Corp America February 2017

16 CORP AMERICA / FEBRUARY 2017 , Laredo Community College is a community college based in Laredo, Texas, which has been in the higher education industry since 1947. With two convenient locations, LCC offers students a wide array of certificate and degree programs, as well as adult basic and continuing education. We spoke to Steve Treviño Jr., Director of Public Relations, to find out more about the work of the College, and the reasons behind their PR andMarketing team’s success. Marketing the Future As the oldest institution of higher education in Laredo, Texas, the college continually adds programs and student support services in order to accomplish its mission of making education accessible to all. Steve explains that recently the Marketing and Public Relations Office of the college has been divided into two separate offices, which he hopes will help to assist with this mission. “Each office now has a dedicated director to help lead the two components individually, which in turn will help to better serve the college. Each office consists of a director, administrative assistant and two public relations professionals (for Public Relations) and two graphic design professionals (for Marketing), which helps to provide service to a two-campus college district with more than 600 employees, and enrolments of more than 9000 students per semester. “The mission of the Public Relations Office within the college is to promote the programs, people, places and activities of Laredo Community College, through a unified and concise message that conveys the benefits of a two-year community college education, as well as other educational initiatives and endeavors offered by LCC. In this office, we act as the college’s storytellers, we generate news releases, media advisories and photo captions, and act as the college’s liaison with the news media. We act as managers for the college’s official social media pages, including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and we also offer support and guidance to college departments seeking to create a presence on social media. We also work to inform the student body and community of college events by posting information on public websites and the student-employee portal, and we also lead the community outreach efforts of the college at community sponsored events. “The mission of the Marketing Office is to provide specialized expertise in marketing, graphic design, market research, advertising, and branding for Laredo Community College. Our main objective is to deliver the highest level of effective marketing, through professionalism and experience that will result in the maximization of the institution’s brand awareness and target audience engagement. Our key responsibilities include working to expand our digital marketing efforts, creating targeted advertisement to promote low enrolment and high demand programs, participating in major community events to increase brand awareness and maximizing the institution’s exposure and expansion of the institution’s online presence through sponsorships and paid advertising in the most influential media channels available in the area.” As the director of Public Relations, Steve adheres closely to a number of guiding principles, which he believes will bolster the success of the PR and Marketing Departments. “These principles include always trying to maintain a positive and open line of communication with my employees. I see my job as one that principally involves inspiring and motivating my staff, and we do our very best to showcase the college in a positive light within the community. Our primary challenge has been to find innovative and efficient ways to be able to provide our services to a growing two-campus college district. We have been successful in this, thanks to the support of the college administration and board of trustees, who have helped the Marketing and Public Relations Office grow from a staff of two in 1991 into our current two offices, dedicated wholly to Marketing and Public Relations, now with a total number of eight staff members. “The biggest ongoing evolution we have seen in the PR and Marketing Industry has been in digital marketing and social media. We have steadily witnessed a significant shift from traditional PR and Marketing in print, to electronic media. As the PR and Marketing professionals for the college, we are continually looking at trends, analysing analytical data and conducting surveys, and taking all opportunities presented to us for professional development to stay competitive and successful in our business. When a department or individual seeks out our services, our approach is to inform and provide guidance on the best way we can assist our clients to achieve success with their event, project or activity. For instance, in public relations, our experts will recommend the best resources available - including, print, radio, TV, social media, web - to promote their event or activity.” As members of the National Council for Marketing and Public Relations, the team at Laredo Community College constantly receives valuable information and participates in district and national conferences, allowing for their continued professional development. The departments conduct surveys, focus groups and make data-driven decisions to most effectively serve the college. Steve’s personal aspirations for the college involve seeing it continue to grow into a robust and dynamic higher education institution that is valued by students and the public, and to help make their community and region better for the benefit of its citizens. “The biggest ongoing evolution we have seen in the PR and Marketing Industry has been in digital marketing and social media. 1701CA10