Building The Profile: A Case Study

Last week, Education Dive published a short video interview I did this summer at the HBCU Digest Media Week conference in Washington D.C. The clip is below, but I discuss how important it is for presidents (really anyone) to use your voice to not only build your brand but to speak on issues important to you.

Writing is an important part of it — research articles, books, even op-eds are great ways to share ideas on an issue. One of my research issues has and continues to be hazing. Even as a president, I generally do 1–2 expert witness cases a year, and have a chance to speak on hazing issues on college campuses.

With the hazing death at LSU, local media began to look for people to help provide context for hazing. So when they start to search for experts they were easily able to find me. I did one television interview and a couple of newspaper interviews.

On December 11th I was invited to speak at the Baton Rouge Press Club meeting on the topic of hazing. I didn’t really know what to expect, and so I went to speak like I normally would. But it was set up like a press conference so not only were the reporters there but several cameras. What happened? Stories appeared in 3 papers as well as on television. The story above was big just because the headline reinforced my work as a hazing expert.

So I was relaxing yesterday at the house as we’re on our Christmas break. My wife gets a call from a producer with Good Morning America around 3pm looking for me to do an interview for a segment on hazing at Florida State. A few minutes later one of our staff members lets me know they’ve called campus as well.

I promptly return the call (this is the step where MOST mess up and miss opportunities — with internet time you cannot procrastinate).

At 5:45, the camera man is at the house to tape a cell phone interview for GMA. This morning, as part of a story on hazing at Florida State, I got in my brief commentary. The amount of time was not important; this was a major national story on a big 3 network, creating another data point the next time someone needs a hazing expert.

UPDATE: I wrote this story on December 20th. On the 21st a Time Magazine story came out which includes information from an interview I did with them. Here it is:

So get out there!

The Prez

Written by

7th president of Dillard University

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