As one of the youngest college presidents in the country, Converse president Betsy Fleming is as media savvy as the college-bound students she recruits. Like President Obama, she is a fan of the Blackberry and rarely travels without a laptop. So, to go where the girls are Fleming has taken to YouTube to talk directly to prospective students and their parents about college affordability and a Converse College education.
"The bottom line," says Fleming, "is that students and their parents need to know that despite this tough economic climate, they CAN realize a college education. I want the young women we’re recruiting to understand that more than 90 percent of our student body receives a significant base of support through scholarships and financial aid. Whether I need to take that message to the world of Facebook or Twitter or communicate through e-mails or text messaging, I am all for harnessing the technology we have at our fingertips."
While Fleming says that enrollment management at Converse includes a broad range of communications strategies, this step into the YouTube stratosphere is not just hip but hopeful. "The Converse admissions team spends a fair amount of time talking to prospective students via Facebook, and what we know from those conversations is that today’s college-bound students are extremely busy young people with high hopes for the future and big dreams for their lives, and yet their concerns about the cost of a college education are mounting. I think it is fabulous to have a venue that allows us to talk to students in this way, especially now when our message about affordability and accessibility is so timely."