Insights — What Not to Miss at AMA (P.S. You’re going to love our booth!)

What Not to Miss at AMA (P.S. You’re going to love our booth!)

Events , Resources / November 02, 2017

As we look ahead to the 2017 AMA Symposium for the Marketing of Higher Education, we have a long list of interesting sessions we want to attend. The topics are timely and innovative, and we already know we will come away with new ideas to approach our work. In looking at the schedule, several sessions stood out that speak directly to the “hot” topics our clients have been asking us the most about during the past year.

Gen Zers

Following some great sessions from last year, understanding the mindset and motivations of our digital-loving youth is still top-of-mind for marketers. While there is no one-size-fits-all approach, as Jason Simon explained in his article last month, we can’t wait to hear Google’s perspective and learn about University of Cincinnati’s ideas for connecting with today’s prospects:

  • The Future Student. Nicole Ziady, Assistant Vice President, Marketing and Digital Communications, University of Cincinnati. Monday, November 13, 10:15 (Track 3)
  • Keynote: The Challenges and Opportunities of Engaging and Educating Generation Z. Jamie Casap, Education Evangelist, Google. Tuesday, November 14, 8:30


Diversity is no longer an institutional differentiator, but an expectation among prospective students. As such, it is top of mind among leadership, marketers, and admissions teams. How do we increase diversity? Do we need to change our marketing efforts to do so? We look forward to Stanford School of Engineering’s session on this complex topic.

  • Putting Diversity at the Center of Communications and Content Strategy. Here’s Why and How. Michael Freedman, Chief Communications Officer and Director of Alumni Relations, Stanford School of Engineering. Tuesday, November 14, 11:15 (Track 3)

Social Media & Digital Strategy

As Kristen Ingels notes in her article this month, 40.5% of all U.S. media spending is now digital. The impact for higher ed marketing is real, and questions loom large. Where should we place our digital ads? How can we track their success? What kind of content is most engaging? Approaches to social and digital strategy are constantly evolving to better fit into an institution’s overall marketing strategy, and a couple of Tuesday’s sessions get right to the heart of it.

  • Video Storytelling & Distribution for Social Media. Emily Kraft Truax, Assistant Director of Social Media, Boston University and Alan Wong, Executive Producer, BU Productions. Tuesday, November 14, 10:15 (Track 2)
  • The Diamond in the Data: How Digital Strategy Creates Data Stories for Internal Audiences. Kyle Delaney, Executive Director of Strategic Initiatives and Marketing at the McCormick School of Engineering, Northwestern University, and Ann Oleson, CEO, Converge Consulting. Tuesday, November 14, 4:00 (Track 2)

Institutional Branding

At SimpsonScarborough, we are constantly talking with our clients about the importance of moving beyond attributes to communicate the aspects of your college or university’s brand that are both real and relevant. Tapping into both the IQ and the EQ is imperative to creating an inspiring and enduring brand strategy. Be sure to check out our session and others that delve into the evolution of higher ed branding.

  • Power to the People: A Human-Centered Approach to Marketing Strategy. Kimberly Elenez, Chief Marketing Officer, Development, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill; John Kiralla, Vice President for Marketing and Communications, Loyola Marymount University; Elizabeth Scarborough, CEO and Partner, SimpsonScarborough; and Jason Simon, Vice President and Partner, SimpsonScarborough. Monday, November 13, 10:15 (Track 5)
  • Branding the Value Proposition of a Liberal Arts Education. Kate Garry, Director of Communications and Marketing, University of Notre Dame’s College of Arts and Letters; and Josh Weinhold, Assistant Communications Director, University of Notre Dame’s College of Arts and Letters. Tuesday, November 14, 11:15 (Track 1)

I don’t know about you, but I’m sure my brain (and feet!) are going to need a little R&R during these jam-packed days. So be sure to stop by our booth in the exhibitor hall—we are excited to show you how we approached our space this year. Looking forward to another great conference!

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