Maximizing resources in the new normal

Graduate schools must maximize resources in the new normal As you are settling into the “new normal” that many graduate schools are facing, you are most likely still dealing with the shockwaves that COVID-19 and its impact have created for your institution, the economy and even the mental state of your team, your current students and your prospects.

While you are navigating possible budget cuts, rethinking your enrollment plans and completely altering the objectives you had just a few short months ago, it may seem like there is no end in sight to managing inevitable change within your programs. It’s important to remember the resources you had before the pandemic may still be salvageable. You can leverage them during this time to prepare for what lies ahead. Even if it means your priorities and strategies need to shift.

Here are some tips for making the most of your current resources to weather the storm.

Marketing

Although your marketing spend might be in danger of budget cuts, it’s actually your most valued asset at the moment. Think of your ads, your website and your emails as the frontline communicators to your current and prospective students. As you are assessing current marketing resources and communication plans already put in place, consider:

  • Reallocating budget planned for events (and the travel most likely associated with them) to a new advertising strategy. Emphasize how you are pivoting your programs and admissions process.
  • Adapting your tone in all communications to appeal to your target’s mindset; they may be worried, so focus on the positive aspects of education that can help them look toward the future with hope. This also includes being mindful of the imagery you use and potentially incorporating the concept of social distancing.
  • Testing different channels, with an eye toward social media, as usage is trending upward with everyone at home.

Enrollment & Yield

By now, many graduate schools are coming to terms with the fact that the yield and enrollment goals they set before the pandemic may not be realistic for the fall or even the following year. Whatever your new goals are, here are a few things to keep in mind for utilizing your existing resources to meet them:

  • Tasking your recruiting team with finding unique ways to connect with prospects at all levels of the funnel – especially the often overlooked top of the funnel.
  • Maintaining strong relationships with applicants through personal communications that show your commitment to them.
  • Using your current recruiting event strategy, but pivoting it online to host webinars, chats and even happy hours (where applicable).

Although change can be stressful, leverage your team’s expertise and resources to help you move forward with confidence.  

Are you searching for expert guidance on ways to manage the change in your marketing, recruiting and online program management? Do not hesitate to reach out to GPRS. We are here to help.

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