10: How Fresno Pacific University Leverages Faculty in Their Enrollment Marketing w/ Jillian Coppler

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Jillian Coppler, Executive Director of Enrollment Marketing at Fresno Pacific University, discusses the enrollment growth benefits of prioritizing healthy relationships between faculty and your enrollment marketing office.

Find a breakdown of this episode here.

Attracting today's new post traditional learners meansadopting new enrollment strategies. Helix educations data driven, enterprise wide approach to enrollmentgrowth is uniquely helping colleges and universities thrive in this new education landscape, andHelix has just published the second edition of their enrollment growth playbook with fifty percentbrand new content on how institutions can solve today's most pressing enrollment growth challenges.Downloaded today for free at Helix Educationcom. Slash playbook. You're listening to enrollmentgrowth university from Helix Education, the best professional development podcast for higher education leaderslooking to grow enrollment at their college or university. Whether you're looking for freshenrollment growth techniques and strategies or tools and resources, you've come to the rightplace. Let's get into the show. Welcome back to enrollment growth university.I'm Miraicleson, AVP of marketing at Helix...

Education, and we're here today withJillian Coppler, executive director of enrollment marketing at Fresno Pacific University. Jill,thanks so much for joining us today and happy birthday, by the way.Thanks Eric. It's great to talk to you. We are honored you wouldchoose to spend a few minutes of your birthday with us. Jill and Ifirst became friends at an adult education conference nearly seven years ago when I waslooking on twitter for a fellow to come explore Austin with me, and she'sbeen one of my absolute favorite hired friends ever since. We're going to havea great conversation today about how Jill Enter team really leverage faculty across all oftheir enrollment marketing efforts. But before we get into that, Jill, canyou give the listeners a little bit better understanding of both Fresno Pacific and yourrole there? Sure. Yeah, you mentioned I am the executive director ofenrollment marketing and so I have a small team under the enrollments umbrella who basicallyexecute all of the enrollment related marketing, so separate from our advancement efforts andsort of overall brand messaging. But we...

...do a lot more of the targetedcommunication and that is everything from digital advertising to email marketing, content marketing,social media, and we have an internal design and production team that we workvery closely with. Hands so that's that's one of my area. President,Pacific as a whole where a midsize Christian University in this Central Valley of California. We have a prediverse portfolio of student populations. We have a seminary,we have a degree completion evening programs, we have traditional undergraduate and we havea lot of graduate programs, sally an education, which is one of ourflagships. So yeah, well, it midsize and growing. Just today FresnoPacific announced record breaking enrollment. You guys passed four thousand active students for thefirst time in your institutions history. So huge congrats to both you and yourteam. Thank you. It really excited about that, particularly in the adultstudent growth at twenty five percent growth yer of year with degree completions. Sothat was really exciting for us. Awesome...

...and I'm excited to talk about oneof the factors behind that growth today. This really tight bond that you've intentionallybuilt between marketing and faculty. At as we all know, at many institutionsfaculty and marketing aren't exactly bffs. How did you build that bridget fres noPacific, and why do you think it's so important to prioritize healthy relationships betweenfaculty and your enrollment? Marketing Office. Yeah, it's a great question.I know it's something that we talked about before. Really early on in myhigh ED career I really picked up on this tension between enrollment and academics andit was sort of look curious about what that was about. It seems prettyunique and and then he started hearing that it was very common and higher adas a whole. So I was really struck by, you know, thecommonality of this and was really kind of just spent some time chewing on itand thought uncomfortable about it because, you know, we're all a team andwe all are here to serve our students. And so I began doing annual programdirector of meetings just to sort of...

...build a relationship review the status ofthings, and those were always tricky because how do you deal with a dynamicof sort of who is in charge and and how is this going to playout? And over time what I developed was really a working model. It'spretty simple. It's a it's a power point that we review per program andit goes to a number of things. The first is features, benefits,an outcome. So it's just a quick review to to kind of dialog aroundhow we're positioning the program and to think about other ways we might enhance ourmarketing. We look at the marketplace. So what are what are jobs?What are the career outcomes that sudes can expect and what are the average salaries? Even for that, we look at lead to Admins, conversion and trends. So we look at a year year snapshot and then a five year andwe also look at demographics, knowing that we who are we positioning a sortof the ideal student in our testimonials and marketing. We look at a quickcompetitor review, we review the ads that...

