Learn how Sweet Briar College changed the narrative from “the school that nearly closed in 2015” to one of confidence, courage, and grit through a comprehensive marketing effort, including thorough constituent research, a refreshed brand platform, and an ongoing advertising campaign.


Marketing Live is sponsored by PRSA’s Counselors to Higher Education

Episode Host

Rob Zinkan

Rob Zinkan

Rob Zinkan has been with Indiana University for 16 years and is currently in a system-wide role as associate vice president for marketing, where he works to develop, deploy, and champion the university’s brand strategy; leads Indiana University’s full-service internal marketing agency; and serves as marketing liaison to IU’s two core campuses’ (IU Bloomington and IUPUI) leadership and marketing community. Previously, he worked at the campus level as vice chancellor for external affairs at Indiana University East and assistant dean for advancement at Indiana University–Purdue University Columbus (IUPUC). Rob earned his bachelor's degree from Wabash College, master's from Xavier University, and doctorate from Creighton University. He serves on the CASE Commission on Communications and Marketing, contributes to Inside Higher Ed's Call to Action blog, and serves on the conference committee for the AMA Symposium for the Marketing of Higher Education.


Melissa Richards

Melissa Richards is vice president for communications and enrollment management at Sweet Briar College. Her 25-year track record combines broad and deep experience in marketing research and strategy, brand management, integrated communications, public relations, licensing and trademarks, special events, and strategic alliances. Prior to Sweet Briar, Melissa worked at St. Lawrence University and for six years in university relations at Virginia Tech, advancing to assistant vice president for marketing and publications. Before higher education, she held senior positions at startup and global technology organizations and founded two small businesses.