One student literally cried on my shoulder. Sobs and snot. (Really). I had never met her before. She came up to me after a speaking gig to tell me her story.
Another student asked: "Why do my professors not know about social media?"
Another emailed: "Two years going through an MBA program and Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube were never mentioned!"
Another: "Did I waste my money on a 1950s education here?"
Another: "Only one professor in 4 years understands today’s world."
Many university professors are criminals
Wikipedia says malpractice is: "a type of negligence in which the professional under a duty to act, fails to follow generally accepted professional standards, and that breach of duty is the proximate cause of injury to a plaintiff who suffers harm."
By not teaching modern methods to marketing, communications, and journalism students, professors are guilty of malpractice.
By not showing MBA students how to reach buyers on the Web, professors are guilty of malpractice.
I hope these professors have liability insurance, because my guess is that lawsuits are coming.
Here's what Jake LaCaze writes in a post called Mistakes I Made in College
"There was a time when I read nothing but fiction, fiction, fiction. Now, I read mostly business and marketing-related books. But in college, I didn’t go that extra mile to further my education on my own. I listened to the lectures and read the required texts all for the sake of passing the test. However, after reading books by authors like Seth Godin and David Meerman Scott, I’ve since discovered that most of what I learned in my business courses was obsolete. These two guys have taught me so much more than my lectures and classroom texts ever did. Please, go that extra mile. Pick up a book related to your subject. Professors teach the same subjects year after year. They teach the same material because it's familiar and rehearsed. But this is your future we're talking about. No matter what your major is, read books related to your major. You’ll be glad you did."
Here is the good news.
Hundreds of university professors are on top of modern marketing and are teaching students what they need to know to be successful in today’s world.
While I still get those gut wrenching messages from students, I also get many tweets, Facebook messages, and emails from others who are thrilled that their professors are showing them the world of Web marketing.
They reach out to me because over a hundred universities are now using my book The New Rules of Marketing & PR as a text in class.
Now, I'm not suggesting my book is the only way to teach this stuff. But because many students read my book, I'm hearing a lot about what's going down on campus.
Robert French, Stephen Quigley and Karen Miller Russell were three of the first professors embracing New Rules when it first came out in 2007.
"I've relied on The New Rules of Marketing & PR as a core text for my New Media and Public Relations course at Boston University for the last six semesters. David's book is a bold, crystal clear and practical guide toward a new (and better) future for the profession."
- Stephen Quigley, Boston University
"David Meerman Scott not only offers good descriptions of digital tools available to public relations professionals, but also explains strategy, especially the importance of thinking about PR from public’s perspectives, and provides lots of helpful examples. My students loved this book."
- Karen Miller Russell, Associate Professor, Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication, University of Georgia.
Here's a post from Robert, a professor at Auburn University, from 2007 called Felling a Buzz.
Or read what Pete Codella, who created a course for the University of California, Irvine Extension says.
Time to pick books for next term
The higher education department at my publisher Wiley has made it easy for professors to check out the new second edition of The New Rules of Marketing & PR.
Since it's time to choose books for summer and fall courses, Wiley is offering free examination copies to professors.
Here’s what Wiley says about the second edition:
The first edition of this title presented readers with a unique playbook to navigate marketing in the Internet Age. Now, in this fully revised and updated edition, author and renowned online marketing strategist David Meerman Scott gives your students all the hottest insider tips so that they can confidently market any product, service, or idea. The book features new case studies and includes the latest marketing and PR techniques using social media sites. The New Rules of Marketing & PR shows readers how to leverage the potential that Web-based communication offers the business world.
If you are a professor, please check out my book. While I’d love it if you did use the book, you will certainly need to start teaching the new rules to your students. Either that, or check your liability insurance to make sure you’re covered.
If you are a student, please pass this blog post on to your professors or department head.
Image Shutterstock / Evlakhov Valeriy