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UNM tries to lure new students

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ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — The University of New Mexico is launching a major marketing campaign in hopes of attracting more students.
The university hired marketing company 160over90 in September to launch a four-year, $1.98 million makeover. An original $500,000 was set aside for the project in May and university officials voted to designate $1 million of the Regents Endowment Fund for the final three years of the plan.
“I hear a lot that we’re the best kept secret in higher education,” UNM President Bob Frank said. “This effort is really intended to make us not a secret anymore. To do that, we have to tell our story.”
The marketing company launched three weeks of interviews with students, faculty, staff, officials and community members on campus to try to find what makes UNM unique.
“What are the pictures, the words, the feel” of the university, said Cinnamon Blair, the university’s chief marketing and communication officer. “We are a lot of things to a lot of people, and what we are looking for is what ties it all together.”
Blair said in the initial survey responses, themes of diversity, friendliness, opportunity and crossroads were prevalent.
“Diversity is the key word: cultural, intellectual, social,” Blair said. “It’s like a 21 flavor sundae, and you have to call it one thing or you have to give it one name that described all of it.”
School officials in October announced a nearly $5 million decline in revenue. The university has experienced declining enrollment, losing about $3.7 million of expected revenue as enrollment fell 1.5 percent in 2014.
The university spent $250,000 on a branding campaign in 2008.
“We’re a huge business and we have tons of good advocates in the area they work in, but what we really need to do is make a coherent story that catches peoples’ attention,” Frank said.