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May 11, 2021

Campus Campaigns That Work: How to Include Donor Stories in Your Marketing

Campus Campaigns That Work: How to Include Donor Stories in Your Marketing

Earlier this year Kenyon College received a record-breaking $100 million gift from an anonymous donor.

Kenyon’s marketing department was then faced with the challenge of how to tell the story of this generous anonymous donor while also explaining why gifts at every level are important.

In this episode of The Higher Ed Marketer, Bart Caylor, President & Founder at Caylor Solutions Inc, and Troy Singer, Senior Account Executive at Think Patented, chat with Colleen Garland, Vice President for Advancement at Kenyon College and Janet Marsden, Vice President for Communications at Kenyon College, about how Kenyon shifted their campus experience marketing campaign to prospective students and prospective donors during the pandemic.

They also talked about:

- How they manage donor relationships

- How they adapted their campaign to COVID

- How they were able to produce videos without an internal team

Know of a higher education marketing change agent you’d like to hear on the show? Does your university have an interesting story to be featured? Connect with Bart Caylor or Troy Singer. If you’re not on LinkedIn, check the Caylor Solutions or Think Patented websites instead!
To hear more interviews like this one, subscribe to The Higher Ed Marketer on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or your preferred podcast platform.  

The Higher Ed Marketer podcast is sponsored by Caylor Solutions, an Education Marketing and Branding Agency, and by Think Patented, a Marketing Execution, Printing and Mailing provider of Higher Ed solutions.

    

 

Transcript
WEBVTT 1 00:00:02.879 --> 00:00:07.190 You are listening to the Higher Ed Marketer, a podcast geared towards marketing professionals 2 00:00:07.230 --> 00:00:11.910 in higher education. This show will tackle all sorts of questions related to student 3 00:00:11.949 --> 00:00:16.230 recruitment, don'tor relations, marketing trends, new technologies and so much more. 4 00:00:16.989 --> 00:00:20.789 If you are looking for conversations centered around where the industry is going, this 5 00:00:20.989 --> 00:00:30.539 podcast is for you. Let's get into the show. Welcome to the Higher 6 00:00:30.539 --> 00:00:35.060 Ed Marketer podcast. Will we encourage higher ed marketers that we admire to share 7 00:00:35.100 --> 00:00:39.810 ideas and insights that other high ed markers can benefit from? I'm Troye singer 8 00:00:39.929 --> 00:00:45.090 and I'm here with my partnering creation, Bart Taylor, and this conversation we 9 00:00:45.210 --> 00:00:52.520 have today is very dynamic and it's stem from a one hundred million dollar donation 10 00:00:52.679 --> 00:00:56.520 to a school, but as we got into it, it is so much 11 00:00:56.560 --> 00:01:00.640 more. Bart, can you tell us a little bit about our conversation we're 12 00:01:00.679 --> 00:01:03.320 having today? Yeah, try, I'm very excited about this. This is 13 00:01:03.399 --> 00:01:07.069 a a hundred million dollar campaign or a hundred million dollar gift is fascinating in 14 00:01:07.189 --> 00:01:10.989 and of itself, but just to see what they're doing at Kenyon College of 15 00:01:11.030 --> 00:01:15.549 Ohio just is fascinating to me with everything, with their brand. It was 16 00:01:15.590 --> 00:01:19.980 a great pleasure to talk with Janet Marsden, she's the vice president of communications, 17 00:01:19.060 --> 00:01:23.739 and then calling Garland, she's the VP for advancement, and just to 18 00:01:23.859 --> 00:01:27.099 hear them both kind of talk about the way that they have, you know, 19 00:01:27.659 --> 00:01:30.819 addressed this this large gift, as well as just the way that they're 20 00:01:30.819 --> 00:01:34.090 kind of crafting the brand. And they do have such a good job of 21 00:01:34.209 --> 00:01:38.609 being articulate and being so thoughtful, and that's one of the things that I 22 00:01:38.650 --> 00:01:42.849 would really encourage everyone to kind of listen for during this conversation. Well said, 23 00:01:42.930 --> 00:01:48.040 Bart and without further ado, let's go into our conversation with Kaleen and 24 00:01:48.120 --> 00:01:55.200 Janet. Our conversation today is what Janet Mardson, vice president for communications at 25 00:01:55.239 --> 00:02:00.280 Kenyon College, and Kalean Garland, vice president for advancement at Kenyon College. 26 00:02:00.040 --> 00:02:06.950 Again today the topic is how canyon initially doubled down on their campus experience marketing 27 00:02:06.989 --> 00:02:13.590 campaign to prospective students and alumni during the pandemic before diving in. Janet, 28 00:02:13.629 --> 00:02:15.740 could you give us a brief description of your all at Kenyon? Hi, 29 00:02:16.340 --> 00:02:22.180 yeah, so I'm Janet Marsden. I'm the vice president for communications at Kenyon 30 00:02:22.340 --> 00:02:27.419 and I'm responsible for the strategic positioning of Kenyon College, and so that means 31 00:02:27.460 --> 00:02:31.610 I oversee the communications to all of our constituencies, whether they're people who are 32 00:02:31.650 --> 00:02:36.569 just getting to know us, like prospective students and families, or people who 33 00:02:36.650 --> 00:02:42.090 knows very well, like our alumni and our current students, faculty and staff. 