The World 100 Reputation Network Conference is the key annual opportunity for highly ranked universities - both members and non-members - to share reputational achievements.

The W100 Annual Conference 2016 took place at University College Dublin (UCD) in Dublin, Ireland, from 6 – 7 October. Eilis O’Brien, Director of Marketing and Communications, University College Dublin, was our host. The conference focused on how universities communicate their university reputation and research through storytelling and cultural heritage.

The theme focus, ‘Higher Narrative: Communicating University Reputation and Research through Storytelling, Culture and Heritage’, is one the Irish might rightly argue to be experts in, and it explored how you create interest in your present and future, through good brand narratives, compelling research stories and social media. 2016 also marked the centenary of The Easter Rising, one of the defining moments of the struggle for Irish independence which began on Easter Monday 1916, providing a particularly interesting context for our theme.

Dublin is one of the most connected cities in the world, with international flights to destinations across Europe and North America and of course a reputation for fine food, bars and wonderful Georgian architecture right by the sea. Ireland is also home to some of the most impressive hi-tech and marketing companies, including Google and Intel, and made for a stimulating venue for our annual conference. Experts from world-class universities presented on topics including changing narratives during a crisis, how to communicate research and visualising campaigns.

Conference Highlights

Connective Campaigns: Storytelling in the Age of Engagement | Paul Andrew, Harvard University
At a time of deep mistrust of institutions, and in what some have called the ‘post-fact’ era, what attributes make for leading institutions and how can communicators contribute?

Brand Brinkmanship. Applying commercial brand planning to an academic culture and living to tell the tale! | Dan Dillon, Arizona State University
Why audiences matter and how do we engage with them? How do we integrate across platforms? What messages do we want to send? What breaks through?

The 8-second Attention Span | Ovidia Lim-Rajaram, National University of Singapore (NUS)
With the average attention span dropping to eight seconds in 2013, how do you keep your publicity efforts relevant, while meeting internal objectives?

Changing the narrative during a crisis | Graham Bethune, University of Queensland
Exploring stories told under pressure, how they differ from stories told around a camp fire, and some of the lessons for managing a brand narrative.

The Power of Authentic Storytelling through Brand Journalism | David Estok, University of Toronto
Content-rich universities are filled with interesting
people who are working to solve the problems of the world – delve into how to tell authentic, memorable stories about people and build brand at the same time.

Our Speakers

Professor Andrew J Deeks
University College Dublin

Eilis O’Brien - Director of Communication

Eilis O’Brien
University College Dublin

Paul Andrew
Harvard University

Ovidia Lim-Rajaram

Ovidia Lim-Rajaram
National University of Singapore

Dan Dillon
Arizona State University

Frank McGuinness
University College Dublin

Kirsti Lehmusto

Kirsti Lehmusto
University of Helsinki

Steve Thompson
University of Sheffield

Dasha Karzunina
QS Intelligence Unit

David Estok

David Estok
University of Toronto

Sandy van Heerde
Utrecht University

Members Day | 5 October 2016

Our Dublin hosts put together a fantastic Members’ Day, starting with a tour of The Guinness Storehouse exploring the history of the beer through various interactive exhibitions. Following this was lunch at The Market Bar, a popular tapas restaurant with soaring ceilings and a typical laid-back atmosphere. Members experienced a walking tour of Dublin, led by historian Donal Fallon, and after free time to explore the city at their own pace, members ended up at Roly’s Bistro, Ballsbridge, for the members’ dinner.

University of Glasgow

Study Tour | 3 - 4 October 2016

Before the conference in Dublin, Ireland, a group of W100 members first headed across the pond to Glasgow, Scotland, for a couple of days at the University of Glasgow – a top global public research university and the fourth-oldest university in the English-speaking world. During the visit, members attended sessions with practical examples of successful research communications and discussion of the marketing communications challenges in significant campus development. A visit to The Hunterian, one of the world’s leading university museums; the Kelvin Hall, a brand new centre of excellence for collections-based research & teaching, public engagement and health & wellbeing; and a tour of the beautiful and historic campus are just some of things members experienced.

Become a Member

The World 100 Reputation Network is a group of the best universities in the world, delivering research that enhances reputation and offering leaders the chance to develop their own careers on a global stage. Members benefit from events and study tours, training, monthly media monitoring, and unique reputation research to provide institutional advantage.

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