Your Higher Education Marketing Newsletter… September 2012

September greetings and best wishes for a fine month to open your new semester. For everyone who is welcoming a new class of freshmen, may that marvelous spirit linger long into the fall. And may your recruitment campaigns underway for 2013 meet all your expectations.

In another week or so I’ll start working on my latest Digital Marketing Strategy tutorial for the AMA Symposium for the Marketing of Higher Education. Join me for 3.5 hours of exploration and discussion after you visit and register at

If you have a special interest in Writing Right for the Web, from regular websites to social media, do what hundreds of institutions have done over the last 5 years: gather a group on your campus and register for my October-November webinar at

If you have a colleague who might like this newsletter, have them subscribe in a few seconds at

And now here are your marketing news and notes for September.

Emory University: Congratulations to John Latting

John Latting is the new associate vice provost for undergraduate enrollment and dean of admissions at Emory University. Late last spring he blew the whistle on his new employer by reporting to university officials that Emory had been reporting false test score data on new freshmen classes since 2000 and possibly earlier. From the story at Inside Higher Ed, the charade included not only admissions but the institutional research office as well.

If you want to know more details, the story is at

But the real story is that John decided to not just change and bury the practice under a rug, he went public at his university. And for that, he deserves the congratulations of us all.
Higher Education Costs: New Survey on How People are Paying in 2012

Sallie Mae is out with a new study on How America Pays for College in 2012 and the news is mixed. A high percent of parents and students continue to believe higher education is a worthwhile investment in future success. Demand for higher education is not expected to fall.

At the same time, a record high of 69 percent reported eliminating a school because of cost. Overall, families paid about 5 percent less for higher education than in 2011. Community colleges are benefitting from this cost concern. Their share of enrollment increased to 29 percent from 23 percent two years ago.

Private sector schools can expect continued challenges to maintain current tuition discount levels. Most cannot expect to reduce them any time soon.

Read more survey results, including a snazzy infographic, at
Mobile Marketing: a $47,000,000 Texting Mistake

We should, of course, all know this already. But if anyone is not quite sure that it is not best practice to send text messages to people without their permission, even when they are already engaged with your organization, the fine levied against Jiffy Lube for violating the Telephone Consumer Protection Act is something to keep in mind.

The people who brought the suit were the equivalent of not just our inquiries and applicants in the higher education recruitment process. Some were the equivalent of enrolled students. Jiffy Lube sent them a special offer without asking permission. The story is at
Student Recruitment: 6 New Email Responses from a Secret Shopper Venture

The latest report in my blog series on responses to an online inquiry made in late June reviews 6 emails received from late July through August 24 from four of the six schools in the shopping expedition. A first response received in early August from the most laggard of the schools is in this round.

The goal for most remains getting me to visit campus. But for one with a different approach, the goal is participation in a chat event.

If you have not read any of the earlier reports, work backwards from the most recent at
Social Media: 9 Reasons to Quit Now

Here is a social media blogger telling us the 9 reasons he thinks it might be time to quit. The real question, of course, is whether or not many people agree with him. Read thoughts by Erik Sass on social media fatigue and the possible limits of engagement despite where Mark Z. wants to take us at
3 Tips for Better Mobile Email Marketing

Reading email on a mobile phone is one of the things that people love to do. But only if you make it easy for them to read. Tara Horner has written a short article that reinforces obvious points that are not always followed.

Tara is especially keen on the importance of the pre-header that people will see before they open your email. Even with a trusted sender and a great subject line, if the pre-header does not move the attraction one step further, far too many people will just ignore what you are sending them.

The bottom line: email that works on a regular computer or a tablet often will not work on a phone.

For more on pre-headers and other small but critical details, read her advice at
Public Relations and Content Marketing

It is interesting to see a persuasive argument in the public relations sector about paying more attention to what a customer values and less to “marketing spin” in the brand awareness stage of the marketing cycle.

My favorite point is similar to the message in preparing web content: what potential customers want to know about you is more important than what an organization wants those same people to know about it. For more, visit the PR Newswire story at

Thanks to Kate Spencer at Fordham for sending along the link.
Digital Marketing: Continuing, Changing Role of Print

If you are trying to decide the future of your recruitment view book, print version, you will not find the definitive answer in this Direct Marketing News report on what marketers think that role will be. But your discussions will benefit from a review of the different opinions in this “Pushing the Envelope” article.

Of special interest: the continuing value of having a major printed piece sitting in a high volume area at home where different people will see it and talk about it. If, of course, people give your view book a visible position from among the many that still arrive at the address of students headed for college.

More on mastering the intricacies of print marketing in a digital world at
Social Media: 2012 Demographics for 24 Sites

If you have heard of every site included in this report, you are likely well ahead of most people. But you will also find all the most popular ones as well. Yes, definite age and gender differences exist among sites.

For more data and a snazzy infographic visit

Time for Fun: AdAge Picks the “Cutest” Social Media Campaign

Take a break today and see why AdAge picked this Facebook campaign from a U.K. agency as the cutest one of the year. Visit
Most Popular Topic in the August Newsletter: Forbes on America’s Top Colleges

Most popular August topic was the Forbes magazine article naming the best colleges and universities based on outcomes rather than reputation. See the results at
My Conferences and Webinars in 2012

Attend a conference in 2012 to share questions and answers with people who are building a competitive advantage in higher education marketing.

October 30, November 1: “Writing Right for the Web” webinar with Academic Impressions. Review the program outline and register at

November 11-14, New Orleans: AMA Symposium for the Marketing of Higher Education. The Symposium website is at Register for my “Digital Marketing Strategy” tutorial on Sunday.

Expand the marketing skills of people on your campus. Host a campus workshop on any of my presentation topics or “Writing Right for The Web.” Scan the presentation topics at

Contact me at or call me at 248.766.6425.
That’s All for Now

Be a marketing champion on your campus.

Bob Johnson, Ph.D. (
Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC

Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC

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