34 00:02:42.650 --> 00:02:46.719 And I'm also thinking about communications to the the people who may only know 35 00:02:46.800 --> 00:02:54.639 as a name, so the broader public. Overseeing website publications, social media, 36 00:02:54.680 --> 00:03:02.750 Alumni magazine and all of our media relations and crisis communications. Thank you, 37 00:03:02.830 --> 00:03:07.710 Janet. Kaleen. Yes, so, I lead the advancement division at 38 00:03:07.909 --> 00:03:12.979 Kenyon. We make up but just close to forty professionals who work in development, 39 00:03:13.020 --> 00:03:19.379 alumni and parent engagement. All of our advancement services, by a records, 40 00:03:19.460 --> 00:03:24.060 anything relating to once you graduate and leave Kenyon falls in our lets. 41 00:03:24.819 --> 00:03:30.210 Thank you, Kaleen. And to get into our conversation, the reason why 42 00:03:30.250 --> 00:03:34.449 I first reached out to Kaleen because of an announcement of a one hundred million 43 00:03:34.490 --> 00:03:38.250 dollar gift, which was the initial reason I said Hey, would love to 44 00:03:38.330 --> 00:03:43.400 have you on the podcast, and then that conversation led to how this gift 45 00:03:43.680 --> 00:03:47.960 was part of a bigger initiative and we should get Janet involved. So again, 46 00:03:49.680 --> 00:03:52.680 with the help of Janet Kaleen, could you kind of tell us the 47 00:03:52.759 --> 00:03:57.189 story about this amazing gift? Absolutely, it's an honor to get to tell 48 00:03:57.229 --> 00:04:00.990 the story. Anyone who works for our nonprofit of any kind dreams of an 49 00:04:00.030 --> 00:04:04.349 opportunity like this. So and when a gift of this magnitude comes about, 50 00:04:04.509 --> 00:04:10.460 it's never about the solicitor or the ask it's about a partnership, and that 51 00:04:10.620 --> 00:04:15.180 was definitely true in this case. This is a donor who has cared about 52 00:04:15.180 --> 00:04:20.980 Kenyon for a very long time and really helped craft and understand our strategic priorities. 53 00:04:21.540 --> 00:04:28.850 So while this gift ultimately is to fund new student construction new student housing, 54 00:04:29.329 --> 00:04:33.889 it really is to a key strategic priority of the college to help us 55 00:04:33.930 --> 00:04:39.959 enhance our student housing experience, and is Janet will get to a little bit 56 00:04:39.959 --> 00:04:45.720 later. This is central to WHO Kenyon is. The experience all four years 57 00:04:46.079 --> 00:04:49.959 on our campus, living and working together on the hill is an essential part. 58 00:04:50.000 --> 00:04:54.189 It's not just about what happens in the classroom, it's about what happens 59 00:04:54.310 --> 00:04:58.790 two seven when you're part of the Kenyon community. So we were just thrilled 60 00:04:58.949 --> 00:05:03.149 to see the gift come to fruition and the communication of the gift was a 61 00:05:03.230 --> 00:05:09.060 little bit tricky because it gave us an opportunity not only to tell the story 62 00:05:09.139 --> 00:05:14.220 of this amazing gift, but also to help our other donors see that their 63 00:05:14.339 --> 00:05:18.259 gifts still mattered, that while a hundred million is a phenomenal gift, it 64 00:05:18.459 --> 00:05:24.449 doesn't solve every single problem that any college or university has and we still we're 65 00:05:24.449 --> 00:05:29.490 going to rely on other donors to help US support our students through students scholarships. 66 00:05:29.850 --> 00:05:32.129 So it was a win win really for us to both tell the story 67 00:05:32.170 --> 00:05:35.680 of the donor but then also to continue to make the case of why gifts 68 00:05:35.680 --> 00:05:40.399 at every level are important. That's great. I imagine that you know both 69 00:05:40.480 --> 00:05:44.360 for you, Kaleen and Janet, the challenge of being able to tell the 70 00:05:44.480 --> 00:05:47.319 story about the donor when they want to remain anonymous was probably a little bit 71 00:05:47.319 --> 00:05:51.790 of a challenge as well. Tell us about that now, no question about 72 00:05:51.790 --> 00:05:57.069 that. We always try to convince donors to share their their story, but 73 00:05:57.389 --> 00:06:00.470 we respect their wishes and in this case this is a donor who does not 74 00:06:00.790 --> 00:06:02.230 want to be known, and we have quite a few donors who over that 75 00:06:02.269 --> 00:06:06.980 way and in many ways I really respect that, because they're putting the college 76 00:06:06.980 --> 00:06:12.939 first and they're putting the purpose of the gift first and they're not caring so 77 00:06:13.019 --> 00:06:16.300 much about attention to them. Are even many cases, you know, the 78 00:06:16.420 --> 00:06:20.170 gratitude that we all feel to them. They don't necessarily want that kind of 79 00:06:20.250 --> 00:06:24.250 attention. I think that's great. And Janet, what what would you say 80 00:06:24.290 --> 00:06:27.930 about that? Well, I would add that to collings point about, you 81 00:06:28.009 --> 00:06:30.930 know, the challenge of having, and I don't like to talk about a 82 00:06:30.009 --> 00:06:35.160 challenge of having a gift of this magnitude to have to celebrate, but but 83 00:06:35.319 --> 00:06:40.399 that you you want to be able to acknowledge the role that other donors play 84 00:06:40.439 --> 00:06:44.519 in this. And so in our communications we had the opportunity to bring in 85 00:06:44.680 --> 00:06:48.949 other voices, so alumni who could reflect on their own experience on campus and 86 00:06:49.110 --> 00:06:55.230 and and the this gift was going towards something that every alum could speak to 87 00:06:55.470 --> 00:07:00.949 what they're what their experience was in in on Kenyan's campus, and we were 88 00:07:00.029 --> 00:07:03.899 able to bring in student voices as well, and so I think that that 89 00:07:04.420 --> 00:07:11.660 in some ways made it easier to show how expansive the the reach and the 90 00:07:11.740 --> 00:07:16.050 role of this community plays and Kenyans Future, while we were able to celebrate 91 00:07:16.170 --> 00:07:19.889 this, this singular gift. That's great, because I I've worked with a 92 00:07:19.930 --> 00:07:25.129 lot of schools on capital campaigns and have served on a national campaign cabinet for 93 00:07:25.290 --> 00:07:28.649 my Alma Mater, and you know that that particular campaign was a hundred and 94 00:07:28.649 --> 00:07:31.839 twenty five million dollar campaign over the course of six years. You mean, 95 00:07:31.920 --> 00:07:36.319 you pretty much took care of all college campus campaign you know, with one 96 00:07:36.399 --> 00:07:39.480 gift, and I know it didn't just happen overnight. I know that these 97 00:07:39.519 --> 00:07:42.319 types of things take years and years and years and years in the making, 98 00:07:42.839 --> 00:07:46.870 but congratulations on that and I do think that I want to kind of point 99 