Communication materials of Hobart and William Smith Colleges have earned Silver Awards from the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) District II 2010 Accolades Awards Program. The winning materials and programs were the Colleges’ student recruitment package, Reunion news Web site, and Orientation video series. There was no Gold winner named in the student recruitment category this year, and only one Gold was awarded in each of the other two categories.
Accolades Awards are judged by a panel of experts from both within and outside CASE member institutions. Entries are evaluated for quality, creativity, innovation, adherence to professional standards, and success in meeting stated objectives.
“This recognition celebrates the hard work of a number of people across the Colleges – faculty, students and staff,” says Director of Communications Cathy Williams. “These projects helped the Colleges connect with prospective families as well as alumni and alumnae, but in addition to being rewarding for the institution, they were also incredibly fun to produce.”
The winning student recruitment package was developed last year collaboratively by the Colleges Communications Office, the Office of Admissions and Edwards and Company. It comprised four print pieces: a brochure used by admissions officers on the road, “What is this?” the “HWS Envision” Brand Book, “Jumping in” brochure, and the “HWS Value Proposition” booklet.
The Reunion news Web site was developed internally as an off-shoot of the Daily Update and featured news stories and photo galleries dedicated to Reunion events and functions. The 2009 Reunion Web site was among the most viewed pages on the Colleges Web site, with 7,300 page views. The top-ranked story for the month of June, the post-event Reunion story ranked seventh for the year: http://www2.hws.edu/article-id-12087.
The eight Orientation videos were a series of short, informative and entertaining videos hosted on the HWS Orientation Web page. The videos allowed the Orientation Coordinators to preemptively answer major question areas, build excitement for Orientation, and introduce new students to HWS. Moreover, the Coordinators hoped to use the videos not only as a means of showing the students what they could expect, but also to lay the groundwork for community engagement when the students arrived. As a supplement to printed and electronic materials for the incoming classes, the videos provided a more engaging and dynamic new media technique to communicate with the students. Between June and August, the videos received nearly 11,000 page views. Considering these videos were not advertised to the general public, but only incoming first-year students, this number is impressive and indicates a continued and returned interest from viewers.
This is the third consecutive year the Colleges have received accolades from CASE. Last year, the “Top 10” admissions Web site developed internally earned Honorable Mention. In 2008, the Centennial Web site earned a Silver Award. In 2006, the Colleges earned a Bronze Award in the “Creativity on a Shoestring” category.