Volume 8 (2023-24)

Volume 8 of Journal of Education Advancement & Marketing consists of four, quarterly 100-page issues. Articles published in Volume 8 include:

Volume 8 Number 4 (Spring 2024)

  • Editorial
    Simon Beckett, Publisher
  • Practice Papers
    So you are stuck in a silo? How the University of Calgary Prospect Research and Prospect Management team is helping to solve the challenges of silos one report at a time
    Dana Smolak, Prospect Management, University of Calgary

    The Office of Advancement at the University of Calgary is actively dismantling interdepartmental silos, breaking boundaries and enhancing collaboration in order to foster an environment conducive to knowledge exchange.  This paper explores how the university's unique, boundary-crossing approach is bolstering creative problem-solving strategies through the use of data and the development of specialised reports.
    Keywords: prospect management; advancement services; reports; metrics; silos; communication; leadership; cooperation; collaboration

  • Centring diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging in higher education marketing: Why it is essential and how to do it well
    Monica D. Cooper, Office of Marketing & Communications, J. Mack Robinson School of Business, Georgia State University

    The changing demographics in higher education require marketing and communications offices to reassess their approach to creating promotional materials. From 1980 to 2022, the number of college students who identify as Hispanic/Latinx, Asian and Pacific Islander, African American or of mixed race has increased, while the number of white college students has decreased. Creating authentic messaging that resonates with students from various backgrounds can best be achieved if marketing and communications offices centre diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging (DEIB), not only in the assets produced but also as they consider hiring practices, communications procedures and other activities. Doing so can result in an increase in student applications and enrolment rates and student retention, as well as staff retention and workplace satisfaction. This paper examines case studies from our effort at Georgia State University's J. Mack Robinson College of Business to build a marketing and communications office that reflects the diverse student population we serve so as to hone an authentic voice that speaks to students, faculty and staff. Our approach was informed by quantitative and qualitative research we conducted in 2019, in which we convened 24 focus groups and audited existing materials. In addition to better understanding our target audience and marketing materials, we also created a workplace environment in which our staff, who reflect the diverse population we serve, felt supported and satisfied. The data gathered in response to our staff building and the application of the research to articulate our brand framework and brand pillars shows that we have seen returns in the following categories — student application rates, social media engagement and website traffic.
    Keywords: DEIB; inclusion; brand; culture; engagement; enrolment

  • Fostering effective collaboration between faculty and marketing staff for institutional success
    Anca C. Micu, Dolan School of Business, Fairfield University

    Faculty and staff collaboration is increasingly important for higher education institutional success. Creating an environment of cooperation and developing faculty–staff cross-silo dialogue can be done with mission-driven, clearly communicated and measurable strategic goals, where staff have a clear vertical structure of responsibilities and perceive faculty being incentivised to work with them, and faculty have a thorough understanding of the beneficial outcomes of their collaboration with staff. As marketing efforts increasingly take centre stage and marketing staff grow in numbers, a clear and well-communicated structure, with regular meetings, a good two-way flow of information and a culture that fosters collaboration between faculty and staff may prove invaluable in building brand awareness and driving results.
    Keywords: university branding; university marketing; university reputation; faculty staff collaboration

  • Integrating social media advertising into Giving Day fundraising
    Sean Briner, California State University San Marcos and Noelle Reed, California State University San Marcos

    This paper explores the implementation and outcomes of a Giving Day paid social media advertising campaign conducted by California State University San Marcos (CSUSM). The objective of the campaign was to increase website traffic, donors and dollars raised. The paper highlights the importance of buy-in from leadership and the involvement of a dedicated team working within a set budget. The team utilised social media platforms, including Meta (Facebook and Instagram) and LinkedIn, for targeted advertising. A three-phase approach was adopted, focusing on raising awareness, driving traffic and converting audiences into donors. The team employed tracking methods such as Urchin Traffic Modules (UTMs) and custom links to measure the impact of the campaign. The results showed significant increases in website traffic, donors, first-time donors and dollars raised. Despite challenges related to tracking limitations and the need for extended ad duration, the team devised solutions, including implementing alternative tracking methods and extending the campaign duration. The paper also offers practical takeaways for creating paid social media advertising campaigns, emphasising the importance of research, planning, content creation, goal setting, target audience determination, tracking setup, campaign launch, monitoring and result analysis. Overall, the paper provides insights into the effectiveness of paid social media advertising in the context of a Giving Day campaign and offers strategies for optimising future campaigns.
    Keywords: Giving Day; social media; annual giving; paid social advertising

