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Kaplan University…the best recruitment ad I have seen to date.

Lately I have been approached and in contact with numerous universities that are seeking help in their recruitment endeavours. They say that their ads, brochures and pamphlets aren’t working anymore, they want to start using “social media” as part of their recruitment efforts.

What do I say to this? Social media is not just another tool for your campaign!

Social media is something that should be a permanent part of your product (or your organization). In the case of universities, it should be integrated into the student experience (e.g. podcasts of lectures, social networks for students, wiki use for group projects, mandatory “social media” professional development for professors, etc…). I refuse to encourage my clients to use social media as part of their promotional efforts if social media is not an inherent part of their organization first. Good marketers think of 4 P’s (Product, Price, Place, Promotion). Too many self-proclaimed marketers ignore the “Product” element and their “Promotion” efforts are fruitless as a result.

Have a look a this TV ad from Kaplan University. It is the first university ad I have seen that directly responds to Michael Wesch’s incredible A Vision of Students Today video. Judging from the YouTube comments, most people seem to agree. Now my question is, does Kaplan practice what it preaches? If it doesn’t, this ad will likely see a tremendous backlash, if it does (preliminary feedback from students indicates this is the case), then this may go down as the turning point in university recruitment messaging. What are your thoughts?

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9 Comments

  1. I totally agree.
    And thanks for sharing the video 😀

    (you have very “Polish” family name 🙂 so… greetings form Poland :))

  2. “Na zdrowie! Nazwisko jest Polskie poniewaz jestem Polakiem!” LOL
    Cheers,

    MK

  3. dopiero teraz przeczytaÅ‚em TwojÄ… odpowiedź 😀 wow!

    GratukujÄ™ bloga i bardzo ciekawego tematu 🙂

    Pozdrawiam,

    PS

  4. Kaplan University is the worst experience of my life, the recruiters suck you in and dont give you time to think they tell you to sign up now to start the new term!!!! Then once they get you pretty roped into the whole process is when they tell you that you must take out student loans in order to pay for your education, but only after they trick you into using all financial aide and scholarships available and even that does not cover all of there rediculous fees, so they direct you to city bank to take out subsidized and unsubsidized loans with outrageous intrest fees and unreasonable regulations. I reccomend if you want to go to school online, DO NOT go to Kaplan University!!!!! It is a scam, in alot of places you cant even use the degree you earn there, so PLEASE for your own good, do your research before committing to this rediculous excuse of an educational establishment!

  5. Wow Rachelle, I’m sorry to hear you had to go through that. I have heard good and bad things coming from Kaplan students, however lately they have been leaning towards the latter, as was clearly your experience. Could this be a case of them having the right promotion , place and price without a product to back it?

  6. Well they have a promotion everytime you open your internet browser. I just signed into my MSN today and there it was, JOIN KAPLAN UNIVERSITY, it makes me cringe. and yes I do believe that they have the promotions and prices, and it is convenient to study at home, but they do not show the ability to back what they say when you enroll.

  7. Jacquie

    Strange..I am sorry you had that experience Rachelle. I’ve attended Kaplan for two different degree types. Both times I have had a very enjoyable experience and feel the education they have provided me to far surpass any traditional brick and mortar collage I have ever attended. Perhaps it was my degree plan of choice…not sure. What I do know is that I found my educational studies at Kaplan to be extremely benefiting and very rewarding. The only draw back to Kaplan is that it is very expensive to attend. In fact it is almost as expensive as a big 10 or ivy league college. The credits for my Bachelor’s degree run approximately $350.00 per credit hour.

    I think Kaplan has been great, I have no complaints.

  8. Aleks

    Jacquie,

    Seems like you are working for them.

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