Pacific University: Making a Major Celebration Notable

Overview

Pacific University: Making a Major Celebration Notable

Can you say sesquicentennial? CFM did when it was retained to sharpen the focus of public relations efforts by Pacific University.

Challenge

Although it wasn’t hired to plan sesquicentennial events, CFM selected the private liberal arts college's 150th anniversary as the fulcrum for an integrated set of strategic communications initiatives. There was little time left for planning as the anniversary year (1999) approached.

Approach

CFM developed key messages and produced events, such as a series of town hall forums – the Pacific Questions – on current hot topics. A revised Web site became the vehicle to consistently deliver those messages. The revamped site emerged as a test bed for new Internet-based uses, such as online course information and registration, automated student applicant inquiries and a robust alumni networking service.

Result

The campaign substantially increased news coverage about Pacific University and contributed to a 15 percent increase the following year in full-time student enrollment. The number of public inquiries about college events and publications increased. And contacts with corporate and alumni donors went up, yielding an increase in annual fund contributions.