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