Recruiting the Social Savvy Student

Published on 22 July 2016

The role of the pharmacist is rapidly expanding. Today’s pharmacists play vital roles in a wide array of health care settings, and the job market remains strong in many parts of the country. At the same time, there is a downward trend in the number of students applying to colleges of pharmacy. In an effort to increase applications and interest in the profession, St. Louis College of Pharmacy launched an innovative strategic marketing plan. The outcomes of that plan will be presented in a poster at the 2016 American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy Annual Meeting.

New Strategies

“In today’s marketplace, you have to go where potential students are, and that means mobile devices,” said Beth Keserauskis, M.S., vice president for marketing and enrollment services at St. Louis College of Pharmacy. “We made a significant investment in digital marketing and advertising which included Facebook lead generation, marketing automation and web-based behavioral engagement.”

In addition to the new marketing strategies, Keserauskis and the admissions team also took the opportunity to enhance more traditional recruitment strategies like the campus visit and interview experience.

“No college or university recruitment strategy can go completely digital,” Keserauskis said. “Relationship building still matters.”

Changing the Face of Campus

Fostering those relationships included reintroducing alumni and high school guidance counselors to the College.

“The campus has changed a great deal in the last three years,” Keserauskis explains. “The College is investing $110 million in campus facilities. We’re excited to show off these new amenities which build upon our more than 150-year history of preparing students for success.”

Those new facilities include the state-of-the-art, 213,000-square-foot Academic and Research Building and library. In addition to classrooms, a welcome center for prospective students and their families, it features 30,000 square feet of research space. A 193,000-square-foot Recreation and Student Center and residence hall is under construction right now.

Additional Benefits

As a result of the new strategy, completed applications increased 45 percent. The College also received late-cycle applications into the professional program from students planning to take the Pharmacy College Admission Test in July.

“We see it as a sign that, in addition to attracting the interest of prepharmacy students in our target markets, strategic marketing efforts successfully increased interest in the profession of pharmacy to generate new applications,” Keserauskis concludes.

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