One of the more interesting discussions at NACAC this past month in Denver and in admissions offices around the globe is the future of the paper view book or as we call it in Europe the “prospectus”. For more than sixty years the view book has been a staple in admission representatives tool box as they tour the world and try to persuade prospective students to attend their institutions. In many admission shops, 2013 will mark the beginning of the end of the view book as we know it today. With the assistance of media companies like Big Choice Media of London, admissions and marketing professionals are turning the “old standard” paper model into an interactive promotional vechiel targeted at media savvy parents, grand parents and students. With Ipads and numerous other readers in the hands of more than 70 million people in North America alone, the paper classic is moving the way of the dinosaur. University media icon Mr. Giovanni Sanna explains that the cost benefit analysis of printing hundreds of thousands of prospectives, posting them around the globe and hoping people open the mail or take a copy with them from an exhibition does not make good business sense when you can develop the same book in a virtual format and place it in the hands of millions of people and attach it to your web site in a matter of minutes.
I is certainly scary to be the trend setter and do away with the paper version of the view book, however dozens institutions have made the move or in the case of Mary Washington University in Fredericksburg, Virginia have printed their last paper version of the view book while pushing their virtual view book to the four-front of their recruiting strategy by adding it to every page of their new web site and sending it to over 100,000 prospective students.
While the conversations will continue and some late to market responders will hold off on making a decision, the day of the paper perspective certainly looks numbered.