BOLAND COLLEGE MARKETING DEPARTMENT DOES IT AGAIN
Boland College (BC) has once again done the TVET sector proud by becoming the only TVET college to win MACE awards in 2015. This was announced during the annual MACE (Professional Association of Practitioners in Marketing, Advancement and Communication in Higher, Technical and Vocational Education and Training) gala evening and excellence awards ceremony.
BC scooped the following prestigious awards:
- Merit Award: Online Internal Publications: ReAksie
- Excellence Award: Online External Publications: Boland+
- Excellence Award: Electronic Media: Websites: Boland College Website
Photo caption: Ms Marion de Vries (Senior Recruitment Officer: Head Office), Ms Yolanda Phakela (Senior Clerk: Marketing Paarl campus), Ms Grethe Conradie (Senior Clerk: Marketing Caledon Campus), Ms Monica Yanta (Senior Clerk: Marketing Strand campus), Ms Danel Gillespie (Senior Clerk: Marketing from Stellenbosch campus) and Mr Jandre Bakker (Manager: Marketing and Corporate Communication)
Speaking after the ceremony, Jandré Bakker, Manager: Marketing and Corporate Communication, said he was immensely proud because his team’s hard work and diligence had paid off handsomely.
“I salute each of my team members but wish to make specific mention of Grethe Conradie, who is based at our Caledon Campus and tirelessly drives our publications, Danel Gillespie, who works from the Stellenbosch Campus and manages the website with Monica Yanta of Strand Campus, Marion de Vries, who is second in charge of the department at Head Office and more than just heads up the recruitment arm, and then also my right hand in all marketing operations and our Paarl Campus representative, Yolanda Phakela. Thank you also to our line manager, Mrs Wendy Adams for constant support of our projects and to each and every staff member and support function for adding value to the process. These awards go to Boland College and not to a department which means this is our award!”
The three day conference, attended by Marion de Vries was, however, about more than merely the gala event and bringing home awards. When asked on which sessions she drew the most value from, the following were included:
- Protection of Private Information Act: With the POPI Act coming into effect from 1 January 2016, it will change the way in which we go about our daily tasks. Example: During registration we have registration files in the Student Administration Office. Each day the information is captured but often this happens late in the evenings and may not always be locked away immediately. The next morning new students come to enquire and the documentation is still visible (irrespective of whether it is in a file). This could be viewed as an infringement on the privacy of the student and hence, Boland College, through its accounting officer, may be held accountable for said “negligence” which goes with a hefty fine and even time in prison. Marketing and Corporate Communication will have to regularly communicate with prospective students asking them if they still want to receive information. Gone are the days of a grade 10 student completing an information request form because they are considered minors and hence a parent has to complete the form giving permission that we may contact the student with study information. This has a significant impact on the strategy which aims to gain as many leads as possible with the aim of getting as many applications as possible but also places a larger emphasis on our digital platforms such as our website.
- Branding and Brand Awareness: A brand is more than merely the logo and the correct use of the Corporate Identity Manual. The main focus of branding is the student experience and this student experience is in class for the majority of time. A favourable classroom experience is set to generate positive word of mouth which increases the likelihood of increased brand awareness. Increased brand awareness may lead to perceived positive brand association and hence draw more clientele. That said, the classroom experience is not the only factor and can be easily undone by a lack of high quality service with regards to administration (such as receiving marks on time, receiving outstanding statements and accounts on time).
Planning has already started on how to implement what was learnt at the conference into the daily operations of the Marketing and Corporate Communication Department. Key strategic thrusts for the coming year include:
- Larger focus on digital marketing which includes the next phase development of the already award-winning website, integration of social media platforms and expansion of digital communication campaigns
- Centralisation of peripheral functions to minimise cost to company and hence support the college drive to bring expenditure in line with sustainable practices
- Recruitment focus closer to campuses while still doing enough to ensure residences are optimally utilised
- The establishment of advisory committees who will support the department in its functioning which could include a web and digital committee, student recruitment committee, communication committee.
We look forward to taking these discussions to the next level to retain our spot as one of the leading Marketing and Corporate Communication Departments in the sector.