Sustaining a social media program

March 27, 2009

Social Media is a hot topic. I just got back from the CASE District II conference in Baltimore and every session dealing with Social Media was packed. Some colleges were just trying to figure it out. In my session on Obama most colleges (by a show of hands) had facebook pages. But for those of us that have truly invested time, staff, resources into social media how do sustain the program past a student intern or staff members with an interest? How do we integrate social media into our communications and marketing strategy for the future. Here are a few thoughts please add your own…

Institutional Commitment
People outside the web office need to see the value and start using the tools. If social media is only a web office project you will have a tough time. You need to find buy-in from enrollment, development, career planning, communications and others.

YOU need to take on the role as the social media expert and educate your campus community. You need to encourage others to be courageous and try social media. How can you talk about it and advocate for it if you are not involved with it? Education includes sessions for your vice president, the president’s cabinet, and the board. All of these groups need to learn how important a role social media is playing in your web strategy.

To truly sustain a program you need to integrate your tactical strategies into everyday business processes. Social media can’t be a communications afterthought but instead a key part to your planning efforts.

S&K Conference – What trustees need to know about enrollment management?

June 11, 2008

Tom Flynn President of Alvernia College

How you approach board education has to be in tune with board and institutional culture.

The less experienced you are the more cautious you should be.

Ideal overall curriculum includes

  • institutional knowledge – functional areas of institution, priorities, key issues
  • External Environment – this is where we fall down, trends, threats, opportunities
  • Planning and Strategy – explanation of how planning works
  • Board Governance and Culture
  • Academic Culture

Enrollment Management for the board is critical for keys to goals, revenue, image, customer satisfaction, outcomes.

Curriculum for each area is embedded into a committee meeting. This helps the board learn along the way. You can try joint committee meetings.

Enrollment Management is joint sub committee of educational affairs and finance. This is a new mold at Alvernia. VP’s need to “staff” committee chairs for their reports to the board


Enrollment Management is complex. Makes it difficult to communicate to trustees who are a diverse audience. EM lends itself to information overload. Emphasize balance of broad themes and specific data. It’s your job to think about what they need to add value.

Most of the public understands enrollment through the lens of the media.

Avoid tactical conversations but emphasize enrollment and marketing strategy.

10 lessons

  1. Aligning mission and market – understand the institutions position
  2. What’s the data say – monitor trends and data based decision making
  3. Managing Trade Offs – developing models and scenarios
  4. It’s about more than the freshman – understand overall discount rate
  5. It’s about more than more freshman – shaping the profile
  6. It’s about the demand stupid! – working the funnel
  7. Moving beyond friendliness – develop a brand
  8. When life looks like … Easy street – contingency planning and models
  9. Are we dressed for success? – integrating institutional success
  10. What gets measured gets done – developing a dashboard