11: “Pie Your Professor” Highlights Concordia University, Nebraska’s Day of Giving w/ Seth Meranda

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Seth Meranda, Director of Marketing at Concordia University, Nebraska, discusses how a Facebook Live stream had their community glued to their screens and reaching for their checkbooks during a “Pie Your Professor” fundraising campaign during their Day of Giving.

Find a breakdown of this episode here.

Attracting today's new post traditional learners means adopting new enrollment strategies. Helix educations data driven, enterprise wide approach to enrollment growth is uniquely helping colleges and universities thrive in this new education landscape, and Helix has just published the second edition of their enrollment growth playbook with fifty percent brand 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 enrollment growth university from Helix Education, the best professional development podcast for higher education leaders looking to grow enrollment at their college or university. Whether you're looking for fresh enrollment growth techniques and strategies or tools and resources, you've come to the right place. Let's get into the show. Welcome back to enrollment growth university. I'm Ericleson, AVP of marketing and Helix...

Education, and we're here today with Seth Miranda, director of marketing and communication and can Cordia University Nebraska. Set thanks for joining us today. Thanks there. How are you? I'm doing awesome. We're going to have a great conversation today about how you and your team made me absolutely glued to my screen watching a facebook live video for thirty nine minutes straight on your most recent day of giving. But before we get into that seth can you give the listeners a little bit better understanding of both Concortia University Nebraska and your rule? They're sure so. Con Courtier to a small fifth based us in Nebraska from about one thus five hundred undergraduate students and little over a thousand students, both online and our campus and Lincoln. We've the lived in Church B are sended private institution and as Director of marketing, I oversee all brand and creative strategy as well as basically, I tell everybody, anything that goes out of the university, where it's on the athletic side or on the enrollment academic side, comes through our office in some fashion, whether it's digital, print, web,...

...you name it. Awesome. So give us a little bit of background. On Day of giving a concordia and everyone you needed to get buy in from on campus to make something like this happened. Sure so they've given for us. Was An advancement effort in a fun efforts that kind of started in a conversation amongst our office in the advancement office at our university. Marketing is underneath the enrollment team, but we still work with so many different departments across campus and that was kind of the one the key aspects of this day was was leveraging faculty, leveraging coaches, leveraging staff and everybody else to kind of help put together one long day. Started as simple as secretaries all the way up to the president. So we, along with the advancement office, have great relationships with everybody truss campus and that was kind of a big part of it. We wanted to make sure that Concordia, which is a place really known for this community with the known for its relationships, whether it's between faculty and students or Malums and students, etc. We just want to make sure that community kind of came together for this one big day and we were very successful...

...with them. It's awesome. As awesome, you and your team created a whole lot of different giving options and challenges to make it easier for students, parents alumni to participate in support in various ways. Talk about the strategy behind that? Well, we knew that for our day of given to be very successful, it had to. It had to reach a lot of different audiences, no matter where they might be, whether they're just donors and friends in the university, whether their lums that have been alumni for fifty, sixty years or two or three years. And one of the things that we kind of wanted to do, and this is our first time, a day of giving. So we tried to figure out what are some different little areas that people can engage with, not just one big day, throw a bunch of money into it and give you times and talents and treasures as much you can, but instead try to find a niche that maybe you have a passion with it, you may have some so support with. So we created different challenges throughout the day. We were able to connect with some of our lums that fit into set specific segments and allow them to help be part of matches or even...

...rally kind of their class maybe into challenges and things like that. So it's important for us to try to figure out, you know, various opportunities that may resonate well with potential donors and current donors. Awesome. Let's talk about one of those specific challenges. Let's talk about this ingenious pie. Your professor campaign and why my eyeballs were glued my screen for more than half hour straight. So you utilized facebook live to live stream this video, showing a close up of someone holding a Pie with the professor's name and photo and waiting for the gift challenge to be funded, before then finding the professor on canvas and puying them live. The theater and the drama were absolutely incredible. Talk to me more about the strategy behind it. Well, for a lunch time, knew that we wanted to engage our social media aspect with this day of giving and for us that was going to be something that was very in engaging, something that was connected and something that had some duration and stay in power to it. So facebook live kind of became one of those top solutions for us.

We knew that it was something that we could we could spread out throughout a longer amount of time, we could bring in some dramas and challenges, etc. To it, but we can also go back and tie Pacific Initiative. So I talked about our challenges earlier and we kind of spread those out during the day. We slotted this one into an afternoon time where we knew we had a professors and class, we'd have coaches either getting ready for practice or at practice. We'd have president of the university in his office and different people around canvas at different times and we started to kind of put it together. Our our goal of getting as many donations we could during that time and we tied a very closely campus so as our people were traveling with their pies across the campus, they knew exactly how much funs were coming in through the donations and that kind of triggered off each of the each of the segments that we went to along the ladder. We also chose people that we knew our alums would be very familiar with, professors that were really high ranking professors in...