...we have running and then I doquick slot at the end just for my own take. It helps me tokind of a tune to what's going on with the program and and again,all of this is really a dialog. So there are times where there's alot of back and plot. Like I think this is a stain, Ithink this is a chance, you know, but what as is it creates aspace where we can really talk holistically about the program and it helps tokeep us out of just kind of dialog about solutions that really looking at,you know, what, what are the potential, you know, challenges andassets that we can leverage and then eventually we'll get to some solutions and sortof takeaways from the program. But that's been really successful. I had aprogram director, actually a number, who responded after those meetings and those arereally just fully taken shape in the last year. But had program both tosay that was the best meaning I ever had, and so that's really gratifyingand it says we're come on the right track with how we're we're engaging inthe relationship. I love that concept of...

...these annual health check meetings. Iknow historically when I was on campus, I would specifically prioritize meetings with myprogram directors when I needed something from them when I was redoing their website.But I didn't always maintain those relationships and I missed out on a lot ofamazing things in value propositions and change in the program that we're happening because Ijust wasn't making it a priority to ad to regularly check in. So Ilove that you just have those calendar off you mentioned something else offline about somethingthat you include in those meetings, those three golden questions you make sure toask each faculty in those meetings. Can you talk about that? Yeah,I think this is these questions kind of a rose from ears working with programdirectors and I really think there are a great way to kick off the relationship. And so the questions are pretty straightforward. I start off by asking what drewthem into their field. You know, what are they passionate about, andthat usually gets into some kind of, you know, emotional hook that wouldresonate with the kind of student that wants to participate in that program.So it's really helpful to know what's that...

...emotional hook that we can kind ofwork off of, because whatever the program director is really passionate about in thefield, usually the people who want to pursue a career or going to besimilar passionate. The second question is simply what makes their program you need,you know, it's it's the question of is there anything that you do inyour program it's different from what others do, and that just gets to the distinctivesthat we might, you know, possess ourselves as a standout from fromother competitors. There so many programs offered across institutions that really are basically thesame, and so, you know, continuing to ask that question of what'sdifferent about you really kind of helps us again just be more distinctive than theinner marketing. And then a third question is just acting them like what's yourfavorite thing that they do in the course work? It could be a class, a teach and assignment, but usually like what do you have the mostfun with or what's most innovative? Asking questions about that usually give you agreat story to tell. So those tends...

...to be the things that you wouldfeature social media or even a video or you know, basically that's sort ofthe gold mind for content marketing. I love it. I love it.And out of these meetings, what kind of content do you leave these meetingsand work with faculty to specifically help create for you? Yes, that's agreat question. You know, it's sometimes it's as simple as like hey,this is a book I recommend for any student coming into this field or thisprogram. And so we can do like a little, you know, blogcoast or a bit about that. We've recently integrated marketing clouds as our emailservice provider and it's giving us a ton of flexibility to segment communication by programand so a lot of what we do is just a quick kind of aQa with our program directors and that allows us to do a little kind ofget to know you for our lead content marketing. It's it personalizes the programand we think that's really helpful. It's...

...also, you know, in additionto the the powerpoint, I have a checklist. It's kind of a Ithink that's the health check really the need of it, and and it asksprogram directors more in depth questions about things that we can use to, youknow, leverage what they're doing. So some of the questions are as simpleas are there titles for this field that are different than the titles the programthat we need to make sure we're embedding and in copy for Seo or inour search strategy. It also can do things like what are you doing inyour thought leadership? Have you published anything? Are you speaking at conferences? Youknow, is there a topic that you're currently researching that you might wantto just do a quick little live facebook session about anything that they're doing intheir thought leadership that we can kind of pull into, you know, theappropriate platform is really helpful. It's also asking questions about like what are theother you know, what are your industry contacts? Who might we we useand leverage your you know professional relationships with...

