Archive for the 'recruitment' Category

07
Oct
08

Dee Jaying for Higher Ed

DJ

Everyday Apple by Kaile Raimondi

Last weekend I attended an engagement party for a good friend of mine.  It had already been a long day of traveling to shoot engagement photos and pre-bridals for another friend of mine so I was pretty tired by 10 p.m.  As I am sitting there drinking my water with lemon, I began to zone out listening to the music.  As I sat, I started thinking about the DJ.  I thought to myself, “what does a DJ do to stay ‘on top’?  “If I were a DJ, how would I appeal to people?”

Let’s say that I am the DJ.  First thing I want to think about is picking my target audience.  I’ve got to think about a couple of things:  what type of music do I want to/can (if I am performing personally) offer, what type of music should I be playing, or what type of music is not offered in my areas of reach and can I make it a niche market?  Of course then my next step is to acquire all the music that I need.  However, music is ever changing, and taste in music is as well.  What may be a popular song now, may not be in a year or two and so I may have to revamp my collection to stay with the times.  This even applies with classical music or older tunes (one year the 40’s may be hot, and the next year 60’s may be the thing).

Then I decide that I have to market to the people.  I need to decide what the best method for marketing to my audience is.  Maybe I create a MySpace or Facebook page and showcase my offerings there.  Maybe paper flyers to distribute and hang up in places.  Maybe a bilboard or two, etc.  My goal is to reach the greatest amount of people whom I feel would be more willing to hire me.

I also have to contend with other DJ’s that may offer similar services and options to me.  So what do I do in this circumstance?  Maybe buy some cool clothes, whether it be a suit or tux or maybe some Elvis threads, and dress up.  I can have my portrait professionally taken so that people may take me more seriously.  I might consider buying some flashy spotlights and one of those rotating light balls.  Perhaps a strobe light or two.  Basically, I need to have things that make myself more presentable overall.

Then I snapped back to reality.  I thought, “Wow, being a DJ is like being a one man university recruitment team.”  The two fields really are not that different.  I thought being a DJ wouldn’t be that difficult.  Afterall, I can make my own mixes in GarageBand, put them on my iPod and hook it up to some speakers and voila, I’m a DJ.  Of course if I want people to take me for real I have to present myself as a professional.

I bring this up for a couple of reasons; one, my fiance and I are trying to decide whether or not we want a DJ for our wedding, and two, how do students feel about your university?  When your counselors attend college fairs, are you putting on a good show?  How do you differentiate yourself from all the other colleges (DJ’s)?  At what point do you cross over from being taken seriously to being a flashy light show?

17
Jun
08

What makes a good photographer? What makes a good photo? What makes them great?

This should be a very discussion based post. Although the answer might seem simple at first, I really want you to think hard about what it takes to make a good photographer or to make a good photo. Then, I want you to tell me what makes them great.

I’m very curious to see what higher ed (and non-higher ed) people think about this. Please share this with people or start a conversation amongst the people in your office.

Here are some samples to get you thinking.

Is this a good photo?

Students on the Quad

What about this one?

Frisbee

How about this one?

Millie with her dad

Finally, this one? One person calls this one a “favorite” on Flickr.

Kitty

Are the photos themselves good, or are there only aspects of each one that are good? Do the technical elements (composition, bokeh, focus, exposure, color, etc.) make them good or great (or bad)? Or are these photos just snapshots?
Final question which will take some stretching of your imagination; would you use photos like these (some with different subject matter of course – obviously the father/daughter photo wouldn’t be that appealing, but what about two soccer players embracing each other after a goal) when marketing to high school students? How do you think they would rate these photos?

24
Apr
08

The benefits of high-quality photography in recruiting efforts – Part One.

First off, let me start by saying my apologies for not having blogged in such a long time. Finding that balance between full-time employee, student, and friend has been difficult this semester. The last three weeks have been particularly crazy and have seen me virtually disappear from the social media world (aside from Twitter). But I’m back now and ready for the final semester push that includes final projects and commencement.

