OPSU student Emily Robertson, National Shooting Sports Champion, standing in front of her billboard. Courtesy photo

ROBERT PIERCE

• Leader & Times

 

The communications department at an area college was recognized nationally recently as part of the 2023 Collegiate Advertising Award, and the recognition helped Oklahoma Panhandle State University secure placement in the top 5 percent nationwide across various categories.

The OPSU Communications Department’s creativity and strategic marketing efforts garnered Gold and Silver awards for outstanding achievements in advertising and promotion.

The Collegiate Advertising Awards is an elite program recognizing higher education organizations for excellence in communications, marketing, advertising and promotion of universities nationwide.

OPSU Vice President of Advancement Dr. Ryan Blanton congratulated the communications department.

“This recognition of their hard work and ingenuity is well deserved,” he said.

OPSU secured gold placements in the categories of Billboard Design, Recruitment and Website Design. A silver placement was made under the category of Special Video Production.

OPSU shares the Website recognition with the design agency Juicebox Interactive, which helped redesign the college’s Web site in 2023. The school likewise share the Special Video Production Award with videographer Chase Davis and Middle House Film.

 

Gold Awards

Billboard Design: “In No Man’s Land, Find Your Path to Anywhere.” This billboard series captivates audiences and effectively communicates the university’s uniqueness to the region and commitment to fostering personal and academic growth.

Recruitment: OPSU’s Viewbooks for the Admissions Office have the design, content, and overall effectiveness in attracting prospective students. These viewbooks serve as a comprehensive guide, offering insights into the university’s academic programs and campus life.

Website Design: OPSU’s website was redesigned and launched in March 2023 with a new look and feel. This new Web site is modern, easy to navigate for prospective students, and vibrantly highlights campus.

 

Silver Award

Special Video Production: OPSU partnered with Chase Davis and Middle House Film to create a promotional video for the OPSU Rodeo Team. This film was showcased during the College Rodeo and the professional rodeo during Pioneer Days in Guymon, Okla.

The OPSU Communications Department is a team made up of Director Natasha Eidson and Marketing Coordinator Lauren McBee. The two oversee campus communication, marketing, advertising, social media, graphic design and Web site.

OPSU President Dr. Julie Dinger expressed her pride in the achievement.

“I am so proud of Mrs. Eidson and Mrs. McBee for their hard work in the Communications Department,” she said. “Their innovative strategies have effectively communicated OPSU’s unique strengths and opportunities to a local and national audience. I’m so happy to see their hard work recognized.”

Eidson said working alongside McBee, the team strives to highlight aspects of the OPSU community, and they have worked hard to become strategic in their marketing efforts.

“This shows the power of teamwork in showcasing the university’s strengths within our community,” Eidson said. “The advancement team continues to elevate OPSU and its marketing to future students, current students, alumni, business leaders and the community.”

Eidson said having the department’s efforts recognized at a national level is truly humbling and incredibly rewarding.

“It shows the hard work and dedication our OPSU communications team has done,” she said.

Eidson said she and McBee have found the secret to a good communications department includes clear strategic vision, effective collaboration across teams and departments, a deep understanding of the institution’s values and goals, a commitment to innovation and creativity and a relentless focus on effectively engaging and serving the community’s students, employees, alumni and business leaders.

“We also believe it is crucial to stay adaptable in the ever-evolving landscape communication technologies and their trends,” Eidson said. “I really want to give kudos to Lauren. She has done an excellent job of keeping us relevant in the ever-changing world of technology.”

While McBee and Eidson make up the communications office in terms of employees, Eidson said nine student workers help out with the department as well, and the department falls under the university’s advancement team, meaning communications staff report to Blanton.

McBee and Eidson bring more than a decade of combined experience in various aspects of communication and marketing, allowing them to approach projects from multiple perspectives.

Though enrollment numbers at OPSU have been on the rise in recent years, the school is still quite small, and Eidson said this made the recent recognition even greater.

“One of the campaigns we won recognition for was our billboard design campaign, ‘In No Man’s Land, Find Your Path to Anywhere,’” she said. “We are in No Man’s Land, but we do have a lot to be proud of. Not only in this award, but also in other national rankings, we’re student organizations and teams year after year. Just because we’re small doesn’t mean we’re not mighty.”

Eidson said receiving awards like those given to OPSU from the Collegiate Advertising Awards requires much effort.

“Lauren and I invested a lot of time researching billboard locations and what would attract viewers’ attentions more,” she said. “We were very strategic in this campaign, planning, trying to produce something that could last for the next two to three years. This campaign is strong.”

Eidson credited the work of the school’s admission team and a team from Color Art from Amarillo, Texas, for the recognition on the admissions viewbook.

“With that project and that part of our award, this is the second viewbook for which will have won an award for with this company out of Amarillo,” she said. “We’re pretty excited about that part too.”

Eidson, McBee and the rest of the Communications team at OPSU are looking to keep the momentum moving forward from the recognition.

“We have several exciting projects on the horizon, including expanding our digital presence, launching a new brand initiative and enhancing our engagement strategies to better serve OPSU,” Eidson said. “We’re excited to continue pushing the envelope and delivering practical communications solutions for all of the OPSU community.”

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