Publications Program Improvement: Fairfield College Preparatory School - Bronze Award

2008 Circle of Excellence Awards Program
Category 29. Publications Program Improvement
Fairfield College Preparatory School
Admissions Publications
Bronze Award

Colleen Adams
Director of Communications
1073 North Benson Road
Fairfield, CT 06825
203.254.4200 X2487

Greg Marshall Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid
Colleen Adams Director of Communications
Cheney & Company Creative Communications Design
Jeffery Wack, Ph.D. Market Research
Gus Powell Photographer
Arthur Payne Printing Consultant, Fairfield University
Phoenix Press Printer

A. Planned changes
  1. Viewbook - complete redesign
  2. Search brochure - complete redesign
  3. Admissions application forms - partial redesign
  4. Advertising poster - complete redesign
  5. Information bulletin - new item
B. Strategic objectives
  1. Upgrade old materials that no longer reflected new marketing initiatives.
  2. Maintain the overall number of applicants in the face of a declining demographic (i.e., a shrinking pool of potential applicants).
  3. Increase the number of applicants from a particular six-town area (chosen on the basis of a demographic study).
  4. Streamline and enhance admission process for prospects and admissions staff.
C. Objectives and Mission
  1. Materials must portray the Jesuit character of the school.
  2. Materials must appeal to the diverse constituencies represented in the applicant pool.
A. Budget

Initial rough estimates called for $75,000 to $100,000 to be spent over a two-year period on all phases and aspects of the project.

B. Participants
  1. Project Manager: Gregory H. Marshall, Fairfield Prep Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid.
  2. Demographic study: Jeffery Wack, Ph.D.
  3. Creative Communications firm: Cheney & Company, New Haven, Connecticut
  4. Photographer: Gus Powell, New York, NY
  5. Consultant: Arthur Payne, Director of Printing and Graphics, Fairfield University
  6. Printer: Phoenix Press, New Haven, Connecticut
C. Project phases
  1. A demographic study of the market area was completed to guide the materials' design and distribution strategy.
  2. Photographs were taken on several days.
  3. Cheney & Company performed interviews and ran focus groups.
  4. Preliminary drafts were created and reviewed.
  5. Art Payne solicited bids for the paper stock.
  6. Final drafts were submitted to the printer.
D. Staffing and use of available resources
  1. Gregory H. Marshall, Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid was project manager.
  2. Arthur Payne, Director of Printing and Graphics at Fairfield University, was consultant and adviser to Greg Marshall on the project, and contributed greatly to the project's success with his expertise, knowledge and experience with the design and printing components of the project.
  3. The Marketing Materials Committee assisted the Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid (this ad hoc committee consisted of certain administrators and faculty members).
  4. Colleen Adams, Director of Communications assisted in latter stages (the new position of director of communications was created midway through the project).
  5. Students and faculty were interviewed and photographed for testimonials.
A. Actions
  1. The new search brochure w/DVD was mailed to the 2,200 prospects on our targeted mailing list garnered from feeder schools, youth religious education programs and inquiries.
  2. The new admissions packet (containing: viewbook, DVD, admissions application forms, information bulletin and financial aid application) was distributed to prospective applicants via school visits by the Dean of Admissions & Financial Aid, at the Open House, and via mail to prospective applicants and inquirers.
B. Selected Preliminary Statistics
  1. Total applicants to the class of 2012 increased by 20% (compared to applicants to the class of 2011).
  2. Yield increased by four percentage points (from 70% to 74%) over the four-year average.
  3. Enrollees in the class of 2012 residing in the six-town targeted area increased by 36% compared to the class of 2011.
  4. The number of "deposit-paid" new enrollments increased by approximately 10 percent, representing a significant increase over recent years.
C. Other
  1. The goal of reducing Admissions Staff processing time and paperwork was effectively achieved.
  2. The project planning led us to a review of Open House, shadow day scheduling, effective use of volunteers, and streamlining of administrative processes, with the result that the overall admissions process is now more "user-friendly."
  3. The creative approach is intended to span a three-year use period with an update to text and photographs possible to extend the shelf life of the work for an additional three years. Thus we are able to amortize our investment over several recruitment cycles.
  4. The new materials have been very favorably received by the target audience, and inspired pride for Prep among the school families, staff and the Jesuit Secondary School and University communities.
Fairfield Prep Creative & print costs for CASE awards

Viewbook (3-year run)
Creative & management - $26,017
Photography - 4,740
Printing (5.2M) - 15,039
Total - $45,796 (8.81 unit)

Information Bulletin (1-year run)
Creative & management - $6,239
Printing (1.5M) - 1,000
Total - $7,239 ($4.83 unit)

Application Packet (1-year run)
Creative & management - $5,320
Printing (1.5M) - 1,000
Total - $6,532 ($4.35 unit)

Folder (3-year run)
Creative & management - $2,183
Printing (5.2M) - 4,911
Total - $16,183 ($3.11 unit)

Search Brochure (3-year run)
Creative & management - $4,165
Printing (10M) - 8,582
Total - $12,747 ($1.27 unit)

Poster (1-year run)
Creative & management - $1,684
Printing (600) - 1,000
Total - $2,684 ($4.47 unit)

Creative & management - $45,608
Photography - 4,740
Printing - 41,532
Shipping/postage (all) - 5,000
Total - $96,880

Viewbook, folder, search brochure, 0 production/printing cost next 2 years