Marketing & Recruitment
Throughout the marketing and recruitment process, the Office of International Education (OIE) will help advertise your program through the following means:
- Creating an interactive webpage on our website that highlights different aspects of your program (such as a program overview, academic information on the course, itinerary, and important dates and deadlines) and acts as an application portal
- Holding a study abroad fair at the beginning of each semester where a table will be provided for each program/leader, as well as de developing an informational poster/flyer and student interest signup sheets
- Sending target marketing emails to UW-Stout students (e.g., to relevant majors)
- Conducting personal advising sessions with students
- Conducting classroom presentations
- Recording a virtual info session with you, which will be available to you for distribution among your colleagues, department, program, etc.
While OIE is your partner in marketing and recruitment, it is critical that you – as faculty leader – devote time and energy in this area to achieve the minimum number of students for the program to run.
Branding Your Program
Program branding should actually start in the pre-proposal development process, as you consider and discuss factors with your academic leadership and OIE that will affect your potential pool of students:
- Is the program unique (either by location or topic)?
- Does the course fulfill GenEd/RES-A/RES-B/GLP?
- Is the course applicable to a variety of majors?
- Is the program cross-disciplinary?
- Is the destination country/region of interest to UW-Stout students?
After initial ideation of the program, you should also apply a marketing and recruitment lens when you develop an attention-grabbing title and a program description, which are components of the Faculty-Led Proposal Form. You should use clear, concise language to explain the goals of the course. And, when submitting photos or other visual elements as part of the proposal process, make sure they help students picture themselves in your program. Give students an idea of what they will be getting from the course as well as what kind of activities will be involved.
Marketing and Outreach
After your proposal has been approved, you will move into a critical outreach phase to market the program and recruit students. Here are some ideas of how you can promote your program:
Bring the information to them
- Send email blasts – Contact fellow professors and applicable program directors and let them know about your program. Have them forward information to their students and advocate for your program in their classes. Don’t forget about colleges at other campuses, as non-Stout students can participate in your program as special students.
- Post to your Canvas class pages – Don’t forget Canvas, since it is a great platform to reach students who will be interested in the focus of your program. Create announcements or inbox messages that explain the details of your program for your students, provide them with a means of contacting you if they are interested and want more information, and/or direct them to your program page on our website to find details and apply.
- Give classroom presentations – Remember face-to-face marketing is always the most effective. Realize that many students do not know about all the options available to study abroad at UW-Stout, so by giving a classroom presentation, you are handing the information to them. Include a request to give a classroom presentation when you contact fellow professors (bullet above). Keep the presentation brief (5-10 minutes). Provide information on the course, how to apply, what’s included in the program fee, while using photos, videos, or testimonials from past trips (if available) to appeal to students visually.
- Hold an info session – Hold an informational meeting outside of the classroom by reserving a room in the MSC, in your department, or at OIE. Please let us know the details of your info session and our office will advertise it via Campus Life Today, our Facebook page, our Connect page, etc. One of our student assistants/peer advisors can also attend to answer questions related to the application process and can direct them to the online application.
- Attend our study abroad fair – Our study abroad fairs are the perfect opportunity to do some one-on-one marketing to students who are interested in exploring their study abroad opportunities. Having someone there to explain the details of your program will help students decipher what program is the best fit for them and will likely lead to more students interested in your program.
- Create your own informational flyers/posters/brochures – Make simple and informative promotional materials to market your program to students. Distribute them from your table at our study abroad fair or get them approved to hang in residence halls or the MSC. Target academic departments with a connection to your program. Be sure to send some to OIE so we can distribute them to interested students as well.
- Post to Campus Life Today/UW-Stout Today – Submit a post for Campus Life Today that is sent to every student to help spread the word of your program. Keep in brief, focusing on basic program details and the program’s webpage, where and by when to apply, and info on any upcoming classroom presentations or info sessions.
- Post to UW-Stout Connect – Post any information about info sessions or other recruiting events on your department’s Connect program page.
- Create a blog, website, or video – Keep it fun and interactive! Probably the most enjoyable way to market your program – for both you and your potential students – is creating a video that shows an overview of your program and a glimpse into the host community. Consider using student testimonials, photos, and video clips to help students visualize themselves in your program. This information can also be shared in a blog or other website if videography isn’t your strong suit.
Use alumni to your advantage
One of the biggest reasons that a student studies abroad is because a friend or peer told them about the program. If you are fortunate enough to be running a repeat program, contact students who have gone on your program in the past and ask them to advocate for your program to new students. Alternatively, you can look to students who have visited the same location but through a different program or through personal travel or have attended a similar program in the past.