Anyway, this is a post that I have been working on for quite some time, and I’m not quite sure that I am done with it yet, but I’m throwing this initial piece out there to start some discussion. I’ll give you some background as well since this is really where this post started.

I’ve been trying to think of what to do for my final in graduate studies. I have three choices: comprehensive exam, thesis paper, or a project. I am not a paper person, so I immediately ruled that out, and I really don’t like taking tests. Not only that, I love working on projects, so that was really the only choice in my mind. The more difficult choice was choosing what to do for it. I wanted to do something that would not only benefit me, but something that I could use in my job. My first idea, however, did not go over so well. So, I talked to one of my professors about doing a tutorial with me this summer that would be the prelude/beginning of the project and he has agreed.

I will be working with my photography professor on a very intensive research and building project. The research will involve studying good photography and really breaking down why the photographs are good. I want to pay particular attention to higher education photography and portraits since that is what I will be shooting most often. I think I have a good eye for getting good shots, but sometimes I feel like my technical knowledge is not put to use. I can explain photography to people all day, but then I don’t always illustrate it in my photos.

Building may or may not be the right word to use here, but it’s all I can think of. I will be building a new collection of photos for the campus for use in admissions recruitment purposes and for marketing. I will be primarily photographing students because we already have plenty of campus scenery shots that are good. And the students are what a university is all about right?

The reason I am doing this is because students nowadays don’t want to see those setup shots. And believe me, they can tell. I’ve co-hosted some focus groups recently which we asked the students a variety of questions, one of which was whether they felt we portrayed the university accurately. Most said yes, but the no’s all referenced our brochures. And that my friends is why I decided this would be the perfect project.

Alright, I think that is it for this post. Over time I have realized that this is something that is really going to take multiple posts, so I’m going to split it up. I’ll bring you along in my progress and hope that you enjoy the ride. I have some other drafts started that will give some examples, etc. of the old verses the new. I will also go into more detail about HOW it will help.

18
Mar
08

Keyword: Ensure Effectiveness

Effectiveness is a word that I have been tossing around my head for some time now. It started with my post a few weeks ago about Using Twitter for Higher Ed. I posted about trying to figure out a way to put Twitter to good use for higher education. It’s an excellent tool to keep up to date on what my friends and co-workers are doing as well as networking with other electronic media professionals, and while I think it would bee a useful tool for students to be able to use, it brings up the question of would they really use it.

Sometime before my post, Matt Herzberger posted on <uwebd> asking “Do You Twitter?” which has since sparked quite a bit of conversation. If you read through the comments (primarily page 3) there is a debate between Patrick Berry, Brad Ward, and myself about why Twitter would/not be good for a university. Hearing what they had to say was very enlightening. As great a tool as Twitter is, I started asking myself, will integrating this service actually be effective? Would the students even use it? Would they understand how to use it? I am in a unique position on my campus to be able to try any and every new social media technology that comes out. I have signed up for so many of them that I have a two page list of logins that I use. Most are the same, but some sites don’t like the syntax of a password, etc, so they are slight variations. Plus there are some that I have signed up for before I became a professional and so on. But if we were to use all of these services, we would never be able to get any work done.

That being said, I thought Twitter had some real promise, and I think it still does. And recently I found out that we will be searching for a new chat service as well as a message board service. And here’s the catch; it has to be free or cheap. In my other post I detail more about how I think we can use it as a chat feature. But I wonder, would the students really take advantage of it? I have no problem monitoring it and can set it up so that I get a text anytime someone posts, but would the students actually go through the process of signing up and posting a question? Would they understand the 140 character limit? So looking at it further tells me that maybe that’s not the best service to use. We may try it out, but I’m still debating whether it’s worth it.

