Monday, February 25, 2008

The "Flutie Effect" on Admissions

What effect does the success of a school's athletic program have on Admissions?

Great article in the South Bend Tribune this morning. Of course this article focuses on the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame, but it does touch on some other notable stories like George Mason's Final Four Run in 2006.

Is there an immediate impact on applications or enrollment?

It definitely can't be a negative thing.

Let's ask Brad at Butler (currently #8 in NCAA Division One Polls).

Are there any other success stories out there? I would for you all to share them.

On a sidenote related to this somewhat. Way back when (Late Summer 2007) Facebook polls were cheaper and allowed you to get a bigger sample.

Not saying that this (200) is a huge sample, but just a quick snapshot of what I found in High School Students.

36% of respondents said the athletic program
26% of respondents said Website Research
17% of respondents said Parents
10% of respondents said Guidance Counselors
10% of respondents said Brochures

When asked: What below best describes the way you became interested in colleges to apply to?

Friday, February 22, 2008

Industry Awards: What's Your Take

With the announcement of The 1st Annual eduStyle Higher-Ed Web Awards earlier in the week and a call yesterday from a client about a recent award, It got me thinking.....

What do these Industry Awards Mean and How are They Chosen?

I remember a post from DW a while back that caught my attention about these awards.

DW asked the question: Which audience would you rather win with?

I went over to HMR Publications Group to see if the 2008 Admissions Marketing Report awards were out.

They were even though they say the results will be announced on February 25th on their website.

Anyway, check them out if you like.

I took a look at the award recipients and immediately thought, hmmmm, these sure look like the same old folks, same old agencies that win year after year. Now I haven't seen many of these award winning pieces, and I am sure they are wonderful, BUT I still wonder who judges these competitions and why do these the same old agencies win almost every category? (I'm starting to sound like Obama's Stump Speech)

Anyway, as if I don't have anything better to do, I dug pretty deep into these awards to see if I found some trends and what kinds of numbers I could pull out them.

-Of the 1027 awards handed out 44.6% went to pieces handled by Agencies
-Of the 16 Best of Show winners only THREE were in-house productions

There were several categories for awards. I picked out nine that I think are pretty large in scale compared to others, here's what I found..

-Total Advertising Campaign - 64.71% Agency Win
-Total Recruitment Package - 64.00% Agency Win
-Video / CD ROM Viewbook (they still make those?) - 63.04% Agency Win
-Magazine Advertising - 62.50% Agency Win
-Viewbook - 54.24% Agency Win
-Websites - 48.89% Agency Win
-Brochure (pretty vague category) - 47.62% Agency Win
-Search Pieces - 42.11% Agency Win
-Annual Report - 35.56% Agency Win

There we NO In House golds for Total Recruitment Packae, I find that really hard to believe. I have seen some WONDERFUL work produced in-house.

Now, I am definitely not going to win any points with the Agencies out there, Oh Well..

Would love to hear some thoughts on this one.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

How To Capture Life after FIVE O'CLOCK

Brad Ward of SquaredPeg and BlogHighEd fame wrote a pretty good postyesterday about the new photo service Pixish.

It was the comment trail on this post between Brad and Tony Dunn of Tales of Redesign Land that inspired me to write this post.  Brad and Tony (a fellow photographer) were discussing the effects of services like Pixish and Flickr most notably what they do to the professional photography market. 

Tony said "this is another example of crowdsourcing, which is wonderful and cool and great for people looking for photos, but it seriously devalues the work of professionals who are trying to make a living" 

Brad comes back with a great line that is so true "I merely want to use these images for areas like our forums and blogs, not for our main pages or for publications. For one, we pay someone to take those photos. However, he isn’t here past 5, and it’s hard to capture true student life between 8-5. We really like what Colby College is doing; and are using this to test the waters of having students take photos for our sites."

This is where they caught my attention.

It is so true, and I see it all the time. Most true campus life happens after FIVE.

What is the typical evening for most college students?

My experience is they all go to eat dinner and then from there it's a mystery. We commonly are on campus well past five to shoot "real" life events. (dorms, gym, intramurals, club meetings, varsity games, etc...)

I'm with Brad on this, there are some unbelievably talented student photographers out there that we should be utilizing. The problem is making compelling images that stand out, not just "grip and grin"..

How do we capture these moments in a real way to convey to prospective students that College doesn't end at Five O'Clock?

To see our entire online portfolio of admissions marketing photography goto: FJ GAYLOR Photography

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Would You Use PhotoShop?

Just a quick post and a quick question on authenticity. We were shooting yesterday at Monmouth University in New Jersey. Yesterday was Ash Wednesday and there were lots of students with ashes on their foreheads. I strayed away from most of the opportunities for these shots.

