Why Schools Need Public Relations and Persona Strategies to Better Tell Their Brand Story

Feb 18, 2020 | Education, Public Relations

Effective Brand Communications Can Boost Educational Enrollment

It’s no secret that public perception and reputation can make or break any organization or brand. This makes a strong public relations strategy pivotal for any organization looking to elevate themselves among their peers.

For educational institutions, the value of a concrete public relations strategy is no different.

Segmenting messaging within a student’s sphere of influence, conveying points of differentiation and authentic storytelling are key factors to crafting a message that reaches and resonates with your desired audience.

But understanding proper implementation and maintenance of public relations initiatives to foster enrollment and streamline internal communications efforts for educational institutions requires more than book smarts. Read on to learn more.

Taking Control of Messaging to Target Audiences

Equally as important to media coverage of your school is reaching prospective and current students, as well as alumni and community groups. By taking control of the messaging to these key groups through brand storytelling on social media channels and email marketing, education institutions can continue to foster their public relations efforts and build on their brand story.

For educational institutions, like HACC, Central Pennsylvania’s Community College, target audiences can range from traditional to non-traditional students and trade or technical students. To ensure we were personally connecting with each target audience to tell HACC’s brand story, Gavin created three different student personas to motivate engagement and enrollment through the voice of the student.

Persona development and subsequent commercials built for each of HACC’s target audiences helped generate a 137% increase in click-through rate from previous campaigns.

Storytelling in the Media

Staying relevant as decision making evolves is at the bedrock of survival for educational institutions. Mapping out press coverage goals and establishing a media relations strategy to achieve those objectives can leverage opportunities to showcase key programs and team expertise, promote flexible curriculum options, issue graduation announcements and share student success stories.

Media coverage can earn an institution brand exposure in the local community and national education marketplace as well as influence and strengthen perception to prospective students.

YTI Career Institute wanted to drive awareness to their Central Pennsylvania campus. Working with Gavin on a public relations strategy helped generate eight feature stories over a year in local media, resulting in a media value of nearly $1.3 million with and more than 48.6 million media impressions.

The public relations strategy included media relations that leveraged student success stories and showcased key programs and career services to increase YTI’s brand exposure. That exposure increased campus website traffic, social media engagement and boosted overall market credibility.

During this time, Gavin was proactively and reactively pitching to media sources, monitoring the media for any timely news and conducting media training for the school’s spokesperson.

At Gavin, we have a proven track record of helping educational institutions think like strategic brands to achieve their desired outcomes of increasing enrollment and fostering their long-term brand reputation.

If your educational institution is ready to experience the benefits of strategic brand communications, connect with Gavin today.