How many times do we hear of surprised recruits that say they are amazed at how their visit was different than expected. We have to overcome decades of negative recruiting against us. In sales and marketing you have to expand your funnel to more prospects and recruiting is NO different. Currently, we take a narrow band funnel that is willing to listen in spite of the negative impression they have of Arkansas. We then take that narrow band of prospects and try to get them on campus to SEE it for themselves.
The issue is that we are MISSING a large number of recruits that will talk to our athletic or academic recruiters but won’t give us a visit to see the truth. Some aren’t even willing to take our call, open our mail, etc. because they believe the negative spin. We have to have better videos and tools. We are picking from a small pool for NO reason other than complacency.
I have talked about this with fans and it seems very real to the fans, BUT the previous admin was extremely sensitive and defensive to me. They literally felt that this negative recruiting has always been there and they have done fine in the past recruiting. Wow, so they think we have been doing “fine in recruiting” with some of the best facilities and scenery in the SEC? Some in the admin felt that “everyone already know NWA is great so why spend money repeating it”.
If a recruit says that he had heard bad things about Arkansas, then I would love for our coaches to be able to send a link to a video page on our website that has various videos and positive rankings for Degree programs, Quality of Life, Jobs, Economic Growth, Hi tech, etc. from Magazines like Forbes, Money, US News and World Report, etc. A smart recruit would think, “do I listen to the Coach at A&M, OM, LSU, etc or do I watch a video with real visual proof and quotes from major magazines saying good things?”
We need to show that our past is in the past, because our competition is telling recruits about the negative image of Arkansas. Our Previous Admin sucked at developing marketing and advertising tools to combat our competitors. Our image is not good so we need to show that the whole state has things to be proud of yet we still need to improve. Our state and Fayetteville have landed on some GREAT magazine lists that need to be AGGRESSIVELY marketed and emphasized.
Our Admin needs to use the new drone video options that are so cost effective. We can show aerial views of the environment at DWRRS, show the campus, show downtown fayetteville, dickson st, etc. In the world of drone video our AD should be commissioning videos of Fayetteville, Springdale, Rogers, Bentonville, Eureka Springs, etc. They should have video segments about Wal-Mart, Tyson, JB Hunt, Crystal Bridges, AMP (big emphasis) and recent musical acts, Beaver Lake, etc.
They should have video segments about the national ranking by Magazines of All Arkansas cities for standard of living and job growth. They should do a video segment about the rest of the state and Little Rock, River Market, Clinton Library, Heiffer, Dillards, Stephens, etc. We need to remind people that there is something in the water here since we have homegrown giants in Wal-Mart, Tyson, JB Hunt, Stephens, Dillards, etc. We need to show new improvements in Little Rock, Clinton Library, Heifer Int’l, River Market and new downtown developments.