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Western Kentucky University

Marketing Campaign 2013-2014

It’s all within your reach!

Public Affairs 1


Public Affairs Annual Report

Table of Contents

1 2 4 6 8


Campus & Community Events

Ceremonies & Special Events

Government & Community Relations

Media Relations

12 16 18 20

Marketing & Communications

Public Broadcasting

Awards and Recognition

Staff Listing

Introduction WKU’s Division of Public Affairs leads the communications,

Information Technology into Public Affairs, essentially

outreach and advocacy efforts for the University and

doubling the number of staff in the division. And we

provides support to all colleges and divisions for marketing,

are most pleased to report that WKU PBS had one of its

communications, and public awareness activities. The

most successful years on record for programming and

division includes the Offices of Government and Community

fundraising support.

Relations; Marketing and Communications; Media Relations; Campus and Community Events; Ceremonies and Special Events; and WKU Public Broadcasting, which includes WKU PBS and NPR.

This report reflects on the myriad of projects, large and small, in which WKU Public Affairs staff participated in 2014 and provides the University with a sampling of the services that are available to the WKU community. As we

The following pages provide a brief snapshot of the

look to 2015, it will also help guide our efforts to improve

work that made an impact and expanded WKU’s reach in

services as we strive to be responsive to our campus and

2014. Staff in our Events offices assisted with more than

community partners.

600 events across campus and in the community. Media Relations staff distributed more than 650 news releases, and Marketing staff led or assisted with more than 600 projects related to publications, websites, and recruitment. Our Government Relations team represented WKU’s interests in the 2014 session of the Kentucky General Assembly, working closely with legislators to achieve key program support and capital project funding in the Commonwealth’s biennial budget. In addition, Public Broadcasting, which includes WKU PBS and NPR, successfully transitioned from


Vice President, WKU Public Affairs


Campus & Community Events Campus and Community Events is responsible for coordinating the use of university facilities for both internal and external clients, serving as the primary contact for all major campus events. Four full-time staff members assist in bringing thousands of prospective students to WKU through events we help host on campus. There were more than 600 events and activities campus-wide in 2014 including commencement ceremonies, homecoming, concerts, athletic events, fundraisers, special guest presentations, youth campus visits, 2

presidential events, prospective student visits, weddings and receptions, and many more. Campus & Community Events also played a major role in WKU’s first Commuter Student Welcome Program, which welcomed more than 150 new commuter students to campus. More than $78,000 in net revenue from event rental fees* was used to support High School Honors Luncheons, the Welcome Back WKU Festival, the Rafferty’s Bowl, the Medical Center 10K Classic, and other events in which WKU is a sponsor. *Events at Van Meter Auditorium provide the greatest source of revenue for Campus & Community Events.

Campus & Community Events provides the following services: Facility reservations Event planning Event setup & logistics Tables, chairs, staging Tent requests Bill Nye

Support for off-campus activities


Ceremonies & Special Events Ceremonies and Special Events coordinates and implements University functions and special programs conducted on behalf of the President. We ensure that appropriate protocols and conventions of etiquette are maintained in connection with all invitations, programs, and correspondence associated with events hosted by President Ransdell. Some of the events include the President’s Circle Gala, welcome receptions for students and faculty, opening convocation for faculty and staff, and social events for campus guests. 4

The office also oversees and coordinates the WKU Spirit Masters. The Spirit Masters are the official student ambassadors of WKU. Thirty-two students are chosen to become Spirit Masters after going through a rigorous selection process from among dozens of applicants who vie for the honor.

Spirit Masters Providing hospitality Preserving traditions Striving for excellence Spreading the Spirit of WKU


Government & Community Relations The Office of Government and Community Relations serves as WKU’s liaison to local, state, and federal governments and coordinates and leads advocacy efforts on behalf of the University with policy makers in Frankfort, Ky., and Washington, D.C.

2014 Kentucky General Assembly Outcomes Achieved Approval of the 2014-16 Biennial Budget

Included a 1.5% budget reduction for universities, which represented an improvement over the Governor’s proposed budget of 2.5%.

$750,000 6

in reductions averted

Included 50% funding for mandated increases in employer contributions to Kentucky Employees Retirement System.

