#EMchat Marketing Panel – 10/9/2014

We’re excited to be trying something new this week on #EMchat! Join us this Thursday at 9PM ET for a panel on institutional branding and marketing. We’ve pulled together a great group of professionals from across the industry to discuss best practices and trends…and it’s live!

This week’s panelists include:

Michael Wolaver, Owner of Magellan Promotions: The Collegiate arm of Magellan Promotions specializes in helping institutions find the right products to “raise awareness, increase engagement, reward and recognize achievement, and above all create excitement” for their brands. Michael is an #EMchat regular and if you’ve ever picked up an #EMchat button at a conference, he’s the man to thank. He’ll be kicking the chat off with a brief presentation highlighting the best approaches to building a brand strategy for your department.

Jeff Kallay, CEO and Cofounder of Render Experiences: We recently held a great chat with Brittney from the Render Experiences team and are excited to have Jeff join us for this panel. Jeff has become “the nationally respected authority on the emerging “experience economy” and the all-important campus visit experience.” Render Experiences works with institutions to craft campus visits that give an edge, helping them to truly stand out from the competition.

Jake Youmell, Digital Services Program Manager at Carnegie Communications: Jake is another #EMchat regular, as are the rest of the team members at Carnegie. Jake is most interested in the intersection of technology and education and brings experience from across both of those sectors with previous positions at Boston University, Walnut Hill School for the Arts, and Google. At Carnegie, he works directly with client institutions to ensure long-term success with digital solutions.

Adam Castro, VP of Enrollment Management at Bloomfield College: If you don’t know Adam, this must be your first #EMchat. According to his Twitter bio, he’s “a true believer in the sweet science of EM,” and it shows through in his understanding of where the EM industry is heading and appreciation of data in the field. Also, he’s a Dogfish fanatic and that makes him pretty awesome in my book.

Eric Nichols, Dean of Admissions at St. Anselm College: Eric is another #EMchat regular and is this week’s moderator (on the Twitter side!). He’s on the road this week meeting directly with prospective students and we’re thrilled that he’s still managed to make time to help pull this panel together!

The video panel will be moderated by Alex and Eric will handle the Twitter side of things. While we’ll have a set of questions directed to our panelists and are looking forward to their expertise, Eric will be pushing out related questions to our participants during the chat. There is A LOT going on and we’re positive that it’s going to be great!


Here are the directions for accessing the panel (make sure you mute your mic!):

Join the meeting: https://join.me/magellanpromotions

On a computer, use any browser with Flash.  Nothing to download.

On a phone or tablet, launch the join.me app and enter meeting code: magellanpromotions

Join the audio conference:

Dial a phone number and enter access code, or connect via internet.

By phone:

United States – Hartford, CT   +1.860.970.0010

United States – Los Angeles, CA   +

United States – New York, NY   +1.646.307.1990

United States – Thousand Oaks, CA   +1.805.309.5900

Access Code   904-729-856#

Other international numbers available

By computer via internet:

Join the meeting, click the phone icon and select ‘Call via internet’. A small download might be required.

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10 Exhibitors to Visit at #NACAC14!

NC2014WebHeaderThere are a TON of fantastic exhibitors at this year’s #NACAC14. 202 to be exact…as of last count! There are also some great sessions planned, phenomenal speakers, meet ups, and the potential for the #NACAC14 selfie-of-all-selfies (so make sure you say hi to Meghan Dalesandro at the welcome reception!). It’s going to be an incredible event, and if you’re going, I’m wildly jealous.

In the last three years (crazy to type that) of #EMchat, we’ve had the opportunity to meet some of the most incredible higher education companies and organizations out there–but more importantly, we’ve had the chance to meet the people who make them what they are. “Meet” is totally subjective, right? Sure, some of us have met in person while we’ve only spoken to others online or on the phone as we plan that week’s chat. But there’s a common thread with all of us; we’re interested in the advancement of higher education and access for all students. We not only know the importance of education, but we place an intense value on it.

This list certainly isn’t the end-all be-all of companies and organizations doing great things in higher ed who also happen to be at NACAC, but these are definitely some of our favorites to chat with and learn from. So here’s our list followed by a brief recap of each company that we believe you should definitely make time for during your trip.

In no particular order:

1. Carnegie Communications (Booth 509): The Carnegie team is incredible. They’ve been our guest for numerous #EMchat discussions and drop serious knowledge in the world of digital marketing, lead generation, and making the right connections with the right students at all the right times.  Carnegie’s blog is a personal favorite of mine and their entire team has gone above and beyond when it comes to contributing to our #EMchat community. Loving #NACAC14? Check out the #CarnegieConf in January. They’re also passing out #EMchat badge ribbons (and we know how much you all love badge swag).

2. Magellan Promotions, LLC (Booth 430): Michael Wolaver and his team of collegiate promotional experts know their stuff when it comes to choosing the right products to get your institution out there in front of students and families, but more importantly to make a lasting impact so they remember you. Need a creative idea or product to make your school stand out? They’ve got you covered…and they can tell you the trends for next year as well. One product trending in their booth this year is the #EMchat button — be sure to grab one!

