Listen to Lead the Way: Audience Insights Guide Your FAFSA Response
Campus Sonar Brain Waves
by Kelly Ratliff and Kelsey Stockton
12h ago
It’s no secret by now that the redesign and relaunch of the FAFSA form at the federal level has caused stress and confusion for higher ed leaders and college-going families alike. Staff and administrators are navigating frequent updates and shifting processes and timelines; and further uncertainty about aid and finances has added to the worries prospective students already feel about affording a degree. (Our national industry listening continues to reveal scholarships and financial aid as top topics discussed online in terms of the college decision-making process.) At Campus Sonar, our mission ..read more
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5 Focus Areas for Campus Presidents Amidst Decreasing Trust
Campus Sonar Brain Waves
by Amber Sandall
2d ago
It’s not surprising that 72% of college presidents agree or somewhat agree that their institution needs to make fundamental changes in its business models, programming, or other operations (Inside Higher Ed’s 2023 survey of presidents). Or that roughly 40% of U.S. higher ed institutions are at, or nearing, financial risk, calculated by EY-Parthenon’s Institutional Viability Metric (IVM). Of these institutions, public campuses are less likely to be stable than their liberal arts and private, nonprofit counterparts. And no wonder—in 1990, state-per-student funding was almost 140% more than that ..read more
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What Holds Executive Leaders Back from Committing to Differentiation?
Campus Sonar Brain Waves
by Alastair Hayes
2d ago
Differentiation is the bottom line of brand strategy. It's what makes an institution relevant and justifies its tuition and perceived quality. Yet any effort to stand out from the competition is a challenging prospect for many institutions searching for relevance and future direction.  In a competitive market, it's becoming increasingly important for institutions to stand out. At the Council of Independent Colleges, AASCU, and AMA Higher Ed, industry thought leaders called for collective action to focus strategic planning efforts on differentiation.  That’s why we brought together th ..read more
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Differentiation: What Holds Campuses Back?
Campus Sonar Brain Waves
by Alastair Hayes
1w ago
Every institution has its own distinct flavor. So why do so many institutions try so hard to be vanilla? Each has unique characteristics and culture that set it apart from its competitors. No institution has the same combination of values, culture, people, programs, and facilities it takes to deliver its education outcomes and experiences.  Rob Zinkan outlined why higher ed institutions struggle with the concept of outward differentiation. Their inward-facing perspective affirms the belief that students and donors already recognize the value without saying it, shying away from bold brand ..read more
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Independent Colleges: Four Headwinds for Leadership to Navigate in 2024
Campus Sonar Brain Waves
by Kelsey Stockton and Agassy Rodriguez
1M ago
Our 2024 kicked off with a trip to sunny Florida for the Council of Independent Colleges Presidents Institute. The conversations and sessions covered the toughest current topics, such as endowments, cost of attendance, artificial intelligence, and others, giving us renewed appreciation for the hardest job in higher ed.  Attendees navigated issues and solutions critical for campus leaders this coming year. Although the focus was on independent colleges, the issues and trends affect every institution in some form. We’re sharing four challenges that will shape the 2024 higher ed landscape. D ..read more
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3 Ways Social Listening Aligns Athletics and Central Marcom
Campus Sonar Brain Waves
by Alastair Hayes
1M ago
Athletics and central marcom rarely join in strategic cohesion on campus. Fragmentation and political territorialism have frequently led institutions to detach athletics from the central brand, freeing teams for more flexibility and creativity, but often at the expense of collaboration and consistency. It’s a key reason we see so many bland higher ed ads promoting undergraduate enrollment during high-profile games. Yet there are signs more forward-thinking marketing leaders are unlocking the full power of their brands’ potential using common data-led decision-making. Our recent social listenin ..read more
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Guiding the Way: Mastering Effective Reporting to Leadership
Campus Sonar Brain Waves
by Kelsey Stockton
6M ago
“We report quarterly, but no one really gives feedback.” “Our information goes into an annual board report, and we’re not sure if anyone even reads it.” “We work hard, but don’t always feel seen.” “We have a new leader coming in and want to position our team’s value effectively.” We hear comments like these all the time, and campus communicators are genuinely concerned their efforts are lost in the sea of competing priorities.  Campus leaders are inundated with information. How do you get them to care about yours?  Keep it succinct. With online conversation, there’s endless data to c ..read more
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Campus Sonar and The Society for College and University Planning Launch Strategic Partnership
Campus Sonar Brain Waves
by Campus Sonar
6M ago
A Collaboration Dedicated to Growing a Diverse Community and Helping Professionals Transform Higher Education Campus Sonar and The Society for College and University Planning (SCUP) are collaborating as strategic partners. This partnership focuses on elevating SCUP’s strategic communications, informing thought leadership, and evolving research and innovative resources to members.  The goal of the partnership is to guide SCUP toward increasing organizational capacity for transformation by conducting innovative social listening research and supporting the development of goals and target aud ..read more
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How to Set Your Team Up for Success
Campus Sonar Brain Waves
by Keagan Miller
8M ago
As a marketing leader you have a lot on your plate. Between managing competing goals, responding to urgent requests, attending last minute meetings, satisfying tight deadlines, and more—it’s a lot. That’s why support is critical to your success as a leader and campus. Setting your team up with the right tools and resources empowers you to achieve your goals. Set Your Strategy An effective leader provides clear direction and sets strategic, achievable goals. Effective teams need a unified purpose to be successful. Not only do teams need SMART goals, but also strategic alignment across the insti ..read more
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Small and Private Institutions: Why Engagement Matters
Campus Sonar Brain Waves
by Katlin Swisher
9M ago
Higher ed trends empower you to analyze your campus’s online conversation behavior against a comparable sample. And they help you move beyond vanity metrics.  We updated our higher ed trends research to help you compare your campus to the rest of the industry. This year’s research analyzed over 4,700,00 mentions from 50 institutions of every type and size to bring you the most relevant and impactful insights. When reviewing higher ed’s overall volume of owned vs. earned mentions in our 2022 industry trends data set, one of the most substantial findings is that nearly three-quarters of al ..read more
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