Easter is upon us and we are all at home doing our part to deal with this life altering pandemic. Still, efforts to recruit the class of 2020 and beyond in this new norm must continue. Institutions across the globe have gone from in person visits, and open houses to offering these and other campus based interactions in virtual form. While there is plenty of dialogue around the preferred method of communication with today’s teens (direct mail, email, social media, etc…), a very unique byproduct of high schools having classes on line and shelter in place orders is a prospective student group that is a “captive audience”. More importantly the way in which we can interact with this prospective student group has shifted.
According to The Parish Group’s internal research it is time to get back to the basics… you guessed it, the phone. The same new student prospect in November that was (and still is) all over instagram, youtube and TikTok has a new (yet old) form of preferred communication while continuing their college search from home… The phone. Now for those of you older than google (born before 1998), you know the time honored tradition of having to untangle a phone cord and only being able to walk so far away from the wall while using the phone. This group of students has not had either of these experiences, nor are they typically accustomed to conducting a lot of “business” on the phone… until now.
Enrollment professionals have spent years crafting just the right amount of Myspace, Friendster and Vine (this is where google comes in handy) interactions to continually engage prospective students, yet after weeks of social isolation, it is time to pick up the phone and call, call, call, call, call, call… It’s time to get personal.
These students want to talk to you and given the possible long-term effects of COVID-19 to the economy, some of the students that were once considered out of reach may be reconsidering you without you knowing…Call…We are quite literally in the midst of what is going to be the most competitive enrollment cycle most of if not all of us have ever seen, so for now:
- That list of inquiries that has yet to apply needs some love
- That list of incomplete applicants needs your full attention
- That list of accepted students that has yet to commit (deposit for some of you) needs a reassuring phone call to hear that there is still a place for them as a member of your campus community
Now is not the time to overlook the simplest and what could be the most significant communication tool… A phone call….
If you need help with that outreach let’s talk… (See what we did there).