In this ’10 questions with’ post, Meltwater had a chat with Eric Stoller! Eric is a higher education thought-leader, consultant, speaker and writer for Inside Higher ED. As a frequent keynote speaker, Eric often talks about how educators can use social media strategically and is a proponent for teaching students about digital identity development.

10 Questions With Eric Stoller, higher education thought leader, consultant, writer and speaker

Q1. How long have you been a higher education consultant, writer and speaker, and what led you down this path?

I’ve been working as a higher education consultant for 11 years (Part-time for 3 years whilst working in a full-time position at Oregon State University and 8 years full-time).

It’s incredibly challenging to quit one dream job in order to create ‘the’ dream job. However, that’s what I did. In 2010, I was working in a wonderful role at a fantastic university (OSU), writing for, and doing consulting on the side. Something had to change as I was running out of enough time to do everything well, so I quit my full-time position to create a higher education consultancy that focuses on digital engagement and organisational change.

Q2. What was your first ever job and what did you learn from it?

Since I grew up on a farm, I had a lot of jobs at home: feeding/watering the animals, cleaning stalls, etc. My first “real” job at age 16 was as a cashier/ stock boy for my hometown grocery store. I was balancing school work/ activities with my employment schedule. I quickly learned how to make the most of my time. The grocery store wasn’t glamorous, but it did teach me a lot about working with co-workers, providing quality customer service, and managing a plethora of tasks.

Q3. What’s top of your bucket list?

Travel is always at the top of my bucket list. My wife and I can’t wait to visit Patagonia and Argentina. Plus, getting to introduce our son to new experiences is always a treat.

Q4. How do you see the higher education industry changing in the next five years?

There will continue to be a lot of high-profile partnerships with corporate entities. Especially with technology companies. Plus, the student experience will be even more important than it is today. With shrinking enrolments and a competitive recruitment environment, universities that can showcase value for money, a quality student experience, and a path towards employability will have an edge over their peers.

higher education

Q5. What is your top tip for creating a successful higher education marketing strategy?

Be open to experimentation, learn from failure, and listen to your audience.

Q6. What’s your top tip for marketing ROI measurement?

Know your analytics and KPIs ahead of time and define how success will be measured. Embrace the fact that every campaign, every channel, and every interaction is unique and sometimes ROI measurement will require a lot of critical nuances.

Q7. Who do you love following on Twitter?

I love the @NHS account on Twitter. It’s truly a communal effort, with different staff and patients taking turns running the account. The variety of stories, tone, and voice make it a must-follow account.


Q8. What is your favourite publication or blog to read?

My favourite publication has got to be Dave Pell’s Next Draft. It’s a daily news email that is filled with breaking news and stories that are carefully curated. I’m also a huge fan of XKCD and people should definitely check out Sue Beckingham’s Social Media for Learning blog.

Q9. When are you happiest?

I’m most happy when I am spending time with my family. My wife and I have a 6-month-old son and he is the focus of most of our daily attention. It’s a never-ending series of adventures and experiences.

Q10. What is a common misconception that those working in higher education believe?

I think a lot of people still think that social media is a fad and that’s unfortunate as digital engagement provides myriad ways to enhance the student experience. Fortunately, there are a lot of people working in the HE sector who understand the transformative value of social media.

Want to learn more about the UK Higher Education industry? Download our industry report. This report is full of recommendations for future PR, marketing and communication strategies, based on the analysis of the top 10 universities in the UK.

Take a deep dive into:

• Individual and benchmarked university brand reputations
• Industry trending topics
• Sentiment
• Influencers

higher education industry report