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Storytelling to Recruit Students

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Download this webinar for free: http://mstnr.me/2bmauto

What stories resonate with prospective students and their influencers? Using an undergraduate admissions experience map as our guide, we’ll review three examples of stories targeted specifically toward different stages in the admissions process.

What You Will Learn

• Stages in the admissions process, from exploration to transition.
• Effective elements in stories designed to recruit right-fit students for your institution.
• Ways to integrate best practices in inbound marketing to extend the reach and effectiveness of your storytelling efforts.

Published in: Education
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Storytelling to Recruit Students

  1. 1. Storytelling for Student Recruitment May 25, 2016
  2. 2. • 45 minute webinar + 15 minutes for questions and answers • Ask questions through the Zoom Control Panel • Tweet during the webinar with #mStonerNow • Please fill out the post-webinar evaluation • Check your inbox next week for the webinar recording and slide deck The Plan
  3. 3. Voltaire Santos Miran ChiefExecutiveOfficer @vsantosmiran Mallory Wood DirectorofMarketing @mallorywood
  4. 4. 1. Do you create student profiles? 2. Do you have student-driven blogs? 3. Do you use social media for admissions-related campaigns? 4. Do you produce videos? 5. Do you get high-resolution photos for your stories? A Poll:
  5. 5. Do you wonder whether you’re as effective as you could be in all of the work that you’re doing? A Niggling Question:
  6. 6. “We generate a lot of activity, but we lack a guiding strategy in our work.” - Client Names Withheld -
  7. 7. To give you a new tool to frame and evaluate your storytelling for admissions. My Goal:
  8. 8. Agenda 1. MappingtheJourney 2. MatchingtheStories 3. CraftingtheNarratives 4. AWordFromOur Sponsor
 5. Questions
  9. 9. Mapping the Journey
  10. 10. Inbound marketing is promoting a company through blogs, podcasts, video, newsletters, whitepapers, SEO, social media marketing, and other forms of content marketing which serve to attract customers through the different stages of the “purchase funnel.” A Definition:
  11. 11. Inbound marketing is the act of engaging, educating, and inspiring prospective students and their influencers through blogs, podcasts, video, newsletters, websites, SEO, social media campaign, and other forms of content throughout the stages of their journey.” A Definition (refined):
  12. 12. In order to serve your audiences, you need to understand them in a meaningful way. The Assertion:
  13. 13. “Empathy is about understanding … what’s going on in a person’s head and heart … and acknowledging her reasoning and emotions as valid, even when they differ from your own.” Indi Young, Practical Empathy
  14. 14. UNDERSTAND & EXPLORE NARROW CHOICES & APPLY DECIDE & ACCEPT COMMIT & TRANSITION • Why do I want to do this? • What programs are right for me? • How do my options compare financially? • What will my life be like at each place I’m considering? • When should I visit campus? • How many places should I apply to? • What’s the right balance of size, cost, location? • Where will I get research experience? Study abroad? • What are my short list of options? • Who would I be working / studying with? • How will I prepare for my interviews? • What are the dorms and dining halls like? • What were my experiences with current students, faculty, and counselors like? Will I fit in? • What will I do outside of class? • If I get into multiple places and get similar offers, how do I choose? • How do I prepare for this transition? • What do I need to know about next steps? • What am I not thinking about or forgetting? • Excitement: This is the next big step in my life! • Empowerment: I ‘ll finally have control over my learning. • Confusion:Somanyinstitutionstochoosefrom! • Anticipation: This will be difficult, and may be fun. • Fear: I have no idea what I want to do, and I’m scared to make the wrong choice of school and major. • Apprehension: I need to make sure I get my applications in on time. And I don’t like interviews. • Hopefulness: I’ve found some places that feel right, and I’m closing in on a choice • Annoyance. All. The. Paper. • Anxiety: I can’t stand the waiting. • Thrill: I got in! This is my dream! • Need for validation: Where are my friends going? • Confidence: I’m making the right choice! • Doubt: Am I making the right choice? • Frustration: Financial aid is so complicated! • Relief: I’ve made it through this intense process and am ready for the next step. • Ambivalence: There are big life changes ahead, and I’m feeling both good and bad about those changes. • Impatience: Now that I’ve made my decision, I really want to start. • Giddiness: This is actually happening! Make deposit Register for classes investigate housing options Move in Get in touch with incoming classmates • Recently accepted students sites • Student life sites • Orientation packets • Official and personal social media accounts • Parents, family, friends • High School counselors • Admissions counselors • Admitted students days • Return visits to campus• Personal experience from the campus tour • Impressions from virtual tours • Emails and other communications from admissions counselors • Academic department pages • Faculty biography pages • College/university websites • Print materials • Third-party sites • Google • High School counselors • Parents, family and friends • Alumni • Official and personal social media accounts • U.S. News and World Report • College fairs Complete applications Talk to professors, admissions counselors, and alumni Review research and experiential learning opportunities Visit campus Review financial aid and scholarship possibilities Visit .edu sites Review rankings Search the web Investigate jobs and pay ranges possible with specific degrees Talk to peers, family, and influencers Engage in social Sort the mail Interview alumni Compare of pros and cons of each option in detail Accept an 
 offer for admission Re-Engage in social Decide if now is the right time for college Await financial aid award Await acceptance letters STAGES THOUGHTS FEELINGS ACTIONS TRUSTED SOURCES
  15. 15. Matching the Stories
  16. 16. When you understand the journey, you can create stories to support that journey. The Corollary:
  17. 17. Storytelling is the act of framing an idea as a narrative to inform, illuminate, and inspire.” The Storyteller’s Secret
  18. 18. UNDERSTAND & EXPLORE NARROW CHOICES & APPLY DECIDE & ACCEPT COMMIT & TRANSITION • Why do I want to do this? • What programs are right for me? • How do my options compare financially? • What will my life be like at each place I’m considering? • When should I visit campus? • How many places should I apply to? • What’s the right balance of size, cost, location? • Where will I get research experience? Study abroad? • What are my short list of options? • Who would I be working / studying with? • How will I prepare for my interviews? • What are the dorms and dining halls like? • What were my experiences with current students, faculty, and counselors like? Will I fit in? • What will I do outside of class? • If I get into multiple places and get similar offers, how do I choose? • How do I prepare for this transition? • What do I need to know about next steps? • What am I not thinking about forgetting? • Excitement: This is the next big step in my life! • Empowerment: I ‘ll finally have control over my learning. • Confusion:Somanyinstitutionstochoosefrom! • Anticipation: This will be difficult, and may be fun. • Fear: I have no idea what I want to do, and I’m scared to make the wrong choice of school and major. • Apprehension: I need to make sure I get my applications in on time. And I don’t like interviews. • Hopefulness: I’ve found some places that feel right, and I’m closing in on a choice • Annoyance. All. The. Paper. • Anxiety: I can’t stand the waiting. • Thrill: I got in! This is my dream! • Need for validation: Where are my friends going? • Confidence: I’m making the right choice! • Doubt: Am I making the right choice? • Frustration: Financial aid is so complicated! • Relief: I’ve made it through this intense process and am ready for the next step. • Ambivalence: There are big life changes ahead, and I’m feeling both good and bad about those changes. • Impatience: Now that I’ve made my decision, I really want to start. • Giddiness: This is actually happening! Make deposit Register for classes investigate housing options Move in Get in touch with incoming classmates • Recently accepted students sites • Student life sites • Orientation packets • Official and personal social media accounts • Parents, family, friends • High School counselors • Admissions counselors • Admitted students days • Return visits to campus• Personal experience from the campus tour • Impressions from virtual tours • Emails and other communications from admissions counselors • Academic department pages • Faculty biography pages • College/university websites • Print materials • Third-party sites • Google • High School counselors • Parents, family and friends • Alumni • Official and personal social media accounts • U.S. News and World Report • College fairs Complete applications Talk to professors, admissions counselors, and alumni Review research and experiential learning opportunities Visit campus Review financial aid and scholarship possibilities Visit .edu sites Review rankings Search the web Investigate jobs and pay ranges possible with specific degrees Talk to peers, family, and influencers Engage in social Sort the mail Interview alumni Compare of pros and cons of each option in detail Accept an 
 offer for admission Re-Engage in social Decide if now is the right time for college Await financial aid award Await acceptance letters STAGES THOUGHTS FEELINGS ACTIONS TRUSTED SOURCES
