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Inform, Don’t Sell for Positive PR in Higher Education Marketing


You need to build positive PR for your higher education marketing strategy, but don’t just publish sales collateral. Instead, use sincere information to build your value and get attention.

Too many colleges and universities try to get more attention and more web traffic by circulating tired information about why their university is the best. But this isn’t really information, it’s just a sales pitch under a different name.  The only content people want to read is content full of real, valuable information.

Now, this doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t use press releases and social media to generate interest in your programs. It just means that selling to people can’t be your primary goal.

Why Sales-Focused Content is Worthless

In the world of higher education, no student is going to put up with anything close to a sales pitch. The telltale signs of being sold to are blatant, annoying, and easily ignorable, especially for teens and young adults. People are beaten down with advertising on a constant basis, and have evolved a kind of filter that simply ignores buzzwords and straightforward sales pitches.

Why Quality Content Matters

Prospective students want to read relevant, insightful information, so that’s what you need to publish. This is what will win and keep their attention and make the effort worthwhile for both you and your potential students. Instead of droning on about your education programs, no matter how valuable they really are, focus on identifying important elements around your university that are truly important to your audience.

When your primary goal is to inform or entertain your audience, you become a valuable authority—only then can you mention information about your direct programs and enrollment. Again, your sales intent needs to take a distant backseat to the presentation of quality content.


·  Focus on what you would want to read if you were  a prospective student. What would genuinely grab your interest?

·  Keep your descriptions short. There’s no problem with casually mentioning your enrollment programs, but the fewer words you spend on them, the better.

·  Provide value. If your reader isn’t going to walk away with anything other than information about your programs, don’t bother trying to syndicate it.

Feel free to reach out and talk to us about PR best practices—we’re here to help!

photo credit: original source via photopin

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