Competition for top talent has never been fiercer. Is your institution actively working to discover, understand, articulate, and evolve its employer brand? What perceptions do prospective employees – as well as current employees – have when thinking of your college or university as a place to work? What is the relationship between employee engagement and your employer brand?

Two thought leaders who are deeply engaged in this work, Smallbox’s Jeb Banner and the University of Washington’s Lauren Updyke, join this episode of Marketing Live to tackle these questions, share best practices, and discuss the role that marketing leaders should play in strengthening their institution’s employer brand.


This episode is sponsored by Funnelback

Episode Host

Rob Zinkan

Rob Zinkan

Rob Zinkan became vice president at RHB, a higher education marketing consultancy, in 2019. Rob has more than 20 years of experience in higher education administration, serving in senior leadership positions in marketing and advancement. He spent the past 17 years at Indiana University, most recently in a system-wide role as associate vice president for marketing. He also served in campus-level roles there as vice chancellor for external affairs and assistant dean for advancement. Rob holds a doctorate from Creighton University, a master’s from Xavier University, and a bachelor’s from Wabash College. He serves on the AMA Symposium for the Marketing of Higher Education conference committee, contributes to Inside Higher Ed’s “Call to Action” blog, and is a recent CASE commissioner (Commission on Communications and Marketing).


Jeb Banner

Jeb Banner is CEO and co-founder of SmallBox, an Indianapolis-based “culture-powered marketing” company founded in 2006 that puts employees at the center of problem-solving. He is also founder of Musical Family Tree, an online archive of Indiana music, as well as a co-founder and chair of the Speak Easy, a tech club located in south Broad Ripple (Indianapolis). He is a co-founder or investor in several other Indianapolis-based businesses including another marketing company, a printing company, and a record label.

Jeb’s personal mission is to create meaningful work for great people.


Lauren Updyke

Lauren Updyke is assistant director for The Whole U at the University of Washington. The Whole U is a holistic employee engagement strategy that emphasizes community building, appreciation of the diverse lifestyles and interests of the University of Washington faculty and staff, and participation in programs that promote healthy lifestyles and personal growth. The Whole U launched in January 2014, and in 2016 the program hosted 160 events for UW faculty and staff.

An avid marathoner, Lauren has spent 17 years of her career in health and wellness, including a previous role at Duke University and Duke University Hospital.