  • Creating and measuring impact through customer relationship management and master data
    Ville Krannila and Katja Lahti, Aalto University

    Aalto University has gradually, over a six-year timespan, implemented a ‘one CRM’ policy which integrates not only alumni and donors, but also partner companies, externally funded research projects, start-ups emerging from the innovation ecosystem and customers of campus services into a single customer relationship management (CRM) system. While results have been encouraging, this has not taken place without various sets of challenges. What is the impact of all this on processes, analytics, decision making, communications and mindset? In this paper, the writers will share their hands-on experience of how this has unfolded.
    Keywords: customer relationship management; impact; partnerships; master data; change management; segmentation

  • Rising tides: How to foster and develop relationships within and across units to forge a new GEM model
    Erica Miner, Harpur College of Arts and Sciences, Binghamton University, Courtney Ignarri, Office of Graduate Recruitment and Admissions, Binghamton University and Margaret Wolford, Watson Graduate Recruitment and Admissions, Binghamton University

    This paper analyses how the authors’ hybrid recruitment model, with both decentralised and centralised recruiting structure, has allowed their campus to reimagine graduate enrolment management (GEM). The hybrid structure allows recruiting staff to reap the benefits that both types of models offer, and it has nurtured collaboration and innovation across the campus. The benefits and best practices associated with each model are highlighted, and strategies are provided for developing a collaborative model which attempts to build communication and partnership across the distinct silos that tend to operate in higher education. This model has been used to streamline recruitment for Binghampton University’s 4 + 1/accelerated master's programmes through resource and information sharing as well as joint initiatives.
    Keywords: centralised; decentralised; silos; recruitment; admissions; best practices

  • Designing and communicating higher education DEI strategies and tactics in a polarised political landscape
    Ronald Hill, Sarah Mady and Stacy Merida Spencer, Kogod School of Business

    The ideas inherent in and about diversity, equity and inclusion philosophies have reached a fever pitch within and outside the halls of the academy. In some institutions, they seem like a template for reform of higher education recruiting, hiring, training and communicating practices with various audiences and stakeholders that is long overdue. In other contexts, they are an embodiment of a ‘woke’ culture that continues to espouse perspectives from left-leaning constituencies that may have ignored ordinary citizens. Unfortunately, few in-between positions seem appropriate. This paper examines the conditions that led to this stalemate and how universities and colleges are delineating their positions and communicating accordingly. We close with implications for university marketing professionals who must craft messages for internal and external audiences.
    Keywords: diversity; equity and inclusion; university communications; marketing

Volume 8 Number 3 (Winter 2023-24)

  • Editorial
    Simon Beckett, Publisher
  • Practice Papers
    The next chapter: How Ryerson University became Toronto Metropolitan University
    Michael Forbes, Johanna Vandermaas and Karen Benner, Toronto Metropolitan University

    The murder of George Floyd in 2020 and the discoveries of unmarked graves at the sites of former residential schools in Canada in 2021 have put the spotlight on the treatment of Black and Indigenous peoples across North America. This focus is increasing calls for the removal of names, statues and other forms of commemoration tied to figures from Canada's colonial history. By virtue of its name, Ryerson University — named after Egerton Ryerson (1803–82), formerly the Superintendent of Education and a primary developer of Ontario's public education system, who is also viewed to have paved the way for Canada's residential school system — became a focal point in this broader debate about how to recognise Canada's history and take the important steps forward on the path to reconciliation. In April 2022, Ryerson University became Toronto Metropolitan University, the first post-secondary institution in North America to change its name to address colonialism and better reflect its values of equity, diversity and inclusion. The decision to rename the 74-year-old institution was unprecedented. There was no blueprint, no budget and — for reasons of confidentiality and to manage potential leaks — the marketing and communications teams had to develop and execute strategies and tactics without knowing the official name. As Canadians learn more about Canada's history and the treatment of Indigenous peoples, the pressure on other public institutions to act in a manner with the principles of true reconciliation will continue to rise. This paper shares how the university's strategic communications and marketing teams supported the renaming by developing and executing a comprehensive plan to engage, inform, educate and prepare the community for the launch of a new name and pave the way for adoption. It presents the key components of the plan, strategies and tactics used, evaluation metrics, challenges and how they were met, and critical lessons learned.
    Keywords: renaming; colonialism; reconciliation; Indigenous peoples; residential schools; equity; diversity and inclusion

