University Marketing Communications

Dr. Pattillo comments on the marketing campaign

August 22, 2014

During his annual address to SFA faculty and staff, SFA President Baker Pattillo discussed the university’s marketing campaign. Some of his comments are included in the information below.

Just over a year ago, the Board of Regents hired Richards/Carlberg of Houston as our branding firm to help us create a brand architecture including an authentic, clear, compelling statement about our characteristics, attributes and strengths as to differentiate ourselves from our competitors. Our university objectives in developing a simple, consistent message include:

  1. increase enrollment;
  2. recruit and retain high-caliber students;
  3. increase positive statewide perception;
  4. recruit and retain world-class faculty;
  5. reinforce internal pride in the institution; and
  6. motivate alumni to invest in the university.

Richards Carlberg utilized the awareness and perception research findings to develop a marketing campaign that would bring more awareness to our academic programs and career offerings. By now I am sure you have seen the billboards and mall banners located throughout East Texas, Dallas and/or Houston, our primary student and alumni markets. You may have heard the ads on Pandora radio or seen campaign postings within social media venues like Facebook. Our initial campaign ran from April 1 – June 30, a full 90 days, to bring awareness to our vast academic offerings and ultimately to the careers born from such programs.

We have engaged with Richards Carlberg again to launch a second flight of marketing media this fall. All media and efforts will be directly tied to increasing enrollment versus just simply branding, the purpose of the first flight. In other words, most of the media used to advertise will have a “call to action.” During this fall campaign, we desire to drive prospective students to:

  1. make an inquiry,
  2. visit campus and, ultimately,
  3. apply for enrollment.

As you know, the fall marketing campaign will be very important as high school seniors are finalizing their decision regarding college. It will include aggressive marketing efforts in the fall, with some additional advertising in the spring and summer of 2015.

Although the marketing campaign’s highest priority will be increasing enrollment, it is multi-faceted. It will build pride with other stakeholders, such as our alumni, friends and community members whom we desire to invest in us, to serve on our boards and councils, and to hire our students. Bottom line, we know SFA is a university with winning academic programs, and we plan to bring this awareness to the marketplace.