Sandra Golden Brings Marketing Expertise, College Experience to Your Campus
Sandra Golden is president of Sandra Golden & Associates, a marketing/public relations/enrollment management consulting firm specializing in providing professional development speaking engagements, workshops, audits, research, and consulting services to community colleges. Her services include providing analysis and recommendations for marketing/public relations operations, as well as hands-on workshops for groups and on-site for individual campuses to develop integrated marketing teams, strategic marketing plans, and marketing research/perception surveys.
Golden is available for speaking engagements, workshops, research, and consulting at colleges or at state, regional, or national conferences or meetings. She has worked with more than 120 colleges since forming the company in 1995. Her approach to marketing is broad-based, including research, curriculum delivery, services, promotion, recruitment, inquiry follow-up, retention, and evaluation.
Golden was previously associate vice president, Public Affairs and Information, at Cuyahoga Community College, a League member college in Cleveland, OH, where she held a variety of public relations positions for 25 years. Leadership responsibilities included media relations, publications, marketing, advertising, community relations, and special events. Prior to CCC, she was a high school English and journalism teacher.
Golden has served as president of the National Council for Marketing and Public Relations (NCMPR), an affiliate of the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC); past president of the Greater Cleveland Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA); and international trustee of the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) and chair of its Communications Commission.
Her professional activities have included speaking at more than 400 conferences and workshops for such organizations as AACC, NCMPR, CASE and College Board, in addition to providing consulting and workshops to more than 120 individual colleges and college groups. Golden is also a regular contributor to professional publications, including AACC Times and Journal, NCMPR Counsel, and CASE Currents. She is co-author of the book Shaping the Community College Image.
Golden has been praised as an enthusiastic, energetic, knowledgeable presenter who has lived what she teaches and is able to relate to all segments of personnel within a college, bringing practical, relevant, hands-on information that can be implemented immediately. Golden has won more than 100 top honors for marketing and public relations in professional competitions including CASE, PRSA, NCMPR, Women in Communications, Admissions Marketing, and International Association of Business Communicators (IABC).
Among other recognition, Golden was named to Who’s Who in Executives and Businesses, Who's Who in American Women, Who's Who in Public Relations, and The World Who's Who of Women. She received the NCMPR Communicator of the Year Award, the CCC Professional Excellence Award, and the Cleveland YWCA Career Women of Achievement Award. Golden is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland.
Golden can present as a keynoter for convocations or professional development days, or develop full-day workshops around a variety of marketing/public relations topics.
Reaching Diverse College Audiences and Helping Them Succeed in a Changing World. How are the audiences for our colleges changing and how do we target our marketing to reach them effectively and then help them succeed? This session will look at information about such groups as adults, Generation X and the Millennials, minority students, and advocacy groups, and present marketing implications and abundant hands-on examples.
Why Do They Drop Out and What Can You Do About It? This session will review case studies of retention surveys, highlighting key kinds of information that can be obtained; e.g., did they reach their goals, why they left, what barriers exist to their return, and more. We will then review results and the recommendations for marketing actions and will give examples of approaches that can increase retention and completion, from curriculum and service changes—counseling/advising, mentoring, orientation, tutoring, early alert, at-risk programs—to marketing communications techniques from social media to follow-up with dropouts through personal contact by phone, email, postcards etc.
Target Marketing for Career and Academic Programs. An ongoing college marketing issue is, “How do you market individual career programs, continuing education/workforce, or other unique programs? Do you market them separately from the overall college marketing?” This session will present a worksheet that helps you work with departments to analyze their programs and target market needs to create a targeted marketing approach. Extensive promotional examples will be used, including tips on finding organizations and sources for targeted contacts, as well as creating special events and using unique media angles and social media for free publicity.
Customer Service in an Age of Facebook and Twitter. While good customer service has always been important, today’s burgeoning online world of Twitter, Facebook, and other social media has made it possible for your students, faculty, and others to tell the world what they think—positive and negative. And, as enrollments increase and colleges have fewer resources, keeping your customer service up to par requires even more effort. This session will talk about how you deal with comments online and how you control them (you don’t); how you can be proactive in getting positive messages out there; and how you can organize, involve, and train your internal teams to respond effectively and provide the customer service you want.
Creating a Brand to Reach Diverse Target Audiences or What’s the Message? While many identify an attractive logo, slogan and graphic look as branding, colleges that are doing real branding know they need to go beyond the look and establish a memorable message and image on the advantages, benefits and successes of a community college. The message needs to resonate with the broad audiences of a college, from potential students and students to community and business leaders, legislators and donors. And, as we move to incorporate new tools such as social media into our repertoire, we still need to remember that the message and brand are still the basics of what you should be communicating.
Any of the above speaking topics can also be developed into one- or two-day workshops. Golden is known for her workshops, which engage a broad audience in the projects at hand. Golden presents a process and work sessions that result in concrete results and plans that get buy-in and are implemented because those involved have participated in creating the plan.
Her signature workshop, Creating an Integrated, Strategic Marketing Plan, approaches marketing from a broad-based perspective to include not only promotion and recruitment, but also market research, curriculum delivery, customer service, inquiry follow-up, retention, and evaluation. The workshops give abundant examples from community colleges across the country, and lead the participants through work sessions for gap analysis and market action plans.
Other areas where Golden has facilitated workshops include:
- Customer Service Training
- Marketing career and academic programs
- Continuing education/workforce
- Minority Marketing
- Advocacy/PR Planning
- Brand development
Golden has conducted community college audits, using interviews and focus groups with various internal and external audiences to analyze and make written recommendations in the areas of marketing and the topics listed above.
Marketing research surveys can be conducted in the community to assess attitudes, needs, and perceptions, including awareness, image, and important benefits. Reports include full data, with demographic crosstabs and marketing implications.
Retention surveys can also be done with dropouts, assessing such areas as why they drop out, what the barriers are to returning and completion, what services were they aware of and used, etc. A written report analyzes the data and gives implications and recommendations for action.