You Should Probably Read This.

Posted by Brad J. Ward | Posted in Blogging, Free, Higher Education, Recruitment, Research, Technology, Web | Posted on 07-31-2008

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My favorite part about higher education is the willingness of individuals to share information between universities. And that’s what this post is all about.

Karen Sines Rudolph, Coordinator of Public Information at McLennan Community College emailed me her 121 page thesis titled “Recruiting Millennials: How Official Admission Blogs Depict Colleges and Universities From a Public Relations Perspective“. It is full of great information and research, so I asked her if I could share it with my readers and she agreed.

Karen looked at 2,471 blog posts from 349 individual bloggers at 92 institutions and researched the posts on a multitude of factors during the 2005-2006 school year. (Was your school involved? Check out page 98-100 of the thesis). The research is extensive, and some quotes even come from Karine Joly.

Some gems and stats that I have pulled out of the research so far:

  • Less than 20% of bloggers (n=463) acknowledged the specific audience they were blogging for – prospective students. This does not mean to tell student bloggers what to write, but rather to remind them of their audience, suggest topics, and encourage quick and helpful responses to comments.
  • This study suggested that blogs lose their effectiveness when bloggers post more than once or twice a week.
  • Only 4.7% of bloggers (n=117) were identified as transfer students, while 30.3% of bloggers are freshmen.
  • 60% of photos on blog posts captured the student’s social life. 41.31% of photos were taken at a campus location.
  • Only 2.6% of blog posts (n=64) were about academics and with a negative frame.
  • Junior year bloggers were most likely to speak on academics.
  • When it came to blog posts about academic reputation of the school (n=13), none were negative.
  • When speaking about costs associated with attending the institution (n=36), 69.4% of blog posts were negative.
  • And so much more. I’ll leave the rest of it for you to read!

I just keep going through all of this and keep thinking of new ways to apply this info for the upcoming year with my new Bloggers.

Kudos to Karen for releasing this wonderful research. I was completely awestruck when she sent it to me out of the blue. Please join me in thanking her by leaving a comment below. I don’t mind all of the subscribers who lurk and don’t comment [who know who you are :) ], but please do take the time to show Karen your appreciation for this download. She really does deserve a big pat on the back from the community. Also, please note the Creative Commons license on her work and give credit where credit is due.

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Comments posted (18)

Good stuff! Thanks Karen for doing this research and thanks Brad for posting it! I will definitely be reading through this. It’s about time to start getting the bloggers set up again, so this is perfect timing!

Thanks for this Karen! From what it sounds like this information should help me get my bloggers started at our university!

Looks like a very comprehensive report which I will share with others.

Brad,

Nice way to use a post title that’ll insure that everybody reads your post! ;-)

From now on, I’m going to use that for the title of all of my posts!

BTW, this is awesome research. Interesting that blogs lose their effectiveness if there are too many posts. It would be interesting to discover what the optimum post frequency is.

Wow! Can’t wait to read through it! Karen, thanks for sharing your fine work!

Thank you for sharing the research!

Thanks for sharing this report, Karen (and Brad!) I need to share this with my readers.

I do hope you all enjoy it. I thought about hoarding the information and keeping it all to myself (muahahha), but knew that greater things will come out of it when we all can look through this great paper.

This is great info. Thank you Karen and Brad.

Thanks to both of you for this information which is really useful. Yes, the generosity and sharing among bloggers is wonderful.

Thanks Karen and Brad…can’t wait to read the report!

Thank you Karen!

Thanks for the great information Karen. I think this will be a great resource!

Karen – I can’t wait to read this. I know you worked long and hard on it–thank for for your generosity in sharing it with us!

Thanks! A friend passed this on to me, and I am sure I’ll be using it.

Thanks so much for this amazing information! This is exactly what I have been looking for in my attempt to help my University adopt blogging as a way to be transparent and recruit prospective students.

Thanks for sharing Karen’s fantastic work!

Thank you for sharing this information. I am working on campus during peak registration time, but I am looking forward to downloading and reading this information once I am back in my office. And you can believe I will share it with my coworkers.

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