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Creative Ways to Reach Prospective Applicants and College Alumni

Game-Like College Micro-Sites for Recruiting and Alumni Outreach At the Cutting Edge

In the highly competitive world of college recruiting and fund-raising, a few colleges have pioneered new off-beat web-sites to solicit information from prospective students and alumni.

Here are ways a couple colleges are reaching students and college alumni…

The College of St Mary in Omaha’s watchmebloom.com site introduces users to an interactive, animated landscape resembling a video-game app. You take a diagnostic test that offers a series of hypothetical scenarios and recommends a course of study contingent on your response. You mouse over different buildings on the cartoon depiction of campus and watch films of St Mary’s students talking about these places. Visitors can create a profile that includes their name and contact information. The micro-site was created by Phenomblue, a firm that develops game-oriented promotional sites such as “McNuggets Olympic Village.” According to St Mary’s vice-president for enrollment services, web inquiries and phone calls increased exponentially in the aftermath of the micro-site’s debut.

Visitors to Nazareth College’s flightoftheflyers.com site are exposed to cartoon animation and birds swooping to Wagner’s “Ride of the Valkyries.” The site urges Nazareth alumni to order stuffed-animals of the college’s winged mascot, the Golden Flyer, take pictures of the bird, and submit them via the web-site along with their locations and personal updates. They are then sent to former class-mates with requests to do the same. Different class years are pitted against one another to see which can achieve the most aggregate miles for their birds.
The micro-sites, which are separate from the college’s official web-site, can be confusing to users and complicate a college’s marketing strategy. Usability can also be diminished if the sites are not properly designed. Nonetheless, the micro-sites with their creativity pose a challenge to the less imaginative mainstream college web-sites. A face-lift may be in order!

David Dickson is a counselor with Top Test Prep which offers private tutoring and test preparation with admissions experts who help you gain admission to your top schools. Call Top Test Prep today to learn about SSAT, ISEE, HSPT, SAT, ACT and more private tutoring and test prep – (800) 501-Prep.

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