March 27, 2009

University Communications, students win honors

by Pete Rosenbery

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s University Communications fared very well recently in the American Advertising Federation ADDY competition.

The department received nine awards -- two silver and seven bronze – in a competition at Southeast Missouri State University. The awards are for work ranging from marketing materials for Undergraduate Admissions to research magazines, an open house poster, in-house Web site and an SIU Foundation annual report. The tri-state competition includes Illinois, Kentucky and Missouri.

“Beyond being a boost to morale, receiving high praise from your peers lets you know that your work has achieved a higher level of success and distinction,” said Michael Ruiz, director of University Communications. “We felt from the beginning that we could be proud of our new admissions materials and publications. Receiving these awards confirms that we are moving in the right direction.”

This is the largest number of awards received in the three years SIUC has entered the competition, said Jay Bruce, director of the department’s creative services unit. The awards reflect the talent within University Communications, he said.

“All of these pieces involved writing, photography and graphic design. I look at this as being a department achievement, not just a creative services achievement. It was all of us working together to make this happen,” he said.

“We are fortunate to have this caliber of talent working in-house,” Bruce said, emphasizing that writing, photography, and the look and feel of a product must work well together to win an award.

The department earned silver ADDY’s for:

  • Sales promotion catalog: SIUC Undergraduate Admissions view book.
  • Sales promotion sales kit: SIUC Undergraduate Admissions packet.

The department earned bronze ADDY’s for:

  • Advertising for the arts and sciences art: Office of Research Development and Administration, “Perspectives Magazine.”
  • Collateral material/poster: SIUC Undergraduate Admissions, “Southern -- Your Next Adventure Starts Here,” featuring a Saluki with an “Indiana Jones” theme.
  • Sales promotion/sales promotion campaign: SIUC Undergraduate Admissions. SIUC admissions materials.
  • Direct marketing/direct, business-to-business or consumer: SIUC Undergraduate Admissions, SIUC Road Piece.
  • Interactive media Web site business-to-business: University Communications/Creative Services Web page.
  • Collateral material annual report, color: SIU Foundation, SIU annual report “Empowerment.”
  • Advertising industry self-promotion, self-promotion campaign: University Communications, SIUC Creative Services Web page.

Victoria Valle, the assistant vice chancellor of enrollment management, is pleased with the revamped admissions-related materials, which are a departure from prior publications.

The project met an early goal to update and discard previous “80s-style” materials featuring slick paper and smaller photographs.

“It didn’t tell any stories; it didn’t tell a story at all. Everything read like catalog copy. There was no personality,” she said. “This place really has a personality; it has a history, it has texture. We wanted to show all of that.”

She noted that cost is a concern, particularly to students and their parents. Tradition is one thing that connotes value, so showing that tradition, the sense of history, beauty and texture is vital, she said.

“The physical beauty of the campus is something that we knew we needed to bring out. We wanted to have bigger and better pictures,” that also tell stories, she said.

The view book features embossed lettering that accentuates the organic, authentic feel of the campus. The tag line, “Southern: Shaped by Nature, Forged By Commitment,” reflects the University’s longstanding commitment to the region, she said.

One of the more fun elements in the campaign is the poster featuring a Saluki in Indiana Jones motif. “We want that dog to have more adventures,” she said.

The new design is attracting attention, not only from competing universities at conferences, but also prospective students, Valle said. At least one of the presidential scholars chose SIUC because of the revamped view book, she said.

Another recent opportunity came with a single-page, two-sided flier, “Discover Southern.” It highlights the change in out-of-state tuition to make it equivalent to in-state tuition for new, incoming freshmen, transfer and graduate students from Arkansas, Indiana, Kentucky, Missouri and Tennessee. The insert found its way to college newspapers in Indiana and Kentucky.

Valle emphasized the materials and presentation will continue to evolve.

“Working with University Communications here has been the best experience of working with any on-campus design and communications shop that I have ever had,” she said. “Their people are top-notch. The designers are great. Working with them has been fabulous. They are very strong.

“They go way out of their way to do their job,” she said.

In addition to the nine awards University Communications received, SIUC students also excelled in the competition, receiving five ADDY’s in the student competition.

Student winners were:

  • Lindsay P. Holtmann, a senior majoring in art with a minor in advertising, Albers. She received a silver ADDY for her single consumer/trade magazine advertisement, “Hands” for Mac Universal.
  • Britni Woodworth, a senior majoring in art with a minor in journalism, West Frankfort. She received a bronze ADDY for her magazine advertisement “Get High” for Taipei, Taiwan.
  • Kelsey M. Marlow, a senior majoring in advertising from Ina, received a bronze ADDY for her magazine campaign, “Cross,” for Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris.
  • SIUC American Advertising Federation team members and advertising majors Erin H. Koelkebeck, a senior from Champaign; Jenna N. Smith, a senior from Auburn, Ga., Karyn Graham, a senior from Jerseyville; Cole Singleton, a senior from O’Fallon; and graduate Nathan Brendal of Fairfield earned a bronze ADDY for their “AAF Plans Book” in the brochure category.
  • Assistant professor Linda Conway Correll’s copywriting class teamed with a radio production class from Southeast Missouri State University to produce a bronze ADDY-winning commercial for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

Correll said the student advertising and professional advertising entries were judged together by category.

“I was delighted to learn that our students are doing professional-level work,” she said.