PS&L and Partner USCGA Selected to Lead Session at 2019 AMA Symposium for Higher Education


Jim Paskill, President of Paskill Stapleton & Lord (PS&L), has been selected to speak on audience engagement at the 2019 AMA Symposium for the Marketing of Higher Education Conference being held in Las Vegas this November.

He and client partner Susan Bibeau, Executive Director of Marketing at the United States Coast Guard Academy (USCGA), will present, “Our Commitment to Diversity, Their Commitment to Enroll” at 11 a.m. Tuesday, Nov. 11 at Caesars Palace.

Attendees of the session will learn how a national marketing campaign engaged underrepresented minorities and females to apply and enroll at the USCGA. Technically a public school, the Academy is highly selective: cadets pay nothing. The cost is a commitment to serve. Enrollment isn’t an issue, but a diverse class is a federal mandate.

Every year thousands of students apply to the USCGA, and only 300 enroll. A small school, the Academy is selective and for good reason: not everyone is capable of completing its rigorous program designed to educate, train, and inspire future commissioned officers of the Coast Guard.  While proud of its student body, the Academy sought an applicant pool and class that more closely represents the geographic and ethnic diversity that is America today.

With partner PS&L, USCGA increased inquiries from URMs in record numbers through a comprehensive and integrated media campaign.  Enrollment marketing strategies included an enterprise website overhaul (uscga.edu) where visual storytelling abounds and cadet life is central; a highly personalized digital marketing campaign; and an alumni relations effort that connected prospective students with successful graduates. Thanks to these comprehensive efforts, cadets in training to be guardians of our nation now better represent our nation.

New and experienced higher ed professionals who attend the AMA Conference session will learn when it comes to an issue like diversity all marketing efforts matter. The digital marketing tactics must support goals and creative must engage, but key to success, including increasing ROI, is connecting prospects with current students in meaningful and authentic ways.

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Cathy Donovan,

A higher education professional with more than a decade serving in various communications roles at a Big 10 university, including most recently as assistant dean. At PS&L, Cathy is busy implementing a marketing plan to promote the agency’s visibility and various services through email marketing, digital strategy, conferences, direct mail, and webinars. Cathy also manages psandl.com, social media efforts, and agency publications, and assists with agency RFP responses. She can be reached at [email protected]