King’s expands online student recruitment

University will try to capture the King's experience on web

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Elizabeth Yeo says improvements will be made to the King's website. (Photo: Peter de Vries)

The University of King's College is aiming to upload student video testimonials onto its website and create a plan for an online campus tour by the end of March 2011.

Elizabeth Yeo, registrar at King's, says the videos would be uploaded as part of a new strategy to recruit students to King's.

"We're trying to find ways to better profile the richness of the community life and the experience of being a King's student for future students and their families."

Yeo says recruitment is a priority for King's. The school will be hiring at least one person to shoot brief videos where students will share their experiences at the university, comment on different aspects of campus life and why they love the school.

"We're going to put a lot of time in on the front end so that once we have a good plan, we're ready to go forward."

The school's web board is in charge of creating the plan for a new online campus tour that will aim to show students more aspects of the school from their web browsers. There are no concrete plans yet and Yeo says funding for the plan will determine its scope.

"It's always a balancing act in terms of what we want and what we can afford. There's a bit of a process ahead of us."

The personal touch

Mae Barron, a first-year student at King's, says the information on the King's website is very useful but it could be improved with more online features.

"It would be nice to be able to talk with more students, or people who are going to be in your (school) year before it starts."

After seeing the dorm rooms, talking to students about their books, essays and the school's theatre program, Barron decided King's was for her. She says she got a stronger personal impression of King's from her campus tour than from the school's website.

"The basic information was the same but the tour was just a lot more personal. It was nice to physically be here, see things and talk to people."

Bringing it online

Leah Skerry, general manager at Norex - a web design and development company in Halifax - says social media elements have a key role to play in recruitment strategies for schools like King's.

"You want to create a presence that really reflects who you are as an organization and the people within it."

Technological gimmicks aside, Skerry says the key to successfully recruiting students is making sure the message is authentic.

"Most people don't want to hear from the schools themselves because they understand that its their job to bring in more people," she says. "But if a student with opinions takes part in the process, that would be way more effective than any sort of paid advertisement."

Yeo says the King's website is trying reach its keenest audience

"It's about attracting students who are going to be really happy here and finding an environment where they can fit."

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