  • How to connect with your parent audience: Duquesne University’s implementation of a strategic family communications platform
    Patty Swisher, Tracy Jackson and Jennifer Smith, Duquesne University

    The increasingly competitive higher education market demands that institutions adapt to and communicate effectively with the key audience of parents and families. As decision makers and influencers, parents are highly involved in helping their children manage the college selection process and navigate their academic journeys. This case study lays out how the Duquesne University Parents and Families Portal, built on the software platform by CampusESP, enabled the university to provide a modern, all-in-one communication and family engagement vehicle that shares personalised, timely content. The tool and vendor service team facilitate the needed support with guidance and relevant general content in furnishing a streamlined, main hub of information. The strategy empowers a point person working with the central marketing and communications team and engenders campus partners in a campus-wide collaborative effort to share inspirational communications that provide the greatest opportunity for brand and relationship building. Readers will learn how Duquesne University, a private, Catholic institution, with more than eight thousand students, implemented this strategic communication platform for parents and families that influenced student retention and recruitment, and exceeded expectations.
    Keywords: strategic communication; family communication; parent portal

  • Facets of advancement services: Avoiding silos in the pursuit of institutional advancement
    Pamela Mitchell, Alcorn State University Foundation

    Advancement services plays a crucial role in supporting fundraising efforts and establishing cohesiveness within the institutional advancement team and is more than just the ‘back office’ of fundraising. It is the department that touches every other role in fundraising, making it the linchpin of any division of institutional advancement. By establishing clear roles and responsibilities, fostering communication and collaboration, leveraging technology, providing training and support and continuously evaluating and improving processes, advancement services can support the organisation's overall fundraising efforts and help ensure long-term success. This paper highlights how a thoroughly defined advancement services office can support the overall fundraising efforts of institutional advancement by implementing measures that avoid silos and ensure sustained growth and innovation, no matter the size of the organisation.
    Keywords: advancement services; institutional advancement; development; data governance; prospecting

  • Visualising data for prospect identification and donor metrics
    Joseph Stabb, University of Tennessee

    In the realm of philanthropy, effective prospect identification and donor metrics play a crucial role in fostering strong relationships with prospective donors and optimising fundraising efforts. As data-driven decision making continues to gain prominence, the importance of visualising data is evident. This academic paper explores the significance of visualisations in the context of prospect identification and donor metrics, highlighting their potential to enhance philanthropic engagement. The paper also delves into various visualisation techniques, tools and best practices that can aid non-profit organisations in leveraging data visualisation for informed decision making and successful donor stewardship.
    Keywords: data; analytics; data visualisation; prospect research

  • (Re)imagining giving societies: The case study of Moravian University
    Robert E. Breckinridge, Moravian University, et al

    In this paper, the authors describe Moravian University's efforts to create and enhance several giving societies over the past three years. The COVID-19 pandemic provided an opportunity to reach out to the university's supporters with new ideas to engage and cultivate them in novel ways. For the three newly created giving societies — for families, women and lifetime giving — the authors provide the underlying reasoning for their creation, how they were named and built and how members are recruited and stewarded. The reasons for enhancing two existing societies — for leadership giving and planned giving — is also described, with specific details provided on the changes and how they were implemented. The authors offer several key takeaways from their experience, from conducting research and finding a champion to using institutional history or points of pride and being patient.
    Keywords: giving society; family philanthropy; women in philanthropy; lifetime giving; leadership giving; planned giving

  • Bringing structure and success to internal communications: How the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health turned chaos into clarity
    Lymari Morales and Jackie Powder Frank, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

    As the largest school of public health in the world, the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health struggled to find a way to effectively share internal communications with its community — especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. To address this challenge, the school's communications and marketing team conceptualised, piloted and successfully launched ‘The SPHeed Read’. The twice-per-week, one-stop-shop newsletter has dramatically changed how the school's internal communications are sent and received and earned praise from the school's community.
    Keywords: internal communication; e-mail; newsletters; graduate schools

  • Divesting from Facebook and Instagram
    Andrew Cassel, higher education marketing and senior social strategist, Middlebury College, Vermont.

