You can’t form a communication plan that works without understanding audience motivations. In this episode of Admissions Live, guest host Erin Supinka speaks with two higher education research professionals about what it means to be audience-centric, best practices for tracking audience behaviors and needs, strategies for conducting research and universal characteristics of prospective students and parents.


Episode Host

Erin Supinka

Erin is social media manager at Dartmouth College and contributing editor of the Higher Ed Live Blog. Erin holds a Bachelor of Science in Journalism from Rochester Institute of Technology. Connect with Erin on twitter, @erinsupinka.


Mike Hanus

Mike has extensive experience directing a variety of quantitative and qualitative research projects for universities, professional schools, and higher education-focused organizations. He specializes in quantitative methodologies such as survey design and analyses, audience segmentation, and data analytics. He has experience managing qualitative research such as focus groups and in-depth interviews. Mike has worked at Victoria University of Wellington New Zealand as a benchmarking and survey analyst and as a senior adviser in cultural statistics to the New Zealand government.

Mike conducts research across the constituent lifecycle from prospective students to current students, alumni, and donors. His portfolio of clients included the University of Chicago, University of Chicago Booth School of Business, Columbia University, the Maurice A. Deane School of Law at Hofstra University, and Tufts University.

Mike started his own higher education research and consulting firm in 2014 and can be contacted at


Bill Hayward

Bill worked at Northwestern University for over twenty years in institutional research. He embarked on a consulting career in 2009, and led the higher education practice at a small consulting firm, Slover Linett Strategies, which was acquired by the Huron Consulting Group in 2013. Bill and Mike worked together at Slover Linett and they have worked together on other projects since then. Much of their work together has been audience research of prospective students and admitted students and other audiences that are critical to enrollment management strategy and planning. Bill is currently back at Northwestern.