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Auburn citizen com

Starting with the recession that hit in late 2007, the birth rate in America began a steady decline that will hit college enrollment by 2026. Against this backdrop, higher-ed communication professionals must somehow convince the best and brightest students to attend this school over that (very similar) school down the highway. How do institutions of higher education stand out in an increasingly fraught landscape? For the staff of university marketing departments, this chart might cause a little heartburn: happen half-a-decade from now. How does a university not only weather the upcoming “enrollment apocalypse,” but grow through it? After all, their “customers” are beginning a multi-year “shopping” process that won’t wrap for a few years. That’s the question we set out to answer when the Harbert College of Business at Auburn University partnered with us. It’s a nonstop game of reading the crystal ball and trying to adapt quickly. Here’s our answer: We say “Auburn,” you say _______________? “Football.” You probably say “football.” Maybe “Alabama.” But nobody except the alumni of the Harbert College of Business says “the Harbert College of Business.”This simply won’t do. The Harbert College of Business has, for years, been transforming how the world thinks about business. Quietly, from their modern classrooms on their gorgeous campus, Harbert is inventing business knowledge and theory and their graduates thrive in their careers at a record-setting rate. Every would-be business student in the country deserves to know about the Harbert College of Business. ”We had to separate and elevate—to increase awareness and give Harbert an online brand of its own, a compelling story separate from football or anything else. manage to get in front of a prospective student, the student often thinks, “Oh, that big football school. The centerpiece of this project is a fully reimagined website. Tomorrow’s college freshmen are a dynamic demographic—full of unique, complex, and maddeningly unpredictable people. Websites are largely about priorities: What do you want to highlight? What path do you think will make it most likely for users to do what you want them to do? And those people have parents who make up at least half of the college-selection experience. We began by elevating Harbert’s unique strengths—the evidence of their world-class status. When we jumped in, we noticed that Harbert did something that the many university websites do: They organize things online the same way they do internally, all the way down to the jargon. For example, on the homepage, we put the following content module: Then come the people. Modern, thoughtful, clear aesthetics that made it clear just how savvy Harbert is. Sixteen year-olds don’t think the way 40-year-old administrators do because they are standing on opposite sides of a vast chasm of context. The prospective student who’s perusing a college website—hoping to be inspired and convinced—usually doesn’t know what kind of nurse they want to be, or what degree best fits their interest in math, or the difference between the degrees “Education Instruction & Curriculum” and “Mind, Brain, and Education.”Schools must meet students more than halfway. Led by the deep institutional knowledge of the Harbert team, together we made three big improvements on the new website: First, we filtered all of our architecture and design decisions through two filters: program experience and campus experience. If you’re going to convince a high school student from outside of the southeast to make the investment in Auburn’s business school, you have to highlight the best of what Harbert is: a school filled with real, smart, diverse, friendly, and successful Great design is no longer a luxury, it’s the cost of entry. That was our response to the “dark and brooding and institutional” feel that many other business schools offer. We want the website to help potential students identify how they’ll fit in, both within their degree and across the entire Auburn family. By plainly stating their case, and by designing a website that feels comfortable and confident, the Harbert College of Business stands side by side with other, (currently) better known business colleges across the U. When helping a client solve a problem, the answer is almost always found by returning our focus—obsessively, time and time and time again—to the human being using the website. To accomplish this, we filled the site with student stories and made degree exploration more dynamic: Second, we reorganized—and in some cases relabeled—the Harbert degrees and programs. If a student has even the slightest interest in an area of study, we get them to that page ASAP. Harbert wants to increase and improve the mix of applicants, yes, but it also wants to ensure that incoming students end up studying whatever they want to study. Third, we used a tool called Funnel Back to make the sitewide search a useful experience, even allowing it to comb through data from Herbert’s social media channels. We know all too well that the “search” on most websites is a major letdown for users. The search results are usually intimidating and (mostly) unhelpful. In the research phase, we interviewed students, faculty, and