Instant Oatmeal Ed02

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Information about Instant Oatmeal Ed02

Published on April 8, 2009

Author: burrittd



March 2009 edition of Academic Oatmeal

Instant Oatmeal for Issue 02: March 04, 2009 how do you do more and still do it right? PublIshed by

InSTanT OaTmEal: ISSUE 02: maRCh 04, 2009 how do you do more and still do it right? by James Runkle A a professional look at it before you spend thou- nyone remember ross Perot? he used a rather sands of dollars to tell people your school will help colorful phrase for what he envisioned would be them “get farther ahead in their careers.” the negative impact of North american Free Trade agreement (NaFTa) on u.s. jobs—“the giant suck- So, now the question is: how do you do more and do ing sound.” Well, if you listen closely, you might hear it right? here are some ideas for frugally enhancing that same sound around your marketing department components of your marketing strategy to get you as budgets and people seem to fly out of your office. started. as budgets and personnel numbers shrink, you will Leverage existing relationships. find that you are required to do more with less. The Now is the time to leverage existing relationships first reaction to that, naturally, will be one of panic. within your community or with professional societ- “how the heck am I supposed to DO all of this?” This ies. This is free and can really build word of mouth thinking quickly leads to, “There is no WAY I possi- about your school. remember, professional societies bly caN do all of this!” But, take a deep breath, relax, are trying to keep their members happy, too. so, if and look on the bright side of things. With more your school has a new program, it gives the society responsibility comes more opportunities to shine. an excuse to talk to their members and show how More chances for you to showcase your talents. More they are providing value. at the same time, you are times you can walk into your boss’s office and say, getting good Pr. “Look at what I just did! Isn’t it great?!” That’s right. Feel a little better now? Expert Comment by member, Derek Burritt Marketing, advertising, and Media Writer Expert Comment by member, Derek Burritt Charitable organizations like The Benevolent and Marketing, advertising, and Media Writer Protective Order of Elks, Freemasons, Knights One note of caution here—you are shooting your- of Columbus, and others give out a tremendous self in the foot if you sacrifice quality for savings. amount of scholarship money every year. The Elks As a professional writer, I often cringe at writing give out the most, second only to the federal gov- that gets disseminated to the public. It’s easy to ernment, with $3.64 million in college scholarships overestimate our ability to write, but remember, each year, according to the group’s website. These the reason why some writers are professionals is groups are all about building stronger communi- because they’ve perfected the craft. Think about it ties and are typically very open to helping in any this way—bypassing the professional writer is like way they can. Personally, I think a great way to having your car fixed by a friend of a friend who win any donor’s support is to show them that their knows a little about cars instead of a professional contributions are working . . . so try to involve a mechanic. With that said, some budgets may be scholarship recipient in any work you do with the too tight to hire a copywriter. So, hire a proofread- group. er. Even if you do write your own copy, at least let page 1/3

InSTanT OaTmEal: ISSUE 02: maRCh 04, 2009 school’s students, parents, staff, and faculty. Part- Think about specialty advertising. nering with a local business to create your collat- remember, your prospective students are people . . . eral will not only give them additionally direct sale and people like stuff. Promotional materials are one revenue from you but also mass exposure that of the most effective yet inexpensive ways to keep their advertising budgets may not be able to afford your college’s name in front or your prospects. But, them. By agreeing to share logo space, on a coffee cup for example, you may be able to get a price when you think of promotional items, don’t think of break on the cup itself because everyone you give key chains, squeeze balls, and little teddy bears wear- that cup to . . . including prospective students, ing a T-shirt. Think of what really provides value to a parents, donors, etc., all over the nation . . . will person. It’s as simple as looking around at your own already know a coffee shop to go to when they visit. additionally, survival during these tough eco- desk. What do you have there with a school or corpo- nomic times depends on community support. If all rate logo on it? Pens, post-it notes, gum, and mints— the businesses in your college town close up, there the things that you keep around are going to be the will not be much of a college-town atmosphere to same things your prospects keep around. promote to prospective students. Want to go more high-tech and show off a little? One Re-visit your visits. institution had their in-house IT person write a quick While many colleges are watching their travel bud- app for the computer—it was a reminder system gets cut, the savvy marketers will re-focus their en- that lived right on the person’s screen where they ergy toward more local events. The decision to attend could type quick reminders to themselves that were college is momentous . . . one that is made much displayed sort of like post-it notes. and, of course, it easier when one person gets to talk to another per- was pre-populated with important information and son. so, keep your counselors out in the public eye as deadlines from the school that would automatically much as possible. Now is the time to explore op- pop-up on the person’s computer. tions for other events other than high school college Nights—I bet your town or neighborhood has festi- Prospects could download this cool little app for free vals or other occasions where they would be happy to and all it cost the college was the time it took the have the local university as a partner. programmer to build it. The prospective students loved it because it was a useful, free tool that added Expert Comment by member, Derek Burritt Marketing, advertising, and Media Writer value to their lives. The school loved it because it was Every town has an annual event. here in Eastham inexpensive and constantly kept their name in front we have Windmill Weekend. It typically doesn’t of the prospects. cost much to have a booth, and it’s not hard to attract people’s attention if you’re creative. For ex- Expert Comment by member, Derek Burritt ample, a dunking booth is standard, ho-hum fare Marketing, advertising, and Media Writer at a local festival . . . but, I’ve seen a very, very Working in-house is always a benefit, but the long line at one when the chief of police is in the next-best way to go is local. If your university is dunk seat. in a “college town,” chances are local businesses already receive much of their revenue from your page 2/3

InSTanT OaTmEal: ISSUE 02: maRCh 04, 2009 But, what about those events that are farther away? You bet it’s still important to keep those territories covered. Instant Messaging (IM) chats are a great way to keep that momentum going. Plus, during designated chat times, counselors can be online with three, four, and five people at the same time, instead of just one at a time over the phone. about 2/3 of all teens and 1/2 of adults use IM frequently, so chances are that your target populations are very much at ease using IM to communicate. Plus, you can send the specific links to your website where the pros- pect can learn more right away and ask questions immediately. IM chats are a great way to advance the student-counselor interaction quickly and cost- effectively. n page 3/3

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