Today’s plugged in student generation is already searching for ways to connect with their future university. They’re following you on Instagram, liking your Facebook videos, and keeping up with your tweets about the latest news. Your university’s digital footprint is how today’s students are seeing “if the shoe fits.” This is not news. In fact, virtually every university is battling for your future student’s attention on social media. How can you cut through the noise?
Podcasting is quickly being discovered by companies and institutions for several reasons. For instance, podcasts can drastically boost brand visibility and connect on a deep level with a target audience. Audio is an intimate medium which allows a podcast to convey human emotion and authentic messaging. It is a direct line to your listener’s uninterrupted attention.
Adding a podcast to your university’s toolbox has the potential to:
- Improve enrollment.
- Build student success and community.
- Add value to alumni and donors’ lives.
To begin with, decide what your goals are and center your podcast around them. Our Top 10 Podcast Ideas for Universities are a good place to start your brainstorming session. You’re about to discover just how versatile and valuable a podcast can be!
- You’ve hired the best of the best to lead your university to higher ground. Now, a podcast provides the ultimate platform to showcase the talent teaching on your campus! Sit down with professors in each department to learn about their teaching styles. Ask them why they love to teach and what hobbies they enjoy! This can create a strong connection between professors and current students for dynamic classrooms. In addition, it gives future students a glimpse of the inspiring minds they will find on your campus.
- New student orientation series. Round up your admissions counselors, current students, and a handful of professors. Then, host a roundtable discussion. Topics can include everything and anything a new student needs for success. Outline what they should know, do, bring, and look forward to as they prepare to join your university’s family.
- Student spotlight. Future students want to know what a day in the life of a student is like. Interview students you believe exemplify the spirit and values of your university. They should have different majors, backgrounds, and stories to share. This vibrant introduction to your student body will allow you to meet your future students where they are at. And, it will simultaneously strengthen connections in the current student body.
- It seems like there’s hacking for everything these days. But unfortunately, graduating university within a four-year time frame continues to be a stumbling block in the United States. However, your university can be a part of the solution! Put together a foolproof guide to graduating in 4 years for your students. Feature counselors answering FAQs. Give clear directions on how students can make sure they are taking the correct credits for their major. Discuss hacks on everything from deciding a major to how to manage your time.
Build Student Success and Community
- There’s something new happening every second on campus. Keep your students and faculty in the loop with a weekly podcast. For example, it could include information about upcoming events, important deadlines, changes in school policies, and security procedures. Highlight and recap the best moments from the weekend’s big game or a soundbite from the fall musical.
- Over 70% of students take on a staggering amount of debt when they pursue higher education. However, you can support your students’ decision to value knowledge by providing them with a roadmap to navigating university financial challenges. Include overviews on work-study opportunities, scholarship applications, loan payment plans post-graduation, and resources for money management.
- A recent Gallup poll reveals: “Relationships most affect graduates’ perception that their education was worth the cost.” A strong education is the foundation of any successful university story. However, the community and campus culture are vital to your students’ health and wellbeing. And guess what! The podcast possibilities are endless in this realm. Invite alumni roommates who are still fast friends, a husband and wife duo who met at a pep rally, or current students to share how they found their people. These stories will illustrate the rich culture that awaits future students.
- The highlight reel podcast could apply to your university across a wide variety of topics. For example… Sports: pre and post-game recaps, interviews with players and coaches, and soundbites from the game. Theatre: a documentary narrative about the lead up to each play or musical, with monologues by students about their journey and the creative process. Campus ministry: discussions on faith and spirituality, mental health and meditation.
Add Value to Alumni and Donors’ Lives
- Commencement and graduation speeches that inspire should be shared beyond campus confines. Therefore, consider gifting your alumni, donors, and future students with an “audio ticket” to the best on campus speakers by creating a podcast series. In fact, you’re probably already capturing many of these events by video. This is a great way to recycle your content and use the audio for a podcast. Add value for your listeners by including a private Q & A with the speaker on the podcast after their speech. Whether you have a small budget or a large budget, this one is a must.
- Your goal as a university is to prepare your students for success in their future careers and lives. What better way to display the quality of your institution, than catching up with graduates and alumni who are making a difference in the world today? This could become a helpful, valuable podcast for any professional, and your listeners and future students will see you as a trusted path to success.