The VPM Blog

Don Crow

Don Crow
Don is an entrepreneur, husband, father, brother, son and several other names we can’t mention here. Don honed his leadership and decision-making skills as a decorated U.S. Army officer. He cut his teeth in the corporate world at AOL, serving as a Marketing and Operations Director, and then went on to deal as a major gifts officer for Auburn University with a focus on Corporate Relations. Verge Pipe Media represents the third venture Don has been a key player in founding.
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Recent Posts

The A to Z on Gen Z and Higher Education [VIDEO]

Posted by Don Crow on Jul 17, 2019 8:59:00 AM

Studying Generation Z, or iGen as some refer to those born in the mid 1990's through 2015, has been a two-fold fascination for me. On the one hand, Verge Pipe Media began and continues to serve Higher Ed with social media marketing strategy, inbound marketing for student enrollment and alumni (re)engagement, and video marketing for all of the above. On the other hand, I have two members of Gen Z at home, one of whom has been researching Colleges for the past year.

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Topics: marketing to Generation Z, Generation Z

Agency Culture | Our Core Values [VIDEO]

Posted by Don Crow on Jun 5, 2019 10:44:15 AM

In the Summer of 2019, Verge Pipe Media will unofficially be nine years young. That feels like an eternity some days, and a blink of any eye on other days. Starting and building a marketing agency is akin to rearing children - the days are long, the years are short.

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Topics: agency culture

How To Promote a Short Term Fundraising Project [VIDEO]

Posted by Don Crow on Mar 20, 2019 12:50:00 PM


At Verge Pipe Media, we just wrapped up another successful Tiger Giving Day for clients at Auburn University. Tiger Giving Day, as the name implies, is AU's version of the National Day of Giving which has sparked a ton of short-term campaigns, virtually all online (with notable offline components), and all with varying degrees of success. So what steps should you be taking to successfully promote a day of giving for your school, college or university?

Obviously, we're glad you asked as we've put together this video, How To Promote a Short Term Fundraising Project.

What do we mean by, "short term" in this case? It can be everything from a giving day to a less than 30 day effort to raise awareness and donations for a cause or project your school, college or university is seeking support for. For example, if you have a project that would normally fall through the cracks and not warrant a full blown development officer, you can create an online giving platform and then support through online and email efforts.

Here are some additional blog posts or resources to help your social media plan once you've watched the video:

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Topics: higher ed social media, Giving Day

Blogging vs Vlogging | Is It Time to Switch?

Posted by Don Crow on Jan 24, 2019 12:26:43 PM

Lights, Camera, Action!:

Long time followers of the Verge Pipe Media blog will notice a sharp difference in 2019: we've vlogging!

We came to the conclusion it was time to change after (painfully) watching our carefully constructed written blog readership decline while watching our social media video views increase.

You will have your own set of criteria to evaluate, so with that, here's our take on, Blogging vs Vlogging | Is It Time to Switch?

If videos aren't your, "thing," here are some examples of how we use visual content at Verge Pipe Media:

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Topics: Video Content, Video Marketing

The Future of Digital Marketing Jobs

Posted by Don Crow on Nov 28, 2018 9:42:30 AM

I recently had the good fortune to speak to a digital marketing class at the University of Central Florida about digital marketing and the future. The funny thing about the future is none of us actually know what's going to happen, which is sort of the point I made with the class (and later in this post).

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Topics: digital marketing

Promoting Your University Research to Corporate America

Posted by Don Crow on Oct 23, 2018 11:30:00 AM

The debate regarding the promise or pitfalls of corporate America and University research partnerships has been ongoing since 1980 (Bayh-Dole Act, which we won't get into today). On the one hand, there's the belief that these partnerships create jobs local to the University and certainly in the USA as a result of technology or businesses created out of the union. On the other hand, there's a perception that industry dollars mean tainted, or at best, biased research.

Regardless of where your personal stance lies, for the purpose of this article, we're going to assume you found your way here because you've been tasked with promoting your University research to corporate America.

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Topics: higher ed inbound marketing

Online Tools Every Higher Ed Marketer Should Be Using

Posted by Don Crow on Aug 29, 2018 8:00:00 AM

A frequent comment heard from Higher Education marketing professionals is they are, (a) understaffed, and (b) under-resourced. The reasons range from lack of money to lack of executive support and the inability to add headcount falling somewhere between the two. However, the demands placed on Higher Ed marketers hasn't gone away and as the battle for top notch, well funded college students grows, the demand list may in fact, be growing. Add to those demands and expectations are the increasing need to reconnect and reestablish a nostalgic relationship with alumni and you see multiple marketing paths and branches that need to be in your strategic plan. As someone who toils in the boutique independent agency world, we are no stranger to squeezing the maximum amount of top notch results out of every resource (people, process and technology. So - I've put together this list of online tools every higher ed marketer should be using to help alleviate some of the pressure.

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Topics: higher ed marketing

Read This Before Hiring an Instagram Influencer

Posted by Don Crow on May 30, 2018 7:30:00 AM

If you're a brand or an agency (or have a side-hustle you hope to turn into a brand one day), you've probably done some research on Instagram Influencers. If you're what's considered an Instagram Influencer, you've probably been approached by a brand or an agency seeking your assistance in selling their goods or services. But, as a guy who falls in the category of agency and side-hustle brand manager, I've gone through the pains of contacting, negotiating and paying for influencers which is exactly why I wrote a blog post titled, Read This Before Hiring an Instagram Influencer.

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Topics: social media marketing, Instagram, Influencer

4 Things Hurting Your Higher Ed Marketing

Posted by Don Crow on Mar 26, 2018 4:00:00 AM

In the Summer of 2018, Verge Pipe Media will pass another milestone: eight years examining, analyzing and publishing about Higher Ed Marketing. So much has changed over the past eight years: (a) the Windows and Blackberry smart phones no longer exist, (b) Instagram arrived, (c) Snapchat arrived (and may be failing), and (d) Facebook pages are now, for lack of a better term, pay-to-play. Unfortunately, there are a few things which have NOT changed in the past eight years, so I'm going to highlight the 4 things hurting your higher ed marketing based on our experience as a Higher Ed Inbound and Growth Agency.

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Topics: higher ed marketing

Facebook News Feed Changes and Your Business Page

Posted by Don Crow on Feb 12, 2018 5:00:00 AM

I'll admit that I'm one of the folks who spends less time on Facebook. A lot less time. Heck, I even uninstalled the app from my phone. Apparently I'm not alone, as Mark Zuckerburg and Facebook announced on January 31st, 2018 that overall usage has dropped by "roughly 50 million hours every day."

Couple that eye-popping stat with a drop of 1 million daily active users in the USA and Canada and the impact of the content we're all seeing in our news feed becomes supremely important. We're tuning out, "fake news," incessant political posts from high school friends you barely remember, and recipes on full blast from the half of the population who don't use Pinterest. We're instead liking and sharing animal videos, memes, personal triumps (and admitted failures), or we've just jumped ship altogether (enjoy Instagram!).

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Topics: Facebook, social media analytics

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