College's Little League Campaign Receives Advertising Gold Award
Pennsylvania College of Technology's community relations efforts during the Little League World Series were honored with a gold award from the Higher Education Marketing Report.
The outreach initiative, which stems from the college's long history of involvement with the annual international attraction, was honored in the "Total Public Relations Campaign" category of the 2012 Educational Advertising Awards, sponsored by Higher Education Marketing Report.
The Educational Advertising Awards is the largest educational advertising awards competition in the country. This year, more than 2,900 entries were received from more than 1,000 colleges, universities and secondary schools from all 50 states and several foreign countries. Gold awards were granted to 201 of those institutions.
Students from Penn College and its predecessor institutions have been involved with the World Series since its early years, when they helped to excavate the building site for the baseball stadium in 1959. For many years, physician assistant and emergency medical services students have provided medical assistance throughout the series.
For the past three years, Penn College has hosted a picnic on campus for World Series players, coaches, managers and umpires. The picnic with food provided by the college's School of Hospitality is held just prior to a Grand Slam Parade through downtown Williamsport, providing a convenient location for players to eat dinner and get in line for their place in the evening parade at a staging area adjacent to the college.
Also in each of the last three years, series participants team members, coaches, managers and umpires received a commemorative pin honoring the connection between the college and Little League Baseball. This token represents the exchange of trading pins that takes place throughout the stadium during the series.
Penn College's president, students, alumni, faculty and staff take part in the Grand Slam Parade, which is hosted by the Williamsport-Lycoming Chamber of Commerce and broadcast live on public television by WVIA-TV.
During the parade, college representatives, including the Wildcat mascot, hand out gifts to children. Those gifts have included backpacks, commemorative pins, coloring books and playing cards that encourage career awareness in programs offered by the college.
A college-produced video clip, shared via YouTube, presented the story of a recent Penn College graduate who serves as an administrator with Little League Baseball. The clip was released during the 2011 World Series and used in the college's "degrees that work" recruitment marketing. A college-produced television commercial was broadcast by local network and cable stations during the championship series games.
Series articles and photographs were featured in the college's online daily news site, PCToday , and magazine, One College Avenue . Parents of Little League players received a flier showing campus activities occurring during the series.
Staff in the College Information and Community Relations Office, headed by director Elaine J. Lambert, designed materials for the campaign and facilitated the college's Little League cookout and Grand Slam Parade participation.
Trading pins, print advertisements and fliers were developed by Sarah K. Patterson, graphic designer, and Tina M. Miller, advertising and information coordinator, while a coloring book and playing cards were drawn by Deborah K. Peters, graphic designer.
Their efforts were supported by Larry D. Kauffman, digital publishing specialist/photographer; Park Williams, coordinator of digital publishing; and Heidi Mack, supervisor of design and publishing. Shawn P. McGeehan, Web designer, developed a supporting children's website , where coloring pages can be printed, completed and returned to the college for online display.
Television and radio ads were developed by Tom Speicher, writer/video editor, and Christopher J. Leigh, video production coordinator.
Public Information staff members Jennifer A. Cline, writer/editor-One College Avenue; Cindy Davis Meixel, writer/photo editor; and Tom Wilson, writer/editor-PCToday, provided coverage of the college's World Series involvement via the college's news outlets, with support from Web designers Carlos Ramos and Phillip C. Warner.
Individual volunteers and departments across the campus, Audio/Visual Services, General Services and Student Ambassadors, support the parade and picnic.
"The entire campus community comes out in support of this initiative," Lambert explained. "The college has partnered with Little League in various ways for more than half a century. In recent years, we have used this "hometown advantage' to share a message about the importance of quality technology education with visitors from around the world during the championship series. It's an honor to have this initiative, which is so close to our hearts, selected among the nation's top public relations campaigns."
Judges for the Educational Advertising Awards consisted of a national panel of higher education marketers, advertising creative directors, marketing and advertising professionals and the editorial board of Higher Education Marketing Report.
Higher Education Marketing Report has been the nation's leading marketing publication for higher education marketing professionals for 27 years.