staff. Now, not only do searchers get the results they want, they can filter the results by type: Managing a university’s brand is a frenetic performance of spinning plates. If one of them falls, you run the risk of alienating or irritating the people you’re trying to win over. Everything a college does is “content.” Every word, every image, every face-to-face interaction—it’s all part of a school’s nonstop attempt to become attractive, respected, and authentic. But if everything is content, managing “everything” takes a lot of work. It’s called content governance, which we define as the rules and resources an organization deploys to ensure their content is accurate, effective, and aligned. Content governance is an emerging discipline, but it’s also one of the most under-resourced and complex. Content governance, in short, can be It also happens to be incredibly powerful. Among the free tools we’ve made available in our Insights, you won’t find a “content governance plan template” because no such thing exists. To be useful, a content governance plan must be customized to the organization. Content processes should over an organization, not pinch or mold it into something radically new. They understand that without a solid content governance plan in place (or at least in progress, as these things take time), telling their story to the world is much more time-intensive and error-prone. University governance plans are especially tricky because universities have a structure all their own. They work in small teams inside larger teams inside larger teams; turnover can be frequent; and the stakes are always high. Given that, our job was to investigate what we saw and then build a governance plan that makes sense for Harbert. With it, they can be confident that their growing national reputation would be managed, maintained, and enhanced over time. Instead of upending the way Harbert oversees its branding and content, this document makes a range of incremental, concrete nudges toward content consistency . Just a commitment to ushering the brand into the next generation. So while we can’t show you Harbert’s content governance plan, we can share that it included: Harbert’s content governance plan runs 17 pages and more than 3,600 words, but it reads like a straightforward recipe for success. We went on to do more for Harbert—including copywriting, SEO, and a fundraising microsite for the school’s new building. We’ve even partnered to share our experience at higher-ed conferences. The students, faculty, and staff of the Harbert College of Business at Auburn University are building a better way of doing business. Starting with the recession that hit in late 2007, the birth rate in America began a steady decline that will hit college enrollment by 2026. Against this backdrop, higher-ed communication professionals must somehow convince the best and brightest students to attend this school over that (very similar) school down the highway. How do institutions of higher education stand out in an increasingly fraught landscape? For the staff of university marketing departments, this chart might cause a little heartburn: happen half-a-decade from now. How does a university not only weather the upcoming “enrollment apocalypse,” but grow through it? After all, their “customers” are beginning a multi-year “shopping” process that won’t wrap for a few years. That’s the question we set out to answer when the Harbert College of Business at Auburn University partnered with us. It’s a nonstop game of reading the crystal ball and trying to adapt quickly. Here’s our answer: We say “Auburn,” you say _______________? “Football.” You probably say “football.” Maybe “Alabama.” But nobody except the alumni of the Harbert College of Business says “the Harbert College of Business.”This simply won’t do. The Harbert College of Business has, for years, been transforming how the world thinks about business. Quietly, from their modern classrooms on their gorgeous campus, Harbert is inventing business knowledge and theory and their graduates thrive in their careers at a record-setting rate. Every would-be business student in the country deserves to know about the Harbert College of Business. ”We had to separate and elevate—to increase awareness and give Harbert an online brand of its own, a compelling story separate from football or anything else. manage to get in front of a prospective student, the student often thinks, “Oh, that big football school. The centerpiece of this project is a fully reimagined website. Tomorrow’s college freshmen are a dynamic demographic—full of unique, complex, and maddeningly unpredictable people. Websites are largely about priorities: What do you want to highlight? What path do you think will make it most likely for users to do what you want them to do? And those people have parents who make up at least half of the college-selection experience. We began by elevating Harbert’s unique strengths—the evidence of their world-class status. When we jumped in, we noticed that Harbert did something that the many university websites do: They organize things online the same way they do internally, all the way down to the jargon. For example, on the homepage, we put the following content module: Then come the people. Modern, thoughtful, clear