CJ Robinson, Reporter
Students may have noticed billboards advertising Pierce College during their commutes to the school.
Starting in February, Marketing and Communications advertised the college with more than 20 boards around Puyallup. Marketing Specialist Madelyn Vander Poel said that these are part of a larger campaign that extends into this year.
“It’s a continuous effort of spreading the word of Pierce College,” Vander Poel said. “A lot of our students take the buses or commute in, so they’ll see the billboards.”
Funding for these boards comes from the marketing budget within MARCOM, and the campaign pertaining to the workforce program comes from its own budget.
The graphics are created by Graphics Designer Amy Foster. A team at MARCOM, including Vander Poel, works together to designate the content and type of image they want the college to portray. Then, there’s a series of proofs by the team and, if they wish, clients or departments can have a say.
Vander Poel said the most important thing she looks for is relatability to students.
“It’s what they’re interested in, focusing on the specific programs that’ll get you a certificate or the financing programs that are available,” Vander Poel said. “We’re really starting to work on getting closer to the community and focusing on our outreach there.”
MARCOM can track the effectiveness of these advertisements through a general scale on the college’s website. Vander Poel said that working with the technology department, they can track whether a user has been referred to Pierce from another website or if they went to it directly.
Pierce has been creating advertisements like these for a few years, but changed the locations of many of the boards, Vander Poel said. MARCOM chose these newer locations using a map from the billboard company and taking into account the route many students take to the college.
A new line of advertisements for local buses with 16 ads will emphasize Pierce’s workforce campaign. This includes the college’s technical programs and different payment plans for the college.
Vander Poel, who started working for MARCOM in January, hopes to get more feedback from students about the advertisements. She also wants to better develop Pierce’s digital presence. Before she was hired, the use of websites like Facebook or Google was minimal, but Vander Poel said those are the means by which many people see advertisements.
“That’s what people care about now,” Vander Poel said. “The buses and billboards will stay around, but we’re trying to transition to something you read on your phone. These are the things that are going to be very prevalent in someone’s life.”
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