Your Higher Education Marketing Newseletter… February 2010

Winter greetings to everyone who lives and works north of the equator. As I finish this newsletter, we are starting our first truly serious snow of the season here in Michigan.

If adult student enrollment is important to you, check the program at the first 2011 Carol Aslanian conference at and join us in Chicago. Great people will share great ideas to boost your enrollment success.

Web creators and managers will want to review the program, including a higher education track, at the J.Boye Conference in Philadelphia in May at as a great place to learn from presenters from around the world.

Have you ever wondered why you have FAQs on your website? Check my “FAQs as Lucky Bags” blog post at and you might decide to “just dump them.”

We had a fine, fun time at the University of Notre Dame Communications Summit in January. My presentation with mobile and social marketing screen shots is online at

And now here are your marketing news and notes for February.
How is Your STARS Rating?

If your college and university is like most others, your institution likely has not yet submitted a report to the Sustainability Tracking Assessment & Rating System to receive a Gold, Silver, or Bronze rating for “sustainability leadership.”

To date STARS has rated 34 colleges and universities, from American University (Gold) to Wilfrid Laurier University (Bronze). The group includes public and private sector institutions from community colleges to liberal arts colleges to research universities. Many other schools have registered their intent to submit reports for evaluation.

Check to see if your competitors are included and link to the report for each rating from
US News: Most Popular Universities

Our friends at US News are back with a new twist on the data. Using the percent yield of enrolled students from the number accepted as the measure of popularity, we have a new list of universities that starts with Brigham Young at 76.9 percent (just slightly ahead of Harvard) and ends with University of Bridgeport at 9.8 percent.

There is a separate list for liberal arts colleges, although it seems a bit strange to see two military academies leading that group, followed by Berea College.

Start your list scan at
State Spending for Higher Education: Check the Map

For an easy state-by-state check on how state funding for higher education will change this year, visit the interactive map from the Chronicle of Higher Education. Scroll over the states at
Social Media Marketing Survey Open

If you are a marketer interested in social media, Marketing Sherpa would like you to complete the 2011 Social Media Benchmark Survey in “approximately 5 to 15 minutes.

Complete the survey and you can download a 50-page report on “top 5” Facebook case studies of best integration with overall marketing efforts.

Take the survey at
Worldwide University Badges at Foursquare

Foursquare started a university partners program with Harvard University and has been expanding it ever since. Now it has announced availability of a badge for “all schools, worldwide!”

Will you see an explosion of Foursquare use on your campus as more students join the Ambassadors Program? The announcement is at
Prestige Arrives in the Online MBA World

The Kenan-Flagler Business School at University of North Carolina has ventured into the world of online MBA degree programs as the most prestigious to date, hoping to enroll 50 students in the $89,000 program.

Details of the innovative program as well as a review of the overall state of online MBA degrees are in an article at

Kenan-Flagler did excellent work on the program entry page, positioning a highly visible, quick-to-complete inquiry form in the upper right part of the page at

Be sure to complete the form so you can see the way the automatic inquiry response page links to the Facebook page for the program. Very nicely done.

Will a prestigious law school ever do something similar?
Writing Right for the Web: Avoiding Typographic Crimes

Yes, the little things do count. And one of the biggest little things is how you present your content on your website, including typography.

Matt Ward offers some simple tips on getting typography right, including this basic: the difference between hyphens and dashes.

Find more Simple Tips for Improving Web Typography at
ile Marketing
: 7 “Hot Trends” in Mobile Website Design

From a marketing perspective, remember this about your mobile website: you cannot show your regular website home page as the first impression and expect many visitors to be impressed.

Review seven examples of mobile website design at

Which one is your favorite? Mine was either number 6 or number 7, the first extolling the virtue of “text driven interfaces” and the second focusing on best fonts.
The Immorality of Enrollment Management?

The language and tone of this report drives me just a bit crazy but the overall content certainly is worth reading for both a history of enrollment management and a review of how the pursuit of “status and prestige” has resulted (in some cases, at least) in a weak tie to morality.

For a critical view of marketing “competition” in pursuit of institutional goals, download the 24-page PDF from the University of Southern California Center for Enrollment Research, Policy, and Practice at
Dartmouth College Recruitment Video

At just over 11 minutes it violates the usual prescriptions for video length, but watch at least a fair part of this effort for an excellent example of how informal story telling by new students (the class of 2014 in this case) can serve as an excellent recruitment tool for the 2015 class.

Beware of video creep. The same effort with the class of 2013 is just over 6 minutes long.

Watch both to decide which is most effective.

Visit the Voices of Dartmouth Class of 2014 video at
Content Strategist Opening at University at Buffalo

The University Communications department is looking for a special person to join their web team: a skilled information architect who also understands the important role that content strategy plays in the impact of the UB home page and other top tier pages on the website.

For description details and salary range, visit
My Upcoming Conferences and Webinars in 2011

Attend an upcoming conference to share questions and answers with people like you who are building a competitive edge in higher education marketing. Join me at these events.

March 31-April 1, Education Dynamics Carol Aslanian Conference: Converting Credits to Degrees: 38 Million Adults to Recruit, Chicago, IL: “Creating (or Re-Creating) an Adult-Friendly Website.” Review program and register at

May 3-5, J.Boye Conference Philadelphia 2011, Pre-conference tutorial “Mobile Communication Challenges in Higher Education” and “Susquehanna University: Achieving a 90% Positive Web Rating.” Register at

June 8-10, SUNY CUAD Annual Conference, Saratoga Springs, NY: A “core faculty” person for marketing issues for presentation and personal meetings. Program details available soon at

Increase ROI from your online marketing. Expand the writing, editing, and search marketing skills of people on your campus. Host a campus workshop on online marketing.

Contact me at
That’s All for Now

Be a marketing champion on your campus.

Bob Johnson, Ph.D. (
President and Senior Consultant
Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC
Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC

Increase your online marketing success with these 6 services.
• Customer Carewords Research with Gerry McGovern
• Writing Right for the Web On-Campus Workshops
• Marketing Communications Website Review
• Competitive Website Reviews
• Content Copywriting Services
• Usability Analysis

Start now at

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *