UP Cool!

How to spread the word about UP while remaining COOL 🙂

Graduation, UP Diliman, 25 April 2010

This blog is a summary of the contents of the following blogs:

During the University Graduation last 25th April, as we listened to the Valedictory Address challenging us “Isko at Iska ng Bayan” to put to good use the gift of education that we have received in the past 4 years or so in “UP Naming Mahal”, I thought that we should know and make use of the means at our disposal to spread the good word about how UP has formed us to be that “global citizen”, ready to help UP to (1) build that environment of RESEARCH and, at the same time, (2) pay attention to the needs of community and national development.

More than talking here about the attention to research which UP trained me in personally (I’ve talked about this elsewhere), I prefer to talk here about some qualities that should make our “UP marketing” a bit more effective.

  • The need for being civilized:  As the MercatorNet article suggests, “One of the most commonly employed tactics in … the Culture War … is name-calling.  People and ideas are branded and dismissed summarily rather than being the target of reasoned argumentation. … Name-calling is akin to hitting your opponent over the head with a club, an approach to issues that should have been left with the cave dwellers. Lest we be branded “ancient” or “cave-dwellers”, I’d suggest that we be calm and cool especially as we explain, for example, the benefits of the free market, the need to get research funding into the University to enable the faculty to do their research and publish their work in reputable journals, the urgency of improving the quality of teaching in the University (e.g., market the ‘Teaching Effective Course’ at UP DILC), etc. “Rational, fact-filled argumentation is one of civilization’s greatest achievements. And it is in very short supply…”
  • Get behind your idea and defend it without being defensive:  As the Harvard Business Review article suggests, “…you need to defend yourself without being defensive. The latter opens you to additional criticism because very often [being] defensive will provoke negative behaviors such as lashing out or shutting down. … Maintaining an even keel in the face of skepticism or even hostility is a vital attribute to leadership presence, the kind of aura that you need to radiate if you ever hope to instill followership.” The article suggests 3 important characteristics: (1) Preparedness, (2) Generosity, (3) Patience.
  • Leveraging on Cyberspace: In my blog about how to use the internet more effectively, as we learn to use the internet –blogging, Facebook & other social networking sites–, I would highlight the advice to take the positive approach: “Speak always in a positive manner, speak personally to the heart of your reader.  You should never be against anything or anyone.  A friendly and amusing explanation would do much greater good than a long list of arguments, no matter how well reasoned out these are.  You might not convince a given reader or listener, but if you write in a sufficiently gracious or humorous manner, you might win a friend.  Only then will you be able to help.  We should practice refinement and an extreme respect for the freedom of others.”

I hope I have imparted a few ideas for how we can take fuller advantage of the means at our disposal to spread the word about how the current UP administration has tried its best to fulfill its role of enabling UP to be the ‘National University’, a public and secular institution of higher learning, and a community of scholars dedicated to the search for truth and knowledge as well as the development of future leaders… 🙂

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