Today’s students are quickly becoming hyper-connected, media inundated, network informed, cynics. As a result, they just don’t trust our standard press releases, brochures, catalogues, commercials, or standard website rhetoric. The folks at ClueTrain have been saying this for some time. Just look at MySpace, FaceBook, Massive Multi-Player Online Games, Wikipedia, or www.ratemyprofessor.com to see the how students are leveraging vast global social networks to share, compare, and search for the real story.
Reaching these students in this postmodern world with outreach and recruiting messages is more difficult than ever. That’s why it’s not surprising to see colleges turn to more creative viral marketing strategies. Just check out SchoolDaze from Kettering University. This first foray into an alternative outreach strategy has been forwarded around student communities like wildfire. It’s been so popular, Kettering created episode II to respond to “fan mail” flooding in. It’s not quite the standard campus tour, is it?
This just gets you thinking: how are we connecting with connected students? More importantly, is what we’re doing working? How do we know? What do they know about us that we don’t? You’d be surprised.