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Communications Explainer

Here’s what we’ve built:

Our Philosophy: Embrace what works

Content Marketing:

  • Produce valuable content that students care about
  • Storytelling allows for deep connection with students
  • Potential deliverables: Articles, blogs, videos, explainers, 5 ½ Things, student spotlights, vlogs, podcasts, Instagram stories, Instagram takeovers

Traditional Advertising:

  • Pushing messages or promotions to a large number of students whether or not the students are interested in the message.
  • Potential deliverables: Posters, flyers, brochures, banners, digital screens.

Promoting the tools rather than programs/events/departments/colleges

  • Using a mix of traditional advertising and content marketing to promote the tools for students to find the resources they need or didn’t know about.
  • Using a mix of traditional advertising and content marketing to promote the student-focused event calendar.
  • Embedding the tools at orientation for students and new employees.

What traditional promotions used to look like:

Poster: “Come to the Outdoor Program, we have a climbing gym and go on fun trips! Get out of your comfort zone, get involved!”

  • Not effective for students not interested in the outdoors or climbing
  • Relies on students being on campus
  • Doesn’t harbor a connection with students as a story would
  • Not memorable, just another ad

What promotions look like now:

Climbing to a New Perspective” – A student story told in first person about how reluctantly trying out the climbing gym changed her life.

  • Engaging
  • Opt-in – you’re not forced to read it
  • Reduces the signal-to-noise ratio
  • Can be viewed anywhere
  • Memorable
  • Relatable
  • Persuasive
  • Shared on main university social media channels

This all sounds great, so how do you tap in?

  1. Rethink how you promote your programs and departments to be more engaging
  2. Sign up to become a contributor on the Student Life Essentials blogs and start creating engaging content with student-centered language
  3. Submit your student-focused events to our calendar
  4. Talk about Student Life Essentials to your colleagues and students
  5. Send your resources and ideas to us at
  6. Continue the conversation we started from Student Life Essentials on your own website