    Scrolling down to the bottom of almost any higher education website reveals logos from a company that is well known for losing data, adversely affecting mental health and adding to political division in countries around the world. Those logos are for Meta products Facebook and Instagram. For years there was no question that including those logos on the page indicated a way for prospective students to learn more about the school. In 2023 those logos are less a display of value-added content and more an endorsement of Meta as a company. In this paper that endorsement is called into question. Audiences are changing, engagement patterns are changing and the value of Meta platforms themselves is changing. This paper examines strategic and moral reasons to step away from Meta, offers suggestions for paths beyond Meta, and calls on higher education marketers to reconsider how and why they use Facebook and Instagram to connect with current and prospective students.
    Keywords: social media; social networking; radicalisation; enrolment cliff; Meta; social strategy; content marketing; brand reputation

Volume 8 Number 2 (Autumn/Fall 2023)

  • Editorial
    Simon Beckett, Publisher
  • Leading change: Building a resilient development office through succession planning
    Alison Traub, Ben Golding and Lauren Laur

    When high rates of employee turnover resist mitigation efforts, a new strategy is needed for overcoming the ill effects of poor employee retention. This paper aims to describe the efforts undertaken by Cambridge University Office of Development and Alumni Relations (Cambridge) to develop a succession plan for key positions. The steps they implemented form a framework that can help development offices increase their resilience and maintain equilibrium amidst the uncertainty and inconsistency of turnover. It provides insights into advancement offices' need for strategy, transparency and flexibility to thrive in an increasingly volatile job market.
    Keywords: fundraising; succession; turnover; human resources; training

  • Engaging parents and families: They are an audience too
    Sonia Garrido

    Parents and families play a key role in a college student's life. It is crucial for campus communicators to establish better lines of communication with this audience, provide them with information about services and programmes in easily understood ways and engage them as important members of the campus community. This case study analyses the strategies Stony Brook University's Student Affairs implemented to decrease the information gap with parents and families, how various communication channels were set up to help this audience stay informed and connected with the university, and provides a summary of insights and approaches helpful for other institutions looking to implement a similar programme.
    Keywords: parents; families; communications; best practices; campus resources

  • Maximising the life of your content on social media through repurposing
    Blaine Pugh, Brittany Cowan, Chelsey Holts and Jane Rudenko

    Content teams at higher education institutions produce a vast array of content, from written profiles to YouTube videos that share excitement leading up to an event. Social media teams often amplify this content once, and often look for additional sources of content to fill content calendars throughout the year. This paper showcases how, through repurposing, content is maximised to its fullest potential and can reach more audiences in innovative ways. This paper shares strategies on how to best repurpose content, examples from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and best practices for institutions to keep in mind.
    Keywords: repurposing; video; social media; campaigns; higher education

  • Raising the donor ambition: From major to mega gifts
    Heather Little and Lisa Mitchell

    In 2018, Monash University publicly launched its inaugural philanthropic campaign with a goal of raising AU$500m from a community of 50,000 donors and doubling the number of bequests. In order to achieve these ambitious goals, the fundraising team focused not only on cultivating and securing new philanthropic gifts, but also on deepening relationships with existing philanthropic donors to raise the donor ambition and to encourage renewal and uplift of philanthropic gifts and grants to the university. Through exploring two philanthropic donor case studies, this paper will provide an overview of the cultivation strategies used to engage donors. Strategies that took philanthropic partnerships from relational to transformational, that raised the donor ambition and so contributed to the university's philanthropic campaign goals. This paper will also explore the importance of embedding a culture of philanthropy across all levels of an organisation, as well as provide some insights into how to collaborate with key stakeholders for enduring philanthropic success.
    Keywords: fundraising; philanthropy; culture of philanthropy; donors; major gifts; storytelling; impact; relationships; campaign; communication

  • Using social media to prevent ‘melt’ in the virtual era
    Chay Rao and Sabiha Afrin

    The COVID-19 pandemic and associated closures and mitigation processes changed the structure of higher education. Temporary decisions to move classes online became, in some cases, permanent, and an increasing number of students, including those enrolled in residential universities, availed themselves of remote learning opportunities. This new frontier has challenged university communications teams to rethink classic strategies for student connection; such connection has been shown to build excitement for classes and college life, ensuring that students ‘show up’ for virtual learning and maintain enrolment until graduation. This paper presents a case study on the successful social media tactics used by one school-level communications team at a private US residential university to forge deeper connections to students and prevent ‘melt’ in the virtual era.
    Keywords: higher education communications; higher education marketing; student enrolment; student retention; social media

  • Transitioning international student scholars to dedicated alumni volunteers and advocates
    Kyriaki Protopapa

