From the Nominator
"As the final engagement tactic of our Fall 2021 retention plan for converting confirmed students into enrolled students, we sent our first-year and second-year* students a 24-page magazine shortly before they left home for Pullman in August. We named this single-edition magazine "CougBeat" and modeled it off teen magazines such as Tiger Beat and Bop that were wildly popular in the 1980s and 1990s.
CougBeat used features commonly found in those publications, such as quizzes, top 10 lists, Q&A columns, pull-out posters, and more to offer a balance of "fun-to-know" and "need-to-know" information to guide students through their first year on campus. Our magazine also offered fun engagement opportunities, such as our hidden Butch challenge, road trip scavenger hunt, and clippable coupons. Although we take a digital-first approach to our recruitment marketing, we also valued the impact that a creative print piece could have by tugging at the nostalgic heartstrings of Gen Z.
By placing QR codes on the pages, encouraging students to engage with us on social media to win prizes, and placing coupons that could only be redeemed on campus, we were able to institute multiple touchpoints to gauge that students were interacting with the magazine. The creative approach, combined with the important and entertaining content of CougBeat, resulted in a magazine that was well-received and well-read.
* - Second-year students were sent the magazine because they spent their first year learning remotely due to COVID-19."
From the Judges
CougBeat was a well-executed and very appealing concept that was engaging on every page. The publication had a cross-generational appeal for both students and parents, and was a piece that we could see students keeping long after they had arrived on campus. The piece was interactive, creative, and had a tight design and a ton of useful information. We could tell that the retro feel infusing each page took a lot of talent and creativity to put together so successfully. As a call-back piece that captures a very modern trend, this works in every respect.