And Twitter is just one example. Is it worth it to have a presence on Facebook or MySpace? Of course! What about posting photos to Flickr or videos to YouTube? There is a definite value here! What about lifecasting through uStream.tv or other video service? I think if you can pull it off well, then yes. But what about del.icio.us, Google Earth (technically not a social networking site – but maybe not a needed feature), SecondLife, etc? These may be some extra features we could do without. It’s good to push the envelope, but when you’re trying to recruit students, evaluating the effectiveness of your methods is extremely important. If you’re doing all this extra work, then you’re not following the rules of “The Four Hour Workweek.

04
Mar
08

The semester is flying by…

I cannot believe it is already midterms…I had my test last Tuesday so I’m done, but Jordan has one of her midterms today. Really quick shout out to Sarah Quigley, who amongst all her school work had the time to put together a couple shows called UIS Cribs. Made me reminisce about the old days of Pimp My Ride and Biker Boyz. I miss those early days as a freshman.

My favorite part about this video is the burnout at the end. Look for the fog machine behind the wheel.

Now I make video’s like this one…

All three videos have their place in my heart though…haha. I just picked up a Flip Camcorder, so keep an eye out for more videos like this.

What does this post have to do with anything other than just linking to a couple of videos? Hopefully it inspires students to create their own crazy (defined as safe and fun) videos and upload them to YouTube and let their electronic communications person know so they can link it to the university YouTube/Website/Blog, etc. Students want to see what students are doing and that’s one of the biggest selling points for your school!

28
Feb
08

Scene 7 2008 Survey Report

I got an email this morning from Adobe offering me a download for a Scene7 Survey Report for experience in Web 2.0 for 2008 and beyond. I haven’t really looked it through thoroughly, but it’s on my list for today. Sign up really quick and they’ll email you a link to download. Here are some highlights that I found.

  • 360-degree spin is considered one of the most highly-effective features, yet it is underutilized today. Nearly 30 percent of respondents plan to add 360-degree spin in 2008 along with other top top-ranking features including: alternate views, user ratings, videos, blogs, product tours,online catalogs, personalized messaging, quick looks and personalized stores.
  • Increased clicks or usage and increased conversions are the leading metrics used for evaluating enhancements; however, more than 40 percent of respondents measure the effectiveness of features based qualitative feedback and increased revenues
  • Surprisingly low number of respondents for Education
  • Effectiveness of user videos (p. 6)

It’s not a super comprehensive report, but it might offer support for integrating new features to your website for the upcoming year. Just thought I’d share it with you guys!

18
Feb
08

Housing Virtual Tours

So for the past two months, I have been working off and on on complete 360 degree virtual tours for housing. It’s been a slow process because I have been working on a lot of other projects, but also because it hasn’t been a huge priority. After meeting with our Web Services people, we discussed having them done in time for unveiling with the newly redesigned Housing website. I will be using the ones I created along with some/all of the ones Brad created when he was here.  So of late, I have been trying to get them all put together. I have been using a program called Cubic Converter which has been working great! I’ve been using Photoshop CS3’s photomerge feature along with some of my own editing. To shoot the panos, I have a Panosaurus head mounted to my tripod (which is weak and has caused me to have to do A LOT of post-processing). I am shooting with a Nikon D200 with an 18-70 mm f3.5 at 24mm and manual exposure controls. I will be writing a how-to later about this detailing the process in full. It’s been a lot of fun, but it’s also been a lot of work. The results have definitely paid off though! Now, I need to figure out how to convert from outdated QTVR to a Flash file for the website…if you have any suggestions let me know. Here’s a little sample:  *Wordpress does not allow embedding of videos into posts due to security reasons.  So for now, I’ll link to it.  It is in it’s full screen version here, but it is undecided how large the final will be.  Use your mouse to control the scrolling and shift and control zoom in and out.

Let me know of any changes you would make or do before the final cut.  I think they look pretty good, but then again, I may be biased…




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