With the holidays and winter break now just a distant memory, students are back on campus ready to begin a new semester — and acquire the learning materials needed for this term’s course load. While the task of selecting and securing textbook adoptions to ensure the best possible academic outcomes falls to faculty, an equally important component of that process is knowing the best resources available for their students to find them. The former need is supported by Barnes & Noble College’s FacultyEnlight, an innovative digital platform that enhances the faculty textbook adoption experience; while the latter is being assured by a new communication campaign under the banner, Igniting the Faculty Connection.
“Igniting the Faculty Connection is our communication and outreach strategy to help us better connect with faculty throughout the year,” says Nicole Guerrieri, Director of Digital Education for Barnes & Noble College. “Faculty are the first decision makers, so establishing a relationship with them, and for them to understand the value that the bookstore offers their students, is really important.”
“Igniting the Faculty Connection was developed with two tracks,” explains Jenna Radigan, Senior Corporate Marketing Specialist for Barnes & Noble College. “One is securing adoptions through FacultyEnlight and the other is finding better ways to communicate with our faculty.” As part of that second track, a series of communications have been designed to specifically help faculty by providing a better understanding of the kinds of support and solutions the campus bookstore can provide. “Our first e-mail communication went out in November and we plan to build on that with regular bi-monthly communications,” Radigan explains.
With a growing base of over 90,000 subscribers, faculty are clearly looking for more information to help support their students’ efforts in the classroom. “The bookstore is a vital necessity for the university and you really come to depend on them,” says Dr. James Clark, Lecturer at the University of Central Florida. “It would be helpful to me to know what is going on in the bookstore and be able to communicate directly.”
Radigan explains that the first mailing highlighted textbook affordability options while a second communication, scheduled for this month, will contain information on LMS integration through FacultyEnlight. Faculty members will also receive a regular digest of news and information in an easy-to-read email format. “We plan to cover a wide range of industry topics, geared to the needs of faculty, and covering anything from how Millennials are preparing for their careers to updates on our textbook affordability options such as rental and used formats,” she says.
The Igniting the Faculty Connection email campaign is just the beginning of an array of new outreach programs planned for this key campus partner. This year, managers will be inviting faculty members to special events at their bookstores, with invitations to anything from informal coffee-break type events to hands on FacultyEnlight demonstrations to faculty VIP events featuring exclusive discounts. “We’ll continue to build those relationships so faculty see us as a resource for more than just the textbook adoption,” says Guerrieri.
The basis of all of these efforts is designed to build a greater level of communication and trust throughout the academic year. As Radigan explains, “The outcome we’re hoping these new communications will create is that faculty will see the bookstore as more than simply a retail partner and increasingly as an ally invested in their goals of ensuring the best possible support for their students.”