At sports games, school events, and on the path, Andover students may have seen Neil Evans, Associate Director of Digital Communications, or Jessie Wallner, Digital Content Producer, taking photos or filming campus life on their phones. Alongside student contributors such as Nash Johnson ’20, Evans and Wallner run the Andover @phillipsacademy Instagram account, which has been active since 2012.
According to Evans, the Office of Communications decided to create the account to better connect with current students, families, and alumni on a wider scale.
Evans said, “We were an early adopter to Instagram and saw its potential to reach our audiences. We love telling visual stories and wanted to connect with our applicants, current students, and alumni already using the app. I think it’s something fun for everyone to follow and have a common interest in, specifically alumni who have graduated and want to stay connected to the community.”
The digital branch of the Office of Communications tries to highlight all aspects of the Andover experience, according to Evans. One way that the digital team does this is by keeping a “content calendar” of all events happening on campus, which helps them to organize what the office aims to portray.
“We maintain a content calendar for upcoming events, happenings, and creative initiatives. Our strategy is to accurately represent and promote all of the amazing things happening at the Academy. From classroom experiences to the athletic fields to residential life, there’s always something cool going on if you look around,” said Evans.
According to Nikol Moshenshka ’21, her application process was helped in large part by Andover’s multiple online presences, including Andover’s Instagram and Facebook pages. After arriving at Andover, Moshenshka also found Andover’s social media advertisement to be an accurate representation of the school, as it often embodies the Non Sibi spirit in its posts.
Muchenzka said, “I think the marketing system works pretty [well] because when I applied to Andover, I found a lot of information from the Internet like Facebook pages and Instagram pages. I think it’s super cool because you can see the school from the outside and the views of different schools and in comparison to other schools the level of marketing is pretty high. I found out about Andover because of my friends but marketing helped me a lot to understand the feeling of the school, like this Non Sibi community.”
In addition to the official Andover account, the Office of Communications and the Office of Admissions work collaboratively to create online presences that are similar, but not identical. According to Evans, the @andoveradmissions Instagram account run by Vivien Mallick, Director of Admissions Operations works more specifically towards prospective students and families.
“Prospective students and families are a specific niche that deserve their own channel. Mrs. Mallick has an awesome eye and a keen sense of what her audience is looking for. She has incredible access to things we do not, and does a great job of capturing the spirit of campus. Additionally, Admissions is a focus of the @phillipsacademy account, but not our sole audience. Having a dedicated account allows Mrs. Mallick to do fun AMAs, takeovers, and application-specific posts that may not be relevant to our account’s followers,” said Evans.
According to Preston Whitehurst ’22, Andover’s social media presence specifically on Instagram was a helpful element of his decision process. In general, Whitehurst explained how the posts allowed him to have a better understanding of life at Andover.
“I think Andover’s social media marketing definitely influenced my decision to come here because the Andover Admissions Instagram posts gave me a better understanding about how the school works and everyone here and I guess it did play a factor in deciding whether to come or not,” said Whitehurst.
Sharing a similar sentiment with Whitehurst, Andres Aleman ’23 noted the global spread of Andover through the use of online platforms such as Instagram and how that influences a student’s decision to choose Andover. Aleman also expressed how he was impressed with the international outreach of the school was reflected by Andover’s Instagram.
“I think the marketing office does a really good job on showcasing the different parts of the school and they do a good job of putting their image out through social media and different events. That is one of the main reasons Andover was so appealing to me, because I saw a lot of different parts of the school through social media,” said Aleman.
He continued, “They obviously spread out really globally, not only in the United States, but also where they travel to multiple different countries and the diversity they bring is very impressive and I guess that is just a testament to their marketing system and their outreach.”
According to Evans, the Andover Instagram account plans on continuing to post both entertaining and informative content for the remainder of the year.
Evans said, “We have some fun things planned for the upcoming year. Stay tuned for some Halloween-themed posts, a dive into Andover clubs, and a feature on ‘a day in the life’ of current students.”
Editor’s Note: Nash Johnson is a Copy Editor for The Phillipian.