State University Increases Enrollment and Awareness with Integrated Marketing

Challenge: The Garrity Group provides public relations, marketing strategy, community relations and communication process counsel to the largest employer in Silver City and Grant County, Western New Mexico University. The University needed an integrated campaign that would increase enrollment and raise awareness of the institution through regular and consistent media coverage.

Solution: To help Western New Mexico University (WNMU) develop a successful communication process, TGG conducted a public opinion survey of Grant County residents to benchmark impressions, perceptions and identify new opportunities to connect with WNMU stakeholders. Using the research gathered through this survey and meetings with WNMU faculty, staff and students, our team helped implement a multi-phase state-wide strategic communication approach. Tactics included reporter meetings; messaging and branding development; incorporation of key messaging into collateral pieces, website and news releases; creation of a style and identify manual; and development of a marketing communications plan.

Results: Over a one-year period, the strategic marketing and public relations campaign yielded measurable results including:

  • 475 unique media stories (75 percent generated from WNMU news releases)
  • Five percent increase in in-state enrollment
  • Seven percent increase in out-of-state enrollment
  • 200 additional students enrolled in online classes