Dan Tudor

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Like a High-Powered Google Search Engine for College RecruitersMonday, April 26th, 2010

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Creating a GREAT Recruiting EnvironmentSunday, April 25th, 2010

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The iPad for College Recruiters? The Experts Weigh In…Monday, April 19th, 2010

iPad review by Front Rushby Sean Devlin, Front Rush

So, everyone here at Front Rush jumped on the iPad bandwagon on day one and have spent the last week or so “stress testing” it for our coaches who are Front Rush clients. Our initial motivation was the geek factor and the hype, but we wanted to also share our thoughts from a recruiting perspective for coaches who might be thinking of using it in the near future.

In our view, the iPad is a sweet device when used for consuming information. If you are searching the web or watching videos (more on this later), the iPad provides a great user experience. When attempting to create information writing this article on my iPad, it is difficult and slow when compared to using a laptop or desktop.

The big question some coaches are asking us: Can it replace your phone?

Well, no. But…presumably, you could replace your iPhone or Blackberry when you are recruiting on location. The iPad is light weight (1.5 lbs) and compact in size (roughly 8 inches by 10 inches). It is certainly much more portable than your laptop and much easier to navigate than your small screened phone. However, there are a couple of things to keep in mind.

1) If most of your onsite recruiting is outdoors, then you will have to deal with a glare issue. The iPad’s display is great when indoors but as soon as the sunlight hits it, the glare makes it very difficult to see. It’s not entirely unusable but the display quality (outdoors) is poor at best.

2) The standard iPad does not come with a 3G connection. This means that if you are not near a wireless router (or you are, but don’t have the username and password) you won’t be able to access the web. You can, however, shell out the extra $130 upfront plus the monthly $15-$30 on AT&T’s network to have web access from everywhere. With all of this said, if your recruiting does not require web access there are a number of apps in the app store for accessing your Excel and Word files.

3) You can access full websites from your iPad and your iPhone apps will still work. Huh? Let me give you an example…Facebook. If you use the Facebook app on your iPhone, you can still use it on your iPad. But, it’s almost pointless as you can pull up the full Facebook site from the iPad and not really miss out on anything when compared to your laptop. The point being that the iPad allows you to use most parts of your full web-based recruiting app.

If you are big on watching recruiting videos on a computer, this is a gamble. We have seen more and more recruits posting videos on YouTube and for those, the iPad works great. Most other recruiting services that don’t use youtube or an HTML 5 video equivalent (sorry…that may be a little super techie!), the iPad won’t work. The bottom line is that some sites you you will be able to watch video and others you won’t…it really depends on the site.

Sending emails is straight forward. If you compare sending an email from your iPad to your computer, it is night and day. On your iPad, your typing speed slows down and your errors increase (this article is taking me quite a bit longer than usual to write on my iPad). If you compare the email sending on your iPad to your phone, it is equally night and day in the other direction. The iPad provides a much larger keyboard so that it is easier to hit the proper keys and have a somewhat keyboard like experience.

Basic web surfing?  It’s awesome – you may have to take one home for the night and try it to understand. It’s just awesome.

The pricing is determined by two factors. 1) The amount of storage and 2) If you require the 3G connection.

It starts out at $499 for 16GB. 16GB is enough if you are not storing movies, videos and a lot of songs. If you are just using apps, email and the web then you should be fine. However if you will store a lot of videos etc. then the cost goes up incrementally by $100 up to $699.

If you do require 3G access then the upfront cost is and additional $130 on top of the $499 plus the monthly $15-$30 for the access.

So with all of the above said, we love the iPad as a general consumer device and love the potential it could offer as an on field device. There are clear questions but these can only be answered from the trenches. If you are using the iPad now, or are planning on getting one, we would love to hear your feedback.

(Sent from my iPad)

Front Rush is more than just a web-based recruiting contact manager.  They’re built-in technology experts for their growing list of clients that rely on them to give them the edge in the hard knock world of college recruiting.  Want them to review your program’s technical expertise level, and make some free recommendations and assessments?  Email Sean Devlin at sdevlin@frontrush.com.

An Example of a Sub-Par Recruiting MessageSunday, April 18th, 2010

Actually, it’s a message about coffee.

But in defense of the title to this article, it is about a coffee place trying to recruit new customers in a busy airport terminal.  However, they missed the mark a bit on this one, as I explained recently during a session I lead at the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association convention.

Sub-par coffee signThis is a picture of the sign.  On the surface, it looks like a creative message, right?  “Unlike Any Coffee You’ve Ever Tasted Before.”  Wow!  Quite a promise.

So, why does it miss the mark?

First, it over-promises.  It also brags.  And, it is way more complicated than it needs to be.  Marketing guru Seth Godin, commented that a better alternative might be “The best coffee.”  Simple and straight to the point.

When it comes to recruiting, that’s a mantra you need to memorize before you create your next round of recruiting letters.  With this generation, simplicity is the key.

And even more importantly, you want something that will prompt a reaction (and action) from your prospects.  Going back to the coffee promotional sign for a moment, what about this message: “FREE TASTE TEST!  Are we better than Starbucks?”

Do you see what a difference altering the message makes?  Instead of a comment that really doesn’t effect me and make me stop and think as a potential recruit, that message engages.  It challenges.  It prompts action.  Don’t you think it would be hard to resist sneaking in and taking them up on their offer?

Most marketers – and most coaches – don’t do that, however.  They’ll settle for ordinary, or they’ll go over-the-top with promises that the average teenager can pick out as unlikely to be true.

So, here are three quick rules to follow if you want to develop a more interesting, more action oriented (and less sub-par) recruiting message:

  1. Don’t overstate you and your program.  Empty bragging doesn’t get it done, especially in the beginning of a recruiting relationship.
  2. Keep your message simple and to the point.  An exercise that we usually suggest when we begin working with new clients and review the message that they’ve been sending out is to have them take one of their current form letters or emails and cross out everything that a prospect who is reading it doesn’t need to know right then to take the next step in the process.  Ask yourself, “what would my letters look like if I did that with my letters?”  You should, Coach.  It’s a valuable exercise that would show you just how much “fluff” you’ll find in your message to this “give it to me simple and straight forward” generation you are being asked to recruit.
  3. Ask them to take action.  Challenge them, and figure out what would entice them to interact with you in a real way.  If you can get them to take the free taste test, you might just gain a new customer.

Developing creative recruiting messages is not rocket science.  It is, however, “science”.  There is a reaction that your prospects will have once you reach out to them with a safe – yet intriguing – challenge.

Think you can you get them to come in and try a taste in your next recruiting message?

How Wild Animals (and YOUR Recruits) Forage for FoodMonday, April 12th, 2010

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Speaker and Topic Lineup for 2010 National Collegiate Recruiting ConferenceMonday, April 12th, 2010

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Body Language and RecruitingMonday, April 12th, 2010

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One Simple Trick to Get More Prospect ApplicationsMonday, April 5th, 2010

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3 Core Principles for Overcoming Prospect ObjectionsSunday, April 4th, 2010

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