The Office of Undergraduate Admissions will implement a new communications team this fall, which will focus on spreading Emory information to prospective students around the world through social media.

John Latting, dean of undergraduate admissions, said the program aims to streamline Emory’s message to students who may be interested in Emory using increased social media efforts as well as more extensive current student interaction with prospective students.

The team also hopes to better incorporate the voices of current Emory students and faculty in the recruiting process by having students post videos and blogs about the Emory lifestyle on social media sites, Latting noted.

“The website and social media we are employing now are strong but don’t really transmit the voice of current students,” he said. “We need to get more current students involved in the process of attracting prospective students.”

A new Director of Communications Daniel Creasy, who previously served as an admissions counselor at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Md., will start work at Emory on Monday, Latting said. During this semester, he will conduct a search for about seven members of his communications team, which will consist of a receptionist, writers, editors, a social media coordinator and an event planner.

Part of the drive to create this new program, Latting said, was pressure to compete with peer institutions in attracting students to the University. Latting said it is not enough for students to simply garner information about Emory on their own and then apply there. Rather, he explained, students should know about the University from a student perspective and make sure they are comfortable with the school.

“We are evolving how we tell our story, and we have to be willing to adapt and adjust,” he said.

Latting added that the new communications team will incorporate University publications and media relations material into the larger social media initiative. Additionally, he said, the team will create focus groups and conduct research to learn more about Emory’s reputation and image around the world.

“Our ultimate purpose is to focus on how Emory is understood and how we want Emory to be understood, and then to bridge the gap,” he said. “Then, we can truly establish a dynamic, diverse, interesting freshman or transfer class.”

By incorporating current students into the recruitment process through blogs, videos and other forms of social media, Latting said, prospective students can truly explore what life is like at Emory.

“A current student’s voice really communicates to prospective students, ‘I can see myself at that University,'” he said.

– By Anusha Ravi