Will Universities Adopt Blogging aka Citizen Journalism To Help Mold Perception and Create Their Brand?

In my last post, I asked the basic questions: Why did U.C. Berkeley administrators pay $25,000 to a marketing company to formulate a more brand specific name for Boalt Hall the institution’s School of Law? The name the consulting firm came up with, U.C. Berkeley School of Law, seemed so obvious that I was stumped. Why would anyone pay that much money for something so obvious? Why would anyone ignore the abundance of intelligent resources ie administrators, alumni, professors, and students available to the university during this search for a new name/brand? Finally I posited a plan to tap into these resources, institute a new internship plan, and implement blogging as marketing and branding strategies the university could and should be utilizing right now.

I wondered if anyone was listening, reading, or caring to answer my question(s). Although the original article is new, no comments or emails have hit my doorstep. Nobody has taken exception or supported the ideas presented. Not a single student has raised a question about frivolous spending by their university.

Yet somebody is watching at the Office of the “University of California Office of the President.” According to Sitemeter, one of the best blog site traffic monitoring tools, somebody within Berkeley’s Office of the President is reading. The following is a Sitemeter snapshot of a recent visit by my mystery guest. Although they only stayed for 2 minutes, I am honored that they showed up at all:

uc-berkeley-sitemeter.jpg

What is my point in displaying this Sitemeter visit? It is my intention to illustrate the power of citizen journalism that blogging brings to the public. Business owners in all niches need to take a long hard look at the type of power this new medium holds, how to harness this power for their business marketing plans, and what will happen if their competition beats them to the proverbial punch by becoming first adopters of this technology.
In the first article on this subject, I linked to the San Francisco Chronicle’s story about Boalt Hall’s new name. The Chronicle’s take on the entire story was without any critical analysis. It presented the facts and little else.

There in lies the wonderful power of blogging. Businesses, universities, service providers, and politicians can and are being questioned about their decisions and policies. Bloggers analyze and report without the bias of an employing media company’s “interests” getting in the way of the truth or opinion.

As Pat Kitano of transparentre.com so aptly states “radical transparency” is where the internet is going. People, organizations, and businesses will be expected to put themselves out to the internet in a completely transparent way. This transparency will be the driving factor-force behind credability, consumer trust, and perception.

And as we all understand through years of mainstream media indoctrination, PERCEPTION IS REALITY even when it is not.