WC’s College Relations and Marketing Wins Big For Campaign With BuzzFeed

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The College Relations and Marketing team at Washington College has earned yet another top-tier award for its marketing collaboration with BuzzFeed, this time from the Content Marketing Institute (CMI). Going up against international heavy hitters including Yamaha, Microsoft, LinkedIn, and Verizon, Washington College won the category for native advertising/sponsored content as part of a content marketing program, and was a finalist in the category of best content marketing program in education.

“This is a significant achievement for our team as it relates to our content strategy,” says Rolando Irizarry, vice president for College Relations and Marketing (CRM). “Our peers have recognized the success we are having communicating the values of Washington College to our target audience in a language they can relate to, which has generated awareness.”

The annual Content Marketing Awards (CMA), sponsored by CMI, are the largest and longest-running international content marketing program in the world. This year’s panel of judges reviewed more than 1,100 entries to choose the best of the best in content marketing excellence, recognizing all aspects, from strategy to distribution, and from editorial to design. CMI is the leading global content marketing education and training organization, teaching enterprise brands how to attract and retain customers through compelling, multichannel storytelling.

“I’m wowed by the quality of entries in this year’s Content Marketing Awards,” says Stephanie Stahl, CMI’s general manager. “The level of innovation and creativity is truly inspiring. We’re excited to recognize the achievements of all the winners and finalists for what they are doing to not only advance the practice of content marketing but to help their organizations and clients be successful.”

The strategic campaign with BuzzFeed, a leading independent digital media company known to capture the 13- to 17-year-old market through its powerful distribution channels on social media, represents the first time the College has attempted to generate awareness on this scale, Irizarry says.The goal was to reach high school students on their phones and on social media, creating strategically designed and easily shareable content that speaks to the unique nature and values of Washington College and life on the Eastern Shore.

The four-month campaign resulted in 83 million impressions, with close to one million viewers who clicked on the BuzzFeed posts. As a result, compared to the same period last year, the College’s Facebook page saw a 77 percent page view increase, the College website’s homepage views increased 94 percent, and overall page views increased 32 percent site-wide.

This latest award joins multiple honors for CRM this year. The team also won two Awards of Distinction in the 24th Annual Communicator Awards, judged by the Academy of Interactive and Visual Arts (AIVA), as well as five honors—three platinum and two gold—in the 2018 Hermes Creative Awards. The team also this spring won a Communitas Award for a story, video,and local and regional media coverage about the College’s Food Recovery Network project, led by the Student Environmental Alliance. And, competing with the likes of ESPN, Condé Nast, and HBO, CRM also won a bronze medal from The Telly Awards in the category social video/general education/discovery for “Washington College: Year of the Bird.”

The CMA winners will be announced and celebrated at a live awards ceremony during Content Marketing World, September 5, 2018, in Cleveland, Ohio, where Tina Fey will be a featured speaker. You can see a full list of the 2018 winners and finalists in all 92 categories on the Content Marketing Awards website: https://www.contentmarketingawards.com/2018-winners/

Click here to view the award-winning Washington College BuzzFeed page: www.buzzfeed.com/washingtoncollege

About Washington College

Founded in 1782, Washington College is the tenth oldest college in the nation and the first chartered under the new Republic. It enrolls approximately 1,450 undergraduates from more than 35 states and a dozen nations. With an emphasis on hands-on, experiential learning in the arts and sciences, and more than 40 multidisciplinary areas of study, the College is home to nationally recognized academic centers in the environment, history, and writing. Learn more at washcoll.edu.

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