Resources for Educators who are recruiting and enrolling students from China in the USA.
Published On: Tue, Apr 21st, 2015

Protecting your campus and brand in China without relying on agents.

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China Branding 2015-04-21 at 3.34.06 PMWith so many colleges competing for the students in China, more admissions officers are relying on agents, advertisers like Zinch, recruiting trips to China and agent conferences (who fly the agents over from foreign countries but have educators pay for their tickets and hotels at $6000 per ticket) or education fairs. However, are these fairs, advertisers and agents effective? Do agents recruit the right types of students? Do agents really know the difference between a campus in the south vs east or west coast? Can agents be trusted with your college’s brand?

When I work with parents in China, they tend to do a search online after they hear about a particular school. I wonder how many campuses in the U.S. have a presence online in China’s Google- called BAIDU? If we did a search, what would come up in Chinese about your school?

I have figured out a tried and true way to build your school’s brand without relying on agents that may not fully understand your campus. The important goal is to represent your school as accurately as possible without having to pay a heavy price tag on advertising. When an agent is hired, you will have much better conversion rates since the foundation has been laid out for your campus.

How? PR! I have found a way to write articles about topics where schools can be used to support the topic and serve as key examples. Like most things in China, PR is censored. However, I have identified in my network (since I lived, worked and studied in China), PR specialists who know how to get articles approved by Chinese government and circulated across all major Chinese media (offline and online). This means that when you recruit a student (on your own or with an agent), the student will be able to read about your campus from various articles written in Chinese. It builds your brand’s credibility but most importantly, gives you back control of your brand from agents. All of this will translate into higher conversion rates since your campus will come up after a search is made on Baidu. That is what I call “peace of mind” for both the school and the student.

To find out more about Chinese PR, please email

Irene Tieh
USA College Connection

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