In late 2012, I helped spearhead the development and subsequent launch of Excelsior Life, Excelsior College’s online newsroom and magazine. On November 6, 2013, Excelsior Life was awarded an Empire Award in the online media category by the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) Capital Region Chapter.
In order to increase brand awareness and showcase a vibrant campus and academic life – characteristics not normally associated with a distance learning institution – Excelsior College’s Office of Institutional Advancement launched Excelsior Life, a robust online newsroom and a podcast interview series that has increased web traffic by 791 percent from the previous year and resulted in a substantial boost in earned media.
I’ve had a few emails asking why the blog has gone silent over the past six months. Well, teaching a college class and taking over as president of the local Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) chapter will do that.
For those in higher education PR/Marketing, Georgy Cohen is a certifiable rockstar. She is a writer, speaker and founder of Crosstown Digital Communications who in a previous life, led the development of Tufts Now, for my buck, the best higher ed online newsroom in existence. When it comes to content, she is Queen.
Today on her website, Meet Content, she published a feature focusing on developing content for recruiting prospective students to online programs. I was fortunate enough to share my thoughts for the piece.
Below is an excerpt, but make sure to read the entire column, which includes contributions from Higher Ed Live’s Seth Odell.
Lesczinski: This past January, our School of Liberal Arts hosted a campus panel on career options for criminal justice graduates. We brought in practitioners from a number of criminal justice fields including a police officer, criminologist, lawyer, researcher, etc. The one panelist that couldn’t make the actual event in person, actually called in from his squad car. The students definitely got a kick out of that.
We crowd-sourced panel questions to our students, registrants, and members of online criminal justice communities leading up to the event to generate interest and then provided ample opportunity for attendee to interact with our panelists. The feedback from this event made us realize the importance of trying to personalize our events. We don’t need to attract thousands of students or registrants for these types of events to be successful. In fact, we can better foster that sense of community by focusing on smaller, more intimate events tailored to specific target audiences that will allow for more personal interaction.