An image is worth more than just 1,000 words when it translates into more applications, higher enrollment, and a greater yield. However, poor quality photography, when it turns away prospective students, can lead to a few choice, 4-letter words from your VP, instead.
Powerful, captivating photography should be the center of all your admissions communications. Build a slam-dunk admissions comm flow (and avoid an upset boss) by incorporating inspiring photography into these admissions communications.
You’re kidding yourself if you think just because you don’t blast it into kids’ mailboxes or inboxes that it doesn’t count as a powerful point in your communications flow. Your website is many things, including one of the first places students search for more information about your school. As your most extensive institutional communications resource, use your website to highlight only your best photography. Analyze every image to determine if it contributes to your message and replace it if it does not.
Keep in mind that you’re not just searching for students, students are searching for the place they want to call home for the next four years. And they want it to be awesome. It’s one thing to create a cohesive brand with your search emails, letter, postcards, and other materials. It’s another to use the same photo on every. Single. Point of contact. Stop using the same tired images across your website and throughout the your comm flow. You should be able to say more than one thing about yourself. Similarly, you should have more than the same handful of images to show.
Social Media Feeds
Social media was created for sharing, so share what you’ve got! Your photography archive should be extensive (and organized) enough to draw from in a pinch, but social’s also all about the here and now. Don’t spend all day inside scrolling through feeds. Get out there and show what your campus is really like. Today. At this moment. Encourage current students to do the same. Consider developing a hashtag for students to use as they post across different social sites. You can even turn it into an ongoing photo contest and declare a winner at the end of each semester.
So, you’ve captured a high schooler’s attention. How are you planning on keeping it? It’s great to use amazing photography in the search process to draw interest, but don’t plan for a sprint when you’re really running a marathon. You likely have a pretty extensive list of fulfillment publications. It’s best to use a great mix of wide shots and close faces, academic images and campus life photos. Most of all, make sure your photo quality and tone match your mission and brand all the way through your communications flow.
Your online or paper application likely isn’t the first place you’d think to incorporate big-ticket photos. But maybe it should be. Don’t over-design to the point where the app is difficult to complete. However, a few choice images, placed very deliberately, could lead to a higher submission rate. On the paper app, carefully consider photos on the envelope and letterhead. Online, consider placing images that won’t slow down your load time on each page of the form.
Enrollment (Post-Application) Publications
We’re calling these enrollment publications, because that’s just what they should do—encourage accepted students to enroll, and thereby reduce melt. Just because a student has expressed enough interest to apply (and may be riding high on their acceptance) doesn’t mean you’ve closed the sale. Use your post-app pieces as an opportunity to help students picture what their first few days on campus would be like. Avoid the generic wide building shots and instead use energetic images of move-in day, convocation, and your welcome week activities.
Get Help with Your Admissions Communications Photography
It’s not always easy to know how to organize photography in admissions communications. But do you know the best way to start? Have an awesome photography archive. The Parish Group have been campus photography experts for nearly 30 years. Check out our photography portfolio and contact us today to learn more about our comprehensive and a la carte admissions marketing services.