In July of 2019, the outline for what Enrollment Insights would become was laid out. A blog, of course. A newsletter to consolidate resources. Branding and expanding the existing occasional webinars and making them monthly. A pipe dream was a podcast, but the format had to make sense and be different (this finally came together with the first recording in February 2020 and the first episode released in March 2020). Here we are now with the 250th post and we wanted to highlight a few of our favorite pieces from the past that you may have missed.
This was the first post I wrote after coming to Niche, so there’s some sentimental value along with a topic I love. Too often only First Source is considered when analyzing student search sources, but that’s really the least valuable model. Any time you can slice and dice data to look at it from different angles I’m excited to see what comes out.
I don’t exaggerate when I say that the process of experimentation and optimization in marketing, UX, or processes is one of my favorite things. Sometimes your hypothesis is proven correct and you can make some quick improvements, but sometimes you’re surprised and get to dive into the “why?” of what happened. This guide is one of the most viewed pieces of content and still gets a lot of activity. I like to think that it’s because you all love experimentation as much as I do.
I had to go with this one. February 12, 2020 was the first recording after some tests and prep work, and this episode was scheduled to release on what turned out to be right after the world locked down. You can hear where we started and I learned quickly that I had too many initial questions. Liz was fantastic and I’m still so grateful for her taking the time to start this off with me. Social listening continues to be more and more important, so give this a listen to learn more about this practice.
I loved writing this for two reasons: It’s completely different than anything else I had done and the graphic that Kyla Kemmerer came up with for it is still one of my favorites. Some of my predictions have been right on, others are partially right, and a couple remain wishful thinking for colleges to adapt to what students and parents want.
This article was an expansion of an idea that came up while I was presenting with Danielle LeGare from the University at Buffalo. Rather than thinking of the enrollment cycle as a funnel, because funnels have one entry point and one exit, I compared it to a conga. Things move forward sometimes, back others, and there are multiple points during the dance that you can join or leave. It also felt like a good place to end this article, going out with a bow.
Like Will, I had to start with one of my first pieces for Niche. I wrote this before I officially joined because I was coming away from an absolutely phenomenal relationship with my director of enrollment management and financial aid and I had seen firsthand the incredible results that can happen with a school’s Marcom and admissions offices are aligned. Unfortunately, that isn’t often the case and those relationships can feel very transactional instead of having the kind of symbiosis they really need to operate effectively. If you’re a Marcom leader looking for tips for partnering more closely with your admissions office or the other way around, definitely give this one a read.
This conversation with Jan Abernathy of the Browning School in New York about the intersection of communications and diversity work was one of our top podcast episodes of 2021 for a reason. As schools across categories wrestle with ways to communicate about diversity, equity, and inclusion work in their institutions and the sensitive issues that can arise from it, this episode provides some solid, practical advice for communications professionals for partnering with internal DEI practitioners, crisis communications, and where to start if you’re new to diversity work.
And they’ve mostly come to fruition. But like Will’s some are still solidly in the wishful thinking category (I’ll let you guess which ones). We’ll try again in 2023!
I can’t say enough great things about Dr. Amanda Holdsworth, APR both as a person and as a professional. She’s very rare in that she’s worked in just about every educational setting possible and I was thrilled that she was willing to lend her expertise, observations, and lessons learned about school storytelling to our community. The ability to tell authentic, meaningful stories about an institution will never go out of style.
Andrea Gribble is probably the cheerleader for the school PR world, spreading the positive gospel of social media celebration throughout the interwebs. In this super-popular guest post, she shares ways that school districts can use social media to celebrate their school communities and take the focus away from some of the negativity that plagued district social media accounts n 2021-22. This is a must-read post for communications professionals looking for ways to remember what makes social media special and how to use their powers for good.