Top 5 Podcasts at a University – #1: Enrollment and Recruiting October 20, 2006Posted by Jeff in Podcasting, Rice University, University Podcasting.
This is the last entry in this week’s series on the five top reasons to podcast at a university. Yesterday, if you missed it, was #2: Development and Alumni. Today, we hit the other end of the student time-line with prospective students.
1. Enrollment and Recruiting
This is by far the largest requested podcast at a university. Colleagues tell me that the head of enrollment (sometimes coming through the admissions office) not only wants a podcast the most, but has the most measurable way to see how a podcast is doing. Statistics for podcasts are a tricky thing, one day I’ll talk about statistics and why you just can’t get the whole story from them… but for right now and the purposes of this discussion… enrollment and recruiting can look at students applying to the university and ask them questions about the ads, letters, and media that led them to apply. Of the universities that I have had experience with who use podcasting as a recruiting tool, most said that the podcast was viewed by most of the students applying… my calculations said somewhere around 60%+.
What does an enrollment or recruiting podcast look like. If you’ve read anything of mine, you’ll know that I say things like – “Anything you want it to look like.” a lot… so I’ll refrain. I will say that it should look like whatever you’re trying to attract. This becomes a sensitive issue with universities that I’ve talked to, and most all asked if I don’t use their names/contact info (which is why you don’t get specifics from me about them very often), but I can tell you that interviews have been found to be the most influential tool.
If you’re looking for more foreign students, interview foreign undergrads talking about their awesome experiences. Have them speak in their native language and caption it (a real world example that I helped to implement that was very effective). Looking for engineers? Interview a millionaire engineering alumni that started his own business. Looking for chemists? Interview a professor that talks about what she’s doing in one of her classes. Looking for leaders? Interview the heads of three or four student organizations and show how they are impacting the campus/city. Looking for athletes? Interview the cheerleaders. :)
Prospective students are looking for themselves at your university. They are looking to find someone that they can identify with and say… “I can do that.” “That’s kind of like what I thought I’d do.” “I can see myself learning that.” etc. Take the opportunity to interview people in different locations around the campus and show off the great parts. Take the time on the front end of the podcast to introduce the area and explain a bit more about where you are. Then, get into the interview where you talk about the person and what they are up to. End with talking about any future events that are exciting and pertinent… and how the viewer of the podcast can be involved, what mailing list they should sign up for, where they can send an email to learn more, and so on.
It sounds simple, easy, and not too much to think about… but I guarantee that this podcast will be the most visibly impactful podcast that you can implement at your university. Good luck with it. If you need help, email me (email link on the right in the “About…” box.) Also, I hope this week has given you some ideas on what podcasting can do on a university level.
Thank you for your emails about what you’re doing on your campus!!! I love to hear about other top ways that podcasting is being requested or is working well… so keep the emails coming. When I have enough info from all of you, I’ll put together an update to this series… maybe add five more to make it a top 10 list…?