by Linnie S. Carter, Ph.D., APR and Megan Hoose
HACC, Central Pennsylvania’s Community College
Yes, like Rob Base and DJ EZ Rock say, “it takes two to make a thing go right” in the world of student recruitment marketing.
How often does your marketing team meet with colleagues in student affairs? Do you hold retreats with each other to discuss ideas and recommendations related to student data, competitor research or storytelling?
At HACC, Central Pennsylvania’s Community College, the office of college advancement and office of student affairs and enrollment management will tell you that biweekly meetings, collaboration and positive relationships are essential to the success of student recruitment marketing.
How does HACC make it work?
1. Keep communication lines open. Whether you meet once a week or biweekly, it’s important to have ongoing conversations. At HACC, we meet biweekly to share ideas, update each other on projects and understand feedback the admissions team is receiving when they’re out in the community.
2. Appreciate each other’s superpowers. You know your profession and your superpowers, but do your co-workers in other departments understand what you do? Understanding each other’s duties, roles and responsibilities and appreciating each other’s expertise are key to the relationship. Attend events with your admissions team, invite your admissions team to a marketing workshop, ask questions and even hold retreats with the two areas to gain insight about each other.
3. Address challenges together. No matter who you are or where you work, there are going to be bumps along the way. How you handle the bumps is what matters. It’s important to work together when an issue arises to determine how both sides can make adjustments to improve. For example, does the admissions team need to provide an incentive to drive future students to the event, and does the marketing team need to add more marketing tactics to build awareness of the event? Through your ongoing communication, you’ll learn what’s working and not working to make these adjustments.
HACC is always looking for better ways to attract and engage future students. To do this, a college needs to recognize that the goal is the same, but the perspectives of these teams are different – and that’s a good thing.
Linnie S. Carter, Ph.D., APR, is vice president of college advancement at HACC, Central Pennsylvania’s Community College, and executive director of the HACC Foundation.
Megan Hoose is integrated marketing communications coordinator for student recruitment at HACC, Central Pennsylvania’s Community College.