In 2010, the Division of Enrollment Management and Student Affairs (EMSA) launched a marketing campaign to increase enrollment and enhance the visibility and credibility of California State University, Dominguez Hills as a school of choice in the South Bay communities it serves. That campaign and its look has evolved and expanded into all outreach materials and institution-wide branding programs that are instantly identifiable as the university’s look and message.
And now they are award winning.
CSU Dominguez Hills was among 12 other CSU campuses and the CSU Chancellor’s Office to receive CASE (Council for Advancement and Support of Education) District VII Awards of Excellence for 2012. In total the CSU took home 32 awards as a system, of which five came from CSU Dominguez Hills. The EMSA division’s marketing efforts for the university garnered four awards, and the Office of University Communications and Public Affairs also won for the university’s online news site, Dateline Dominguez.
CASE VII Chair Timothy O’Malley and the awards committee said an in email to award winners, “We received a record number of entries this year, and your excellent achievement stood out among the best. … One of our objectives is to share best practices among our colleagues in an effort to help all improve their skills and increase their effectiveness. Your efforts will be recognized as an example for others to emulate.”
Gold – Silver – (double) Bronze
Winning gold in the Institution-wide Branding Programs category were the University Strategic Plan 2010 document and the CSUDH Speaks Brand Guide and Marketing Plan. The strategic plan document laid out the results of the months of focus groups with various CSUDH groups to identify the university’s mission, vision, strengths, challenges, objectives and how to achieve them. The brand guide and market plan recommended strategies to visually articulate and support the strategic plan into a university-wide brand. These branding and marketing documents are part of a larger campuswide branding campaign that is expected to be finalized and launched in the coming months.
The other award-winning outreach materials integrate the branded look and message, all of which prominently feature images of CSU Dominguez Hills students and faculty and taglines that represent what they see as key attributes of the university: My CSUDH degree makes a difference; I have dreams, now I’ll have a degree; When my students succeed, so do I; I’ve got a lot to learn, and a lot to give; My students are my collaborators. The concerted outreach effort through these materials is credited with the rise in students applying to CSU Dominguez Hills from fall 2010 to fall 2011 by more than 3,000 applicants, including a 21 percent increase in freshman applicants and a 12 percent increase in transfer applicants.
The CSUDH View Book won silver in the Individual Student Recruitment–Viewbooks and Prospectuses category. Designed to convey the engaging and enriching experience at CSU Dominguez Hills to both prospective freshmen and transfer students, the booklet highlights what the university has to offer, and uses stories of student and faculty profiles to reinforce that message.
The university also received bronze awards in the Advertising Campaigns category, for its advertising campaign on billboards, bus and bus shelters, metro stations, and via direct mail and email, and in the Student Recruitment Package category for its series of printed communications to prospective students that included a pocket folder, overview brochure, view book, and various brochures on student life, orientation, housing, financial aid, and campus amenities.
“The CSUDH Speaks brand is an expression of our university’s core strengths: the quality and selection of our academic programs, the diversity of our students, the dynamic campus environment, and the contribution our students and graduates are making to the communities we serve,” said Sue Borrego, vice president of Enrollment Management and Student Affairs. “This campaign has been successful not only in attracting more outstanding students to our campus, but in raising awareness for CSU Dominguez Hills as the University of the South Bay.”
News Site Wins Silver
The Dateline Dominguez news site (the web site where this article is posted) took silver in the Integrated Advancement Programs/Creative Uses of Technology and New Media category. Completely redesigned in January 2011, the web-based news center serves as the central hub for university news and communications, and features a clean design with user-friendly navigation, larger photos, news content by college, reader comments, searchable content, links to university social media sites and campus event calendars, and the functionality to post a variety of media, such as videos and photo galleries. It had been the first redesign of an online-based campus newsletter.
“We can all be proud of this recognition from CASE,” said Greg Saks, vice president for University Advancement. “It is clear that the redesigned and more robust Dateline Dominguez site is reaching wider audiences and has contributed to an increased public awareness of the excellence that can be found at CSU Dominguez Hills, and a renewed sense of pride from the campus community. In addition, the site was produced with minimal out-of-pocket costs, which is important in the current budget climate.”
CASE is an international association of professionals who advance educational institutions. CASE District VII represents the western region of the United States and includes Arizona, California, Guam, Hawaii, Nevada, Northern Mariana Islands and Utah.
The CASE District VII annually recognizes excellence and best practices in alumni relations, fundraising, public/government relations, advancement services, special events and outstanding communications. Entries were judged by a panel of experts who examined each entry for quality, creativity, innovation, adherence to professional standards, and success in meeting stated objectives.
For a complete list of the 2012 Awards of Excellence winners visit www.casevii.org/awards.