Column: Use people, not pamphlets to market university

Ethan Metcalf

Ethan Metcalf, Wichitan Editor
Ethan Metcalf, Wichitan Editor

A lot of emphasis has been put on expanding the university’s marketing reach as a means to bolster enrollment. From presentations at Board of Regents meetings, to promises made by each university presidential candidate in their forum visits to the school, marketing to prospective students has been at the forefront of discussion at MWSU.

But amid all the discussion of pamphlets and brochures and billboards, one obvious marketing tool has been left out: people.

People can reach prospective students in ways that pamphlets and other literature will never be able to do.

Sending students and faculty to conferences is not only a highly effective way to spread the MWSU brand, but it directly benefits students and faculty by giving them the experience of traveling and interacting with peers in their field of study.

I was fortunate enough to attend the College Media Association conference in New York a few weeks ago, and visiting The City That Never Sleeps for the first time was reason enough for me to go, but it turned out to be a great opportunity to learn about my profession and spread the word about MWSU.

By allocating more money to fund student and faculty travel, the university is getting a huge return on its investment by fulfilling its duty to provide students with a rich, liberal arts education while simultaneously increasing the school’s outreach in a much more effective way than stuffing mailboxes.

Additionally, the type of students who attend conferences—especially high school conferences—are the type of high calibre students that universities fight over, and I can safely say that a handshake and personal conversation from University X is much more effective than a glossy brochure sent from University Y. We need to be the ones shaking those hands if we hope to compete for those students.

So not only did I come back from New York with an unforgettable experience in my pocket and a competitive edge over my peers, but I returned with a notebook full of ideas and lessons I learned to help make The Wichitan a better publication.

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