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November 7, 2013

Fall Visit Day part of larger marketing campaign

By Hannah Corcoran


Cleveland State’s Department of Marketing launched a new advertising campaign to endorse the idea of “engaged learning” and draw in prospective students.

Advertisements launched through the “diversity of smart” campaign include outdoor billboards in Ohio; Erie, Pa.; southwest Mich.; and Buffalo, N.Y. There are also online ads, radio commercials and sponsorships, cable television ads, and ads on social media websites such as YouTube, Twitter, Facebook and Google+.

One billboard promoted Cleveland State’s Fall Visit Day for prospective high school and transfer students. Fall Visit Day took place on Nov. 2 and attracted more than 1,500 students.

LaQuita Rouse-Germany, assistant director of opera-tions and admissions, noticed an increase in students from last year’s Fall Visit Day. This year’s event expanded to three sessions, compared to last year’s two sessions, according to Rouse-Germany.

“Fall Visit Day is really our drive or push to get students to apply to Cleveland State University,” Rouse-Germany said. “Of course we’re doing high school visits and other things throughout the year, but this is our big event.”

High school students are targeted through a variety of media, such as high school visit days, social media ads, home mailings and emails.

“With a big event like this, we would have done anything from postcards to the billboards that you see, to emails to Robocall,” said Rouse-Germany. “A lot of social media goes into conducting an event this large as well.”

Victoria Brandt, a senior at Strongsville High School, heard about Cleveland State’s Fall Visit Day due in part to the email system.

“My friend got an email about it and asked if I wanted to go with her,” Brandt said.

Cleveland State has increased communication with prospective students through email.

“We’ve increased our communication over the past couple of years to make sure that we’re hitting our target audiences and to also make sure that we’re bringing in the message or answering the question before they ask it,” said Rouse-Germany.

Students’ email addresses are obtained through high school visits or from those students who want their information from the ACT, SAT or fafsa sent to Cleveland State, according to Rouse-Germany.

Cleveland State also purchases names, according to Rob Spademan, assistant vice president for university marketing and admissions.

Though the email system targets individual students, billboards, radio, television, and online advertisements are created to help brand Cleveland State.

The Department of Marketing works with Wyse Advertising to promote the university.

Spademan notes the importance of reaching prospective students through digital media and the Internet.

“The beautiful thing about the Internet is that you can track the effectiveness,” Spademan said.

This is what differentiates social media and Internet ads from traditional advertisements such as billboards or television and radio ads.

According to Spademan, there are three steps the marketing and admissions departments take to promote Cleveland State.

The first is to “create awareness at the top,” he said.

A broad-based campaign of the University will do this by expressing Cleveland State’s brand. Out of this, the second is to create interest.

The third step is for someone to “take action,” according to Spademan.

This is when a prospective student fills out an application for Cleveland State.

Spademan believes the new advertising campaign will get Cleveland State’s vision and image out.

“There is no question in my mind that this is helping the brand,” he said.