Strategy Four

Strengthen Relationships with External Audiences

Henderson is composed of much more than its students, faculty, and staff. The university depends upon support from a variety of individuals who are not physically present on the campus. These external audiences often control funding, as with legislators; endowments, as with donors; or student enrollment, as with parents.

In order to ensure the vibrant public perception of Henderson, we must work to communicate effectively and consistently with our external stakeholders and build a stronger relationship through that consistent and respectful communication. This strategy will establish a plan to increase interaction and engagement with external audiences, among them legislators, parents of prospective students, reporters, alumni, and community residents.

Action and Elements

  1. Create focus groups of newly-enrolled students, prospective students from Henderson’s target market, and alumni for gathering feedback.
  2. Provide data and bragging facts (telling our story) to give students a compelling reason to apply to the university.
  3. Encourage faculty and staff to direct all media inquiries to the Marketing and Communications office.
  4. Cultivate relationships with key media personnel.
  5. Customer service training for staff campus-wide to avoid the “Henderson shuffle.”
  6. Utilize Henderson alums to identify students and communicate the importance of inquiring and submitting an application for admission.
  7. Use mobile technology/social media to encourage inquires to apply to Henderson and to engage with prospective students and alumni.
  8. Use Cascade’s Spectate and other methods to track which social media posts were most effective at engagement and reaching external audiences.
  9. Interview students who receive a scholarship offer but fail to matriculate at Henderson to find out the reason why they did not matriculate.
  10. Identify all alumni nationally and solicit/thank them.
    • Show examples in media of alumni who have given to Henderson and why.
    • Show what happens with the funds raised from planned gifts in stories about specific students who have been helped.
    • Give club recognition for alumni who make planned gifts.
  11. Develop website navigation that makes calendar events and news easily accessible to the public.
  12. Develop a consistent message and look for all external communication pieces, i.e., social media, website, advertising, mailings to alumni and prospective students, etc.
  13. Develop a comprehensive editorial calendar to provide a consistent message via multiple platforms on a regular basis.
  14. Track attendance at community events and which methods were used to promote the events for the purpose of raising attendance numbers.
    • Survey attendees of certain events to determine why they came and what other types of events they might like to attend.
  15. Move toward online classes that can be taken on iPad or iPhone.
  16. Deliver streaming lectures.
    • Make these lectures available to the general public
  17. Highlight engaging professors on YouTube or Henderson YouTube Channel(s).
    • Gain subscribers to those YouTube Channels.
    • Preview what courses are like.
  18. Arrange for professors to be presenters on TED talks throughout the country.
  19. Hold TED talks at Henderson with engaging and marketable speakers.