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Ulrika Ström & Hanna Mäkinen

It's all about the money, or is it? - Engaging students in marketing and communications, event planning

We talk a lot about how to involve students in the marketing work of the university. Sometimes we involve them because we want to show prospective students “the real picture”. But at times, we involve students because it is cheaper than involving university staff.

So, what is really the ROI for using students? Not only from the perspective of the university, but also from the students’ point of view. How can you make a win-win situation for all involved?

At Åbo Akademi University we have frequently used students in our marketing activities and here we share our experiences. Good as well as bad.

What I Do

Ulrika Ström

Ulrika is the team leader of the marketing team at ÅAU. She has been working with higher education marketing for seven years. At ÅAU marketing focuses on recruiting new students and on developing the university brand.

Place branding is close to Ulrika’s heart. Before entering the world of HE she used to work with branding the Finnish Archipelago. These experiences she has applied in marketing at ÅAU. She wants the university to be a rememberable experience for visitors, students, and personnel. Working with influencers and ambassadors is something she has done in her previous positions and she continues to do so at ÅAU.

Hanna Mäkinen

Hanna is a marketing coordinator at ÅAU, with focus on marketing to the Nordic countries.

She has been working with marketing and communication in various settings at different higher education institutions since 2008. She started her career by arranging approximately 300 visits, run by students, in upper secondary schools and developed different kinds of educational courses to support students fulfilling their mission. Hanna has worked closely with students not only in marketing activities, but also in developing HE’s international activities, among other things.