This is an opportunity for readers of this newsletter to anonymously ask me a question about any aspect of student recruitment, leadership, and professional or personal development. Each week I’ll post my answer for everyone to read.
Q. An Associate Director asks:
“I help manage our communications and we would like to know if you’ve seen any changes this year to how students want to be communicated with. Thanks Jeremy!”
A. You’re welcome, and thank you for your question! The short answer is the overwhelming majority of this generation still reacts to a good, consistent combination of email, letters, phone calls, text messaging, social media and in person communications.
I can’t stress enough the importance of being consistent. Over the past year I’ve seen more survey comments than ever before from students about emails and letters feeling random and disjointed.
Here are some other findings to consider:
- In limited research more students are telling us they “never” wanted to be contacted via text and social media than did the number who “never” wanted to be contacted via phone
- Emails and letters still need to be shorter in length because this generation gets distracted easily
- Emails and letters that take a more casual tone resonate more
- A large majority of emails that colleges send are perceived by students to be email blasts. Students are still looking for more frequent personalized communications
- Facebook and Instagram are the top two social media platforms that students recommend admissions and marketing departments use to connect with prospective students
- Too many phone calls from admissions counselors, tour guides, and current students feel completely scripted and subsequently are uncomfortable
- After the admitted stage students would like to receive more assistance completing various forms, tests, etc.
- Talk less and ask more questions
Remember, no matter the method of communication it’s not about just informing; it’s about informing and engaging.