In this age of online comparison shopping, high schools aren’t spared the challenges of increased variety. In the old days, students found one or two schools that seemed like a good fit and pursued the application and interview process. If they were accepted, that was that; their choice was made. They might have a preference, might consider one place a backup option, but they didn’t apply in the first place unless they had a genuine desire to attend.
School recruitment efforts were therefore targeted towards getting more applications from the right kind of student. If your open house video told a compelling story about your culture and priorities, you could assume that it would do the work of bringing in like-minded prospects.
Now, however, students tend to apply to multiple schools as part of their research process. They keep their options open as long as possible, investigating and evaluating every angle. The open house may have been impressive enough to get them to pick up an application, but this is no longer a real indication of interest. Their final choice isn’t made until later.
That’s why Kohelet brought us on board: to develop new tools to get a commitment from the savvy high school comparison shopper.
While an application doesn’t give us an indication of a student’s interest in the school, it does give us a unique opportunity to target them in a more personalized and direct manner. This has been a basic principle in the business world for years: little gifts and individual attentions go a long way. They show a willingness to engage beyond the bare minimum of services rendered – to put in the effort required to make sure people are truly happy.
We discussed several options with Kohelet for how they could define themselves this way in the long term. As for immediate action, we settled on creating an upbeat, exciting video that welcomed students to the Kohelet family once their application was accepted. The video was simple, but direct: teachers and students, one after the other, congratulated applicants on their acceptance with the same refrain: “Mazal tov!” The different deliveries, facial expressions, and pronunciations deftly suggested the variety of experiences and personalities awaiting the viewer at Kohelet.
This video was paired with a personalized acceptance letter. Not only was it clear that Kohelet valued every student enough to contact them on an individual basis; it was clear that this hospitable atmosphere was a feature of the whole organization, down to the student body and staff. The friendly welcome gave viewers an extra reason to feel warmly toward Kohelet when considering their choice of school.
This was an excellent first step in Kohelet’s recruitment plan, and we look forward to continuing to work with them, using the power of video to appeal to, connect with and secure a commitment from top students in the community.