GPRS Higher Education Marketing Agency


GPRS Higher Education Marketing Agency

This website uses cookies
We use cookies to analyze website traffic and optimize your web experience. By accepting our use of cookies, your data will be aggregated with all other user data.

Ready to talk? We’re ready to listen. Get started.

Insights from the Higher Ed Experts

BY Anthony Campisi | July 29th, 2020

Why mobile is the way to go during the COVID era

Why mobile is the way to go during the COVID eraWhen was the last time you put your phone down? Have you recently made it through a day only to have a sharp pain in your neck from looking down at your mobile device to text, FaceTime, check emails or browse the news? Have you ever been on a Zoom call while also scrolling through your phone at the same time?

You’re not alone – a recent study shows that 39% of people have been using their phones more during COVID-19 and that 54% are relying more on WiFi.

Although you may have used your mobile devices a lot before the COVID-19 pandemic, the amount you are using them now may have exponentially increased. Here are some reasons:

  • You’re working from home, but you’re not forced to put your phone down for in-person interactions.
  • You have free time between virtual meetings or conference calls, but don’t have enough time to take a walk or grab a snack, so you might pick up your phone for a few minutes and check social media.
  • If you’re a parent or caregiver, you may be using children’s learning apps.
  • You may be using your phone more to order food, have work calls, check your email and stay in touch with friends and family.

As the COVID-19 pandemic drags on, mobile usage will continue to rise as people use phones and tablets for everything from ordering groceries, attending telehealth appointments, hosting virtual happy hours, ordering takeout and even using contactless payment apps when venturing out.

With all of these things in mind, think about how your prospects are consuming media right now – you may need to adjust the way you are communicating and offering information to them to keep them engaged and focused on furthering their education.

The data on increased mobile usage

A recent study done by Valassis, a leading marketing data and research firm, shows that people are modifying their online behaviors:

  • Usage is up during working hours, showing reliance on both smartphones and desktops.
  • Mobile usage is more prominent in web browsers than apps.
  • Consumers are seeking more serious topics like finance, the economy and healthcare, while cutting back on entertainment.
  • People are focusing on books and news, electronics and food as they are at home more.
  • Consumers are seeking a normal routine.

There’s no better time for the higher ed industry to connect with prospects who are seeking a sense of normalcy. Schools can use this data to modify their communications as they shift largely toward a mobile-first mentality.

Ways to go mobile

As you evaluate your marketing strategy, you may find ways that you can optimize your marketing budget with cost-effective solutions that target your prospects directly.

Choosing the right digital advertising platforms has never been so important. As consumers are shifting more toward a mobile mentality, you’ll want to examine your advertising strategies that are intended to target specific prospects on social media like Facebook and LinkedIn as well as Google Ads. You’ve got a captive audience so using your platform to connect with prospects on an emotional level can go a long way.

Optimize your website for SEO. When keywords are done right, you can increase the quantity and quality of organic (unpaid) traffic to your site. Be sure that you are constantly updating your keywords and website content with COVID-specific terms and questions that relate to what your prospects are asking about in the current landscape. This will boost your visibility while at the same time reassuring your prospects that you are focused on them and their needs. Also be sure that your website is mobile optimized and can be viewed consistently in a variety of browsing capacities.

Continue hosting (and marketing) virtual events that can be attended from a phone, tablet or desktop. Leading up to your final application deadlines it’s important to meet your prospects where they feel comfortable. Providing alternatives to meet online to get their questions answered can provide a sense of safety and give them the confidence they need to make decisions.

As you navigate this time of uncertainty, don’t hesitate to lean on partners who have experience in developing mobile messaging in the higher ed industry. GPRS can help you evaluate the industry trends, quickly shift your digital advertising and brainstorm ways to pivot your messaging to connect with prospects as their media habits are changing.