$1.3 Million cost-avoidance for WKU

Secured funding to

expand enrollment from

120 to 200

Kentucky high school students in the Gatton Academy for Mathematics and Science in Kentucky $2M recurring

$48 Million Secured full funding for Thompson Complex Renovation/Construction

Achieved passage of HB2 to establish the Coal County College Completion Program to provide scholarship eligibility to students residing in and attending universities in coalproducing counties in Kentucky. Students can now utilize these scholarships at WKUOwensboro.


Media Relations

The most popular stories

in 2014

The Office of Media Relations promotes and publicizes WKU programs, faculty and student achievements, and academic quality, service, and research initiatives. Media Relations utilizes a variety of communication methods to reach the public, including news releases, media contacts, photographs and video, the website, WKU News blog, and social media. Media Relations also produces the weekly View from the Hill broadcasts and the daily At-WKU e-Newsletter.

Gatton Academy class of 2016 students Professor John All’s experience in the Himalayas The sinkhole at the National Corvette Museum The Ebola Product app created by a WKU student

In 2014, Media Relations produced 653 news releases, garnering local, state, and national attention. The WKU News Blog at is updated multiple times daily and has become the go-to source for news and information. 8

National Corvette Museum sinkhole

News outlets near the WKU Regional Campuses in Glasgow, Elizabethtown - Fort Knox, and Owensboro also picked up hundreds of stories related to regional campus news and events. Many other local news outlets across the state covered WKU, highlighting students and faculty with ties to their local communities.

Armin Smailhodzic, Ebola Project app creator

Professor John All


News page views, an increase of nearly 47%. That’s an average of

755 per day.

In 2013, Media Relations produced

Hometown News Coverage

653 news releases

The Bowling Green Daily News ran more than 1,000 WKU-related news stories, and more than 1,300 stories about WKU Sports. WBKO broadcasted more than 135 stories and another 369 related to sports.

236 Clipsheets 236 At-WKU daily e-newsletters 50 segments of View from the Hill

The Courier-Journal ran 69 news stories and 279 stories related to athletics.

WKU News was viewed by people in

176 countries. The top 3 are US, India, and United Kingdom.

Gatton Academy


@WKUNews grew from

5,038 to

6,836 followers (26.3% increase)

WKU News on Social Media

Likes on the WKU official Facebook page grew from

48,891 to 57,993 10

(15.7% increase)

Photography University Photography shot more than 675 photo assignments, resulting in

68,510 images of the campus, special events, and faculty and staff portraits.

A new weekly feature called WKU Week in Photos was a popular addition in 2014 with thousands of views each week.

Top: Poor Man’s Paradise Resort on the Osa Peninsula in Costa Rica, Gatton Academy Trip – January 2014; Clinton Lewis Bottom: Photography Series – New Grass in the Bluegrass; Bryan Lemon


Marketing & Communications Marketing at WKU encompasses branding and communications, university publications, the WKU website, social media, and regional campus marketing. Western Kentucky University


to set the

Marketing Campaign Marketing Campaign 2013-2014

WKU continued a new recruitment campaign that began in 2013, completed entirely in-house from concept, to creative production, to final execution. The primary message of the campaign revolves around the total college experience. Students and their parents have high expectations for what college should be, and it’s more than going to class. This campaign acknowledges their myriad expectations and creates the promise that “It’s All Within Your Reach!”

It’s all within your reach!

WKU students assisted with the design and production of the campaign through creative design, focus groups, photo and video shoots, and television production. Marketing worked closely with Admissions and Enrollment Management staff to ensure the campaign would support their efforts to recruit and retain students.

Primary target audience: prospective students age 15-20 and their parents.

University Publications



In addition to the WKU recruitment campaign, the marketing staff worked with

print and digital projects

more than 20 departments

on campus to assist with their marketing efforts, special events, websites, and social media initiatives.

Regional Campus Marketing With great potential for enrollment growth at WKU’s three regional campuses in Glasgow, Elizabethtown/Fort Knox, and Owensboro, a new Regional Campus Marketing Manager position was established to elevate the awareness of those regional campuses and to focus on recruitment and enrollment growth. Emphasis is placed on prospective transfer, military, and Joint Admissions students. Join WES TERN





Joint Admissions


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I want

flexibilityand a

It’s all within your reach!

It’s all within your reach!



It’s al l within your reac h!

It’s all within your reach!

