Before I joined Emsi over a year ago, I worked for four years as a marketing writer at a large public university. My primary responsibility was writing all the content for undergraduate recruitment materials. This included emails, postcards, brochures, visit guides, overview booklets, videos, social media posts, and more.
I enjoyed the work and the challenge of communicating with high school juniors and seniors. But every recruitment cycle, I ran into the same problem.
I couldn’t tell the story I wanted to tell because I didn’t have the right information.
What I really needed was GoRecruit. Here are a couple reasons why I think it can be a difference-maker for content writers like me.
1. Rankings are not enough
Every year, we mailed booklets to prospective students. In it, we’d include rankings from U.S. News & World Report, Safewise.com, Money Magazine, etc. Whatever we could find.
While it’s nice to have that third-party validation, there were several problems with rankings. They’re often sporadic, and I was at the mercy of the institutions releasing them. Sometimes I’d have to use rankings that were three or four years old because they hadn’t been updated or we’d dropped in the rankings.
Rankings have their place. They can show how your school compares against others, how safe your city is, or how happy your students are. But too many schools are forced to depend on them because they have no other data.
2. Anecdotes don’t tell the whole story
One of my favorite parts of my job was talking to students. I’d interview a handful of them every recruitment cycle and write short blurbs to be used in all our marketing collateral.
The student stories added a lot of credibility and humanity to our pieces, but they didn’t tell the whole story. They couldn’t. One successful business student’s story doesn’t reflect the experiences of the thousands of other business students over the years. It doesn’t show a pattern.
A student story can certainly show a prospective student and their parents what’s possible. And it’s often easier to relate to a real person’s story. But to best serve the needs of students, it needs to be accompanied by hard data.
How GoRecruit would have helped
If I had had GoRecruit, I would have been able to tell prospective students a more comprehensive story.
I could have showed prospective students and parents the actual labor market outcomes of my institution’s grads. And built infographics to showoff that data. I could have written about:
- Which companies they worked for
- What job titles they held
- What cities they live in
- How much money they are estimated to make
- What skills they have
- What percentage are working in their field of study
Think about how much more impactful those student stories and rankings would have been if they’d been paired with employment outcomes data from GoRecruit. Can you imagine how impressed students and parents would have been if we could have provided them with those numbers?
Having worked as a writer in enrollment management, I’m convinced that GoRecruit is a game changer. And I’m excited to see how colleges and universities will use this data.
To learn more, check out this interview with GoRecruit product manager Ashley Safranski. Ashley worked in enrollment management for 10 years, at the same university I did, before joining Emsi to develop GoRecruit. She and I often collaborated on recruitment marketing materials, and she knows exactly what kinds of challenges EM teams face.
Meredith Metsker is a data journalist at Emsi. You can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.