Strategic Marketing and Community Engagement: A Chat with Blair Lee on The Hidden Gem Podcast

Strategic Marketing and Community Engagement: A Chat with Blair Lee on The Hidden Gem Podcast
by
Shelby Moquin
on
May 22, 2024
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About the Blog

In episode eight of The Hidden Gem podcats, host Maya Demishkevich welcomed Blair Lee, the Executive Director of Strategic Communications and Alumni Engagement at the Community College of Aurora (CCA). This engaging discussion centered on how marketing communication departments at community colleges can effectively support partnerships and regional workforce development needs. Blair shared his extensive experience and innovative strategies that have significantly contributed to CCA's success.

From Student to Strategic Leader

Blair began his higher education journey at the University of Baltimore, where his passion for the sector was ignited. His career has spanned several notable positions, ultimately leading him to his current role at CCA. There, he oversees marketing, communications, alumni engagement, and community affairs. His team’s efforts are pivotal in making the CCA brand vibrant and effective, particularly in engaging a diverse student body and local communities.

Enhancing Alumni Engagement

Blair discussed the unique approach CCA takes towards alumni engagement, emphasizing the importance of starting the engagement process from the moment students step on campus. Through initiatives like "Alumni in Action," the college maintains a continuous connection with its graduates, focusing on storytelling to enhance engagement without direct fundraising efforts.

Building Strategic Partnerships

A significant portion of the podcast was dedicated to discussing how CCA strengthens ties with local industries and community organizations. Blair highlighted the college's strategy of market saturation, ensuring that CCA’s presence is felt across various platforms and events. This approach not only boosts the institution's visibility but also aligns with its mission to propel students from the classroom into the workforce or further education with four-year partners.

Innovation in Program Offerings

Blair shared insights into how CCA remains agile in meeting industry demands by offering new programs and credentials that are directly tied to local workforce needs. This agility facilitates the development of tailored programs that meet the fast-evolving requirements of the industry, ensuring that students are well-prepared for immediate employment after graduation.

Leveraging Leadership for Greater Impact

Another key topic discussed was the role of CCA’s leadership in enhancing the institution's outreach and engagement. Dr. Mordecai Brownlee, the college president, was mentioned as a particularly influential figure due to his active presence on social media and involvement in community events, which significantly contribute to the college's marketing and engagement strategies.

Key Takeaways:

  • Alumni Engagement Starts Early: Engaging students from their first day on campus can lead to a more connected alumni network.
  • Market Saturation is Key: Consistently promoting the college's brand across multiple platforms ensures top-of-mind awareness.
  • Agility in Education: Adapting quickly to the needs of the local workforce is crucial for the relevance and success of educational programs.
  • Leadership Visibility Matters: Active and visible leadership can dramatically enhance institutional prestige and community engagement.

Listen + Learn More 

Interested in learning more about how community colleges can innovate in marketing and alumni engagement? Listen to the full episode of  The Hidden Gem featuring Blair Lee for a deeper understanding of these dynamic strategies. Join Enrollify in exploring more empowering insights and transformative approaches in higher education marketing.

Shelby Moquin
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