...terms of everyone known for they were, they had class with them when they were students even ten, fifteen, twenty years ago, all the way up to the president of the university, who was prior most public face in the person on the campus. So we kind of put together this perfect team, if you will, of people that everybody would like to see by going to their face. Of It was awesome. There was many of us at Helix. They were just transfixed watching the whole thing go down. So huge, huge success and congratulations to you and your team. Any lessons that you learned from this experience? Anything that you do differently next year from a theater standpoints or if you'd raise the stakes next year? I think I think it was a hundred dollars per per getting pied. I it seemed a fun so easily. I was curious if that if you anticipate raising the stakes next year, if there's anything differently that you do. Yeah, I think there's an opportunity for raising the stakes. Absolutely. We went into this initiative not exactly knowing where was going to land. We were open to get through a couple of...

...the professors and thought that be great. The fact that we made it an entire list just went on to show that, you know, we had some we had a lot of great supporters out there were great alum we have great donors potentially to raise of the SAX. One of the issues that we kind of came agress is, even even as quick as those marks were talied off, it was hard for us to get through all of the cross all of campus and through all the professors and presidents and coaches in that time window. So I think we will try to look at either extend in that time window out or raising the stakes into and field. US professors or something like that. Love it. Did seeing the success of this video make you and your team any more excited about the power of facebook live in general from an engagement standpoint, from our reach standpoint, and did it give you any more plans to experiment more with live video moving forward? Yeah, absolutely, it was. Up to just a few weeks ago, it was the most watch video we've had on facebook and we have a lot of videos out there, a lot of great videos out there. The fact that it was live and we...

...established such a huge breach in the following during that time frame was even as higher than we ever expected as well. So that US into many different conversations of different events that were putting on live, different activities that are happy on campus that are going live. We have a lot of traditions that part of this university that our alums and know throughout the years and those are things that we can be live streamed as well and resonate well with with our alumni group as well. So yes, we've we continue to Dabbl on that, whether it's a sporting event or campus tradition event or something like that and that has been a kind of a springboard for us in terms of a lot of different content pieces. Awesome, I bet it. Going into the day of giving, what were your goals, either financially or from a participation standpoint, and where you end up landing? So I talked to earlier about the challenges that we kind of structured out and our goal was just to kind of make some...

...sort of impression with those challenges. So one challenge was a young a Womani one challenge was the pie in the face and we're just hoping to not have any of those false fat up flat on the face. Honestly, we did not set out any monetary goals, we did not set out any specific engagement goals. This is our very first time of doing something like this and we didn't know what to expect. We just wanted to try it, get our hands hands dirty with it, figure out what we're doing so that we can learn from it, and I think be far exceeded any any expectations we had for us. As a hundred twenty six thousand dollar day of giving, which for US stution is very large, that was much bigger than any of us would have ever even tried to guess if we had our wild optimistic cathough. So we were thrilled with that awesome. That's awesome. Any final takeaways for departments looking to launch successful days of giving it their college or university? You know, for us it was trying to stand as close to our brand as possible. As I mentioned earlier, we're strong Christ centered community that has engaging...

...faculty and our students get to the faculty on a one to one basis and that was something we want to continue to make sure we put out there. We didn't try to create some sort of false situation or anything that wouldn't be kind of a situation that would happen on our campus. We don't always go around puying people in the face, but it's very natural for our students to engage with our president on a daily basis, engage with the faculties on daily basis. So it was just it was an extension of our brand and I think that's what really helped us resonate well with our alumni donor groups. It's a great point and in something I should have brought up. I felt much more affinity to both your presidents in your faculty after seeing just what good sports they were. So that's awesome in terms of how these kind of initiatives can lead to greater authenticity from a brand standpoint in general. said, thanks so much for joining us today. What's the best place for listeners to connect with you they have any follow up questions? For my pleasure, Eric, you can follow me on twitter. That's Miranda. That's by far the best way to get hold of me. Anything out there is it's great, awesome.

Thanks again so much for joining us today. Seth, thanks, I appreciate it. You've been listening to enrollment growth university from Helix Education. To ensure that you never miss an episode, subscribe to the show and Itunes or your favorite podcast player. Thank you so much for listening. Until next time.

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