b'FEATURED ARTICLEThe five most essential factors in Admissions during a crisis During my 15 years as registrar, I have seen two major global disasters: the GFC in 2008 and now the COVID-19 pandemic. Both had a considerable impact on our community and my institution, and we are still unsure just how much the current COVID-19 situation will continue to impact. F ortunately, the COVID-19 Pandemic had a muchWho your target audience is (applied, offered, smaller impact on the enrolment base at myenquiries etc)institution, mostly due to the hard lessons learntWhat is the key message or takeaway (stick to one or previously.two key messages per communication).I have reflected on what I believe are the five most3.Retentionimportant factors in gaining and maintaining a strong enrolment base, and how to manage these factorsAs Admissions specialist, you will be fully aware of the during a crisis. Some of this is based on the Educate Plusimportance of retention at any time, but this is even Admissions Certified Practitioner Training program notes,more relevant during a time where there is financial and the rest on my experience. stress on your community. Ask your key staff to keep an eye out for families under duress and arrange to meet with them to see if your institution can help. Sometimes 1.Internal Marketing just a chat can be enough to make them feel special I firmly believe that a strong and consistent internaland understood. Work closely with your accounts team Marketing program is essential for any institution. Itand business manager as they will have a strong idea of helps drive enrolments through word of mouth and helpswhich families are in need. increase student retention. Are you making full use of any opportunity you get through newsletters, parent meetings,The message to your key staff should be Every Parents and Friends association, Alumni?Enrolment Counts.2.Waitlist management 4.Enrolment processesSimilar to point 1, consistent and positive messaging toThe enrolment process can be a very anxiety-filled time your student waitlist is essential. It keeps them in the loop,for parents and students with questions such as:on the hook, and helping ensure you are the school of first choice. As much as possible, use testimonials from have I applied too late current and past students and parents to help drive yourwhere am I on the waitlistmessaging. am I sure this is the right school At the start of each year, set up a waitlist communicationwill I be offered a place. plan that highlights: During times filled with an unclear future, families How often, and when, you will be communicating toare, more than ever before, looking for some certainly your future waitlists. I suggest 4-5 times per year forand clarity around schooling. This is where clear and future waitlists, and slightly more for the near futureconsistent enrolment processes can go a long way in waitlist (e.g. 2023) keeping your waitlist engaged with a feeling of being connected and cared for. Who will be doing that communicationNOVEMBER 2021 67'