Marketing Communications Support for Higher Education During COVID-19

By: Christy Kelly, Senior Vice President, Director of Chicago Accounts at Gatesman

Last week I was on the campus of a major public university for a video shoot when: Classes shut down there and at 100 other colleges and universities (many more followed), the NCAA canceled March Madness, colleges and universities canceled commencements, K-12 schools closed in a number of states and all of education, K-graduate, was upended. Let’s just say it made for a surreal shoot.

More importantly, all our higher education clients, especially those with paid advertising active around the nation and world, sought and continue to need guidance on the role of marketing communications during this time. Questions top of mind include:

  • What do we need to do to be sensitive and responsive to the situation?
  • How can we ensure we’re making sound investments during this time, and postponing or canceling those that are no longer viable?
  • What can we do to continue to support this enrollment cycle and the health of our institutions?

When we find ourselves facing tough challenges, we find it helpful to rely on simple decisioning approaches to keep a level-head and map out actions we can take moving forward. In that spirit, here is our Start/Stop/Continue Guide for Higher Education Marketing Communications in the age of COVID-19.

Finally, I’ll leave you with two thoughts:

  1. During these trying times, colleges and universities have the opportunity to show people the future can be brighter and that learning is more important than ever.
  2. As the situation evolves every day, we’ll all constantly need to be refining this list and ensure we’re doing what’s right for both institutional and public health.

Seeking for more resources? Here are some we’ve found helpful: