How a Private School Harnessed Its Expertise With a Journalistic Blog [Case Study]

By: Matthew Cook on 6/15/16 10:13 AM

Steeped in Tradition; Looking Forward

At The Fessenden School, the oldest all-boys junior boarding school in the nation and a pre-K through ninth-grade day school, fifth-graders can still study Latin. Even the youngest pre-K students must follow a dress code.

But along with this old-school rigor, Fessenden is committed to maintaining its standing as a leader on the latest educational thinking. IPads and 3D printers are as familiar on its suburban Boston campus as wood-paneled lecture halls and blazing autumn foliage. Fessenden’s marketing and admissions teams have embraced the digital world, as well.

Up against the anachronistic stereotype of private school education, Fessenden wanted to use the educational power of online content to:

  • Dispel myths about all-boys education.
  • Bolster the reputation of its faculty and staff as nationwide thought leaders.
  • Attract new families to its Upper and Lower schools.
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How to Create a College Blog Your Whole Campus Can Get Behind

By: Matthew Cook on 4/7/16 7:30 AM

Everyone has an opinion.Heading up a college blogging project sure can be a headache. There are a lot of people on even the smallest college campus, and sometimes it can seem like everyone wants to have their say — especially when it comes to the content on your college’s website.

The admissions department wants to speak the language of high school college searchers. The faculty wants to show off their academic bona fides. The vice president of development is nervous about upsetting donors. The college president wants to honor your school’s longstanding traditions and values.

Is it possible to please all these people without succumbing to blog schizophrenia?

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How Your College Can Beat the Competition by Blogging About Them (5 Reasons)

By: Matthew Cook on 1/6/16 7:30 AM


Cast your memory back to when you first started thinking seriously about going to college. What is the one question that consumed you as a high school sophomore or junior pondering your future and contemplating the thousands of colleges and universities of all shapes and sizes that dot the American landscape?

For me, way back in 1996, it was a pretty simple question. I’ll bet you had the same one: “Which college should I choose?”

Inbound marketing in any field — higher education, business, non-profit, whatever — begins by helping people answer their most basic questions, establishing trust, and then sticking by their side, continuing to be helpful as they move toward making a decision.

No question is more basic for a potential college applicant than, “Which school should I choose?”

Those who are in the business of selling content to potential college applicants know this.

An Amazon search for “choosing a college” comes up with 763 results. And five years after its print magazine stopped hitting newsstands, U.S. News and World Report continues to churn out its annual and profitable Best Colleges rankings, attracting 2.6 million unique visitors and 18.9 million page views to its 2014 edition in one day.

There is clearly an opportunity for schools to attract college applicants to the top of their inbound marketing funnels with content that helps them narrow down their many, many choices for attending college. Yet, as far as I can tell, almost no schools are doing this.

Why not?

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3 Ways to Engage More Applicants With Your School Admissions Blog (With Examples)

By: Kevin Jorgensen on 12/11/15 12:08 PM


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3 Ways to Keep Your College's Blog Going Over Winter Break

By: Matthew Cook on 12/2/15 7:30 AM

Ah, winter break on your college campus. Sure, you’re stuck in the office while the rest of the college community is lounging by roaring fireplaces with eggnog and hot cocoa, but at least you get to enjoy a few weeks of peace and quiet. You might even head home an hour or two early to get started on your Christmas shopping. But wait, before you try to beat the traffic to the mall, is there something you’ve forgotten? Oh right, that pesky college blog.

Bah, humbug.

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Failed Obama’s College Scorecard? Three Strategies for Blogging About It

By: Matthew Cook on 10/28/15 7:30 AM

Your college’s inbound marketing campaign is finally starting to cook. You’ve got the whole campus blogging. You’ve polished up your school’s website with immaculate landing pages and calls-to-action to push prospective students toward your valuable new content. You’ve empowered your smartphone-wielding campus community to contribute insider videos and 360-degree campus tours. Your admissions people are drowning (happily) in a torrent of new leads from qualified high school students.

It’s a good year to be a college marketer; it was, anyway, until the U.S. Department of Education’s College Scorecard came along and ruined everything.

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