...and our recruitment teams and you know, bring from about outreach of them, and so it's really pretty broad andit's go but it's a great way for them to think about things beyond kindof have a brochure or when do I get a video feature or you knowsome of those standard things that people go to because they see a lot ofit really really good stuff there. Jill, how do you strike that balance betweengetting faculty help and buying on your marketing efforts like you're doing, withoutgiving up control all together and letting them say, Hey, you don't needto write the website, I already wrote the catalog copy. Just use that. How do you strike that balance between getting their buying without them taking over? Yeah, it's a great question. I think it's one that all ofus in Enrollment Related High Reed Marketing Struggle with and I think you know thatsort of is an inherent in that is a power struggle and I think youkind of have to take you have to focus on the relationships to sort oftake it out of that realm and that's where I think you know, firstof all, the those golden questions are...

...really helpful to start from a placeof relationship, because it's asking questions and not making statements, and already thatpostures you a little differently. I think for me also, what was reallyhelpful was to understand what faculty have at stake. I'm often looking at,you know, Sixty five plus program directors that I'm that I'm trying to engagein relationship with, but for the most part they're engaging just with one relationship. It's there. They're focused on their program and the marketing for that programand so trying to be able to put myself in their stays and understand there'sa lot of fear when a program is, you know, declining in numbers,especially because this is the thing that that faculty has probably invested, youknow, most of their life in in developing either through their own education orthe curriculum development it's teaching. They have a lot bought into this and alot at stake, and so I think keeping that in my own mind helpsme to be as much as I do...

...with them. I think being isas important as doing when we're talking about building relationships to begin with. SoI think by just taking a different posture, I think that's the first step.The second thing is really coming having done our own homework. I thinkthat's the value of these kind of working powerpoint presentations that I do, becauseit gives a lot of data and so it really shows that, like,Hey, we care about your program we're looking at it, promote the lenses. We're really trying to be strategic and thoughtful about solving problems that may bearising, and it also helps us to kind of really talk more realistically aboutthe health of the program having that that kind of health protect is really importantbecause we can continue to promote and promote and promote, but if there's somethingthat's in discord, all we're doing is drawing people's attention to, you know, something that's not great. You know it's where the reputation is not good, the quality has some issues, there's no real career, you know,viability for these programs, and so we...

...want to just open the conversation aboutthose things because they're important. We can't, we can't, neglect, you know, that deeper analysis so of what's going on in a program for thesake of somebody's feelings. Honestly, Jill, such such good stuff. Any finaltips you can leave us with? For folks who are looking to betterleverage faculty in there in Roman communications or a good place to start when tryingto build that bridge that might have been broken from past relationships between faculty andmarketing. Yeah, it's a you know, it's a question. I think I'vebecome really passionate about it because I've spent a lot of time trying towork through it and I feel like we've made a ton of progress and we'rewe still have a long way to go and and honestly, what I wouldsay to to others, peers in higher ed marketing is really trying to stepinto the other person's shoes. You know, it's one of those things as likewe learned everything we needed to know kindergarten him. You know, it'sjust about how how we approach people is really important, and so if wecome at it from a place of power struggle, it's probably all it's evergoing to be. But if we take...

...some time to reposition ourselves, Ithink that invites other people to do similarly. So I would say, you know, focus on asking, you know yourself, like what you hoping toget out of this, not just in terms of a business outcome, buthow can we be more collaborative as a team, because we all have tobe in this together. High read is, you know, we, most ofus, have been facing, you know, declining enrollment. You knowthat's the that's the overall trend, and so if we're going to succeed inthis, we need to swim together. We're going to think and and Ithink. I think really taking that idea of postering and using that into theway in which you you meet and interact with progre doctors will be a reallygood place to start. I think everything will kind of fall into place fromthat. She'll love the same team bro Attitude. Really great advice for allof us. Jail, thanks so much for joining us today. What isthe best place for listeners to connect with you if they have any follow upquestions or just want to wish you a...

...happy birthday? Hey, yeah,well, anybody can reach me my on twitter. My handle is j coppler, CEO PPELA are. You can find me on link to end or youcan even email me at Jillian doc coppler at fres and I eat. Yoube happy to engage with anybody. Awesome. Thanks against so much for joining ustoday. Jill Oh it's good to talk to you eric. Thanks.You've been listening to enrollment growth university from Helix Education. To ensure that younever miss an episode, subscribe to the show and Itunes or your favorite podcastplayer. Thank you so much for listening. Until next time,.

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