Higher Ed | Colby-Sawyer College

Higher Education, Non-profit, Digital Advertising, Public Relations, Creative Campaign Development


Colby-Sawyer College needed to increase its online degree and certificate program enrollment. With a two-month period to execute an aggressive integrated marketing campaign, Millennium conducted a brief research phase that included an assessment of existing marketing materials and messaging, primary research with key stakeholders, and a competitive analysis. The firm concluded that Colby-Sawyer’s campaign should focus on online degree programs being adaptable to students’ schedules through the concept of “My Degree. My Way.” at Colby-Sawyer College.

Colby-Sawyer was also seeking to raise awareness for its latest capital campaign, The Power of Infinity, and establish a clear, consistent brand message. Millennium Integrated Marketing (Millennium) developed a highly-integrated public relations (PR) campaign that would push the College’s key messaging across a variety of platforms – maximizing exposure and audience reach.

This presented the organization with a number of challenges:

  • Increase online degree enrollment
  • Increase certificate program enrollment
  • Create a marketing message that resonates with audiences
  • Raise awareness of The Power of Infinity Capitol Campaign
  • Provide media coaching/crisis communication training
  • Increase exposure and raise public awareness


Millennium collaborated with key stakeholders at Colby-Sawyer College to define their marketing needs, enrollment goals, and budgetary requirements. Millennium’s brand and marketing strategists provided insights within the higher education market, while conducting research through the AAAA’s and other research outlets. Our team worked clodely with Colby-Sawyer to build messaging and creative that set the College apart and reflected what makes them unique.

Millennium’s PR strategy focused on aligning the College’s unique value proposition (USP) with the region’s need for young, dynamic professionals. To achieve this, the proposed PR campaign included: the development of talking points and a new USP; media and interview training; press releases on CSC events and news, distributed to both local publications and regionally through the Northeast Newswire; on-air radio interviews, and other PR initiatives.


Millennium developed a comprehensive integrated marketing plan that detailed its strategic recommendations for delivering messaging to its target audiences. For the undergraduate audience, the plan included a wide variety of digital and traditional marketing tactics, including geo-targeted radio; television commercials through Comcast Spotlight on specific stations; and online advertising including retargeting, online display, and online video advertising.

The two-month campaign finished in early September, and Millennium executed all strategies outlined in the marketing plan. Millennium saw great success with the digital platforms in this campaign. The campaign was a great success and helped fill enrollments for the fall online and certificate degree programs.

Millennium successfully executed the  PR strategy, achieving increased awareness for Colby-Sawyer’s mission, programs, and their Power of Infinity Capital Campaign. The  campaign involved the creation of key talking points and a strategic value proposition. Working with CSC, Millennium developed a USP that unified the College’s core values into a single brand message.

To ensure that messaging would resonate with CSC’s target market, talking points addressed a prevailing concern in the area for the decline of young professionals choosing to stay or come in-state to work. Messaging positioned CSC as a solution to this problem by demonstrating the value of a pre-professional education with a strong liberal arts core.


The online display, retargeting, and video advertising campaigns resulted in 21 form submissions (generated leads) and 57 views through conversions. The online display campaign had a .43% click through rate (average is .2%) and generated over 1.3 million impressions and the retargeting campaign had a 1.25% conversion rate. A video produced and posted to YouTube by Millennium was viewed over 15,000 times. The digital platforms generated upwards of 2.25 million impressions during the two-month campaign.

The media relations training workshop conducted by Millennium as great success, which included key individuals at Colby-Sawyer, including the President, Board of Directors, and department heads. The strategy session helped ensure that all messaging would be communicated consistently across the College and to the public. Millennium also delivered a successful strategic communications plan that included article pitching, 8+ press releases, an underwriting sponsorship with NHPR, and 3 on-air radio interviews. These initiatives resulted in a consistent, clearly communicated brand message as well as increased awareness for the College and its key value propositions.


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