    This paper explores the value of developing an on-campus calendar of activity to engage and build relationships with future alumni stakeholders while they are still students, taking the University of Nottingham international student scholars as a case study.
    Keywords: alumni relations; international alumni; scholarships; events; volunteering; global networks

  • A commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion: A seven-sector framework to transform higher education access, success and completion
    Anton Reece and Lee Emmons

    As the US continues to navigate the historic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on cities, counties and states, higher education has also been affected, particularly diverse, lower socio-economic and first-generation students. Although access to education has always had common challenges including financial, transport, childcare and access to broadband and Wi-Fi, the achievement and success gaps have had a disproportionate impact on some students. Overall student excellence is a top priority at West Kentucky Community and Technical College (WKCTC), particularly given its achievement of being a record five-times top-ten college nationally and twice a finalist with distinction, including in May 2021. Therefore, areas of deep concern were not only access, success and equity, but also a lack of developed committees to identify, address and implement strategies to address those gaps. What was also missing was adequate funding to meet the large and varied needs of our regional student populations. In December 2020, WKCTC was the recipient of a record US$15m gift from philanthropist Mackenzie Scott, which is the largest single donor gift in the college's history. The college advanced a bold and transformative vision to address and remove financial barriers and barriers to regional access and success in higher education by incorporating diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) through a seven-sector vision developed by the president.
    Keywords: diversity; equity; inclusion; endowment; stewardship

Volume 8 Number 1 (Summer 2023)

  • Editorial
    Simon Beckett, Publisher
  • Fundraising from couples: New research on how households make giving decisions
    Jacqueline Ackerman, Associate Director and Jeannie Infante Sager, Director, Women’s Philanthropy Institute, Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy

    This paper explores the question: ‘who decides?’ to provide a deeper look at how households make charitable giving decisions. The Women's Philanthropy Institute fielded a survey of the general US population to ask about charitable decision making. Couples are most likely to use joint decision making, but when one partner makes giving decisions for the household, it is more likely to be a woman. Going beyond previous research, this paper further unpacks the decision-making process. It also situates charitable giving within the context of other household financial decisions, finding that for many households, charitable giving may function similarly to a household bill. The study results have implications for a broad audience, including development professionals who want to better engage donor couples and households and encourage them to increase their giving and approach it in a more strategic way.
    Keywords: donor cultivation; donor engagement; household dynamics; giving decisions

  • Making the save: How 40 hockey players funded a new clinical trial (and the team that made it happen)
    Michael Siebert, Program Coordinator, Annual Giving, Office of Alumni Relations and Brooke Rose, Director of Development, College of Health Sciences, Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry, University of Alberta

    In February 2021, the University of Alberta (U of A) partnered with the Cure Cancer Foundation and the World's Longest Game to hold the World's Longest Hockey Game to raise funds for the clinical trials for PCLX-001, a new drug to treat breast and blood cancers. The fundraising component of this 11-day event primarily utilised a peer-to-peer approach and was hosted on the U of A's crowdfunding platform. This paper aims to provide insight and recommend best practices for turning an event into a large-scale fundraising effort. The analysis will cover technical and logistical setup, as well as the outreach strategies that were a key part of the crowdfunding model's success. Also explored will be the storytelling, management and messaging necessary to create an authentic sense of community and meaningfully engage shareholders.
    Keywords: philanthropy; fundraising; cancer research; third party events; crowdfunding; stakeholder engagement; volunteers; peer-to-peer; communications

  • Similar but different: How University College Cork created a brand identity for Alumni and Development (and brand value for the wider university)
    Kate McSweeney, Director of Communications, Alumni and Development, University College Cork

    This paper analyses how University College Cork successfully created a unique and vibrant brand identity for their Alumni and Development office while simultaneously creating value for the overall brand of the university. It reviews the challenges that exist for many higher education marketing teams in complying with overall university brand guidelines, yet successfully creating an alumni and development brand identity to meet the needs and wants of their target audience. The ‘Connecting You’ visual identity innovatively uses the key motif to connect alumni back to their alma mater on both a metaphorical and literal level. Drawing upon University College Cork's experience in creating a meaningful visual identity from the ground up, the data-driven research, traditions and components for success will be identified. You will be taken on a creative journey outlining the steps taken to develop a new vibrant alumni and development brand identity — focusing on the power of symbols, effective storytelling, compelling multi-media content and emotive design that evokes a sense of connection and opportunity with the university.
    Keywords: brand; brand development; visual identity creation; University College Cork; Connecting You

