There’s a huge amount of uncertainty in the sector right now. At this time of year, marketing and recruitment teams would usually be focused on lead generation campaigns, converting applicants, running advertising campaigns and planning open days, balancing the needs of both 2020 and 2021 intakes at the same time.
Much of this isn’t possible or relevant at the moment. We don’t know if university campuses will be open in the autumn and what alternatives will be available if they are not. Marketing teams are all working from home and many of you will be juggling childcare or home-schooling older children alongside your work commitments.
So, whilst we don’t expect there is much ‘spare time’ available, we do hope that there is some extra ‘space’ for thinking about things slightly differently. So we’ve got 10 things that you can do at home that will deliver some positive impact both now and in the future.
- Tidy up your data and files. Delete what isn’t useful, identify what’s missing and spend some time doing analysis on the data you’ve not had headspace to think about. Share any findings – big or small – with your team.
- Ask your applicants how they are doing. The current Year 13s have had a rough time; they were the first to take the ‘new’ GCSEs in every subject and now they’ve had their A-level exams cancelled, bringing lots of uncertainty about their futures. They don’t need a grand gesture from you, but they do need to know you understand their worries and are listening to them.
- Have a conversation with a mentor. Having time away from the usual office environment is a great time to reflect on you, your career and your purpose. Schedule a video conference or phone call with your mentor, put the kettle on and take some time to regroup. If you don’t have a mentor, take some steps to find one.
- Research your competition. Find some examples of marketing that you admire and ask your team to do the same. Drop them all into a shared folder and schedule a team discussion to use these to brainstorm your own ideas.
- Talking of your team, do something kind for them. Send them a positive message, buy them a book or a jigsaw puzzle to be delivered, or just say thank you.
- Organise a ‘fix-it’ day. Together with the team, identify the annoying blockages which prevent you from working as well as you might. It could be a lack of brand templates, unclear processes or untidy shared folders. Once the key ones are identified, everybody takes responsibility for unpicking the problem, finding a solution and reporting back once it is fixed.
- Read a book. Or a journal article, or some of those documents that are in the ‘to read later’ folder. Find something that helps you to see your work in a new light, gives you a different perspective on marketing theory or will generate some new ideas for marketing practice.
- Check in with your colleagues. Sometimes all people need is a ‘How are you? What can I do to help you?’
- Make some new connections with your students. Find those that are active on social media that you haven’t yet met and say hello. Tell them what you like about what they are doing and ask for feedback on your activity too.
- Finally, learn about your own institution. It’s too easy to assume you know everything about your own university, but take some time to read biographies of your academic faculty or their research. Dig into some of the teaching materials, take one of your own online classes or browse the online library shelves for inspiration.
And finally, be kind to yourself. We all need time to adjust and it’s ok to be finding this difficult. And of course, if we can help with any of the above, you can always contact us.