00:07:46.870 --> 00:07:49.189 out to our listeners that the strategy that you took is to make sure that 100 00:07:49.310 --> 00:07:53.310 the other voices of the other diners were heard, because I think that that 101 00:07:53.389 --> 00:07:56.629 I think that's so important. That I want everybody to understand is that just 102 00:07:56.750 --> 00:08:01.660 because you have a singular gift of great magnitude does not mean that you know 103 00:08:01.139 --> 00:08:05.259 you're taking care of for life that anything else. I mean you've got to 104 00:08:05.740 --> 00:08:09.779 engage everyone else to make sure that they feel as equally a part with their 105 00:08:09.459 --> 00:08:13.209 you know, a hundred dollar gift. There, you know, tenzero yearly 106 00:08:13.370 --> 00:08:18.329 gift or whatever it might be, because it is a part of a community 107 00:08:18.370 --> 00:08:20.370 and I think that's I think that's Kudos to you all for for doing that. 108 00:08:20.449 --> 00:08:24.129 So congratulations. All right, I might say one more thing about that. 109 00:08:26.209 --> 00:08:31.680 In addition to just knowing that intuitively, we had under taken a study 110 00:08:31.839 --> 00:08:35.360 with a the group called the art and science group to really understand our our 111 00:08:35.480 --> 00:08:41.669 constituency donor motivations, what was working, and so we knew that there was 112 00:08:41.710 --> 00:08:46.029 a risk and when associating a gift of this magnitude to that, somehow your 113 00:08:46.070 --> 00:08:50.309 other donors would sit on the sidelines and applaud but not necessarily see how it 114 00:08:50.429 --> 00:08:56.779 was impacting them. So that definitely informed our strategy and fortunately we had a 115 00:08:56.860 --> 00:09:01.379 group that that met, including Janet, every other week for about nine months 116 00:09:01.620 --> 00:09:05.659 trying to think through carefully, if this gift were to come to fruition the 117 00:09:05.740 --> 00:09:09.210 way we were hoping, how would we be prepared to roll it out? 118 00:09:09.250 --> 00:09:13.289 So it's definitely a team effort to be prepared for the messaging. I think 119 00:09:13.330 --> 00:09:16.409 that's great because I think that you know, that gift puts Kenyon College in 120 00:09:16.450 --> 00:09:22.610 a very elite club of very large, singular gifts to institutions and and you're 121 00:09:22.610 --> 00:09:24.559 right, I think that, you know you do have run the risk of 122 00:09:24.639 --> 00:09:28.159 your donor base thinking, oh well, they're like Harvard now, they don't 123 00:09:28.159 --> 00:09:31.679 need my money, and that's not at all the case. That's not at 124 00:09:31.720 --> 00:09:37.519 all. You know, they're the the you know, associating you with that 125 00:09:37.679 --> 00:09:41.750 type of other institutions just not fair, and so I think that the way 126 00:09:41.830 --> 00:09:45.909 that you did that, with with counsel and with with very strategic thinking, 127 00:09:45.990 --> 00:09:48.950 I think is very well done and it's and again, it's one of those 128 00:09:48.990 --> 00:09:52.429 things that, rather than just jumping around and high fiving everybody to say hey, 129 00:09:52.470 --> 00:09:54.740 look at this gift we got, you really thought it through a night 130 00:09:54.860 --> 00:09:56.980 and I think that's well done. So thank you, yes, and thank 131 00:09:58.019 --> 00:10:01.220 you for sharing the stories in the learnings that come with it. Wanted to 132 00:10:01.340 --> 00:10:07.929 change gears and ask Janet about the brand campaign here on purpose, that you 133 00:10:09.049 --> 00:10:13.370 had during the covid year. And I don't suppose the COVID post any problems 134 00:10:13.490 --> 00:10:18.889 to that campaign. Did it now? None whatsoever. Troy, it was 135 00:10:18.049 --> 00:10:22.240 it was just like, you know, walk in the Park Covid, as 136 00:10:22.360 --> 00:10:28.679 we all know, in this in this moment has has introduced some new things 137 00:10:28.720 --> 00:10:33.960 to think about and and for us, yes, we were rolling out a 138 00:10:33.080 --> 00:10:37.950 new brand strategy and really building on some tenants that had always been true. 139 00:10:37.990 --> 00:10:43.269 That's what a good brand strategy is. And here on purposes are sort of 140 00:10:43.549 --> 00:10:46.870 central theme. And this came out of a set of market research that we 141 00:10:46.990 --> 00:10:52.899 did a couple of years ago, speaking both with prospective students and families, 142 00:10:52.179 --> 00:10:58.179 current audience and alumni, so really a very comprehensive view on perceptions of Kenyon. 143 00:10:58.820 --> 00:11:03.850 And we were rolling out a new visual identity, including a an updated 144 00:11:03.970 --> 00:11:11.610 logo mark, which in itself has no complications, and we were also launching 145 00:11:11.649 --> 00:11:16.649 a new website, so an entire new site and developing a whole new suite 146 00:11:16.769 --> 00:11:22.240 of admissions materials. and Boom, a pandemic lands and our lap. So, 147 00:11:24.039 --> 00:11:28.960 putting aside the challenges of the work when you're managing a whole new flow 148 00:11:28.279 --> 00:11:37.070 of communications, the the the idea of being able to focus on place, 149 00:11:37.509 --> 00:11:41.750 the idea of being able to focus on connection and the relationships that happen here, 150 00:11:43.429 --> 00:11:46.980 which are two of our three pillars of our brand strategy, became quite 151 00:11:46.980 --> 00:11:52.059 a challenge when you couldn't actually have people here on campus on purpose. We 152 00:11:52.179 --> 00:11:56.779 were doing that purposely and you couldn't have people in a room talking with one 153 00:11:56.820 --> 00:12:01.809 another to be able to show that. So so when we were thinking about 154 00:12:03.090 --> 00:12:07.889 how do we show the place, how do we celebrate the place, and 155 00:12:07.129 --> 00:12:13.129 how do we start to make real and make visible these kinds of relationships, 156 00:12:13.210 --> 00:12:16.159 the attention that people give one another, we really had to get creative. 