Here's the question: Would you or Would You Not use Photoshop to take the ashes off for use on the web or publications??

Just curious

To see our entire online portfolio of admissions marketing photography goto: FJ GAYLOR Photography

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

BlogHighEd is now LIVE....

Well it's finally here, BlogHighEd ,a place where Higher Ed Professionals can get all the best feeds of Higher Ed blogs from all areas: webmasters, marketers, counselors, vendors, consulants, and more.

It is an UNBELIEVABLE resource for those in the higher education arena....

Another function of the site is to create a community where people are active, post comments on other sites and raise everyone's knowledge.

By creating this community, I also think this is a great resource to keep MORALE high in the arena. There is some UNBELIEVABLE talent at colleges and universities throughout the nation that quite honestly go unnoticed, and run into HUGE hurdles everyday when trying to introduce something new.

I can't wait to see this evolve.. It's going to be great.

By the way BlogHighEd is the Brainchild of Matt Herzberger from Texas A&M and Brad Ward of Butler University.

Great Job Guys


Matt Herzberger asked his readers last week the question, Should I Change?

Judging by the feedback Matt received, it's definitely alright to make a personal post once in a while.

Over the weekend I happened to mention to my youngest son that Barack Obama was holding a rally in Hartford on Monday. Sure I'd thought it'd be cool and a great experience for him, but quite honestly I figured he'd forget about it and go off to school on Monday like any other day. Was I WRONG? He woke me up at 5:30 and asked if I was going to pick him up from school early so we could go see Obama speak? I told him "I'd think about it", Well that didn't take long at all... on the way to the office I called his school and my oldest's school to let them know I'd be picking each up early, I didn't tell them why.. (My mother being a teacher, probably wouldn't approve)

So off we went to wait in line at the XL Center (formerly the Hartford Civic Center)

I thought I was waiting in line for American Idol Auditions, it was crazy. We finally got in, front row seats about eight feet from the podium, perfect seats for the kids. I obviously took my camera hoping for some nice shots of the kids, possibly with Obama after the rally.

The fun didn't last long, for me anyways, as I got the "TAP" on the shoulder from a guy in a dark suit and ear piece. He asked me if I was with the Press, I told him "No, I am just here with my two sons", he didn't believe me for some reason and told me to "come on over here, while we figure out who you are." Long story short he grabbed another guy and they determined that my camera was TOO BIG and I had to leave the floor and sit in the stands. Talk about a buzzkill.

So I let the kids know and I proceeded to grab a seat about 40 rows back.

I didn't get the images I wanted, but let me tell you, the kids had a WONDERFUL time and it was an EXPERIENCE for them that should cherish for a lifetime.

They got to shake Barack's hand and both score autographs on a "Change We Can Believe In Signs.

By the way, the place was at capacity of 17,000

Monday, February 04, 2008

10 Reasons

Why my University Job is Better Than Your Corporate Job: By the College Web Guy

Great post by The College Web Guy this morning.

He gives his 10 reasons why his Highed Ed Job is BETTER than your Corporate Job:

What a way to open a Monday morning, a few good chuckles, I particularly got a kick out of #10: The Campus Community where he goes on to say:

You'll find very interesting people on college campuses. A lot of these people couldn't find employment in the real world if they tried. I could go on to describe the kinds of personalities attracted to careers in academia, but I won't. Just know that it's very interesting to work among them.

Great stuff College Web Guy,

To see our entire online portfolio of admissions marketing photography goto: FJ GAYLOR Photography

Book Review: "Creating a Class"

Just finished reading a great book by NYU sociologist, Mitchell L. Stevens called "Creating a Class, College Admissions and the Education of Elites".

In Creating A Class, Stevens did research while working for a year and a half inside the admissions office of a "Bucolic New England School". The names are changed to protect the innocent. I would really like to know which school Stevens did his research at.

Anyway Stevens talks about the ins and outs of the admissions process at "selective" colleges in regards to numbers, travel, sports, race, decisions, yield and the Aristocracy of Merit.

It's a very enjoyable read and recommend to all involved in admissions and marketing.

If anyone wants a copy, I will gladly let anyone borrow it.

To see our entire online portfolio of admissions marketing photography goto: FJ GAYLOR Photography

Friday, February 01, 2008

If You've Got a Few Hours to Burn....

Head on over to Kyle James' .eduGuru for some robust information in his links of the week post where you will find all kinds of great tech news and other higher ed tidbits.

If you're into Politics, Kyle wrote a wonderful post about the Presidential Race and web 2.0..