Posted at 5 p.m. Nov. 8, 2016

College audits marketing

Laramie County Community College’s Public Relations is working to improve its marketing.

Interact is a media-based student recruiting and retention service offered to community colleges and trade schools, and LCCC is utilizing these services. “We had them do an audit of our marketing procedures,” LCCC’s Public Relations Director Ty Stockton said.

The LCCC Board of Trustees authorized the use of up to $30,000 for the department to undergo a marketing assessment. LCCC hired Interact, and spent a total of $24,000.

“For that amount, we were able to have Interact assess our website, many of our ads (print, internet and broadcast), our handout materials (brochures, view books, etc.), and other marketing materials, to see if we were reaching our target audience,” Stockton said. “They also conducted a survey of more than 650 of our students to find out what media our students use, where they first heard about LCCC, etc., and compared that data to other students nationwide. This allowed us to tailor our media buys to be more likely to help increase enrollment.”

Representatives for Interact visited LCCC to explain the company’s findings and suggestions.

“They gave us some good suggestions on ways that we can change,” Stockton said. “Instead of making everything transactional, use more emotion in the ads and the marketing to show what LCCC is like for the student, what the environment is like rather than just filling out a form and we’ll send you an acceptance letter.”

In addition, the representatives shared some guidance on LCCC’s future marketing projects. “I believe it has helped but a lot of it is still up to us,” Stockton said.

Other departments at LCCC have been involved with the new marketing framework.

“As a direct result of the assessment, we’ve already taken steps to make everything we send from the College to prospective students ‘match,’” Stockton said. “Student Services, and in particular, Admissions, has been involved in the assessment as well, and we’ve worked with them to make sure the view book, the ‘cube,’ as we call it, which is the piece we give students at college fairs and high school visits, matches the look and feel of the acceptance letter, the steps to enrollment, and other mailings we send to students who are starting their college journey with us.”

“These pieces have a similar look and feel to the ads we produce, as well, so everything seems to go together,” Stockton said.

Armed with the knowledge gained from the audit, the department has developed a new marketing strategy.

“We will be using the information they provided us as a framework for our marketing approach for years to come,” Stockton said. “This involves producing a marketing plan we can share with campus to show what we’re doing and when we’re doing it. We already have a marketing plan, but it’s not in a form we can easily share so others can understand it. That’s one of the next steps we’ll take — we’ll explain what we’re doing and why we’re doing it, so that other areas on campus know what’s going on. This is an important step, as it explains how we’re getting the word out.”


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