157 00:12:16.159 --> 00:12:18.080 When we can go into you know, I can go into a lot of 158 00:12:18.159 --> 00:12:22.799 detail about what we did, but but that was the set up. I 159 00:12:22.879 --> 00:12:28.519 should add, though, that this gift that we started with was a huge 160 00:12:28.960 --> 00:12:33.830 opportunity for us. When we think about place and we think about the the 161 00:12:35.230 --> 00:12:39.269 important role of the residential experience at Canyon, we were able, from a 162 00:12:39.389 --> 00:12:45.019 messaging perspective, with that gift, to have a very to make a very 163 00:12:45.139 --> 00:12:50.899 bold statement about the value of the residential experience at Canyon and the investment in 164 00:12:50.139 --> 00:12:54.259 that experience. You know, if you think about January of two thousand and 165 00:12:54.259 --> 00:13:00.769 twenty one, there were lots of conversations about the future of working in place, 166 00:13:00.809 --> 00:13:05.090 studying in place. Would we forever be remote? We didn't even know 167 00:13:05.210 --> 00:13:09.289 when the pandemic was going to end. So to be able to make a 168 00:13:09.370 --> 00:13:13.080 statement at that moment that that, yes, we are doubling down on this, 169 00:13:13.279 --> 00:13:16.720 we are investing in this, we have support in this, we celebrate 170 00:13:16.840 --> 00:13:22.240 this. was a huge opportunity for us. I think the only challenge was 171 00:13:22.519 --> 00:13:26.909 tone right. So the country was divided, the country, you know, 172 00:13:28.029 --> 00:13:33.789 people were dying, people were were tired. It was very, very hard 173 00:13:33.870 --> 00:13:37.350 to think about, like how do you strike the right tone where you celebrate 174 00:13:39.149 --> 00:13:43.539 this, this good fortune, and yet you recognize the context in which people 175 00:13:43.539 --> 00:13:48.019 are living? So lots of lots of ways that covid played into a complicated 176 00:13:48.139 --> 00:13:52.299 messaging year. Yeah, that's great and I can even tell, just in 177 00:13:52.340 --> 00:13:56.129 the way of your articulation of of that new brand that here on purpose, 178 00:13:56.769 --> 00:14:00.090 just how purposeful, I mean just in this conversation, how purposeful you're all 179 00:14:00.169 --> 00:14:03.929 doing everything that you're doing, how thoughtful and articulate you are with those types 180 00:14:05.009 --> 00:14:07.210 of things. And I find it interesting because I've got a lot of a 181 00:14:07.289 --> 00:14:13.200 lot of our clients are similar, small to medium size privates that you know, 182 00:14:13.519 --> 00:14:16.440 many of them are rural, and I think that you know you've got 183 00:14:16.519 --> 00:14:20.080 to do some things, especially with the residential experience, to really be purposeful 184 00:14:20.559 --> 00:14:22.639 in that strategy and I'm sure that's part of why the brand went to where 185 00:14:22.639 --> 00:14:24.509 it was. Maybe tell us a little bit about that, because, I 186 00:14:24.549 --> 00:14:28.750 mean Kenyans is kind of in the middle of it's in the it's the middle 187 00:14:28.750 --> 00:14:35.909 of everywhere. Okay, know, absolutely, I think you you're exactly right. 188 00:14:35.990 --> 00:14:39.019 In fact. You know, when we think about Kenyon's distinctions, and 189 00:14:39.100 --> 00:14:41.980 this came through in the data, right in the market research, one of 190 00:14:43.019 --> 00:14:46.259 the things that we're that most stands out about us is where we are when 191 00:14:46.259 --> 00:14:50.980 we look at ourselves compared to our peers. So many of our peers are 192 00:14:50.059 --> 00:14:54.210 coastal, so they're on the east coast or on the West Coast. Many 193 00:14:54.250 --> 00:14:58.809 of our students come from those parts of the country. So when they're making 194 00:14:58.809 --> 00:15:03.769 a choice to come to Kenyon, there's it's almost like a badge of honors, 195 00:15:03.970 --> 00:15:07.159 like, Oh, all of my friends are going to these sets of 196 00:15:07.200 --> 00:15:11.759 schools that are familiar, that are sort of in my backyard. I'm taking 197 00:15:11.799 --> 00:15:16.759 a step out right, I'm I'm going to go a little off the beaten 198 00:15:16.799 --> 00:15:22.429 path and and the reason I'm doing that is because everyone who lands at Kenyon 199 00:15:22.710 --> 00:15:26.669 has made that choice. So it's very intentional it's very purposeful and it comes 200 00:15:26.789 --> 00:15:31.470 through and the kinds of interactions that people have. So so that was really 201 00:15:31.629 --> 00:15:35.659 what was leading us to take this thing which, for some people, yes, 202 00:15:35.820 --> 00:15:41.460 is a negative. It's certainly the thing that is most notable right when 203 00:15:41.460 --> 00:15:45.659 you're just looking on paper, and let's turn that and show how it is 204 00:15:45.779 --> 00:15:48.019 a plus. You know, the other thing that was true for us is 205 00:15:48.379 --> 00:15:54.769 that we had really, really strong marks from our faculty in terms of how 206 00:15:54.809 --> 00:16:00.529 they thought about the place and how they thought about their students and how they 207 00:16:00.570 --> 00:16:03.009 thought about their colleagues in the work that they do here. It's it was 208 00:16:03.090 --> 00:16:08.240 quite remarkable when you compare it to sort of other institutions. And how do 209 00:16:08.360 --> 00:16:14.000 we turn that, this question of kind of faculty satisfaction, faculty, the 210 00:16:14.120 --> 00:16:17.320 meaning that they have, how do you turn that into something that speaks to 211 00:16:17.360 --> 00:16:22.269 the student experience? Is actually fairly easy to do that. And then the 212 00:16:22.470 --> 00:16:27.549 third was writing. Right and in Kenyan is long been known as a writer's 213 00:16:27.669 --> 00:16:32.860 college and for us we didn't want to pull away from that, but we 214 00:16:32.980 --> 00:16:37.620 needed to make that umbrella bigger to be able to show how the way that 215 00:16:37.820 --> 00:16:45.379 you think about the craft of expressing your ideas right is actually what makes you 216 00:16:45.419 --> 00:16:48.970 a good thinker. Right. So so good writing is good thinking. So 217 00:16:48.090 --> 00:16:52.129 that's where we landed when we were thinking about brand strategy. It's great. 