seat at the table, but an actual line item to work with.