University Marketing Communications

Marketing Campaign Update

August 5, 2015

Representatives of the Richards/Carlberg agency gave an update during the July quarterly meeting of the SFA Board of Regents regarding their work to create positive messaging about SFA that, when used consistently, will help to enhance perceptions of SFA, motivate alumni and donors to support the university, recruit and retain high-caliber students and world-class faculty, increase enrollment and reinforce internal pride in the institution.

Campaign Feedback 96 percent positive

Regents heard the encouraging news that the percentage of applicants who meet SFA's criteria has increased by 13 percent (more than 900 students). As a result, while the number of overall applications has not increased significantly, admissions have increased. And while Orientation registrations are up slightly, they have not grown at the same rate as admits. Therefore, we all will be watching closely on the 12th class day when enrollment figures are calculated, and the information we have gathered during this first full year of the campaign will continue to be analyzed and taken into consideration as new strategies for fiscal year 2016 are considered.

During the fall campaign, in addition to promoting Showcase Saturday, a benefit was offered to incoming freshmen who completed the application process by Dec. 1. Incorporating deadlines improves the effectiveness of advertising, and the benefit included a financial incentive and priority registration for Orientation. The spring campaign advertised housing opportunities, highlighted messages regarding financial aid deadlines, and promoted the February and March Showcase Saturday events.


Work is continuing on the redesign of the SFA website. A site audit and content inventory review is complete, a phased launch plan has been developed, and the selection of a new content management system is being considered. Representatives from Richards/Carlberg are developing a site map, content strategy and a summary of content needs for the new website. The first phase of the launch will include all prospective student areas and the Nelson Rusche College of Business.

Upcoming campaign

For the 2015-2016 academic year, marketing efforts again will be divided into fall and spring flights, with the majority of funding devoted to the fall effort. New media include SFA ads wrapped around two of the DART rail trains in Dallas, airport advertising, billboards, online streaming radio, and advertisements that include video components online and on mobile phones.

The fall billboard flight is scheduled to begin mid-September and end in early December. While nine billboards will be placed in East Texas locations during this period, six additional billboards will rotate monthly among locations in the Houston area, and five will rotate among locations in the Dallas area.

SFA advertising placed in the First Colony Mall in Sugarland in September will transition to Willowbrook Mall in Houston in November and remain there until January. From September through January, advertisements will be posted in the Stonebriar Mall in Frisco, in Lufkin Mall and in Tyler's Broadway Square Mall.

From October through January, SFA advertisements will be positioned to catch the attention of travelers in Houston's Hobby Airport and inside Love Field in Dallas. The ads will include both banners and digital signage.

Positive results

More than 1,000 stakeholders responded to a poll that was distributed to students, alumni, faculty, staff and friends of SFA to assist in selecting new professions to be highlighted on billboards and added to the collection of careers featured in other advertising during the next campaign. More than 96 percent of respondents indicated a positive perception of the "Lumberjacks make great" campaign, with 79.7 percent indicating "very positive." This level of support for an advertising campaign is fairly remarkable, and it is a great indication of the opportunity we have to make a positive impact on the future of SFA.

Lumberjacks make great professors Lumberjacks make great choir directors Lumberjacks make great publicists

Lumberjacks make great nurses Lumberjacks make great entrepreneurs Lumberjacks make great surveyors