218 00:16:52.169 --> 00:16:56.450 I I also kind of want to point out to some of the listeners too, 219 00:16:56.529 --> 00:16:59.250 that you're using a lot of the institutional data, you know, the 220 00:16:59.289 --> 00:17:03.160 faculty surveys, the alumni surveys, you know, maybe even, you know, 221 00:17:03.559 --> 00:17:10.319 other surveys with students and graduates, using that data to inform your brand 222 00:17:10.400 --> 00:17:14.000 decisions, and I think that's so, so critical. I think a lot 223 00:17:14.000 --> 00:17:18.269 of schools fail to realize that. You know, they're their institutional data and 224 00:17:18.349 --> 00:17:22.509 assessment office probably has some data that can be utilized by marketers, that can 225 00:17:22.549 --> 00:17:26.829 be utilized for communications and and again, doing that on purpose, being purposeful 226 00:17:26.950 --> 00:17:32.220 in that, I think is is very good and to serve some Kudos, 227 00:17:32.259 --> 00:17:34.859 and that so great. Thank you to both of you. I know that 228 00:17:36.339 --> 00:17:40.660 in terms of marketing the campus to both perspective, students into alumni, where 229 00:17:41.019 --> 00:17:45.410 customarily you promoted and relied on people to come on campus. Please share some 230 00:17:45.490 --> 00:17:49.410 of the learnings or the mindset changes that you had to go through over the 231 00:17:49.490 --> 00:17:53.809 past year and how you've accomplished though them. Clean. Do you want to 232 00:17:53.849 --> 00:17:59.640 start, because the the impact on alumni programming was really, really powerful. 233 00:18:00.039 --> 00:18:03.359 Yeah, I'm happy to share what we did. So first I'd say, 234 00:18:03.519 --> 00:18:07.160 you know, we've always had a very strong peer network and so we were 235 00:18:07.200 --> 00:18:14.190 able to tap the peer to peer volunteer network pretty powerfully. We shifted, 236 00:18:14.349 --> 00:18:18.670 as almost every organization did, to a lot of virtual programming. The piece, 237 00:18:18.710 --> 00:18:22.190 I would say, that became very apparent, though, was just the 238 00:18:22.269 --> 00:18:26.140 importance of video and the increase use of video and photography because, as we've 239 00:18:26.180 --> 00:18:32.500 been talking about, like the place is so powerful and when alumnic see photos 240 00:18:32.660 --> 00:18:37.819 and images it immediately brings them back, it tugs it an emotional connection to 241 00:18:37.900 --> 00:18:41.890 the place and where that in ways that words alone can't. So we did 242 00:18:41.049 --> 00:18:47.289 indeed increase our use of video for things like this big gift announcement, which 243 00:18:47.329 --> 00:18:51.130 of course we couldn't do in person, but other things that we did as 244 00:18:51.170 --> 00:18:56.200 well in terms of we renamed our big Athletic Center for a very beloved and 245 00:18:56.720 --> 00:19:00.920 wellknown alumnus. That was all done through the use of video and so we 246 00:19:00.160 --> 00:19:07.000 tried to really, as Janet said in the beginning, appropriately share good news 247 00:19:07.160 --> 00:19:11.710 but in the context of what was going on in the world and that required 248 00:19:11.910 --> 00:19:18.470 just what felt like a near constant pivoting and adjusting and, you know, 249 00:19:18.630 --> 00:19:22.390 waiting till the last minute to make sure everything was just right to that moment 250 00:19:22.589 --> 00:19:27.619 when it was going to be released. But but we certainly have not let 251 00:19:27.779 --> 00:19:33.500 go of the fact that the place is important. But the virtual programming allowed 252 00:19:33.500 --> 00:19:37.900 us to expand some opportunities. So, you know, the relationships that Kenyan 253 00:19:37.940 --> 00:19:44.250 students form with their faculty is really something special and we've had for out of 254 00:19:44.289 --> 00:19:47.930 twenty years something called learning in the company of Friends, where one or two 255 00:19:47.930 --> 00:19:52.410 faculty members may go out on the road for events with alumni. Well, 256 00:19:52.039 --> 00:19:56.920 suddenly we could do those virtually and they were available to a much broader audience. 257 00:19:57.000 --> 00:20:02.839 So we've actually been connecting with people in brand new ways that would not 258 00:20:02.960 --> 00:20:04.759 have been able to make it because we didn't come to their city, but 259 00:20:04.839 --> 00:20:11.789 now suddenly they could tune in virtually and hear from a beloved professor talk about 260 00:20:11.789 --> 00:20:15.789 a topic that they care about. So there have been many bright spots in 261 00:20:15.109 --> 00:20:19.549 what what in my division we keep calling the pandemic potential, trying to look 262 00:20:19.589 --> 00:20:23.339 at the upside of what is possible instead of just what was taken away. 263 00:20:23.579 --> 00:20:30.500 I like that. That's great. Why would I would echo Allen's in terms 264 00:20:30.539 --> 00:20:33.819 of video, you know, certainly as we're thinking about sort of our other 265 00:20:34.059 --> 00:20:37.369 main audience, which is prospective students. You know, one of the the 266 00:20:38.130 --> 00:20:42.170 one of our strategies that has always been is to get them to campus right, 267 00:20:42.250 --> 00:20:45.809 to get them to visit campus. And and this is true of most 268 00:20:45.890 --> 00:20:51.000 institutions, that the campus is, it is a high conversion moment, and 269 00:20:51.279 --> 00:20:56.519 it's certainly true for Canyon. And so last spring, when that option became 270 00:20:56.960 --> 00:21:02.079 not an option, we had to quickly, you know, sort of double 271 00:21:02.119 --> 00:21:07.069 up on our our our video collections, and we had always had a you 272 00:21:07.150 --> 00:21:11.069 know, a sort of a respectable virtual tour, but it was photo driven. 