The reason we want to have this meeting today is because our two offices share the same goals. Recruiting the best students. How can we help each other, make each other's lives easier, collaborate on projects, and offer additional support. Likewise, The Graduate Admissions staff has a better understanding of our applicants, has more personal relationships with our applicants, and deals with them on a day to day basis. You know what we don't know, only looking at analytics and stats. Most important, we want to make sure that we all know what each other are doing so that we are not sending mixed messages to the students or stepping on each other's toes. So, first off, we wanted to come up with a way to sort of visualize all the different channels that we use to communicate with Prospective Students. The result was pretty overwhelming....
So, there's the Prospective student in the center of it all, and they are surrounded by a huge number of communications channels... You might even say bombarded. There's Advertising, there's personal service, there's email, there's facebook, there's video webcasts, there's word-of-mouth. Our goal, as a communications team, is to foster all of these channels and make them as efficient, easy, enjoyable, and unique as possible. So let's look at them in a slightly less overwhelming way.
The variety of channels are broken down into four broad categories: Advertising: This is paid marketing to the prospective student. In general, this communication channel is one way: We are talking to/at the student. Personal: This is where a lot of the work of your staff comes in. You are answering phone calls and email. You are going to Recruitment Events. A lot of this happens in the departments as well. Social: This is, primarily, the students talking to each other. This is Facebook, Twitter, College Confidential, RateMyProfessor.Com. We attempt to be a part of this conversation and be available for questions in social spaces. But we have not actively engaged. News/PR: This is the reputation work that our office does. This is the newsletter, and our blog, and the articles you see about our faculty in the New York Times. And then there is the sort of uber-channel, which all of these channels direct back to... Which is:
The NYU Steinhardt website. Almost all other communications channels are attempts to get them to a take an action on the website . (Inquire, Apply, Email, Chat, Deposit, etc) In many ways the website serves the same purpose the bulletin once did. It is the canonical source for all information about our school, its programs, faculty, student life, and other programs. Of course, since it is on the web, it can be a much richer document than the bulletin ever was with updated/dynamic content, video, interactivity, etc. The website is consistently the point-of-contact which allows the student to progress through the enrollment funnel... Which we'll talk more about in a moment. But our goal is almost always to get a student to take an action on the website.
And, just so you can get a sense of the how important the website is to all of our communications, here is a sample of a pretty average month of traffic on the Steinhardt website. We get a little over a quarter-million visits. About 176,000 of those are unique, which is to say that about 100,000 people are return visitors. About 1 million pages are viewed on the site each month and the avg. user visits almost 4 pages per site.
And just because we all love top-10 charts, here is a list of the 10 most popular pages on the Steinhardt website during the month of September. Keen eyes will notice that 6 out of our 10 most popular pages are directly administrated by your office. That's good. That means your team is doing an excellent job of providing users with the information they need.
Earlier I mentioned the enrollment funnel. Here is an example of one and I'm sure you've all seen something like this a million times. Some people have different ways of drawing the funnel, but this one will help us give you an overview of our communications. You start at the top of the funnel, which is “prospects” and these are the largest pool of people. And as you move down the funnel, the group of people gets smaller and more targeted. Likewise, the kind of communication you do with each audience changes. SO, let's move down the funnel and see some examples of the kinds of communication we do with each group... And then, of course, what we'll want to hear form you is the kind of communication coming out of your office.
Start with the largest pool, prospects, this is where we spend a great deal of effort and money. Broadcasting our programs to EVERYONE who is interested Graduate Study to make them aware of our programs, reputation, and faculty. SHOW: http://www.gradschools.com/program-details/new-york-university/graduate-programs-in-educational-policy-and-leadership-242068_1 http://www.google.com/search?gcx=w&ix=c1&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8&q=art+education+masters http://dancemagazine.com/ http://steinhardt.nyu.edu/admin/pandora_sample.jpg All these ads are pushing prospects to take the next step. The idea is to get them to express interest to us. SHOW: Inquiry Page http://steinhardt.nyu.edu/inquiry/2012edleaderpolicy http://steinhardt.nyu.edu/newsite/designs/steinhardt/round11/2des3B.html Request Info Button on Website Internal Inquiry Form
Once they become inquiries, it triggers a series of emails that are sent to the prospect: Welcome Email Series SHOW: Welcome Email Program Director Email Email from John Myers “Digest” email We also start promoting Information Sessions and Webcasts. SHOW: Webcasts AND we drive them towards our social media properties to get them to communicate with each other and get the the conversation going. SHOW: Facebook Interaction All to get them to APPLY
During the phase of students as applicants, most of the communication is handled by the office of Graduate Admissions. Although we have certainly helped develop some of the messages that are sent out by the Embark system. How can we help? We want to figure out how we can best support you in your communication with Applicants. What kind of information do applicants need? How can we answer their questions before they ask them? This is the sort of information we want to get our of this conversation.
Accepted, the responsibilities are shared between our two offices and the Departments Personal Interactions (Phone Calls, Emails, Department Events) Accepted Students Webcasts Email Welcome Series for Accepted Students Facebook Groups for Accepted Students How can we help each other and coordinate better?
Again, much of the communication is done directly between the student and Graduate Admissions and/or the departments/programs. However, we do try to continue to build community and encourage social participation. Of course, your office is constantly sending out emails to these students to help them along the way.
Now the student is enrolled and the communication strategy changes significantly. Accepted Student Website
So, that's a bit of a preview of where we're at. Obviously, we're interested to hear about your communications, what needs you have, and how we can help.
Prospective Student Communications
Prospective Student Communications Office of Graduate Admissions Office of Planning and Communication
Thinking About the Big Picture <ul><li>Our two offices share the same goals </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Recruiting the best students