3. Rapid Insight (Booth 341): Enrollment management is built on relationships, yes. It’s a fact that it’s also built on data. These are the gurus. When most of the world thinks about enrollment management (probably admissions in their minds) they’re thinking that it’s competitive for students. We know how competitive it can be for EM teams — Rapid Insight’s tools for predictive analytics are on point. So is their team–wicked smart (appropriate when talking about a company based in New Hampshire).

4. RuffaloCODY (Booth 611): A higher ed behemeth (in a really positive sense). Like these other companies, you know who they are, so why bother stopping by? Because. They’re RuffaloCODY and they have an absolutely incredible team. You’re familiar with some of their recent acquisitions, right? Scannell & Kurz AND Noel-Levitz? Over the last three years, those two companies have been #EMchat staples, sharing serious white papers, posts, and really friendly conversations. Of course you should say hi!

5. Technolutions Slate (Booth 835): “Admissions Evolved.” That sums them up, for sure. Need an admissions solution? They’ve got it in their suite…and if they don’t, word on the street is they can make it happen really fast. I’m also going to personally attest that they’re a great company because well, Tim Dunning works there. Even if you’ve got every solution your institution could possibly need, stop by and say hi to Tim–he’s been a part of #EMchat since the beginning and will also likely have an excellent beer recommendation for you!

6. AACRAO (Booth 805): Networking, networking, networking. And consulting. And resources. And just knowledge. Lots and lots of knowledge. Chances are you know multiple members who can attest to the greatness that is AACRAO. I don’t know what’s going on in their booth, but I can promise that they’ll have some great folks ready to share their passion for the industry with you for as long as you’re ready to listen.

7. Render Experiences (Booth 1323): Formerly TargetX Campus Visit Consulting, this team was one of our most recent #EMchat guests. In the part of the industry that holds one of the most pivotal (my opinion) moments for prospective students, campus visits, you’d expect the consultants to beyond with-it when it comes to building relationships. And that is exactly what you get. This team is super knowledgable and knows what it takes to leave a lasting impression on anyone who visits your campus.

8. Chegg Enrollment Solutions (Booth 700 & 705): All that orange should absolutely grab your attention–and for good reason. When students see Chegg they undoubtedly think cheaper textbooks and more scholarships. Now they can add tons of other great tools. But you’re not a student. That’s okay. They’ve got a suite of enrollment solutions spanning search, marketing, and recruitment. Stop by and say hi to Gil Rogers. He’s blowing up Instagram–you should recognize him by now.

9. Hobsons (Booth 909): The Hobsons team (although having changed over the years) has been a part of #EMchat since we started in 2011. Their [corporate] head is in the right spot–focusing on complete student lifecycle management. NACAC may just be for EM pros, but I bet you could take some pretty interesting information back to your campus on how to tie student relationships together from the first point of contact to well past graduation. Just like all of our top 10, Hobsons has a super friendly staff who definitely know what they’re talking about.

10. NACAC (Booth 600): Because. Well. NACAC.

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#EMchat & #SCcrowd Take on #ReachHigher!

We’re excited to continue to bridge the divide during this week’s #EMchat—and what better week to do it than during #NACAC14! We’re teaming up with the #SCcrowd (School Counselor Crowdsourcing) group for a dual Q&A chat. School counselors from all over have been prepping questions to ask EM pros about the admissions process, financial aid, and higher ed in general. AND, this is the perfect opportunity for EM’ers to do the same (just in the opposite direction).

We’ll be prepping a few questions for the chat, but from the looks of things it doesn’t look like there will be much work needed on the MOD end this week (thanks, school counselors!).

This chat  is also timely as First Lady Michelle Obama’s Reach Higher (check out #ReachHigher) initiative continues to gain momentum, inspiring students (and families) across America to take charge of their future by pursuing post-secondary education. The initiative promotes the President’s North Star goal that challenges America to have the highest proportion of college graduates in the world by 2020.

As education professionals, we know that this goal can’t be accomplished without strong collaboration across the eduspectrum. Join school counselors from all of #K12 and other higher ed professionals as we help one another in creating better processes, promoting ideas, and improving our education system.

We’ll be using the #EMchat hashtag during our chat on Thursday at 9PM ET, but make sure you use both #EMchat and #SCcrowd during the week as we continue to source questions for the chat!

My co-mod for the night will be Ross Wolfson (who you should be following!), founder of #SCcrowd. Read all about him here!

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#EMchat Hosts Render Experiences!

render logoWe’re excited to have the Render Experiences team joining us for this week’s #EMchat. Not familiar? You should be!

As summer comes to a close and we head into travel season, your institution should be thinking about more than how they’re represented on the road. Fall is a perfect time to reassess and redesign your physical campus experience for those students who have taken the next step in checking you out. Why offer them anything but your best? Here’s how Render helps:

render experiences

Render’s mission is to optimize the campus visit experience as an avenue to meet enrollment goals and recruit best-fit students, and they’re joining us this week to talk about their vision and work with over 600 campuses.