273 00:21:11.630 --> 00:21:15.309 And so the first thing we did was to mine our our be roll 274 00:21:15.509 --> 00:21:19.299 and our video collection and put together a series of what we were calling you 275 00:21:19.500 --> 00:21:22.380 serve in a minute, so mental path in a minute, gift, you 276 00:21:22.420 --> 00:21:26.460 know, places on campus in a minute, and and to edit those that 277 00:21:26.619 --> 00:21:32.140 footage so that you could get a sense of the beauty of this place. 278 00:21:32.380 --> 00:21:36.849 And then the second thing we did was to invest in some three hundred and 279 00:21:36.849 --> 00:21:41.210 sixty videos and and worked very closely to develop a version of that that that 280 00:21:41.329 --> 00:21:48.400 people could sort of watch on their own, but another version that our admissions 281 00:21:48.920 --> 00:21:53.000 counselors and our tour guides could do in real time with a prospective students. 282 00:21:53.039 --> 00:22:00.119 So thinking about repurposing that investment so that it would work for multiple purposes and 283 00:22:00.430 --> 00:22:04.670 to do that in close collaboration with the people who would be using them. 284 00:22:06.309 --> 00:22:10.430 And then the third, which is the most delightful and fun, is, 285 00:22:10.829 --> 00:22:17.420 you know, we had been planning to do this series that had students and 286 00:22:17.500 --> 00:22:22.380 faculty and conversation. That would be this way to show the kind of attention 287 00:22:22.460 --> 00:22:26.259 in the kind of relationships. We couldn't get them in a obviously in a 288 00:22:26.299 --> 00:22:30.049 room together right. So we had to pivot, and maybe I'm going to 289 00:22:30.089 --> 00:22:37.009 call it the pandemic pivot is my coin of terms, that we started working 290 00:22:37.089 --> 00:22:41.369 in animation for the for us that was for the first time, and we 291 00:22:41.690 --> 00:22:48.480 had interviews via zoom and then we had an animator using our new visual sort 292 00:22:48.519 --> 00:22:53.759 of identity to a set of animations that kind of brought them to life and 293 00:22:53.839 --> 00:23:02.230 they really captured the the diversity, the the kind of the very unique human 294 00:23:02.309 --> 00:23:08.470 quality of Kenyan students and they were just delicious and we're able to launch those 295 00:23:08.750 --> 00:23:14.259 on our admitted student website. So we wouldn't we probably wouldn't have gone down 296 00:23:14.259 --> 00:23:18.140 the road of animation if we could have gotten people in a room and and 297 00:23:18.460 --> 00:23:22.619 had a different kind of video. Yeah, I I caught a little bit 298 00:23:22.660 --> 00:23:25.500 of the animation on the home page of your website and I don't know if 299 00:23:25.579 --> 00:23:29.170 the other ones are similar to that, but I was just really blown away 300 00:23:29.210 --> 00:23:30.609 by that. I think that, you know, and I would encourage the 301 00:23:30.650 --> 00:23:33.970 listeners to go to Kenyon dot e to you to just kind of take a 302 00:23:33.009 --> 00:23:37.809 look at that, because I often talk about, you know, different ways 303 00:23:37.849 --> 00:23:41.410 to get attention, especially of generation Z, and you've got to be really 304 00:23:41.519 --> 00:23:45.319 creative. You know, they spend eight hours a day on Youtube. They're 305 00:23:45.359 --> 00:23:48.160 used to a lot of, you know, authentic and, you know, 306 00:23:48.240 --> 00:23:53.200 kind of different types of video. They've got a very discerning eye toward things 307 00:23:53.359 --> 00:23:59.190 and I think to do something like these animations that are unique and different and 308 00:23:59.269 --> 00:24:03.670 and and classy but yet still kind of quirky, I really think that's a 309 00:24:03.950 --> 00:24:07.789 nice way to do that and one of the questions I wanted to ask you 310 00:24:07.829 --> 00:24:11.500 as a follow up on all this video that you've been doing. A lot 311 00:24:11.539 --> 00:24:14.980 of schools will ask me and they'll say, well, I encourage them to 312 00:24:15.019 --> 00:24:17.660 do video, you know, as part of their content marketing strategy. We'll 313 00:24:17.700 --> 00:24:19.779 talk about let's make sure we do video, let's talk about different ways to 314 00:24:19.819 --> 00:24:22.019 do video, and they're like, well, we really don't have the budget 315 00:24:22.059 --> 00:24:26.769 to hire a big video firm. I'm guessing that you looked at some different 316 00:24:26.769 --> 00:24:30.970 ways to do video. I mean you didn't. You weren't bringing in crews 317 00:24:30.009 --> 00:24:33.769 from Columbus and Cleveland do to do your videos? I mean, tell us 318 00:24:33.809 --> 00:24:37.089 a little bit about that. Well, that is an interesting question, because 319 00:24:37.289 --> 00:24:42.279 we were in the middle of a search for videographer and a video producer when 320 00:24:42.359 --> 00:24:48.799 the pandemic hit and we actually were not able to fill that position. So 321 00:24:48.880 --> 00:24:52.309 if there are any great video producers who want to do amazing work, please, 322 00:24:52.589 --> 00:24:56.509 please come apply to can and we're looking for a talented people. But 323 00:24:56.670 --> 00:25:02.950 we had the benefit of having one a really great collection on hand, so 324 00:25:03.069 --> 00:25:07.500 we could mind some of that and we had relationships with a couple of independent 325 00:25:07.539 --> 00:25:15.500 video producers who we burned working with for many years, and so the fruits 326 00:25:15.539 --> 00:25:18.940 of that collaboration. That would be the thing that I would say is that 327 00:25:18.099 --> 00:25:22.009 you don't necessarily have to have it all in house. You don't necessarily have 328 00:25:22.170 --> 00:25:26.849 to hire a kind of fancy big firm. We it wasn't part of a 329 00:25:26.970 --> 00:25:32.849 package that we put together with our as part of a brand strategy or a 330 00:25:32.930 --> 00:25:37.519 big break roll out. We really found the the partners who were best in 331 00:25:37.720 --> 00:25:41.799 class at what they did. So, whether it was video or whether it 332 00:25:42.079 --> 00:25:48.880 was print publications or whether it was magazine, we and we were the glue. 333 00:25:49.000 --> 00:25:52.589 We were the same and I think that actually helps right like that