Insights from the Higher Ed Experts

BY Anthony Campisi | July 16th, 2020

Admissions testing: What you communicate is as important as the decisions you make

Admissions testing: What you communicate is as important as the decisions you makeAs many schools are finalizing their incoming class rosters for the Fall, several questions are looming for prospects, admissions staff, faculty and administration alike. As part of the admissions process, you’ve likely been trying to remove as many barriers as possible for your students. You want them to feel comfortable attending your program, whether in-person or virtually, in the Fall. One such question is admissions testing.

Regardless of whether you’ve waived the testing requirement, delayed score submissions or started offering new testing options, it’s been a series of tough decisions. But the communication surrounding it can be even trickier as it relates to protecting your brand.

Addressing concerns in your communications

Admissions testing is valued by the many stakeholders of your program, your brand and your school. While altering your admissions process may seem risky, well-crafted internal and external communications can address everyone’s concerns. Let’s examine some of them here:

  • Alumni see the test as a rite of passage. It’s a value indicator for the quality of students who are admitted and graduate into the network.
  • What about current students who just last year took the test as a requirement of the admissions process?
  • Faculty and administration see the admissions test as a predictor of self-discipline and success in some courses.
  • What precedent are you setting for the future? What are the long-term implications?

Admissions testing reality: Executive Assessment, GMAT, GRE

In March and April, Executive Assessment (EA), GMAT and GRE testing was cancelled or delayed due to COVID-19. In late April and May, online testing became widely available and it continues to be an option. Some test sites are beginning to open with safety measures in place. The online versions are designed to support candidates working to meet upcoming application deadlines. All fees for rescheduling tests have currently been waived to give greater flexibility to students and institutions alike.

Although these options offer a stop-gap and a way to continue to screen students within the admissions process, you may not have known these would have been options when you were forced to make hard decisions during the height of the Spring stay-at-home-orders. Regardless of what your program decides, it’s important to continue delivering a clear, consistent message to your prospects and stakeholders covering the why’s and how’s of what’s next.

How schools are handling admissions testing

By doing a scan of your competitors and speaking with your peers at other schools, you can find out what others are doing. Here’s a quick snapshot:

  • Test waivers on a case-by-case basis
  • Online test options for EA, GMAT and GRE
  • The option to submit expired scores (within the last 5 years)
  • Offering conditional admission, pending a test scheduled in the future
  • Giving the option to submit current test scores (even if not within the required range) and apply for a waiver
  • One-on-one consultations to discuss admissions requirements

Communication tips

While marketing has always been a key pillar in your recruiting strategy, it is even more important now. As you are making decisions about the admissions process that impact multiple stakeholders, here are some key ways to shape your communications efforts via email, digital advertising, your website and social media:

  • Stay consistent. If you’ve made a decision on new testing requirements, continue that message through the end of your current recruiting cycle. For example, if you waived a test, or changed a test type and have admitted students with those new requirements, continue on the path vs. changing the requirements now that new options are available.
  • Explain your reasoning. It’s important to communicate why you have required a test in the past, why you are changing your stance in the current environment and what you are doing to maintain the integrity and rigor of your admissions process.
  • Acknowledge that the future is unknown. While you can’t make guarantees for the future, you can reassure your stakeholders and prospects you are doing all you can to assess the current situation and you will be adjusting your plans carefully. Although you may be concerned you are setting a precedent, it’s important to reiterate these are “unprecedented times.” Your goal is to ensure quality while the entire higher ed industry has been upended.

As you navigate this time of uncertainty, don’t hesitate to lean on partners who have experience in branding, digital marketing and messaging. GPRS can help you evaluate the industry trends, quickly shift your digital advertising and brainstorm ways to pivot your messaging to protect your most valued asset – your brand.



121 N. Main St., Suite 109
Souderton, PA 18964



For over two decades, GPRS has been a trusted higher education marketing agency, offering custom solutions to institutions of all sizes and degree types. Admissions directors, marketing directors, deans, and presidents rely on GPRS to provide a depth of services, including strategy, lead generation, digital marketing, nurture communications, recruiting, and analytics.

© Copyright 2023. All rights reserved.
Privacy Policy