Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Brand Loyalty and Global Health

I have long been a fan of The Pump Handle, a self-described "water cooler for the public health crowd," with special expertise in mining and occupational safety. They also post on plenty of other public health topics, of course.

Many of the contributers have some tie to the George Washington University School of Public Health--although from the beginning that has seemed more incidental than anything else. They certainly do not act or blog like traditional institution boosters. And, in fact, lately, I have noticed that they are expanding their list of contributors well beyond Georgetown to academics at Boston and Tufts Universities, as well as a few well-chosen advocates and even one anonymous blogger.

I think that move to reach beyond institutional borders is particularly innovative--or should I say counter-cultural? Even if it seems like an obviously good idea, it does not happen that enough. Usually, the conventional wisdom is that in order to "get your message out," you need to focus on branding in general, and institutional branding in particular. Everyone is so worried about sharing credit that they don't realize how little credibility single-institution venues actually have.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

When we started The Pump Handle, it was designed to be a true group blog, with contributors from several universities (and, we hoped, eventually from non-university settings). Some of the initial volunteers never really got in the habit of blogging, though; and I think part of the reason that Celeste and I both keep posting frequently is that we work in the same office (at GW) and can talk and get excited about new blogging topics.

We're always looking for new contributors, and would particularly love to have someone to cover global health topics -- just email if you're interested!

- Liz