  • Competitors on the court, collaborators in the world: How two universities teamed up during the Final Four
    Chelsey Holts, Director of Social Media, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Morgan Moushon, Senior Manager of Digital Marketing and Analytics, Discover Durham

    This paper focuses on the unique collaboration between the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, referenced as Carolina, and Duke University leading up to a historic National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Final Four men's basketball matchup on 2nd April, 2022. Learn how the social media teams at each university teamed up to capitalise on the national attention by highlighting several ways the schools collaborate off the court through partnerships in research and innovation. The examples included can be adapted for the needs of any size institution and any sort of collaboration.
    Keywords: collaboration; social media; campaigns; higher education; University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; Duke University; NCAA

  • Bridging the brand content divide: The cross-departmental collaboration that created institutional best practice and a high-performing website
    Jeremy Mishler, Associate Vice President for Marketing and Communications University Advancement and Marketing and Eric Hazen, Director of Digital Marketing, Ferris State University

    This paper analyses how Ferris State University unified two rival teams to rebuild their College of Business's web presence, create a model for cross-departmental collaboration and innovation and grow the college's web traffic and conversions for the first time in more than seven years. Learn how the College of Business and the university's Advancement and Marketing team came together in the face of enrolment declines to rebrand and rebuild their prospective students’ online experience and improve their conversion rate. While the authors discuss the best practices they utilised to develop the site, this paper focuses on how these two teams navigated previous conflicts and leveraged the unique expertise of both teams to create something neither was capable of on their own.
    Keywords: marketing; brand awareness; enrolment; website design; digital user experience; digital conversions; innovation; collaboration

  • Reimagining trust fundraising: Taking a major donor approach to cultivation
    Peter Lock, Senior Development Officer (Trusts and Foundations) and Lyndsey Robinson, Senior Development Manager, University of Bradford

    This paper focuses on cultivating trusts and foundations using methods more closely associated with individual major donors. It describes how the current fundraising landscape lends itself well to this kind of approach and how the real-life experience of working in a small team led to the development of the methods described. The paper then focuses on key areas, including making first contact, developing a relationship, different ways to make connections with trusts and ‘value added’ cultivation. It provides guidance and examples of how to operationalise aspects of this approach.
    Keywords: fundraising; trusts and foundations; cultivation; networks

  • Listening: A way to improve university reputation and governance
    Santiago Fernández-Gubieda, Chief Reputation Officer, University of Navarra and Ángel Rojas, Senior Consultant in Corporate Communication

    Since 2018, the University of Navarra (Spain) has been using surveys and focus groups to analyse and evaluate the perceptions of its key audiences. This has helped provide a nuanced understanding of the university's reputation, and has given the institution indicators of ideal university performance and brand sentiment. This information can be used to design scorecards for monitoring perceptions. Indicators facilitate decision making that improve the university community’s day to day life. This project confirms that listening introduces new forms of participation and can lead to improvement in university governance. It is also a good method for learning about an institution's reputation. With the collaboration of Fundación Funciva 2023.
    Keywords: listening; university reputation; reputation management; stakeholder management; intangible asset management; universities; students

  • Developing a successful content strategy with a small team and budget
    Kristofer Karol, Director of Marketing and Communications, Michigan State University College of Nursing and Marco Schimizzi, Digital Communications Manager, Michigan State University College of Education

    Leading a small marketing team and budget can be difficult, but with a little creativity, strategy and resourcefulness, you can still see some impressive results. In the summer of 2021, the small marketing team at the Michigan State University College of Nursing created its ‘Neighborhood Nurses' series to spotlight students and alumni practising in their hometowns. Despite occurring during an ongoing, worldwide pandemic, the campaign, which shared why these nurses chose to go back to their hometowns to practise, significantly increased web traffic to the college website, generated nearly a quarter of a million reach on paid social, injected positivity during a trying time for those in the healthcare industry and helped the university's government relations team meet one of its goals. The multi-channel content marketing strategy featured written stories, videos, graphics, photo galleries, webpages and more over the course of a seven-week campaign, which ran through the summer and up until the beginning of the autumn admissions cycle and focused both on the subjects and their hometowns. All of this was done on a budget of roughly US$5,500 and a team of 2.5 marketing-communications employees. This paper analyses the result, which was that the marketing team was able to embark on future campaigns and even saw an increase in marketing budget and team size due to its successes and senior leadership's new, larger goals.
    Keywords: content marketing; integrated marketing; communications; marketing