In order to take full advantage of IMC, HEIsmust build up effective strategies as well as frequently assess its value toassure that their application is on the right track. First, it isessential for academics to investigate to build logical theoretical structuresleading research toward key questions and the research agenda should embracemacro issues, namely the intention of corporate communication in the newbusiness paradigm; its contribution to organizational success; scope ofdelivery; strategy development and alignment; functional integration; return oninvestment; and the core competencies, processes and structures needed toenhance performances (Butschi & Steyn, 2006). Then, HEIs should point outand implement appropriate strategies as Schüller and Chalupský (2012) statedthat not having such strategies will result in detrimental effect on thequality of IMC.
Study by Trim (2003) revealed that “by adopting both arelationship and a strategic marketing approach, senior management ineducational institutions will find it possible to devise and implementeffective strategies that meet customer expectations and result in the desireddegree of strategic positioning” (p. 67). Especially, Djordjevic and Cotton (2011)emphasized the need for a highly coherent and logical communication strategythrough two-way communication and a democratic approach (i.e.
, the alignment ofinstitutional strategies is reinforced through dialogues and work from acomprehension of the contextual issues are more prone to be successful thanattempts to impose changes). Findings from Higgins’ (2017) research at private,nonprofit HEIs added that the four stages of IMC (as mentioned above) togetherwith the criteria of the excellence theory of PR Institutions, i.e.:PR departments are excellent when the operation of PR isempowered to have access to key decision makers of the organization, when thetop PR employee plays a strategic managerial role, when the PR function isintegrated among various departments, and when two-way communication ismodeled. (Grunig, 1992; Grunig et al., 2002, cited in Higgins, 2017, p. 94),can be applied to HEIs andused as guidelines when considering reconstructing, adjusting, or creating PRand marketing departments.
Additionally, according to Schüller and Chalupský(2012), although there is not sufficient finance, human and other resources,thorough awareness of the control process should be accentuated with the keyrole of the measurement of aims. Sharing the same view, Edmiston (2007)asserted the critical need to evaluate and measure the outcomes, not simply theoutputs, of marketing communication through the establishment of metrics.