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Advertising/Marketing to High School Students – From a Community College Perspective


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Member 1743
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We are working on a media plan for a local community college. The assignment: Develop a media plan that delivers college messaging to a targeted demographic – high school students and their influencers (parents, teachers, counselors, et al.)  We've moved from a branding campaign earlier this spring to a more hyperlocal campaign that seeks to battle certain negative perceptions regarding community college among both high school students and their influencers. Let's be honest it's not the sexy choice for most students, however, it cannot be denied that community college offers value – especially if it's a top-tier, nationally recognized community college.

My inquiry for those on this forum is twofold:

1. Generally speaking, anyone out there have any experience advertising/marketing to high school students? In particular, those who are juniors and seniors in high school?

2. Has anyone recently worked on a campaign for a community college? I say recently because I feel that the paradigm/challenges for community college's has recently shifted given our improved economy – enrollment is dropping and waitlists are dwindling after a long period of sustained growth.

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I have  not worked on a community college, but have worked on several 4 year schools that were not "sexy" (non selective state schools) and can talk to you about how to reach the type of audience that these types of schools are a fit for.  Specifically, one of the best ways to reach high school students and their influencers is to buy high school posters.  They are posted in high traffic areas  in the schools and run throughout the school year. They are constant reminders.

Also, Pandora works well for adults and students and it can be geo targeted and demographically targeted. this campaign is optimized as time goes on so performance gets better and better.  Also, digital ad networks can be geo targeted as wells as targeted to reach students and parents when they are searching for colleges. Mall advertising also reaches this audience. Hope this helps. Please reach out if you need more help.

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I work with a local college and we focus on marketing their CTE (Career Technical Education) program that provide skills that lead to a job.   We create a lot of flyers to make their events look a lot more professional and attractive to the younger students that are exploring where to go to college.   Some items are posted at:  www.engageinstemfc.com


Member 204
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You might try to call Chris Tieri at Smith and Jones in Massachusetts.  She worked on a CC campaign recently.  You can use my name.

My only advice based on what I've seen reaching students is to use digital solutions

From what I see a lot of high schoolers going to community college don't get a lot of advice from parents,etc.,

These are kids looking for a job and see the CC programs as being able to get them hired quicker.

So, digital communications is very important.

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