  19. 19. • Create a wonderful user experience across all channels (print, web, social). • Demystify the process, especially for first-generation college students • Address misperceptions • Establish your brand • Communicate community • Build a case for value and affordability • Promote programs , experiential learning opportunities, and study abroad possibilities • Ease anxiety during the waiting process • Reaffirm reasons to choose your college • Strengthen connections with counselors and faculty • Ease the tactical process by providing clear information, checklists, dates and deadlines • Ease the emotional process by helping people make connections and imagine themselves as heroes in their own story • Facilitate connections • Orient students to their new world OPPORTUNITIES UNDERSTAND & EXPLORE NARROW CHOICES & APPLY DECIDE & ACCEPT COMMIT & TRANSITION • Why do I want to do this? • What programs are right for me? • How do my options compare financially? • What will my life be like at each place I’m considering? • When should I visit campus? • How many places should I apply to? • What’s the right balance of size, cost, location? • Where will I get research experience? Study abroad? • What are my short list of options? • Who would I be working / studying with? • How will I prepare for my interviews? • What are the dorms and dining halls like? • What were my experiences with current students, faculty, and counselors like? Will I fit in? • What will I do outside of class? • If I get into multiple places and get similar offers, how do I choose? • How do I prepare for this transition? • What do I need to know about next steps? • What am I not thinking about forgetting? • Excitement: This is the next big step in my life! • Empowerment: I ‘ll finally have control over my learning. • Confusion:Somanyinstitutionstochoosefrom! • Anticipation: This will be difficult, and may be fun. • Fear: I have no idea what I want to do, and I’m scared to make the wrong choice of school and major. • Apprehension: I need to make sure I get my applications in on time. And I don’t like interviews. • Hopefulness: I’ve found some places that feel right, and I’m closing in on a choice • Annoyance. All. The. Paper. • Anxiety: I can’t stand the waiting. • Thrill: I got in! This is my dream! • Need for validation: Where are my friends going? • Confidence: I’m making the right choice! • Doubt: Am I making the right choice? • Frustration: Financial aid is so complicated! • Relief: I’ve made it through this intense process and am ready for the next step. • Ambivalence: There are big life changes ahead, and I’m feeling both good and bad about those changes. • Impatience: Now that I’ve made my decision, I really want to start. • Giddiness: This is actually happening! Make deposit Register for classes investigate housing options Move in Get in touch with incoming classmates • Recently accepted students sites • Student life sites • Orientation packets • Official and personal social media accounts • Parents, family, friends • High School counselors • Admissions counselors • Admitted students days • Return visits to campus• Personal experience from the campus tour • Impressions from virtual tours • Emails and other communications from admissions counselors • Academic department pages • Faculty biography pages • College/university websites • Print materials • Third-party sites • Google • High School counselors • Parents, family and friends • Alumni • Official and personal social media accounts • U.S. News and World Report • College fairs Complete applications Talk to professors, admissions counselors, and alumni Review research and experiential learning opportunities Visit campus Review financial aid and scholarship possibilities Visit .edu sites Review rankings Search the web Investigate jobs and pay ranges possible with specific degrees Talk to peers, family, and influencers Engage in social Sort the mail Interview alumni Compare of pros and cons of each option in detail Accept an 
 offer for admission Re-Engage in social Decide if now is the right time for college Await financial aid award Await acceptance letters STAGES THOUGHTS FEELINGS ACTIONS TRUSTED SOURCES
  20. 20. Crafting the Narratives
  21. 21. Great storytelling for admissions follows the principles of great storytelling. Period. The Practice:
  22. 22. “A thought triggers the same regions of the brain that would be activated if you were actually experiencing the event in real life.” Carmine Gallo, The Storyteller’s Secret
  23. 23. “A compelling story with an emotional trigger alters our brain chemistry, making us more trusting, understanding, and open to ideas.” Paul Zak, Neuroscientist
  24. 24. 24 Popular Themes 1. Fate
 2. Ambition 4. Sacrifice
 5. Transformation
 6. Love
 7. Vengeance
 8. Resurrection Credit: Tessa Wegert (http://bit.ly/tessawegert )
  25. 25. 25 Popular Plots 1. Overcoming the Monster 2. Rags to Riches 3. The Quest 4. Voyage and Return 5. Comedy 6. Tragedy (#holdthedoor) 7. Rebirth Credit: Christopher Booker, 
 The Seven Basic Plots (http://bit.ly/sevenbasicplots)
  26. 26. Exposition Complication Crisis Climax Resolution Aristotle et. al.