helps 334 00:25:52.710 --> 00:26:00.549 us have it's more generative in terms of creative work. You get the benefit 335 00:26:00.589 --> 00:26:03.740 of outside perspective, but you also have a kind of responsibility to be the 336 00:26:03.819 --> 00:26:07.339 glue. And so then when we're working with KALEEN's team and we're working with 337 00:26:07.460 --> 00:26:11.740 our admissions team, that there's it's embedded, it's not it's not a kind 338 00:26:11.740 --> 00:26:18.539 of added distance kinds of collaboration. So so that I would recommend that. 339 00:26:18.130 --> 00:26:21.930 I like that. It's kind of like an internal agency type of feel where 340 00:26:21.970 --> 00:26:26.690 you're pulling in the different resources to put that together for your vision and I 341 00:26:26.809 --> 00:26:30.289 think that's a really good approach to that and I think even you know I'm 342 00:26:30.289 --> 00:26:33.480 going to make a little bit of a note here because a lot of our 343 00:26:33.519 --> 00:26:37.119 listeners have listened to some of my presentations and I have a presentation about marketing 344 00:26:37.160 --> 00:26:41.599 on a shoestring budget. And this three hundred sixty degree cameras that you're talked 345 00:26:41.599 --> 00:26:45.319 about that maybe your admissions team is used for live and I'm not sure which 346 00:26:45.319 --> 00:26:48.710 ones you're using, but those are those are not beyond reach for most colleges 347 00:26:48.789 --> 00:26:52.509 and most departments. I mean, you know, under under three or four 348 00:26:52.509 --> 00:26:55.710 hundred dollars on Amazon you can get a Nice Rico three hundred and sixty degree 349 00:26:55.710 --> 00:26:59.829 camera that put it on a selfiestick and be able to do some nice videos 350 00:26:59.869 --> 00:27:02.539 that k quality. You can post to Youtube and I'm sure that those are 351 00:27:02.539 --> 00:27:03.420 some of the things that you did in addition to, you know, some 352 00:27:03.500 --> 00:27:07.660 of the additional things. But again, I'm just trying to let everybody know 353 00:27:07.779 --> 00:27:12.180 that this strategy that Kenyon has done with video, it's it's accessible and and 354 00:27:12.539 --> 00:27:15.609 you know it, just like most people will understand that I can find a 355 00:27:15.690 --> 00:27:19.450 freelance graphic designer, you can find freelance videographers to that can do a lot 356 00:27:19.450 --> 00:27:23.130 of the same types of things that you need to do so great. Thank 357 00:27:23.170 --> 00:27:26.170 you for letting me kind of encourage everyone with that, JANA. Of course, 358 00:27:26.609 --> 00:27:30.640 usually at this time when we're winding down, I ask for something additional 359 00:27:30.920 --> 00:27:36.039 that people can take away, but kind of feel guilty because both of you 360 00:27:36.240 --> 00:27:40.319 have shared so much, but I'm still going to do it. So, 361 00:27:40.519 --> 00:27:44.000 Janet, will start with you and then fall with Kaleen. Is there an 362 00:27:44.079 --> 00:27:47.950 idea, maybe something that you're thinking of doing, something that you recently read 363 00:27:48.069 --> 00:27:52.309 or a secret that you don't mind sharing that's work for you that marketer or 364 00:27:52.470 --> 00:27:57.859 someone listening could apply right away or within the next few days, the few 365 00:27:57.940 --> 00:28:03.460 weeks. You have anything, any tidbits, secrets you can share? Sure 366 00:28:03.220 --> 00:28:07.579 I I will maybe point to one of the things that we did in our 367 00:28:07.940 --> 00:28:14.849 web redesign a turn. We just have a terrific web strategist on staff and 368 00:28:15.529 --> 00:28:18.289 a great partner that we worked with, and so she looked very carefully at 369 00:28:18.329 --> 00:28:22.130 all the analytics, making decisions about what content stays, what you know, 370 00:28:22.250 --> 00:28:29.440 how do we think about our architecture? And she was noticing the about section 371 00:28:29.799 --> 00:28:33.240 right, and she so beautifully put it. She's like it's the junk drawer 372 00:28:33.400 --> 00:28:38.279 of Kenyon, right. So everything that you didn't know where else to put 373 00:28:38.519 --> 00:28:42.150 that. The you know, is a new initiative that that kind of didn't 374 00:28:42.190 --> 00:28:48.349 yet have a home got put into the about section and and she's, she's 375 00:28:48.390 --> 00:28:49.990 like, and it gets traffic right. So that's where people go when there's 376 00:28:51.150 --> 00:28:56.380 sort of starting out. So she reimagined. We don't. We no longer 377 00:28:56.460 --> 00:29:00.779 have an about section it on the Canyon Web site. We have news section 378 00:29:00.859 --> 00:29:06.900 that is very pointedly to prospective students of poor can't explore canyon, and it 379 00:29:07.140 --> 00:29:12.289 really allows us to put forward our sort of brand messages in a way that 380 00:29:14.130 --> 00:29:15.970 it comes at a place where people are looking for that kind of top level 381 00:29:17.049 --> 00:29:22.210 view. It allows us to for people to Browse, you know, via 382 00:29:22.490 --> 00:29:26.720 looking at photos or looking at if you just want the numbers. And what 383 00:29:26.880 --> 00:29:30.759 we found is in doing that. So the cleaning out of the junk drawer, 384 00:29:30.759 --> 00:29:36.599 we increase the clicks from our home page to that section of the website 385 00:29:36.720 --> 00:29:41.829 thirty seven percent. So so my tip is open the junk drawers. Keep 386 00:29:41.869 --> 00:29:45.430 them because they're important. They were there place that people want to go when 387 00:29:45.470 --> 00:29:48.630 they don't quite know where to go to look for something. But just make 388 00:29:48.670 --> 00:29:53.460 sure when they open that drawer, that they find something that is is what 389 00:29:53.579 --> 00:29:56.259 they're looking for and that it tells the story that you want to tell. 390 00:29:57.099 --> 00:30:00.539 That's great. I really like that and I was looking at the site while 391 00:30:00.539 --> 00:30:04.660 we were talking and that's a great solution, Kalan. So I do to 392 00:30:04.700 --> 00:30:10.730 