Each LERU university has one member in the COMM group, usually the head of the communications office. The activities of the community are guided by a steering group.
The LERU Directors of Communication Network Group meetings are aimed at information exchange, mutual learning and policy development and advocacy. Topics of interest are corporate communication, marketing, public affairs and science & society. Besides the meetings, the group supports several LERU press and lobby actions in the different LERU member countries.
Agenda from the meeting in Nov 2019
– Building brand reputation in a globally competitive world: How do you make sure that the enduring image of your university matches or exceeds the reality? This session is about rankings, reputation and brand tracking, and the actions that have resulted from this such as brand positioning and brand hierarchy.
– Student recruitment: how the analytics is enabling global targeting: This session will be about international perspectives on European universities. How are European universities seen from abroad? How do LERU universities take advantage of global trends, attract the most talented students, but not depent on one country?
– Internal staff communications: This session will be about the different aspects of internal staff communications: how to build up a dialogue between the different internal academic, student and administration communities; working across higly devolved structures; a centralized vs a decentralized organisation. Presentation by Jürg Dinner from the University of Zurich.
– How to reach out with research A key-note piece of quantitative market research work by Universities UK called ‘Britain Thinks’ demonstrated that the public at large do not understand the value of university research. It showed that most adults are positive or neutral about universities, but few would advocate for them because there is little understanding of what universities do beyond teaching undergraduates. It was this lack of knowledge that has been fuelling perceptions of universities as elitist and ‘out of touch’ which has gone on to create media issues around VC pay, high student fees and debt and Brexit.
– University Magazines
The LERU Directors of Communication Network Group support LERU press actions in the LERU member countries. The group also focuses on information exchange, mutual learning and policy development and advocacy, public, policymakers and the media view of science and scientists. It is following public discussions about science and media and misconceptions about science. Examples of activities and topics for discussion:
– How to bring LERU messages to a local level:
– Sharing information or best practices amongst the members
– Optimizing the circulation of LERU messages to the local media
– Raising impact on national governments
– Way of working (university <> country)
– Monitoring Science and society interactions is in focus of actions of the group
The Group is involved in drafting a paper regarding Science in Society: LERU members must take an active part in telling society the value of science and education and open up for new ways of interacting with the public. The Directors of Communication have been discussing how they can contribute to the implementation of the paper in their university and external network.
-How to organise our communications departments at the universities in the network, with regard to transparency, resources for communication (web, webcare, social media, print, etc.) and marketing (student recruitment). How are social and digital media coordinated at research universities?
-Research-intensive universities and social media