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Enrollment Marketing Stories Podcast Episode 7
Enrollment Sales Conversations with Brandi BARHITE
- Enrollment Marketing Stories Podcast Episode 6 00:00
02:04 “But once a student has applied and been admitted, we then take them on what we like to call through the ‘enrollment funnel’ because just because the student has been admitted, doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re coming. So we have to continue to keep them in love with our university and onboard them until the day they move in.”
07:03 “We’re seeing such a demand for online programs at the bachelor’s degree level and at the master’s level. My husband got his masters degree through e-campus at BGSU, didn’t believe me, thought he would have to come to campus. We don’t even live far from campus so it would have been a horrible thing. But he wanted to say, how’d it be only online? And it was and it’s a quality education and has the name Bowling Green State University which means a lot for resumes and in potential employers.”
10:16 “So we have to be really conscious of staying and engage with them, whether it’s through email or social media or reaching out with phone calls to make sure that they don’t have questions. People who feel wanted come to your institution.”
16:08 “Communication and marketing outreach is absolutely crucial for application generation, application completion, and working that student through the enrollment funnel until my position and my team existed, admission councilors, systems staff were charged with writing these emails or putting together these social media posts and that’s not their skills set.”
21:51 “We’re like the best of both worlds, BGSU. We’re like big enough if you wanted to blend in but we’re also small enough that you can stand out. So I always think that picking a college comes down to a feeling more than a major. So, of course, we have amazing programs that are well known and accredited and lead to jobs after students graduate. But oftentimes, when they say why they picked BG, it all comes down to how they felt and it just feels like they’re at home.”
29:04 “Students find social media organically and it’s not a badge of honor to say that you have social media anymore. It’s not that special. Everyone does. And so I think when you say use an ad like let’s brag that we have 9 different accounts but that’s not impressive anymore to students. It might have been 10 years ago when we were on the cutting edge of social media.”
This episode of the Enrollment Marketing Stories Podcast with Jason How of Agency J features Brandi Barhite, Director of Enrollment Communications at Bowling Green State University. Brandi shares BGSU’s unique efforts to make sure they keep admitted students interested with their enrollment funnel.
She also shares the significant growth of interest in online bachelor’s and master’s degrees and their own expansion with e-campus. For communication strategies, Brandi also discusses the importance of family in the conversation and how including them creates a big impact on admissions.
Brandi also explains how they use digital communication creatively. For BGSU, social media focuses on existing students and fostering community rather than brand awareness while email is the preferred method of direct communication with students straight from high school.
01:07 Introduction to Brandi and BGSU’s enrollment funnel
05:13 2020 goals and growing e-campus
08:10 BGSU’s communication marketing strategies
14:53 Role of Enrollment Communications Director
17:36 Representing smaller programs
22:40 Attracting prospect students
24:35 Using social media for existing students
30:18 Direct marketing: Success with email
Brandi Barhite is an experienced writer who began her career as a newspaper journalist in 2001. She covered a range of topics that included politics, crime, tourism and fitness before settling into a features writer role that led to some of her favorite stories and travels. In 2010, she wrote a year-long series on the aftermath of a deadly tornado that tore through Northwest Ohio and leveled the high school where her husband taught history. However, as the industry changed and newspapers closed, Brandi decided to return to school to pursue a master’s in Media and Communication. She worked as a writing coach and taught reporting, but along the way discovered an unexpected fondness for recruitment. When she saw a job opening to help run a communication center for the Office of Admissions, she applied and began her new career at BGSU. Since that time, she’s been afforded the opportunity to use her transferrable skills in a range of ways and currently serves as the director of enrollment communications, where she oversees a multi-layered communication approach for incoming students and their families. In recent months, her responsibilities have grown to include daily and large visits with customer service and creativity as her team’s pursuit. Her husband supports her work by teaching college-level classes for BGSU, while their toddler is already looking to attend BG in Fall 2035 — he just doesn’t know it yet!