Colleagues and friends,
I am little off my game today, and running a bit behind, after spending most of the day in a hospital with my wife, Jennie.
She had a surgical procedure today to rebuild a couple of vertebrae that have been disintegrating. It was a pre-planned surgery, but it was taxing nonetheless. She is doing well and recuperating.
While she recovers, I am trying to make sure that I don’t set back the high-quality parenting she’s done while I am in charge of our three kiddos for a little more than 24-hours!
Today, I did take notice of the great patient care at the hospital where she was treated, though, and I was impressed. There is much we, in admissions, marketing and advancement, can learn.
Below are a couple of things that really impressed me:
They knew, and used, Jennie’s name—Every time Jennie used the patient call button it was answered by someone in a very friendly voice and they always used her name. It made a big difference to her and to me.
They demonstrated care for who was there with her—The hospital volunteers were courteous and communicative. They explained what was going to happen and when it was going to happen and told me exactly what to expect. It was natural and felt natural. There was nothing I didn’t know and it made me feel like they really cared.
They paid close attention to details—There were signs and table-tents around Jennie’s room that almost made it feel like we were in a four-star hotel. These signs solicited feedback and wished Jennie a pleasant stay. It felt warm, inviting and like they were wooing us.
They passed along information with great care and made it personal—Every nurse we saw knew some kind of personal detail about Jennie. These details had clearly been passed along to personalize the experience. The conversations were not just getting vital signs and checking pain levels. They asked about Jennie ordering a gift for Sophie while in pre-op to take advantage of a “Cyber-Monday” sale. They asked about the kids. They asked about Jennie’s work. And, they appropriately made fun of her hapless husband. They proved to us they were paying attention.
I did have some time on my hands to take note of these things while I was waiting! But, it was also very easy to take note, and, I’ve taken notes. I want to see how much of this is applicable in what we do at the college.
What do you think you can apply?
A thought article I can’t get out of my mind
I ran across a post from Jim Langley of Langley Innovations and I’ve been sharing it everywhere because it says so much!
Whether admissions or advancement we too frequently get caught up in “inside baseball” jargon and industry timetables. We think of “yield season” and “calendar year-end asks” or “fiscal year-end asks.” Langley’s advice that we need to remind people of our mission and what we do is something we all need to hear and remember. And, we need to remind people that they can make or be the difference here. It’s mission that matters and it’s the spark that leads to generosity and a desire to join this community.
What do you think of Langley’s advice?
Two things I think are worth reading (if you haven’t already done so)
9 Strategies productive people use to do more with less—By now you’ve probably figured out that I am a fan of EAB’s Daily Briefing. You can subscribe to it, too. This time around EAB a has done an excellent job of summarizing a piece from Forbes written by Bernie Kilder. EAB highlights Kilder’s nice strategies, which include the following:
- Say “no”
- Plan wisely
- Use shorter calendar blocks
- Avoid downtime
- Know yourself
- Try new things
- Stack habits
- Plan ahead
I love this list.
I’ve not mastered all of these, but sure am trying. I am doing better in saying no, delegating, using shorter calendar blocks, trying new things and planning wisely. But, I have room for growth in the other areas, especially avoiding downtime and knowing myself.
What do you make of this list? How can you put these suggestions into play for yourself?
Step-By-Step Guide To Creating A Marketing Persona—One thing that connects all of the areas that I have the opportunity to lead is the intense desire to know, understand and move to action key audiences. While I am still new to the whole idea of persona marketing, I’ve been reading a lot about it and I think we need to get serious about it. I think we tried a lot of this informally, whether through our effort to “layer” messaging in recruitment, or our efforts to tailor language by generation for fundraising purposes.
These were good starts, but persona marketing, and its power, seems to be much more intentional and focused. This introductory article by Talia Wolf is a good overview. My question remains, can we get serious enough about this here?
The author’s why do this is compelling.
- Determine where to focus your time
- Guide product development
- Clearly articulate your customer’s challenges and pain points
- Target your marketing placement where your customer does his or her research
- Tailor marketing messages that speak more directly to customer needs
- Synchronize your team’s efforts and get everyone on the same page.
Something for you (and me) to think about
Because this is my musing and I get to choose the content, I am leaving you with two essays I wrote that appeared in Inside Higher Ed. The first essay compares US tax policy and financial aid. I am interested in what you think of the essay. Let me know your thoughts. You can read the essay here.
The second essay was one of my very first to appear in IHE and it’s a fun one. In this essay I compared crab fishing to admissions and recruitment. It appeared the week of Thanksgiving in 2008. You can read it here.
Is there something you’d like me to muse upon?
If you are curious about a topic or would like some musings about something in particular, please let me know by emailing me at email@example.com
P.S. If you know of someone who you think I should add to my distribution list, please let me know and I will gladly add them to the list. I try to get one of these out every Monday. And, you can read past issues of my musings at my blog @bowtieadmission