Join us this Thursday at 9PM ET as we chat with Render Consultant, Brittney Joyce – Bring your questions, bring your experiences, and bring a beverage (I’ll be enjoying a perfect blend of Dogfish’s Punkin and 90IPA)!

In the meantime, if you’re heading to this year’s NACAC 2014 Conference, be sure to schedule your 10-Minute Render Rap Session!

Cheers! Alex

#EMchat Meet #CareerServChat – August 21st!

We’re excited to partner up with the #CareerServChat team for our chat on August 21st to discuss how student outcomes are affecting recruitment strategies and how these two divisions can work together toward common goals.

Elizabeth Dexter-Wilson kicked this topic off on #CareerServChat’s August 14th chat and we’re looking forward to continuing the conversation!

Pulled directly from their site, #CareerServChat is a Twitter chat dedicated to engaging college students and graduates in the career development process and answering career and job related questions. The professionals facilitating #CareerServChat support the use of career services offices and resources at colleges and universities.

Here’s the transcript of the chat:

Here are the questions for tonight’s chat:

Q1: How have you seen student outcomes affect your recruitment efforts?
Q2: What’s the collaboration level between EM/Career Services on your campus? How has this evolved?
Q3: Does career services participate in EM events (open houses, admitted student day, etc.) on your campus?
Q4: What information or support do you look for from your career services? What about from EM?
Q5: Should any particular office be “in charge” of discussing with students the value/ROI of careers from your institution?
Q6: Have you had any negative experiences stemming from the need to promote outcomes? Either from faculty or students?

And as always, feel free to bring your own questions to the party…and a drink. That’s always a necessity.

Still not sold on the role of student outcomes in the world of recruitment? Check out this post on 2014 Trends from our friends over at The Lawlor Group — read them all, but definitely Trend 3!

See you on Thursday!

Gardens, Growth, and Summer Melt

In addition to the projects like #EMchat, leadpath, and you know, being a new dad, I’ve taken on a new project this summer: turning my patio into a patio farm. I’m about as extroverted as a person can be, but even I need to kick back and take some personal time for 30 minutes each day. My favorite time to do this is at dusk with a good summer brew.

I started my vegetable garden because I’m a vegetable fanatic. Mostly, I’m a food fanatic. But vegetables take the number two spot on my list (crabs win, hands down). My Poppop was a farmer. He grew wheat, soybeans, and corn. And while that filled up a few hundred acres, some of my earliest memories were walking with him in his garden, picking fresh vegetables and fruits to take back to my Gram who would clean, cut, cook, and serve them.

There’s an obvious sense of pride that comes from watching something grow; something that comes from an idea, has to be cultivated, tended to, and refined. I think about this when I’m out there each night watering and caring for the plants. And while I’m there checking on the number of cucumbers growing (something I’m a little obsessive over) or noticing a new tomato that seemingly grew during the day when I wasn’t home, I’m also drawing parallels to all aspects of my life.


I like to think of my life in a perpetual stage of growth, as I’m sure most people do. I’m constantly looking for ways to improve. There are always things to learn and people to meet. And when it comes to people, I’m a cultivator of relationships.

That’s the business of enrollment management.

When I found myself using my garden as a metaphor for higher education, I thought two things: 1) this is really cliché, and 2) I’m supposed to be unplugged and focusing on training the snap peas. But then I just let the thoughts happen. I’m glad I did.

I don’t want a garden that only has squash. I don’t want one type of tomato. I want vegetables that require space. I also want those that can be grown in close quarters. I want the challenge of using support apparatuses (specifically chose not to use the word cage, here J), or figuring out how the plants can make use of the space already available. I don’t want my garden to self-maintain. I want to prune and pluck and refine. I want the challenge of helping my garden to thrive while allowing it to nourish my hunger, both physical and mental.

All of the parallels are there for building a class of students that will not only show up in August, but succeed on your campuses. Melt is an inevitable fact of the summer months and now isn’t the time to stop cultivating the soil. Focus on the foundation of the relationships you’ve built over the last few months and keep them going. My summer garden will end in early October. Yours has about four years to go.

And if you’re looking for some tips on how to combat summer melt, there’s always this.

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UPDATE: Arthur Arzola Scholarship

About a month ago, we launched a fundraising campaign to honor Arthur Arzola’s passion for promoting college access to first-generation and low-income students. We set an initial goal of $500 to provide a need-based book scholarship to an incoming first-generation Humboldt student.

We ended up raising $1,025.

We’ve been in touch with the IA team at Humboldt about the best approach to offer this scholarship and will keep you updated.

While we initially intended on closing the donation option on May 16th, we have since decided to keep it open until we receive direction on the path forward from HSU. This will likely occur in the next day or so. If you would like to contribute before we officially close donations, feel free to click the button below.

Thanks to everyone who participated and we’ll have an update for you as soon as we hear back.

#EMchat and the higher education community have once again blown us away with the level of generosity and passion for creating opportunities for all students, regardless of their background.

From the bottom of our hearts, thank you!



Our initial post can be found here.

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