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 became vice president at RHB, a higher education marketing consultancy, in 2019. Rob has more than 20 years of experience in higher education administration, serving in senior leadership positions in marketing and advancement. He spent the last 17 years at Indiana University in both campus-level and system-wide roles, including assistant dean for advancement at Indiana University–Purdue University Columbus, vice chancellor for external affairs at Indiana University East, and most recently associate vice president for marketing in a university-wide capacity. Rob holds a doctorate from Creighton University, a master’s from Xavier University, and a bachelor’s from Wabash College. He serves on the CASE Commission on Communications and Marketing, contributes to Inside Higher Ed's Call to Action blog, and is 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.