Unconverted

Once you have a conversion, that doesn’t mean game over. Your first exchange with a prospective student is only just the beginning. Nurturing leads through the enrollment funnel is a complex process. Christina Fleming, ‘4 Quick Stops on the Road to Increase Student Enrolment‘ Colleagues in university sales and marketing, we need to talk about the language that we use when we talk about student recruitment. I work alongside you, and I’m writing this respectfully and appreciatively: you are trained and…

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Listening

Everything about a particular voter, you have to predict how that voter is going to act. Reince Priebus, MSNBC Be patient for the wolf is always with you. Malcolm Lowry,  ‘Be Patient for the Wolf‘ 1 It’s morning in Brooklyn. Below us the street is going about its business. Little ones are being walked to school, stores are rattling open, buses at ground level and planes in the sky. Yesterday, voting day, I walked the High Line listening and marvelling at the…

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Unleashed

As international mobility increases, competition for the best academic and professional staff will also intensify. This is why we’re unleashing our staff’s performance, reducing complexity and optimising professional achievements. This week the university that employs me released its new Strategic Plan with accompanying changes to our brand identity, vocabulary and collateral. Tucked into this bundle is a video that I can’t stop watching. There are images and sounds I genuinely don’t understand, and a faintly audible sigh about halfway through. (What…

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Access to care

The Site is owned, operated and/or provided by RateMyProfessors.com LLC (“RMP”), a subsidiary of Viacom International Inc., which offers television channel or programming services (such as Internet websites, applications or other interactive services) and offers other products and services under various brands, such as those Viacom Media Networks brands listed here. RateMyProfessors.Com LLC Terms and Conditions He always has a piece of paper in front of his mouth when he talks which makes it hard to hear. He also hisses like…

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Down on main street

“We think it’s fair to ask the student to pay $3 extra a week to get the chance to earn a million dollars more over a lifetime than Australians without a university qualification. … Mr and Mrs Mainstreet are paying almost 60 per cent of the tuition fees of a uni student and they are also paying back the loan at the 10-year government bond rate of 3.8 per cent, whereas the student’s loan is indexed at CPI, currently 2.5…

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Scare tactics

OK, so clearly there’s a move on in the world of elearning conferences and events to shake academics out of our usual torpor.  As everyone knows, we don’t have much to do, and what we do pull off shows not a skerrick of imagination or even rudimentary competence. So let’s get the email about Blended Learning 2012 out of the way first.  The event seems like a reasonable affair, but it’s clear that the pricing structure doesn’t anticipate someone like…

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People we like

Right at this moment I’m failing to feel sympathetic towards colleagues who’ve made university marketing communications their career. Please understand, if you’re in marketing, that none of this is personal. As an academic, I know what it’s like to have my professional practice be the topic of everyone else’s reformist idealism. And I do appreciate that my own employment depends on the work you do year round to ensure that there are students for me to teach.  In fact, I’m…

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Precarious

Truth is forever twinned as having an incidence and carrying an import.  Even sciences like medicine and chemistry so physically concrete carry significance for the soul. … Microscopes become tragic in what they may reveal. (Kenneth Cragg, The Order of the Wounded Hands, 2006) Well, here’s something concrete that has import for the soul.  Higher education systems around the world have become dependent on the availability of a large pool of cheap labour who are prepared to teach students for…

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Step right up

I’ve been asked why I’m so bothered by the invitation to sit in a dunk tank as part of our orientation activities for new students. Surely dunk tanks fall into the category of harmless fun? Don’t they? OK, here are a few reasons, without even beginning to think about their resonance among students who’ve had enough of high school because of the bullying and are hoping for something better from higher education. First, this is how they’re promoted: Does Dunking…

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Knockout personality

What a lot of brands are learning is that it’s not always necessary for an app to do something useful all the time. In fact, utilitarian apps are kind of boring. That’s not what consumers want from a brand they engage with. (“Adding brand personality to a mobile app is important“) It’s the eerily quiet week of the year for Australian universities. Across our campuses the Christmas decorations are being boxed up. It’s easier to park, and harder to find…

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