I had a refreshing phone conversation today. A college (non-client) called me because they are doing really well. Their applications are up, their enrolled students are up, retention is better than ever, and… they want to make sure this continues! Imagine that: forward thinking in a time of success.
The majority of our proposal requests and phone inquiries come from colleges that NEED to increase their class size, keep students from dropping out, or build a brand since they’re not well known. This is why I was caught off guard with today’s conversation.
This small, private, non-profit college is facing increased competition from not only cross-applicant colleges, but they are feeling real pressure from for-profit colleges. They are happy with their decentralized marketing structure, but the department is rethinking their organization as well as their outbound communications plan. Why? Because they want to remain successful and, importantly, there is a bigger budget for such projects in a time of good, versus a time of bad. They wanted to know what we could do to help them remain a leader without feeling like they’re being pressured into costly services.
We spent time discussing the consulting services Carnegie offers, and how we can use internal research and our communications division to kill five birds with one stone, for lack of a better phrase. These types of calls are ones I love. The banter back and forth, the understanding of needs and wants, and the volleying of ideas are why I entered this profession. An hour later, I had a clear understanding of the prospective client’s needs and they understood that I will do what I can to accomplish a lot with a little.
It’s easy to coast in good times, but why? So you can work harder in bad times? Avoid the bad times by staying aware of the conditions with your school and your plan. In other words, be proactive, not reactive.