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PR Strategy

PR Driving Enrollment for Colleges & Universities

May 04, 2016 09:36 AM
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David Moore

David Moore

Marketing and PR technologist focused on generating demand for fast growth organizations.

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Higher-Education.pngHigher Ed PR professionals need effective media monitoring & reporting to quickly get in front of developing stories, identify new opportunities for media coverage and prove the ROI of their PR efforts. Below are 5 examples of real reports being used by Universities to filter and segment media mentions, track the relevant coverage of their various audiences (Athletics, Alumni, Students, Colleges, Etc.) and prove the impact that PR has on applications and enrollment. 

We recently hosted a webinar to discuss leveraging big data to enhance PR reporting metrics and performance with Jim Wolken, Executive Director of Marketing and Communications at Franklin Pierce University.  Jim wanted to launch an expensive political polling program he believed would be a great driver of media mentions that would raise the profile of the University and lead to an increase in enrollment. Before he could get budget approval, he needed to be sure he could prove out the success of his PR campaigns. Watch the full recording of the webinar on Higher Ed Advanced PR Reporting >>

Below is an overview of the reports that Jim leverages to prove that his PR efforts are driving not only media coverage but also enrollment and interest in Franklin Pierce University. 

Total Mentions for the University Over Time

Total_Mentions_Franklin_Pierce_University.png

Total media mentions over time is a great report to show how various media campaigns are influencing coverage. Jim needed to show that the political polling program he implemented was influencing coverage.  Using this report he was able to show the spike in coverage that resulted from the poll that showed Bernie Sanders was beating Hillary Clinton.

 

Unique Dashboards for Individual PR Campaigns

PR_Dashboards_Franklin_Pierce_University.pngOne of the biggest challenges we hear PR pros at Universities talk about is filtering out irrelevant media mentions so they can accurately report what is driving media mentions for the University. In the image above, you can see that Jim has a dashboard set-up for media mentions from alumni programs, their baseball team, his political polling program, the athletics department as a whole, the University President and more. This has allowed him to quickly provide highly relevant reports to various stakeholders at the University that prove the investment in PR is paying big dividends.  

 

The Share of Voice For University PresidentsShare_of_Voice_Franklin_Pierce_University.png

Jim noticed that the President of Franklin Pierce University was getting lots of interview requests and media coverage as a result of their polling program. He jumped into the dashboard for President Card and used the share of voice report to compare the media coverage his President was getting versus those at Harvard, MIT and Boston University. 

He was able to prove that the President of Franklin Pierce was getting as much press coverage as the President of Harvard even though their school was much smaller and less well known!

 

Social Amplification from Interviews with Faculty and Staff

Social_Amplification_Franklin_Pierce_University.pngThe Social Amplification shows the lift you are getting from people sharing your media mentions through various social platforms. Jim was able to demonstrate that the interviews with his President were driving more social engagement than the University got from all of their PR efforts over the past 4 years! 

 

Share of Voice Over Time Vs. Competing Universities

Competitive_Benchmarking_Franklin_Pierce_University.png

Jim uses the share of voice over time to report to do competitive benchmarking against other key schools in the area. He was able to prove that his Political Polling program alone was generating more media coverage for Franklin Pierce University than all of Keene State's PR efforts put together. This is especially impressive because Keene State had previously dominated the Share of Voice Comparison. 

In addition to the overall trends shown above, he was able to do a deep dive into the data to show that Franklin Pierce University's coverage was mostly positive to neutral while much of the coverage Keene State got was negative in relation to a bonfire incident on campus.

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Did It Work?

By providing highly relevant and accurate PR reports to all stakeholders, Jim was able to overcome the skepticism around PR's value to the University to justify investment in additional PR efforts. 

 

Franklin Pierce University is now on a record pace for applications this year and it is directly related PR activities. PR programs are now the number 2 driver of enrollment after their mailing programs.

David Moore

David Moore

Marketing and PR technologist focused on generating demand for fast growth organizations.

All POSTS

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