36: Current Student Communications at Temple University w/ Samantha Krotzer

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Samantha Krotzer, Content Manager at Temple University discusses how their Nutshell Newsletter serves to fill the gap between enrollment and alumni communications and better engage current students.

Our goal with nutshell and its contentis to maintain students interest in campus life and then we want them to beengaged in the university. You're listening to enrollment growth university from Helix Education,the best professional development podcast for higher education leaders looking to grow enrollment at theircollege or university. Whether you're looking for fresh enrollment growth techniques and strategies ortools and resources, you've come to the right place. Let's get into theshow. Welcome back to enrollment growth university, a proud member of the connect eTou podcast network. I Americ Olson, AVP of marketing at Helix Education,and we're here today with Samantha Crotzer, content manager at Temple University. Samantha, welcome to the show. Thanks so much. Super excited to talkwith you today about how to better communicate and engage with current students. Butbefore we dig too deep into that, Samantha, can you get the listenersa little bit better understanding of both Temple...

University and your role there? Ofcourse. So Temple University is a large urban university. We are in NorthPhiladelphia, just a few minutes a subway stop away from center city, andwhen I say large, we have about fortyzero students, which is a prettybig population, and our students are diverse. We have a vibrant campus, soit really is an exciting place to be in higher education as an employee, and I also studied at temples, so I kind of had of astrong affinity anyways for the school. So to explain a little bit more aboutwhat I do at Temple, I work at the University Central Marketing and CommunicationsDepartment and what we do is we manage internal communications with the university community aswell as external things such as, you know, marketing, collateral for perspectivestudents, add copy, executive communications, all of that. So in away we kind of think of ourselves as almost a creative agency that supports theuniversity. Awesome, awesome, Samantha.

You noticed a gap in communications betweenwhere your enrollment team left off then alumni services picked up your current student communications. Talk about one solution. Your team came up with with the nutshell newsletter. Sure, so, in two thousand and fifteen is when the nutshell newslettercame to be. So just to baxt up a little bit to understand howwe got to that decision prior to two thousand and fifteen we had a newsletterthat was sent to all Temple Faculty, staff and students, including undergraduate studentsand graduate so you can see how, if you're thinking about your audience,faculty, Staff and students, they don't want to hear the same things.But we want everyone to be engaged with the university. So thinking of howto achieve that in two thousand and five team we made a separate newsletter,which is nutshow, to speak directly to students. So the newsletter is gearedmore towards undergraduate students, but the information...

...is still applicable for Grad students.Well, it's so so geared toward undergrads. What types of content are you creatingfor the newsletter and what are your primary goals behind it? Yeah,sure, so I'll start with the goal, since you know, we in marketing, you always think about the goals first. So our goal with nutshelland its content is to maintain students interest in campus life and then we wantthem to be engaged in the university all throughout their academic year, not justfrom their first year. We want them to be connected throughout their four yearsthat they're here, because if you have engaged students then you're more likely tohave engaged alumni. So we can't think or forget about that critical step ofof the current student experience. Awesome. Yeah, and I can speak moreabout the content that we're creating to kind of support those goals. So whatI do with my team is we kind of map out the year and youknow in higher education there are certain things that we know we're happening, forexample homecoming or when students can register for...

...classes, and we try to thinkof more creative ways to support those messages. For example, last semester, whenit was nearing time for students to reading for classes, we pulled togethera list of the coolest classes that are going on at Temple and it wasone of the most engaged with stories all year because it gave students the informationthat they need at the time that they needed it. So we're always tryingto think ahead and plan how we can support these messages in a way thatis easier for a student to digest and interesting. They want to click onit, love it. Let's dig into results. How are you and whereare you promoting the newsletter today and what sort of engagement are you seeing withits content? Yeah, sure, so since two thousand and fifteen two nowwe've had a pretty steady average open rate of forty percent. Were super happyabout that because that is well above industry...

...standard right and the click through rate, we're seeing kind of a steady increase there. I would say this yearit's averaging around maybe five to six percent, but in the first year of nutshelltwo thousand and fifteen, it was more around three to four percent.So just just to give a little bit more information there, the goal ofnut show isn't necessarily the CLICKTHROUGH rate because we're trying to give all the informationthat they need in that email. If they want to click out to getmore that's fantastic, but ideally it's kind of you get the information you needwithin the email. So click through rate, it's great that it's improving. Itshows us that the content is meeting our audiences needs, but that openrate is a really proud point. What I considered to be a huge winis that not only our campus admins coming up to you and your team andasking for their content to be included in nutshell, but you have students doingthat as well, because they really believe the newsletter is one of the bestways to reach their peers. How do you control content governance, what youchoose to include and not, and how...

...do you communicate those decisions back?So when we're thinking about what content we can include and can't include, itall rolls back to those goals. So we need to make sure that theinformation we're putting in nutshell will enhance the student experience. Though, have informationthat they need to be successful at temple to do things that they might otherwisenot know about. So as long as content that is either a pitch tous or we're thinking about internally, as long as it's meeting the goal ofnews you can use for students, then we're usually okay promoting it. Andsomething that we're thinking about, of course, is our audience. So, forexample, if a student wants to promote something that could only really applyto an extremely small population of student, then it might not work in nutshelland we just communicate. We communicate just that. You know we're we tryto be as transpire of as possible about what we can and can include,and everyone has been respectful of that.

I think it's clear nutshells purpose andpeople understand what would work and what wouldn't work. And I think we've donea good job communicating that. And a solution can be if there isn't roomand nutshell or that isn't the most appropriate channel, sometime we can shift thatover to our social media team and say hey, you know, this eventdoesn't necessarily work for this channel, but we're happy to support you in thisway and that that's usually satisfies our campus partners and students as well. Lovethat approach, is Samantha. Any final next steps? Advice for institutions whoare looking to up level their currents communicate student communication strategy? Yeah, well, I would hope everyone wants to up their level. I have so muchfun with it and I encourage you to get your hands on nutshell and readit because we have a peer to peer voice and I think it's a funread. So if you want to up your communication or just start something thatdoesn't even exist yet, I would always encourage everyone to start with research.You know, that doesn't mean that you...

...have to go hire a consultant agency, just but dig around to see what other schools are doing. Like nutshell, I think a lot of schools are adopting a news letter specifically for studentssee what voice they use, check out the content that they create. Tryto connect with those people. You know, I think higher at is a greatcommunicate or community to share information. So just try to have a conversationand see what other people are doing and, of course, if you're talking tostudents, your most valuable resource will be your students. Try to doa small focus group, talk to student workers, if your university uses them, just to see how do they want to be communicated with? What contentdo they feel like they're not getting? What content do they like? AndI think that's the most critical starting point, is just talking to people and gatheringinformation. Some Athas suge good stuff. What's the best place for listeners toconnect with you if they have any followup questions? Yeah, I canshare my email, so it would be sak at temple dot Edu. Awesome. Thanks against so much for doing us...

...today, Samantha. Yeah, thankyou so much. Attracting today's new post traditional learners means adopting new enrollment strategies. Helix educations data driven, enterprise wide approach to enrollment growth is uniquely helpingcolleges and universities thrive in this new education landscape, and Helix has just publishedthe second edition of their enrollment growth playbook with fifty percent brand new content onhow institutions can solve today's most pressing enrollment growth challenges. Downloaded today for freeat Helix educationcoms playbook. You've been listening to enrollment growth university from Helix Education. To ensure that you never miss an episode, subscribe to the show onItunes or your favorite podcast player. Thank you so much for listening. Untilnext time,.

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