UALR’s marketing campaign for 2012-13 will launch next week with new storytelling about UALR graduates and their careers. The multi-media campaign, UALR Grads @ Work, will include television, newspaper, magazine, radio, outdoor billboards, and digital advertising.
All of the ads will drive readers and viewers to a new website that features articles, photos, and video of UALR alumni with jobs in business and commerce, manufacturing and sales, service and non-profit sectors, and arts and science. The website gives UALR grads a chance to upload their personal stories.
“Research tells us that most students select a college or university based on whether or not they will be able to land a good job when they graduate,” said Judy Williams, UALR communications director. “Instead of us telling prospective students about the success of our graduates, we turned to our alumni to tell their own stories. We’ve been blown away with what they’ve had to say.”
Williams said the concept is to feature graduates with a wide variety of majors who work in a variety of jobs, and to tell lots more graduate stories than in the past.
“We imagined a high school student watching TV with her parents who was trying to make a decision about where to go to college, or a young adult without a college degree who was stuck in a dead-end job and saw one of our online ads,” she said. “One of these stories might be the spark that motivates the high school student to come to UALR to get a degree in engineering or the young adult to enroll in our nursing program.”
Making a decision about where to go to college is an individual choice, Williams said, and Arkansas has a wide selection of colleges and universities that offer quality educational experiences. Prospective students need to base their college choice on what they want from their experience.
“Our marketing campaign portrays UALR’s distinctions from other universities,” she said. “Our graduates talk about the advantages of the metropolitan experience: valuable internships that lead to good careers. They talk about the quality of faculty who exposed them to practical learning experiences, along with knowledge, new ideas, and critical thinking skills.”
“Many of them also talk about place – what it’s like to experience life in the capital city, the hub of government, arts and culture, and most of the state’s business and non-profit headquarters.”
One of the benefits of the campaign is the chance to reconnect with former UALR students, Williams said. “Our grads are working in all areas of the state,” she said. “Hearing their stories makes me proud of the work we do here. Not only do we hope they’ll inspire others to come to UALR and get their degrees, but we also hope they’ll instill pride in other alumni. UALR is important to individual growth, but also to Arkansas’s growth and economy.”
The campaign will run throughout the year, Williams said, and new graduate stories will be added each month.