Dalhousie marketing campaign gets makeover

New recruiting efforts aim to invite the world

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Dalhousie University is rolling out a new marketing campaign, Dalhousie director of marketing June Davidson revealed today.

The campaign, which includes a 28 page student guide promoting everything from school spirit to the 14-1 student/faculty ratio, was introduced in a Senate meeting on Monday. It replaces Dal's "Discover the Unexpected" ad campaign launched in 2006.

How will the campaign help Dal?

Davidson said although the campaign was successful, it was geared mostly towards local students. The new campaign aims to appeal to a wider audience and give students a more detailed idea of what the university has to offer.

In making the campaign more detailed and informative in its web presence and presenting slightly more playful advertising than prior efforts, Dalhousie's campaign "looks different, sounds different than other institutions," said Catherine Bagnell Styles, assistant vice-president of communications and marketing.

Making a difference

Dalhousie tries to set themselves apart from the university crowd with the creation of their new website, made specifically for prospective students. Davidson calls the website Dal's "first robust online campaign," which will help both international and domestic students better understand the Dalhousie experience.

The campaign is "very, very different than what other universities are doing," Davidson said. Even competing Canadian institutions have given positive feedback on their online innovations, she added.

The website offers videos of students sharing their Dalhousie experiences, pages explaining the benefits of living in Halifax and going to Dal, and an academic program list linking to new program pages.

The biggest upgrade are Dal's new and improved program department pages, which allow more in-depth academic information for students, Davidson said.

Bringing in more students

Assistant vice-president of enrolment and registrar, Asa Kachan, outlined the campaign's other recruitment efforts. She pointed to international recruitment fairs, government sponsorship programs, and partnerships with Canadian programs for international students (like NSISP) as part of Dal's collective effort to draw more international students.

In Canada, Dal interacted with more than 35,000 prospective students, visited more than 500 schools, and saw 5,000 people go through campus on designated tours last year, according to Kachan.

The campaign, which has been gradually rolled out this academic year, will be complete by 2012.

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