Session Details

[Insert joke here] The serious business of injecting comedy and humour into higher ed content

#TIE12 Technology in Education Track

Room 101B


From the land that bought the extremes of silly and serious from Fawlty Towers to Monty Python to Mister Bean, from the jet engine to the Worldwide web to the light bulb. Tracy Playle joins us with her own very British sense of humour to ask the question: can we ever really unleash a sense of humour on the serious business of higher education marketing? The HighEdWeb crowd all know that some of the most engaging social and digital content is that which injects a few LOLs and ROFLs into our lives. But 'funny' doesn't sit comfortably with the often very serious culture of universities. Throw in the fairly reserved culture of the British higher education system, and we find ourselves more "hmm" than "ha". So, can comedy really be deployed as part of a strategy that needs to deliver a serious message? What do we need to happen and change within our universities to make this happen? Do we need our external audiences to shift their perceptions of us too, or will those perceptions serve to heighten the impact of humorous content in our online activities? In this fast paced session we'll think about what works when we deploy comedy for communications and look at other serious sectors that have done this well.


Tracy Playle
Director and Communications Strategist, Pickle Jar Communications

Tracy Playle is founder and Director of Pickle Jar Communications and HE Comms. She spends her life travelling the world and her home country - the UK - advising education organisations on content strategy and digital communications. Prior to developing Pickle Jar in 2007 she was Head of Research-TV at the University of Warwick - a top 10 UK university, where she worked for 6 years.

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