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What Your College or University's PR Strategy Sorely Needs

Eric Sivertsen


The world of higher education marketing is ever-changing, and these rapid advancements in general marketing strategy come coupled with significant alterations to the way we manage public relations within our institutions. With so much changing so fast in an industry driven by news and technology, it can be difficult to decide which elements you should be focusing on as they fly past.

Check out these key elements that your college or university's PR strategy may be missing.

Artificial Intelligence

The words "artificial intelligence" are quickly approaching "buzzword" status in the marketing realm, but the fact is that AI is changing the way nearly every aspect of marketing is done—and PR is no exception. In years past, press releases were written for editors, but, these days, they are written more to satisfy search-engine algorithms. As AI begins to infiltrate newsrooms across the country, your institution's public-relations strategy will once again need to shift to satisfy the demands of AI bots combing the internet for newsworthy stories. An institution whose press release ranks more highly will have a better shot at its story being picked up by news-perusing robots. To increase your ranking for these all-seeing virtual machines, try using rich media, such as links, pictures or video, as these components will boost your page's legitimacy.

READ: Writing Search-Engine-Friendly College Marketing Content

Beyond Press Releases

As a PR professional, you get it all the time. "Oh, you work in public relations? Do you write a lot of press releases?" But PR pros are increasingly establishing C-Suite-level roles within their colleges or universities—actively seeking out brand advocates and shaping public perceptions of their institutions through well-planned college events and carefully curated professor-led content that drives interest online. Gone are the days of exclusively churning out press releases and responding to news inquiries. There's a lot more at stake in PR for higher education these days, and it's important that your strategy reflects the ever-growing set of responsibilities entrusted to your position.

Voice Search

Voice search is revolutionizing the ways that people search for things, and that includes prospective students. As a college or university marketer, it's your job to ensure that the right information about your institution falls into the hands of prospective students. If a potential future student asks his or her virtual personal assistant a question about your school's acceptance rate or available majors, you want to make sure that the information is readily available when asked. You may not get another shot at gaining a person's attention. Check out our blog, Everything You Need to Know About Voice Search, to find out what you can do to optimize your website and content for the voice-search revolution.

READ: How the Centennial Generation is Changing College Marketing


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