Through empathy to humor: creating content to engage students without being naff

TIE10 Technology in Education

Location: Sultana/Mississippi

TUESDAY, 11:45 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

Injecting a little lightness and humor into our student-facing content is something we’d all love to do, and some of us try. But making this work in higher ed is no laughing matter. With committees to battle, brands to comply with, the fear of just not being “funny”, and the even greater fear of getting more groans than giggles, getting this part of your content strategy right is seriously tough going. So much so, that many of us shy away. In this session, Tracy Playle will explore how to develop your audience research approaches to better support your development of humorous content, understand how empathy mapping techniques can influence all areas of your student engagement content strategy, and look at how different types of humor can play a strong role at different stages in the student journey, and in different types of institutions.


Tracy Playle
CEO and Founder, Utterly Content & Pickle Jar Communications

Tracy is a content strategist, with a specific focus on the higher education sector. Prior to founding her first consultancy in 2007, Tracy worked for the University of Warwick (a top-10 British university). Her last role there saw Tracy serving as Head of Research TV, a broadcast public relations service that raised the profile of university research on television channels around the world and online. She has worked for and with over 130 education institutions in more than 20 countries developing content strategies and plans, running workshops and training, and supporting them in making a step-change to their digital communication activities. In 2014 she became the first European digital communications specialist to be awarded a CASE Crystal Apple Teaching Award for public speaking at education advancement conferences around the world. At the time, this award had been given to only 20 people in Europe in 20 years.