Honors College


For more than 50 years, WKU Elizabethtown-Fort Knox has been dedicated to providing access to higher education and improving the quality of life in the communities we serve. WKU is ranked #1 in Kentucky and #7 in the nation as a Best For Vets 4-year college by Military Times Edge Magazine, and has been designated as a Military Friendly School every year since 2009 by G.I. Jobs Magazine. WKU Elizabethtown-Fort Knox Offers: Wide Selection of Degrees: Bachelor’s degrees, master’s degrees and certificate programs. Flexible Course Delivery Options: Face-to-face, IVS (interactive video services), on demand and online.



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Student Services

Special Tuition Rate: All active duty service members from all branches receive a special tuition rate of $250 per credit hour.

Contact us today for an academic or career advising session!




Course Credit for Military Experience and Training: Contact an advisor for a free transcript evaluation. Textbooks for Troops: For eligible military students, you may qualify for free textbooks that are loaned to you.


12:06 PM

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WKU is ranked No. 1 in Kentucky and No. 7 among four-year schools in the nation in the Military Times’ Best for Vets: Colleges 2014 rankings.


Through a partnership with the WKU Honors College and WBKO, the highly successful Scholar of the Week campaign continued in 2014. Applications for Scholar of the Week continue to grow each year, making the selection process even more competitive. To date, more than 60 percent of high school students who were chosen for Scholar of the Week recognition have ultimately enrolled in the WKU Honors College.

Active Duty service members from all branches, Reserves, and National Guard receive a special tuition rate, $250 per credit hour.

GoArmyEd • Yellow Ribbon • MyCAA participating University Elizabethtown Fort Knox Fort Knox Briscoe Hall Bldg. 1174 | 270.351.1192


Web and Social Media The WKU website is the primary source of WKU information for prospective students, news media, current students, faculty, and staff. Public Affairs staff are responsible for institutional level pages such as the homepage, About WKU, and many others.

Most viewed pages Homepage Admissions Academic Programs Libraries


10,449,912 total visits to the website

Social Media Directory

Social media is used to Build Relationships through: Information Sharing Student Recruitment & Engagement Customer Service Because of the tremendous growth in the use of social media and other digital opportunities, a new position, Coordinator of Digital Media Marketing, was created in 2014. The website experienced a


Event Promotion News & Emergency Alerts Community Engagement

increase in mobile visits in 2014.

Successful “hashtag campaigns� to create excitement at WKU:

to the WKU website





United States

#skydivegary #wkugrad

to the WKU website




United Kingdom




Saudi Arabia


Public Broadcasting WKU PBS and WKU NPR reached the funding goals set by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting for both Television and Radio. That signifies fundraising in excess of $1,000,000 for the combined operations.

Community Support Reach Record Levels Radio generated

$529,000 Television production revenue generated 16


WKU Public Radio was recognized by the 2014 Kentucky Associated Press Broadcasters awards.

Public Broadcasting

transitioned out of the Division for Information Technology and into Public Affairs. The University adopted an Editorial Integrity policy for both television and radio.

Campus cable operations transitioned to digital HD cable.

Highlights in 2014

Four WKU employees were recognized with Regional Emmy Awards for their work on The Symphony: Chorale Finale, recorded in WKU’s Van Meter Auditorium and aired on WKU PBS. WKU PBS has received nominations for 11 consecutive years, receiving the coveted award 17 times in the past decade.

Two other WKU PBS programs received Emmy nominations: • Kentucky Wild Rivers: Secrets of Discovery

Increased membership from 2013 levels. Corporate support for radio and television was up month-to-month.

• MainStreet: Into the Wild

Television celebrated 25 years of being on-the-air. Events included a very successful reception in the studio during Homecoming weekend.

WKU Public Radio news staff members were featured nationally on NPR programs.


Public Affairs Awards WKU’s Division of Public Affairs claimed multiple awards in a variety of categories during 2014. Ohio Valley Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences

Professional Marketing Association of Bowling Green

Regional Emmy Award

Gold Markie Awards

Special Events Coverage – The Symphony: Chorale Finale

Marketing Campaign – It’s All Within Your Reach! Newsletter – WKU PBS newsletter

Regional Emmy Nominations

Specialty Items – Through the Years print

Informational/Instructional Program – Kentucky Wild Rivers: Secrets of Discovery

Long format Video – Skipper, Bob video

Magazine Program – MainStreet: Into the Wild

2014 Kentucky Associated Press Broadcasters Awards 1st place for Best Long Light News Feature 2nd place for Best Long Serious News Feature 2nd place for Best Newscast 2nd place for Best Sports Feature 2nd place for Best Website


