By Meg Friel, Executive Editor
As St. Michael’s confronts diminishing enrollment, we applaud many of the school’s efforts — from hiring a new vice president for enrollment and marketing, to rebranding. Even the new rented purple bus is worth noting. Other efforts, however, don’t deliver. In an age where social media dominates the eye of the phone holder, the “Nominate a Knight” campaign is not enough.
Alums and current students are asked to “nominate a Knight,” or encourage a high school student to look towards St. Mike’s. We don’t think this is enough. And apparently, we’re not the only one. Searching #nominateaknight on Instagram, an empty page stares back. The “Nominate a Knight” movement is half-hearted, something that the marketing team put together in a fingers-crossed kind of way In reality, we’re not sure many students are willing to publicly serve as ambassadors for St. Mike’s. Being in college, there’s a struggle to keep close relationships with the best friends from high school, much less the freshman we merely smiled at on our way to class.
What truly feels like good marketing is not to nominate a knight, but instead, show WHY St. Mike’s is magical. Good marketing isn’t cheesy, but genuine. Scroll through our Instagram and smile at the photos of student athletes marching their way down Church Street as a part of Pride festivities; quotes from roommates and friends of their real St. Mike’s experiences; profiles of professors that have helped us grow over the years. These photos are the heart of St. Mike’s. A social media presence such as this, with interaction with their audience, is strong.
We need to use, exploit and expose, all of the things that are keeping us above water in order to attract more incoming students. Show students interacting with professors. Show friends laughing as they cook dinner together in a townhouse, run-down but alive with love, before they walk out to sit on their beat up patio chairs outside as they chat with their neighbors down the row. Take us on a live tour of the campus, to all of the cracks and crevices where we find peace throughout the day. These are the things that make St. Mikes real, and make us never want to leave.