Author: Allison Carter

On-Brand Imagery in Enrollment Marketing

A photo is worth a thousand words, right? In enrollment marketing to undergraduate students—targeting students as early as their sophomore year—a captivating, on-brand image can say everything to how a prospective student can envision themselves on campus. In fact, more and more, entire spreads in print marketing do not use words, but instead, appeal to students through strong, beautiful photos.

When selecting imagery for enrollment marketing communications at Michigan Tech, here are a few of the things we mindfully do:

  • Look for ways to highlight Michigan Tech. Three students in a lab with colored gloves could be in any lab at any university in the world. Find ways to show it’s Michigan Tech. Think: branded safety glasses (on subjects or sitting on a lab bench) or posters/banners on a wall.
  • Highlight our incredible area. Select photos that show campus, the water, the environment—the things that make us special and different from other colleges. Data indicates that prospective students are really drawn to aerial photography. 
  • Be authentic to your program. Don’t force diversity. Try not to feature the same star student in all your photo shoots.
  • Show students working together. They don’t have to be camera aware. Highlight how they collaborate, function, and (sometimes) get dirty.
  • Involve faculty or staff who normally work with students in a familiar space. Another great opportunity is students and faculty/staff in casual settings—chatting informally in a computer lab or over coffee. If that’s the culture of your department, show it!
  • Mine for user images. Thanks to smartphone technology, images need not always be professional. Perhaps the image was curated from Facebook (get permission, of course). User images may even offer up that gritty, natural feel we’re after.
  • Get a second opinion. Or a third. How do your colleagues interpret an image? Is there anything off-putting about the photo or the piece as a whole? Thousands of copies will be shared with thousands of people—it’s prudent to seek many eyes.
  • Finally, promote Michigan Tech, always. Students should never (ever) wear clothing promoting another school in our marketing communications. They don’t have to be decked out in Tech gear, but they shouldn’t be sporting another school logo.

Allison Carter
Director of Admissions, Michigan Tech


Michigan Tech’s Brand on the Road

This fall, the undergraduate admissions staff will begin to push Michigan Tech’s new brand out to thousands of high school and transfer students, parents, and guidance counselors across the country. As one of the first adopters of our new branding, Admissions eagerly awaits the day we can recycle old materials and usher in publications with a new look and feel.

Embrace Our Middle Name

Why the excitement? For the first time, Michigan Technological University is being loud and proud about our middle name! Letting the world know we are technological will help immensely in Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Illinois where “Tech” has a different meaning entirely—think technical college, trade school, welding, and HVAC. We know that variety of “tech” is not who we are, yet it’s the perception many people have. This leads to a battle we face every year, every day, at every event we attend—having to explain to prospective students and parents that no, we do not offer culinary arts or auto body repair.

Beyond the visual look, the brand embodies the essence of who we are as an institution and community. We’re confident the new brand will help us attract students and families to our tables which will give us a chance to educate them about the incredible opportunities and outcomes here, rather than having them mutter, “Oh, a tech school…” as they bee-line to competitor institutions at a college fair.

Share Michigan Tech Stories

From publications and pennants to our fleet of wrapped SUVs, Michigan Tech’s Admissions team will be proud brand ambassadors as we share stories about real people, opportunities, and experiences for the incoming class of 2017 and beyond.

–Allison Carter
Director of Admissions, Michigan Technological University