How can KIT use social and mobile platforms to enhance brand reach

About KIT:

KIT is a prestigious research and education institute in Germany that is 6th in Europe in terms of citation impact. The institute is ranked 116th place globally in all disciplines, whereas 33rd and 34th globally in the disciplines of Engineering and Natural sciences. 

Existing Problems:

  1. Exploitation of skilled scientists with fixed-term contracts and unclear about the career: Biggest disadvantage is the exploitation of skilled scientists with fixed-term contracts of up to three years only. Post-doctorates remain unclear about their future perspectives just a few months before the contract expires. Most colleagues are unable to settle down during the time of the fixed-term contract due to insecurity of their future. There was no consolidated career program in place for Post-doctorates when I worked there. Only permanent staff employees have the right to vote for union members.
  2. Transfers between institutes impossible: Transfer between institutes is nearly impossible due to conflicts between institute directors and low collaboration efforts.
  3. No or uncertain value gains on working on Industry based projects: A lot of funding is coming from Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) which consists of 50% governmental funding and 50% from industry. Industry uses this sort of programs to outsource their own research activities. Some post-doctorates work at the KIT like in industry on development projects, but are being paid only part of an industrial scientist salary with none of the industrial benefits. The only good thing is that it might give more opportunities to find a permanent position in industry afterwards – but it does not happen too often either. Working on this kind of projects, post-doctorates will not publish in internationally accredited journals, best they can hope for is patenting together with industry.
  4. Very disconnected organization units: One hand does not know what the other one does. To me KIT appeared as a colony of disconnected islands.
  5. Presence of institute’s non-responsive fake or unofficial pages over Facebook: create bad name for the institute.
  6. Amateur website advertising at social media platforms: The institute has its presence over Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube. However the presence has not been capitalized fully. Non uniformity over different social media platforms; Facebook, and YouTube bear the same logo and name but differs in its presence on Twitter. Viewership of posts and updates has been lost upon absence of adding any experience or interaction with the fans. For example, Engagement in the form of likes and comments were negligible as compared to the total number of fans. Ambiguity in the selection of language, lengthy and non-catchy posts even if frequent will fail to reach considerable impressions.

The Need-Strong presence over Web 2.0:

With institute’s increasing fame and ranking come along high credibility and people expectations. They expect the best from you on whichever Web 2.0 platforms you market or represent yourself and thus help show your efforts in alignment with excellence. Moreover there is a massive talent pool you might be missing on not attracting the talented students by means of Web 2.0, as they might get confused over the quality of your presence on these platforms. For example an international student, never been to Germany, having heard your institute for the first time, on visiting your social media and website pages, might not get interested enough to apply for the program.

Solutions:

  • Ex-experienced scientists who had served at the institute should be called upon for career guidance. In that aspect a website or mobile platform can be developed upon having presence of both; the alumni and current scientists at KIT, thus creating a community in which ideas can be shared and suggestions sought upon. Moreover, the platform should welcome membership from all organizational units, which should ensure discussion between the organizational units and ensure alignment of people among different organizational units on the basis of their interests and preferences.[Solves problems 1 & 4]
  • Establishing expertise in a certain upcoming technology can help monopolize premium from the industry. A business model can thus be established, in which the licensing fee (of industrial projects being done by KIT post-doctorates, and patented upon) can be shared upon among the institute itself and KIT. [Solves problem 3]
  • Fake social media pages should be removed as they hurt the brand image. Experiences should be built upon around the brand’s vision and interactions should be encouraged by incentivizing in the form of scholarships, admission guides, and etcetera. Moreover questions on topic of interests and that in alignment with the brand ideology should be posted upon on the social media pages to increase engagement. Posts should be short but catchy enough and should follow a standardized language (i.e. that of the region the institute is seeking perspective students from) [Solves problems 5 & 6]

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