Diverse: Issues in Higher Education

Client: Diverse: Issues in Higher Education
Industry: Higher Education and Publishing Industries


Diverse: Issues in Higher Education sought to understand the market forces affecting the higher education and publishing industries to develop a business strategy that would increase their competitive advantage in an ever-changing print and digital publishing industry.


As a leader in market research, HCP Associates was engaged by Diverse to execute an assessment of Diverse’s position and craft strategies transitioning into the future.

Based in Fairfax, VA, Diverse is a publication that seeks to build educational, cultural, social, and economic structures that will allow all individuals to achieve their full potential and contribute to the greater good of the community. The publication serves the higher education industry, from two-year colleges to graduate and postsecondary education. Formerly known as Black Issues in Higher Education, Diverse engaged with HCP in 2005 to strategically rebrand and include other underrepresented groups in the publications’ editorial focus. Generational management shifts in this family-owned business coinciding with the celebration of their 35th Anniversary inspired Diverse to utilize HCP’s skilled team and resources to assess how their business can thrive in the future.

Through detailed analysis, qualitative research, and a series of surveys and interviews, HCP revealed various industry trends. HCP’s team of experts assessed print and digital content and how they have been changing over time. In addition, HCP identified additional tradeshows and conferences as opportunities for the publication to expand their audience. Industry research also approached the changing role of diversity within universities and the increase in Chief Diversity Officer positions.

After looking into the industry as a whole, HCP then evaluated the customers and prospects associated with the publication. Using primary data, HCP analyzed readers’ demographics to build a profile of those who engage with the publication. Further, HCP provided key insights regarding the purchase and decision-making process for advertisers and job recruiters that work with Diverse. Finally, a thorough competitive analysis covering all of Diverse’s many product offerings was produced.

The findings from HCP’s research led to a series of recommendations to enhance the publication’s growth and success. HCP’s insights provided ways for Diverse to focus on themes such as: expanding their audience; customer conversion and reactivation; and the restructuring of the company’s media kit, website, job board, and print magazine. This multiple phase redevelopment plan was structured into an 18 to 24-month project for Diverse to revitalize.