Silver Markie Awards Out of Home – WKU Owensboro bus wrap Digital Promotional – Email blast series Television :30 or less – NPR commercial Social Media – #hometothehill campaign Special Event – Commuter Welcome program

Council for the Advancement and Support of Education in Kentucky Grand Awards Best Practices in Communications & Marketing Total Advertising Campaign – It’s All Within My Reach! Online Innovation, Experimentation – Skipper, Bob video Multipage Publication or Folder – Confucius Institute 2013 Booklet Photography-Series – New Grass in the Bluegrass Low Budget Publication – JFK ‘Fan Fair’ Poster Special Event – Commuter Student Welcome

Awards of Excellence Periodical – The Challenge Magazine, March 2014 Photography-Series – A Student Experience in Costa Rica Low Budget Publication – WKU NPR Fund Drive Spotlight Ad Magazine Category B • College of Education & Behavioral Sciences Magazine • Arts & Letters Magazine: The Magazine of Potter College Communications & Marketing-External Relations Engagement Program – Scholar of the Week Writing for the Media – Corvette Museum Sinkhole Coverage

Writing for the Media – Ebola App Coverage Special Merit Awards Specialty Piece – Western Kentucky University Bus Wrap Recruitment Publications Series


Public Affairs Staff Listing


Billie Adkins Development Coordinator

Kayla Dowdy-Bitner Coordinator, Digital Media Marketing

Robin McCubbins Media Librarian

Lucinda Anderson Director, Ceremonies & Special Events

Marcus Dukes Senior Graphic Designer

Kathy McGill Administrative Assistant

Lisa Autry FM-Announcer/Reporter/Anchor

Don Eastman Chief Engineer

Tom Meacham Senior Graphic Designer

Darius Barati Assistant Producer/Videographer

Emilee England Business Manager

Clayton Miller FM-Producer/Announcer

Jordan Basham Special Projects Producer

Scott French Graphic Designer

Tommy Newton Assistant Director, Media Relations

Cheryl Beckley TV-Producer/Director

Heather Garcia Manager, Regional Campus Marketing

Josh Niedwick TV-Associate Producer/Director

Stacey Biggs Chief Marketing Officer

Jessica Gibbs TV-Associate Producer/Director

Miles Ormon Coordinator, Events & Athletics

Amy Bingham Decesare Coordinator, Broadcast Services

Larry Goodman Assistant Supervisor, Event Services

Ann Potter Traffic Assistant

Bryant Blodgett Coordinator, Events

Rachel Goodman Director, Campus & Community Events

Pat Reynolds Office Coordinator

David Brinkley Director, Educational Telecommunications

Carmen Herrera Publications Manager

Bob Skipper Director, Media Relations

John Campbell FM-Manager/Radio Operations

Laura Holderfield Corporate Support Coordinator

Jeff Smith Technical Director/AV Coordinator

Alicia Carter Coordinator, Marketing & Web Services

Kathy Jimerson TV-Traffic Supervisor

Jennifer Smith Director, Government Relations

John Coe CATV Engineer

Cindy Kimbler Office Associate, Campus & Community Events

Robbin Taylor Vice President for Public Affairs

Joe Corcoran FM-Morning Edition Host/News Reporter

Bryan Lemon Assistant University Photographer

Sarah Thomas Events Associate

Erik Costa TV-Assistant Chief Engineer

Clinton Lewis University Photographer

Debra Varner Administrative Assistant

Justin Davis TV-Operations Supervisor

Corie Martin Manager, Creative Web Services

Kevin Willis FM-News Director

Barbara Deeb News Producer/Reporter

James McCoy Supervisor, Event Services

Jeff Younglove Coordinator, Special Projects

Dana Divine TV-Program Operations Manager

Dale McCubbins FM-Evening Board Operations/Production Assistant


Public Affairs Annual Report

WKU Division of Public Affairs, 1906 College Heights Blvd., Wetherby Administration Building, Bowling Green, KY 42101 Western Kentucky University is an equal opportunity institution of higher education and upon request provides reasonable accommodation to individuals with disabilities. Š 2015 Western Kentucky University. Printing paid from state funds, KRS 57.375.

WKU Public Affairs Annual Report (2014)  

Western Kentucky University Division of Public Affairs Annual Report (2014)

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