  27. 27. OnceUponaTime… OneDay… BecauseofThat… AndBecauseofThat… Until,Finally… Pixar
  28. 28. Understand Explore 28 &
  29. 29. 29 BOSTONUNIVERSITY YouatBU: http://www.bu.edu/ admissions/you-at-bu/ UNITYCOLLEGE ExperienceUnity https://vimeo.com/ 103253320 Theme:Love/Sacrifice Plot:Overcomingthe Monster
  30. 30. 30 BOSTONUNIVERSITY YouatBU http://www.bu.edu/ admissions/you-at-bu/
  31. 31. 31 TUFTSUNIVERSITY GraduatePrograms http://asegrad.tufts.edu Theme:Ambition Plot:VoyageandReturn
  32. 32. 32 UNIVERSITYOFTEXAS AlcaldeInteractive http:// alcalde.texasexes.org/ arctic/ Theme:Transformation Plot:VoyageandReturn
  33. 33. Narrow Choices Apply 33 &
  34. 34. 34 KNOXCOLLEGE https://www.knox.edu/ reiners-william-59 Theme: Transformation Plot:RagstoRiches
  35. 35. 35 UNIVERSITYOFTEXAS AlcaldeInteractive http:// alcalde.texasexes.org/ 2016texas10/ Theme:Fate Plot: TheQuest
  36. 36. 36 UNIVERSITYOF WASHINGTON http:// www.washington.edu/ boundless/livinglab// Theme:Fate Plot: VoyageandReturn
  37. 37. 37 OBERLINCOLLEGE TheStoriesProject http:// stories.oberlin.edu/
  38. 38. Decide Accept 38 &
  39. 39. 39 WAKEFOREST UNIVERSITY #WFY20 http:// admissions.wfu.edu/ wfu20//
  40. 40. 40 TexasA&M AggieTraditions http:// www.tamu.edu/ traditions/index.html
  41. 41. 41 Subtitle Subtitle 41 UNIVERSITYOF WASHINGTON NewHuskies http:// www.washington.ed u/newhuskies/
  42. 42. 42 TUFTSUNIVERSITY Undergraduate AdmissionsMagazine https://issuu.com/ tuftsadmissions/docs/ web_jumbo_sp16
  43. 43. &Commit Transition 43 &
  44. 44. 44 COLUMBIACOLLEGE CHICAGO Undergraduate Admissions http://www.colum.edu/ campus-life/student- spotlights/2014/alice- perez.html Theme:Sacrifice Plot:Overcomingthe Monster
  45. 45. 45 OAKTON COMMUNITY COLLEGE http://www.oakton.edu/ branding/ profiles_themes/ student_profiles/ m_fleurima.php Theme:Resurrection Plot:Overcomingthe Monster
  46. 46. 46 UNIVERSITYOF WASHINGTON TheHusky100 http:// www.washington.ed u/husky100/
  47. 47. 47 HOPECOLLEGE StudentBlogs https://blogs.hope.edu/ students/author/idil- ozer/ Theme: Transformation Plot:Comedy
  48. 48. Conceptual Planning InspiredbyAnnHandley’s“EverybodyWrites:YourGo-To GuidetoCreatingRidiculouslyGoodContent” 1. Who am I writing for? 2. What do I want them to understand or learn? 3. What’s the narrative arc of my story? 4. What part of the experience or journey am I supporting? 5. What thoughts, feelings, and actions am I addressing? 6. What opportunities am I taking advantage of? 7. What actions am I inspiring? 8. What channels am I going to use to share this story?
