Chuck Reed

Chuck Reed, Senior Vice President for Client Services

  • I once lost a brand project because I told a president during my interview as a finalist that the institution’s website was “in need of an overhaul.” Offended, she told me that “her” site was just fine, and that “everyone in this room would agree.” Actually, everyone in the room looked down, left, right, up, and straight ahead. Later I was told that while every person feels like me, they couldn’t now hire us.Pity. When you have an enrollment issue (like they did) and your website can’t offer any compelling reason for prospective students to consider you (not to mention costs, outcome evidence, engaging content, calendar information from the month you’re in much less the year), you have “a problem.” Two years later, a bid came through from them for a new website. That president had “retired.”
  • I miss the days where a flying toaster or other unhinged icon swooping across a home page was “cool.”
  • Moment of truth: small college professes “engagement” and “team” and “faculty interaction” yet the header of several key web pages are empty auditorium shots, colorful seatbacks though devoid of humans. What’s criminal—once pointed out, the headers didn’t change for nearly a year. College worries daily about “image.” Ummm…
  • When the athletics page of your college is the only thing that gets routinely updated and given fresh content on your website, embrace it, don’t deride it. If athletics (not the loved entity of many on campuses) can do it, learn from them and figure out what they do. They “get” it.
  • Websites take a LONG time to build and a LOT to maintain; I am staring at an RFP now from a college in dire need of a new site, and they are giving firms 10 weeks to build it all. Not a minimum six months, and not just parts. The whole thing. They will “provide content” but if it’s anything like the content I’m seeing on their current site, this is a lipstick on a pig project. Yikes!
  • Speaking of timing, isn’t it amazing that flagship universities take months to hire a faculty member via an inquisition for a modest salary but can hire coaches overnight for millions?
  • Not all digital world stories are negative—in fact most have a happy-ish ending. www.hastings.edu is a stellar story of rags (outdated snoozer) to riches (bold messages and simplified everything). Perfect? No. Ideal for them? Yes.
  • Finally, technology is the toilet that never stops flushing. Metaphor extend THAT.
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