SUNY Potsdam web site second in the nation among small private and public educational institutions

03.05.09

SUNY Potsdam’s Web site recently was awarded a silver medal in the prestigious Admissions Advertising Awards sponsored by “Higher Education Marketing Report.”

The newly redesigned Web site earned the silver ranking in the Internet/Worldwide Web category for schools with 2,000 to 4,999.

The Admissions Advertising Awards is the largest educational advertising awards competition in the country. This year, more than 2,000 entries were received from more than 1,000 colleges, universities and secondary schools from all 50 states and several foreign countries.

“We are ecstatic to be recognized for the thousands of hours of work that has gone into the new Web site by numerous people throughout the campus,” said Deborah Dudley, SUNY Potsdam director of marketing and communications. “This is a critical tool for the College in ways beyond recruiting new students. It is a catalyst for an exceptionally vibrant community of students, faculty, artists, athletes and scholars.”

The competition gives institutions the opportunity to test their programs and campaigns against the best in the country. A national panel of admissions’ marketers, advertising creative directors, marketing and advertising professionals and the editorial board of “Higher Education Marketing Report” reviewed each piece, judging creativity, marketing execution and impact of message.

Awards were given to those entrants whose programs and materials display exceptional quality, creativity and message effectiveness.

Planning for the Web redesign began in April 2007 with focus groups and a usability study featuring current and prospective students, families of prospective students, faculty, staff and alumni that was conducted by Blue Bear President Stephen Brock, Class of 1976.

Potsdam’s Web team enlisted the help of Baltimore design firm IDFive, which took the usability study and their own campus interviews to develop several design options to address the needs of the College’s many audiences. The Web team worked from IDFive’s initial designs to mold them into a look and feel that would fit the College.

“Users are generally very happy with the site and still continue to send positive feedback,” said Mindy Thompson, SUNY Potsdam director of web communications. “Many comment about how it’s a work of art and something new that they’ve never seen before. We’ve set a very high standard for ourselves and will continue to push the Web site to serve the College community creatively and effectively.”

SUNY Potsdam’s Web site can be viewed online at www.potsdam.edu.