College, its sense of place, and how it catalyzes responsibility to community

Ownership of a place, a spot on the earth that matters to you profoundly, is part of the college experience. It’s where one comes of age. Where one chose to be. It’s not the home sweet home of one’s parents nor a favorite vacation spot. It’s where one becomes the adult self, one’s first placeRead more

The Next Major Accomplishment in Higher Ed

Frank Bruni raises an interesting point about college majors in his May 26, 2018 opinion piece in the New York Times, “Aristotle’s Wrongful Death.” While I’m largely in agreement with Bruni’s opinion that the structure of majors and minors in college curriculum is not adequate preparation for success in today’s job market, I find hisRead more

Use your brand to fuel your content and your heart to tell a great story

Is your campus team hard at work managing your brand? If so, you’re likely making decisions about what content to produce to feed your marketing campaign. And, if you’re like most schools, you’re in the mode of collecting stories about the impressive accomplishments of students who then go on to do great things. But areRead more

How collaboration, creativity, and good humor results in a sustainable brand

In the early stages of building a brand, just about every institution we encounter has the same questions and concerns: How will we engage all constituent groups? How much more work will it be for the marketing team? Will it stick for the long-term? Experience tells us that these concerns are most easily addressed atRead more

What idea does your institution want to advance?

This comment was posted in response to an article by Paul Redfern in Inside Higher Education about brand development, specifically the long-standing and successful brand work done at Gettysburg College. The story was then picked up by Elephant Creative, a UK marketing firm.  The Cognitive Marketing team is very proud of the Gettysburg College brand—not just ourRead more

Levels of Joy

When Aretha Franklin performed the song, (You Make Me Feel Like a) Natural Woman at the Kennedy Center Honors awards ceremony, the honoree, Carole King, said it “put her rungs higher on the levels of joy.” I can relate. Though I’m not able to carry a tune, I’ve been transported many times to a betterRead more

Why getting my son into the right college is not enough

For the last two months, my older son has hit the “SUBMIT” button on the Common App several times. Together, we completed the FAFSA and CSS financial disclosure forms. We are fortunate in that my son receives excellent college counseling at his high school and that he has many family mentors upon whom he canRead more

Five Steps for Student Recruitment Through Social Media

In an age where teenagers are increasingly adept at “tuning out” traditional media, and technology gives them more ways to do so, social media is becoming the channel that offers prospects the most authentic view of a college. To convey the impact that a great social media presence can have on meeting your enrollment goals, I’ll draw yourRead more

Embracing Change Without Losing Your Soul

Every college and university is under pressure to evolve in response to the changing market for higher education, but for some, the evolution that is necessary to re-establish institutional viability seems more like a revolution. How do schools make “revolutionary” changes without losing their institutional integrity, or, if you will, their souls? If, for instance, youRead more

Measuring Success of Admissions Campaigns

Our clients–and their trustees–are always on the look out for metrics that demonstrate ROI and success in admissions marketing efforts. Although we’d like to be able to track from the first ad impression through to the enrolled student that arrives on the first day of class, the trackable metrics can only bring us so far.Read more