Oakwood University needed to develop an effective short-term PR campaign to actively promote their QEP (Quality Enhancement Program) throughout campus to raise visibility to the level where students, faculty and staff are all aware of the meaning and purpose of the QEP. The campaign had to educate all students and faculty on the core QEP message so all were prepared to correctly answer the question, “What is the QEP?” at any point in time, if questioned by the accreditation team during their campus visit.
Red Sage worked with the leadership team at Oakwood University to develop a unique, two-pronged promotion that included traditional communication approaches with guerrilla marketing and public relations activities.
Marketing plan development: With information gained during several strategy sessions with the Oakwood University QEP team, Red Sage developed a comprehensive PR campaign that included a detailed pricing proposal and implementation schedule. Red Sage worked with Oakwood University to prioritize the planned activites to meet Oakwood's budgetary constraints.
Graphic Campaign Theme Development: Red Sage developed a consistent overall campaign theme and design that was used for all aspects of the promotional campaign, in particular providing the answer to the question, “What is the QEP?”.
Traditional Marketing Materials: Marketing materials designed by Red Sage for the campaign included posters, campus radio advertising, website banners, rack cards, interior and exterior banners, magnetic sports schedules, paycheck inserts, and t-shirts. All materials maintained the overall campaign messaging and brand style.
Public Relations Activities: Oakwood University carried out various public relations activities recommended by Red Sage within the QEP campaign plan including having the cheer team develop custom QEP cheers, incorporating messaging into campus meetings, and establishing staff and student promotions. For the student promotion, a student dressed up as “Dollar Bill” and handed out money to any student or faculty member that correctly answered the question, “What is the QEP?” at various times on campus and at sporting events. To ensure that all of the faculty and staff were reached, a Golden Ticket promotion was developed using an insert into everyone’s paycheck envelope. Each pay period, every staff member received an QEP informational insert with their paycheck and one staff member received the “golden ticket” and won a prize.
During the accreditation team’s visit to Oakwood’s campus in early 2012, Students and staff were overwhelmingly able to correctly answer the question, “What is the QEP?,” resulting in accreditation for the University.
ABOUT OAKWOOD UNIVERSITY
Founded in 1896, Oakwood University is a historically black Seventh-Day Adventist University located in Huntsville, Alabama.