Intake is when we really get to know you. It’s part Outward Bound excursion, part cross-examination, part first meaningful date. (Unless of course we all go to dinner together, at which point that becomes the first meaningful date.)
Intake typically has two parts:
- Document Review. We evaluate your current website, enrollment publications, alumni magazine, social media sites, and anything else you produce for external audiences. We also read your most recent strategic plan, any marketing plans or message platforms, and any recent market research. In addition, we review the websites of your peer and competitor institutions to get a sense of how they are positioning themselves in the market.
- Campus Visit. Finally we get to meet you face to face. Depending on the project, two to four mStoner team members will spend two or three days on campus. We’ll meet with your president (or chancellor or headmaster); representatives from admissions, advancement, alumni relations, marketing and communications, and student life; and other campus stakeholders. The intent of these meetings is to get a deeper sense of the strategic goals of your institution, the market in which you operate, and how the project at hand—be it website, viewbook, or something else—will further your strategic goals. We also want to talk to small groups of students and faculty to get a sense of the day-to-day life of the institution—what makes it tick, and why your students and faculty chose to learn and teach here. If it’s a web project, we’ll also discuss the functionality needs of the new site and meet with your IT team to understand your technical staffing and infrastructure.
The point of all this intake is twofold. First, to get a deep understanding of the culture and personality of your institution so that we can create an accurate, compelling representation of it in print or pixels. Second, to … choose your metaphor: fall in love, drink the Kool-Aid, get a contact high. We want to leave campus as enthusiastic about your institution as you are. That enthusiasm helps us think more strategically and more creatively and gives us a personal stake in the project’s success.