Show Notes

Air Date: 1/18/2022

How Marketing Can Help Overcome Challenges in Higher Education

After beginning her career as a journalist, Cheryl Broom got her start in public relations as a public information officer. Her career led her to higher education, which has been her focus ever since. In this episode, Cheryl describes the types of clients she works with, the challenges they face and what role marketing can play to overcome those challenges. Cheryl also talks about the changes marketing has seen since the beginning of her career, including her work with diversity, equity and inclusion.

3:12 – Cheryl explains how her career started as a journalist before transitioning to public relations in higher education

7:25 – Cheryl talks about the types of clients she works with at Graduate Communications, focusing on community colleges.

10:48 – Cheryl describes the decrease in enrollment right now and the role marketing plays in bringing students back.

14:19 – Cheryl shares what has and has not changed in marketing over the past 20 years.

20:32 – Cheryl explains her efforts to include diversity, equity and inclusion in the work she does for her clients.

26:19 – Cheryl shares why she focuses on marketing for higher education.

30:40 – Cheryl talks about the biggest challenges her clients face.

31:54 – Cheryl provides some resources she enjoys.



“So many amazing things you can do that people don’t even know are possibilities, but nobody’s been talking about them and now it’s this mad rush. Oh my gosh, enrollment’s down. Classes start in six weeks. Can marketing do something? In a lot of cases, it’s too late. Marketing needs to be ongoing. You need to constantly tell your story, right? Just like in PR, you’ve got to always be telling your story.” – Cheryl Broom, CEO at Graduate Communications



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About the guest:

Cheryl Broom is a national community college leader with a passion for student success and a deep commitment to serving her clients with integrity and passion. For 20 years, Cheryl has worked for and served community colleges across the nation on projects ranging from bond passages to complex marketing campaigns. A former television news reporter, Cheryl brings her knack for storytelling to everyday projects as well as to her presentations. An accomplished speaker, Cheryl has spoken for Google at their Menlo Park headquarters, has keynoted higher education conferences across the nation and today is a regular Zoom presenter and moderator. You’ll also catch her teaching Communications 101 (the dreaded public speaking classes) at community colleges across San Diego.

Cheryl Broom made her move into public relations and marketing when she became the first public information officer for a Northern California sheriff’s office. After earning a master’s degree in communication studies from California State University, Chico, Cheryl served for 11 years as director of public and government relations, marketing and communications at MiraCosta College. While at MiraCosta, Cheryl led a major rebrand effort, revitalized marketing efforts to sustain year-after-year enrollment growth, secured the 2016 passage of a $455 million facilities bond and spearheaded state legislation, helping her win 14 Paragons as well as nearly 100 National Council for Marketing and Public Relations Medallion and Community Colleges Public Relations Organization awards.

As the CEO and founder of Graduate Communications, Cheryl provides the vision, action and commitment to client work that makes Graduate Communications top in its class for higher education communications, marketing and research.

In her free time, you’ll find her lifting weights, spending time with her family and golfing.


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  • Great podcast! Cheryl is an expert and a great resource.

    • Nancy Marshall says:

      Thanks, David! Cheryl has wonderful energy. One of my clients said that Cheryl seems like someone she’d love to have dinner with, because she was sure the conversation would be stimulating! I appreciate you listening and commenting!