  49. 49. UNDERSTAND & EXPLORE NARROW CHOICES & APPLY DECIDE & ACCEPT COMMIT & TRANSITION • Why do I want to do this? • What programs are right for me? • How do my options compare financially? • What will my life be like at each place I’m considering? • When should I visit campus? • How many places should I apply to? • What’s the right balance of size, cost, location? • Where will I get research experience? Study abroad? • What are my short list of options? • Who would I be working / studying with? • How will I prepare for my interviews? • What are the dorms and dining halls like? • What were my experiences with current students, faculty, and counselors like? Will I fit in? • What will I do outside of class? • If I get into multiple places and get similar offers, how do I choose? • How do I prepare for this transition? • What do I need to know about next steps? • What am I not thinking about forgetting? • Excitement: This is the next big step in my life! • Empowerment: I ‘ll finally have control over my learning. • Confusion:Somanyinstitutionstochoosefrom! • Anticipation: This will be difficult, and may be fun. • Fear: I have no idea what I want to do, and I’m scared to make the wrong choice of school and major. • Apprehension: I need to make sure I get my applications in on time. And I don’t like interviews. • Hopefulness: I’ve found some places that feel right, and I’m closing in on a choice • Annoyance. All. The. Paper. • Anxiety: I can’t stand the waiting. • Thrill: I got in! This is my dream! • Need for validation: Where are my friends going? • Confidence: I’m making the right choice! • Doubt: Am I making the right choice? • Frustration: Financial aid is so complicated! • Relief: I’ve made it through this intense process and am ready for the next step. • Ambivalence: There are big life changes ahead, and I’m feeling both good and bad about those changes. • Impatience: Now that I’ve made my decision, I really want to start. • Giddiness: This is actually happening! Make deposit Register for classes investigate housing options Move in Get in touch with incoming classmates • Recently accepted students sites • Student life sites • Orientation packets • Official and personal social media accounts • Parents, family, friends • High School counselors • Admissions counselors • Admitted students days • Return visits to campus• Personal experience from the campus tour • Impressions from virtual tours • Emails and other communications from admissions counselors • Academic department pages • Faculty biography pages • College/university websites • Print materials • Third-party sites • Google • High School counselors • Parents, family and friends • Alumni • Official and personal social media accounts • U.S. News and World Report • College fairs Complete applications Talk to professors, admissions counselors, and alumni Review research and experiential learning opportunities Visit campus Review financial aid and scholarship possibilities Visit .edu sites Review rankings Search the web Investigate jobs and pay ranges possible with specific degrees Talk to peers, family, and influencers Engage in social Sort the mail Interview alumni Compare of pros and cons of each option in detail Accept an 
 offer for admission Re-Engage in social Decide if now is the right time for college Await financial aid award Await acceptance letters STAGES THOUGHTS FEELINGS ACTIONS TRUSTED SOURCES • Create a wonderful user experience across all channels (print, web, social). • Demystify the process, especially for first-generation college students • Address misperceptions • Establish your brand • Communicate community • Build a case for value and affordability • Promote programs , experiential learning opportunities, and study abroad possibilities • Ease anxiety during the waiting process • Reaffirm reasons to choose your college • Strengthen connections with counselors and faculty • Ease the tactical process by providing clear information, checklists, dates and deadlines • Ease the emotional process by helping people make connections and imagine themselves as heroes in their own story • Facilitate connections • Orient students to their new world OPPORTUNITIES
