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Land-Grant College-Admission Webpages in the Western United States: Analysis of Marketing Messages for Public or Private Good

Gardiner, S. Paige
Second only to the college campus visit, college-admission webpages are the most informative and persuasive marketing channel for recruiting future tuition-paying students (McAllister-Spooner, 2010). Chief enrollment officers, admission directors, and university marketing directors understand the valuable role the college-admission webpage plays in the student decision process; however, these stakeholders are uninformed about what information should appear on the webpages. Some admission stakeholders use words and images that communicate a private-good marketing message depicting the student journey to self-actualization on the college-admission webpage while other admission stakeholders display words and images that communicate public-good marketing messages such as career placement, research projects, faculty projects, and the university mission. The purpose of this qualitative media analysis (QMA) study was to help inform admission stakeholders about the current marketing messaging on eleven land-grant, college-admission webpages. The following four questions frame the qualitative study: (1) What public-good content themes emerged from analyzing eleven public, land-grant university admission webpages? (2) What private-good content themes emerged from analyzing eleven public, land-grant university admission webpages? (3) How often do public-good and private-good themes appear? (4) Which are more frequent?
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University of Wyoming. Libraries
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higher education marketing,college websites,college admissions websites,college admissions,digital marketing,public-good marketing messages,private-good marketing messages,Education
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