You ever get tired of the same HBCUs getting the same kind of national attention? Howard, Morehouse, Spelman, Tuskegee…blah, blah, blah. It gets a little monotonous to hear the same handful of HBCUs getting the same coverage and love your school deserves.
Some of it has to do with longevity. Older schools have the benefit of history serving their promotional interests, particularly when the older a school, the more alumni it likely has graduated and engaged to give back and promote. Some of it has to do with alumni; the more popular the alumni, the more likely people will be interested in where they attended school.
But most of all, no one is talking about your HBCU because the HBCU isn’t giving anyone anything to talk about. Save for the occasional cafeteria brawl, sex tape or fired coach, your school isn’t at the forefront of discussion of notable HBCUs, or how it benefits black communities nationwide.
And that’s a shame, because your school is probably REALLY good at doing things that deserve credit and attention. It’s just that it’s also REALLY bad at telling its own story.
Here’s five reasons why nobody knows about your HBCU.
5. Your Alumni Are Uninformed - If alumni know about student success, political victories, community development, chances are their families know about it. And their friends. And their co-workers. And their church family. And their hairdresser/barber. Get the point? Inform alumni, inform a nation.
4. Students Are Uninspired – There are many HBCUs that do a wonderful job at instilling school pride in their students. But the school pride only comes out at political rallies, athletic events, and when challenged by an outsider. Does your HBCU demand community service? Does it bombard students with stories of their own success via email, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube? Do they have a chance to share the lessons they learn in classes in real life applications that benefit the campus and surrounding community?
3. Your football team sucks - Truth is, athletics is the greatest marketing tool any college or university can have. The better your football team, the more chances reporters come around to find out what makes them so good. When you bring fans to the stadium, the school has the opportunity to share other good news taking place on campus. It is the ultimate fundraise, scholarship vehicle and open invitation to neighbors of your campus.
2. Your president doesn’t come out his office enough - If your president is not out of the office building relationships, motivating alumni, connecting with legislators, and making partnerships with corporations, the outside world has no concept of what your school has to offer beyond what the media reports. And often, that’s not good news.
1. Your school is missing the ‘One Big Thing’ – FAMU has the Marching 100. North Carolina A&T and Howard have famous homecomings. Grambling has Eddie Robinson. Morehouse has Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Fisk has the Jubilee Singers. What is the one big thing everyone should know your school claims, has, does, or offers? If you can’t answer that question in three words or less, your school is doomed to agonizing anonymity.