  50. 50. UNDERSTAND & EXPLORE NARROW CHOICES & APPLY DECIDE & ACCEPT COMMIT & TRANSITION • Why do I want to do this? • What programs are right for me? • How do my options compare financially? • What will my life be like at each place I’m considering? • When should I visit campus? • How many places should I apply to? • What’s the right balance of size, cost, location? • Where will I get research experience? Study abroad? • What are my short list of options? • Who would I be working / studying with? • How will I prepare for my interviews? • What are the dorms and dining halls like? • What were my experiences with current students, faculty, and counselors like? Will I fit in? • What will I do outside of class? • If I get into multiple places and get similar offers, how do I choose? • How do I prepare for this transition? • What do I need to know about next steps? • What am I not thinking about forgetting? • Excitement: This is the next big step in my life! • Empowerment: I ‘ll finally have control over my learning. • Confusion:Somanyinstitutionstochoosefrom! • Anticipation: This will be difficult, and may be fun. • Fear: I have no idea what I want to do, and I’m scared to make the wrong choice of school and major. • Apprehension: I need to make sure I get my applications in on time. And I don’t like interviews. • Hopefulness: I’ve found some places that feel right, and I’m closing in on a choice • Annoyance. All. The. Paper. • Anxiety: I can’t stand the waiting. • Thrill: I got in! This is my dream! • Need for validation: Where are my friends going? • Confidence: I’m making the right choice! • Doubt: Am I making the right choice? • Frustration: Financial aid is so complicated! • Relief: I’ve made it through this intense process and am ready for the next step. • Ambivalence: There are big life changes ahead, and I’m feeling both good and bad about those changes. • Impatience: Now that I’ve made my decision, I really want to start. • Giddiness: This is actually happening! Make deposit Register for classes investigate housing options Move in Get in touch with incoming classmates • Recently accepted students sites • Student life sites • Orientation packets • Official and personal social media accounts • Parents, family, friends • High School counselors • Admissions counselors • Admitted students days • Return visits to campus• Personal experience from the campus tour • Impressions from virtual tours • Emails and other communications from admissions counselors • Academic department pages • Faculty biography pages • College/university websites • Print materials • Third-party sites • Google • High School counselors • Parents, family and friends • Alumni • Official and personal social media accounts • U.S. News and World Report • College fairs Complete applications Talk to professors, admissions counselors, and alumni Review research and experiential learning opportunities Visit campus Review financial aid and scholarship possibilities Visit .edu sites Review rankings Search the web Investigate jobs and pay ranges possible with specific degrees Talk to peers, family, and influencers Engage in social Sort the mail Interview alumni Compare of pros and cons of each option in detail Accept an 
 offer for admission Re-Engage in social Decide if now is the right time for college Await financial aid award Await acceptance letters STAGES THOUGHTS FEELINGS ACTIONS TRUSTED SOURCES • Create a wonderful user experience across all channels (print, web, social). • Demystify the process, especially for first-generation college students • Address misperceptions • Establish your brand • Communicate community • Build a case for value and affordability • Promote programs , experiential learning opportunities, and study abroad possibilities • Ease anxiety during the waiting process • Reaffirm reasons to choose your college • Strengthen connections with counselors and faculty • Ease the tactical process by providing clear information, checklists, dates and deadlines • Ease the emotional process by helping people make connections and imagine themselves as heroes in their own story • Facilitate connections • Orient students to their new world OPPORTUNITIES STORTTELLING PRINCIPLES • Go deeper. Every college changes lives, most professors care, the luckier students find lifelong friends, and all schools offer access to an international network of alumni. Get specific — the story is in the details. • Find the conflict. Without the conflict, there is no story. • Remember that timing is everything. Align the themes and plots of your story to the stage of your audience’s journey. • Don’t focus on original, focus on true. We’re wired for patterns, and we look for inspiration.
  51. 51. A Word From 
 Our Sponsor
  52. 52. Voltaire Santos Miran ChiefExecutiveOfficer 
 @vsantosmiran 312.420.6778 voltaire.miran@mstoner.com Mallory Wood DirectorofMarketing 
 @mallorywood 802.457.9234 mallory.wood@mstoner.com
 Resources • Learn more about digital storytelling: 
 http://mstnr.me/DigStoryWebinar • Bring our team to campus for an interactive storytelling workshop: 
 http://mstnr.me/DigStoryWorkshop
  53. 53. Our Storytelling Series Team Ben Bilow SeniorCreativeDirector 
 ben.bilow@mstoner.com Abby McLean Visual/UXDesigner 
 abby.mclean@mstoner.com Mike Schulz Visual/UXDesigner 
 mike.schulz@mstoner.com Soni Oliver Visual/UXDesigner 
 soni.oliver@mstoner.com Ben Conley Visual/UXDesigner 
 ben.conley@mstoner.com Greg Zguta SeniorConsultant 
 greg.zguta@mstoner.com
  54. 54. Questions?
  55. 55. m storytellers for .edu Thank You!

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