MY MISSION AND SERVICES
combining love of scholarship with marketing strategy
My name is Stefani Ruper, and I have always deeply loved the humanities. From the youngest age I can remember, I turned to philosophy, literature, and history to help me make sense of the world. In 2020, I completed a PhD in religious studies at the University of Oxford in England.
But the longer I spent in the academy, the more I realised the value of the humanities almost never gets across to popular audiences.
This is for a lot of complicated reasons, including institutional paywalls, the inaccessibility of academic materials and language, and barriers to entry due to socioeconomic injustices. I am deeply committed to working with various organisations and humanities institutes to rectify these issues.
There is one other reason, however: the humanities are not always very engaging for the public.
My mission is to change this. My mission is to discover and share insights into how to make humanities scholarship exciting.
I have two methods: research, and consulting.
The humanities have a branding problem.
Whether it’s “the humanities” as a whole, or specific disciplines within the humanities such as philosophy and history, studies have demonstrated that Americans think they are bad. Common adjectives used to describe the humanities include pretentious, obscure, pedantic, boring, and condescending. Most also consider them humanities useless and a waste of money, time, and energy.
In reality, the humanities are a lot of great and empowering things. (If done right.) They are enlivening, healing, exciting, constructive, down-to-earth, and joyful.
So how do we change the public perception from this negative image to the positive reality?
Insights from marketing and branding.
Why? It’s research into marketing and branding that asks the crucial questions. Usually this research is used to advance specific business aims, but it can be applied more broadly to other elements of society, including the humanities. Marketing and branding research asks:
What aspects of the world we encounter do we find appealing? Why? How do people develop relationships with products, organisations, ideas? What drives us to bond with certain elements of culture we encounter and not with others?
Insights from branding are only sparingly applied to the humanities. It is one of my tasks to change this. I am conducting extensively research across marketing journals in order to equip myself with the kind of thinking necessary to do good branding for the humanities. In forthcoming years I will design experiments that will help to further rectify this gap. This will enable me to generate insights that can change the way the humanities are perceived and practiced across our culture.
I am currently building a major research project that asks these questions:
What branding strategies can be applied to encourage public engagement with the humanities? How can these strategies promote humanities-related skills such as critical thinking, deconstruction, listening, argumentation, and dialogue?
I know the importance and art of creating the right brand. I know how to make your ideas exciting for the public. I know how to get you not just out there but in people’s hearts and minds.
Public scholarship is also difficult because it takes time and energy.
It’s confusing. It’s complicated. It’s draining. It’s almost impossible to know where to start.
If you are a scholar or institute looking to advance your public engagement, I can help you.
I have eight years of experience running an LLC that required extensive work across various media outlets. Through that work I published two books, more than 500 blog posts, more than 300 podcast episodes, and thousands of social media posts. This involved learning website building, SEO, podcast streaming and audio recording technology, video recording technology, and social media advertising and best practices. It also involved project management, marketing strategy, and brand management.
I grew the website from zero to 1.5 million annual visitors and zero to 60,000 followers in three years.
I also in 2018 began using this experience to dabble with my own public scholarship, which included posting philosophical content to social media platforms and publishing the Naked Humanity podcast.
But I soon realised that I enjoy promoting the scholarship of others more than my own.
So now I offer the following services both to institutions and to individuals interested in public engagement:
-Logo, slogan, web text, keyword, tagline, and description consulting
-Podcast brainstorming and development
-Blog and other written media brainstorming and development
-Social media practices brainstorming and development
-Podcasting, SEO, web design, and social media (Twitter, Instagram, Facebook) technological support and consulting
I offer these services on a rolling, first-come first-serve basis, typically at hourly rates and on a sliding scale.
Please use the form below to get in touch. You may ask for specific services or simply express a concern and I’ll be happy to discuss what I can do for you. Please also include your email address in the body of your message to assure I have the information I need to contact you back.