From the Admissions Desk: Connect when connectivity is difficult

Nora Meah, Director of Admissions

COVID-19 is emphasizing the digital divide among high school students and recent graduates as educators try to stay connected, share resources, and provide expertise. How are you staying connected? How are you staying relevant? Is your approach today better or worse than what you used to do? A simple phone call may have the biggest impact.

Experts from every corner - marketing, communications, admissions - are emphasizing the use of virtual events to promote engagement and interaction within your community. Staying connected to prospective students and enrolled students is essential to us as admissions professionals. We’ve become a trusted source of information. And, we have reason to remain relevant.

What we know after three months of working remotely is what we knew before. The value of a direct phone call or text far exceeds a personalized email, a rad new video, or an insightful blog post. Taking the time to check-in on a prospective student, provide an update from campus, and hear what’s on their mind is an unmatched relationship-building tool.

Teams like ours have been hosting an array of virtual activities to reach existing and new audiences. We are using mediums new to us - like this blog or Zoom video conferencing - to improve access to the information people want. And, we are scheduling emails to avoid bombarding our community with too many messages.

When it comes to going virtual or testing out other communication mediums, acknowledge to you and your audience that these mediums and technology are new to you. Assess as you go. Try out new formats. Bring in other expert content or the experts themselves. 

Since we started our virtual events, we’ve relaxed our expectations, but scrutinized the results. Although registration and participation is far lower than our typical on-campus events our repeat participants are higher. That is meaningful for us. And, although registrations are lower overall our participation numbers have climbed over the past few weeks as we’ve adjusted the timing, invites, reminders, and content. 

So, staying connected takes many forms. Knowing your audience matters. And, sometimes keeping it simple makes the connection stronger. 

Interested in the topic? Join us for an event or connect for an informational call anytime to learn more.