say it's hard to choose one thing because our team has worked so hard to 393 00:30:11.049 --> 00:30:17.490 really just tap into incredible amounts of creativity and resourcefulness, and that's happened all 394 00:30:17.529 --> 00:30:18.970 across campus. So I think we all have a lot to be proud of. 395 00:30:19.089 --> 00:30:22.799 So the one I'll talk about perhaps will speak more to the fundraisers and 396 00:30:22.880 --> 00:30:27.599 the audience and the marketer, so I apologize for that. But what we've 397 00:30:27.640 --> 00:30:33.559 learned is that when you have an existing relationship with a person, it is 398 00:30:33.680 --> 00:30:38.150 quite possible to maintain and move forward in that relationship through virtual means. I 399 00:30:38.230 --> 00:30:44.750 mean we've had a very meaningful conversations onto that have not inhibited in any way, 400 00:30:45.349 --> 00:30:49.619 but trying to cultivate a new relationship through virtual environment is much more difficult. 401 00:30:51.140 --> 00:30:53.579 And one of the things that we started very early on, I think 402 00:30:53.619 --> 00:30:59.380 our first session was maybe an April of twenty, was something we called the 403 00:30:59.380 --> 00:31:07.170 Kenyon insider series, where we've continued these quarterly but we in invited our major 404 00:31:07.289 --> 00:31:12.049 gift donors and perspective donors to these insider events where it was a special invitation. 405 00:31:12.730 --> 00:31:18.329 They got a follow up phone call from a development officer personally inviting them, 406 00:31:18.920 --> 00:31:22.400 and we've done everything from, you know, sort of a insider look 407 00:31:22.440 --> 00:31:27.759 at the brand new library that's under construction to having a couple faculty members on 408 00:31:27.839 --> 00:31:33.509 a panel and hearing about how are they teaching a lab course and a virtual 409 00:31:33.589 --> 00:31:37.150 environment like you know, how in the world is this even working, to 410 00:31:37.710 --> 00:31:42.789 how our students being affected and particularly with the George Floyd murder and what was 411 00:31:42.910 --> 00:31:48.059 happening with the tension on campus and the heartbreak on campus, and we were 412 00:31:48.140 --> 00:31:52.420 able to sort of open up a window to some key insiders that were important 413 00:31:52.420 --> 00:31:57.779 to us and we found that we had major donors in prospects who won live 414 00:31:57.779 --> 00:32:01.369 an out of the way areas, so not in the typical cities that we 415 00:32:01.529 --> 00:32:05.849 travel to all the time, who we didn't know at all, who were 416 00:32:05.890 --> 00:32:10.569 tuning in regular and staying on for the whole hour and really engaging in the 417 00:32:10.930 --> 00:32:17.720 content. So that was probably our most effective way of being able to cultivate 418 00:32:17.759 --> 00:32:22.839 a relationship with a new person who could get intrigued by what they heard in 419 00:32:23.000 --> 00:32:29.279 that hour long presentation and then be open to a oneonone conversation with a gift 420 00:32:29.400 --> 00:32:34.630 officer. That's that is something that has worked well and is just one example 421 00:32:34.789 --> 00:32:38.549 of something that we will continue post pandemic because, well, it certainly will 422 00:32:38.549 --> 00:32:44.069 do things in person. There are audiences that we've been able to reach through 423 00:32:44.150 --> 00:32:47.779 virtual means that we would never been able to reach only an in person events. 424 00:32:49.180 --> 00:32:53.579 Thank you, Klein, so impactful, both the last two secrets that 425 00:32:53.700 --> 00:32:59.130 you gave us and then everything that you've shared over our time together today. 426 00:32:59.650 --> 00:33:04.089 And for those who would like to reach you, especially if there's a great 427 00:33:04.170 --> 00:33:07.890 videographer out there, how would they get in touch with the both of you? 428 00:33:07.970 --> 00:33:10.009 Kalen, if you would start. Yeah, my my email is the 429 00:33:10.210 --> 00:33:15.039 best way. It's just garland one, the number one. So I'm lucky 430 00:33:15.200 --> 00:33:17.000 to be one of the first garlands. I guess at Kenyon that I get 431 00:33:17.039 --> 00:33:22.200 the number one, but garland one at Kenyon, dot eedu. Thank you, 432 00:33:22.440 --> 00:33:27.349 Janet, and and I'm very, very similar. I'm Marsden one, 433 00:33:27.509 --> 00:33:32.710 so that Mrs then one at Kenyon. Dott EU. Thank you both. 434 00:33:32.910 --> 00:33:37.789 Again for your wisdom in and you have time that you've generously given us. 435 00:33:37.230 --> 00:33:42.259 Barn't any parting thoughts. I just want to you know again, Echo, 436 00:33:42.380 --> 00:33:47.140 and thank you both for your graciousness and sharing and again congratulations on not only 437 00:33:47.180 --> 00:33:51.660 the gift but also just the success that you've been doing with them, with 438 00:33:51.819 --> 00:33:57.170 your with your communications, in your marketing and just living living out that here 439 00:33:57.250 --> 00:34:00.009 on purpose. I can tell that even in our conversation here, of how 440 00:34:00.049 --> 00:34:05.529 apropos that brand is. So thank you again both for being here and looking 441 00:34:05.569 --> 00:34:08.329 forward to kind of following Kenyon going forward. Thank you for having us, 442 00:34:08.610 --> 00:34:14.760 our pleasure. And now for a commercial. The High Ed Marketer podcast is 443 00:34:14.840 --> 00:34:19.960 sponsored by Taylor solutions and education, marketing and branding agency and by Think, 444 00:34:20.039 --> 00:34:23.670 patented, a marketing, execution, printing, mailing and provider of higher it 445 00:34:23.789 --> 00:34:28.789 solutions. On behalf of of my cohost, Bart Taylor, I'm troy singer. 446 00:34:29.269 --> 00:34:34.949 Thank you for joining us. You've been listening to the Higher Ed Marketer. 447 00:34:35.710 --> 00:34:37.980 To ensure that you never miss an episode, subscribe to the show in 448 00:34:38.099 --> 00:34:43.900 your favorite podcast player. If you're listening with apple podcasts. 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