aesthetics that made it clear just how savvy Harbert is. Sixteen year-olds don’t think the way 40-year-old administrators do because they are standing on opposite sides of a vast chasm of context. The prospective student who’s perusing a college website—hoping to be inspired and convinced—usually doesn’t know what kind of nurse they want to be, or what degree best fits their interest in math, or the difference between the degrees “Education Instruction & Curriculum” and “Mind, Brain, and Education.”Schools must meet students more than halfway. Led by the deep institutional knowledge of the Harbert team, together we made three big improvements on the new website: First, we filtered all of our architecture and design decisions through two filters: program experience and campus experience. If you’re going to convince a high school student from outside of the southeast to make the investment in Auburn’s business school, you have to highlight the best of what Harbert is: a school filled with real, smart, diverse, friendly, and successful Great design is no longer a luxury, it’s the cost of entry. That was our response to the “dark and brooding and institutional” feel that many other business schools offer. We want the website to help potential students identify how they’ll fit in, both within their degree and across the entire Auburn family. By plainly stating their case, and by designing a website that feels comfortable and confident, the Harbert College of Business stands side by side with other, (currently) better known business colleges across the U. When helping a client solve a problem, the answer is almost always found by returning our focus—obsessively, time and time and time again—to the human being using the website. To accomplish this, we filled the site with student stories and made degree exploration more dynamic: Second, we reorganized—and in some cases relabeled—the Harbert degrees and programs. If a student has even the slightest interest in an area of study, we get them to that page ASAP. Harbert wants to increase and improve the mix of applicants, yes, but it also wants to ensure that incoming students end up studying whatever they want to study. Third, we used a tool called Funnel Back to make the sitewide search a useful experience, even allowing it to comb through data from Herbert’s social media channels. We know all too well that the “search” on most websites is a major letdown for users. The search results are usually intimidating and (mostly) unhelpful. In the research phase, we interviewed students, faculty, and staff. Now, not only do searchers get the results they want, they can filter the results by type: Managing a university’s brand is a frenetic performance of spinning plates. If one of them falls, you run the risk of alienating or irritating the people you’re trying to win over. Everything a college does is “content.” Every word, every image, every face-to-face interaction—it’s all part of a school’s nonstop attempt to become attractive, respected, and authentic. But if everything is content, managing “everything” takes a lot of work. It’s called content governance, which we define as the rules and resources an organization deploys to ensure their content is accurate, effective, and aligned. Content governance is an emerging discipline, but it’s also one of the most under-resourced and complex. Content governance, in short, can be It also happens to be incredibly powerful. Among the free tools we’ve made available in our Insights, you won’t find a “content governance plan template” because no such thing exists. To be useful, a content governance plan must be customized to the organization. Content processes should over an organization, not pinch or mold it into something radically new. They understand that without a solid content governance plan in place (or at least in progress, as these things take time), telling their story to the world is much more time-intensive and error-prone. University governance plans are especially tricky because universities have a structure all their own. They work in small teams inside larger teams inside larger teams; turnover can be frequent; and the stakes are always high. Given that, our job was to investigate what we saw and then build a governance plan that makes sense for Harbert. With it, they can be confident that their growing national reputation would be managed, maintained, and enhanced over time. Instead of upending the way Harbert oversees its branding and content, this document makes a range of incremental, concrete nudges toward content consistency . Just a commitment to ushering the brand into the next generation. So while we can’t show you Harbert’s content governance plan, we can share that it included: Harbert’s content governance plan runs 17 pages and more than 3,600 words, but it reads like a straightforward recipe for success. We went on to do more for Harbert—including copywriting, SEO, and a fundraising microsite for the school’s new building. We’ve even partnered to share our experience at higher-ed conferences. The students, faculty, and staff of the Harbert College of Business at Auburn University are building a better way of doing business.

date: 25-Aug-2021 22:00next


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