New UAV part of larger marketing strategy

Mercyhurst’s marketing department is taking to the skies.

In addition to numerous other marketing strategies, the department will employ the use of an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) this year. The camera-equipped UAV will fly above Main Campus, taking pictures of the school, according to Marketing Director Dionne Veitch. Chris Norris, a videographer with the department, will handle the UAV.

The UAV was purchased from an online retailer for $500, and, while novel, is not going to be heavily utilized.

“While the [UAV] is a cool piece of equipment, it is not a major factor in our marketing plan for this year,” said Veitch. “It will be used in creating some of our videos, commercial, and collateral materials.”

There is also a possibility that the football team and the Archaeology Department, both of which can use aerial photos to improve their performance, may use the tiny “plane,” Veitch said.

The marketing department is rebranding this year. They want their major campaign to be “Hands on Experience.” The Marketing Department hopes to attract new students through the emphasis of Mercyhurst’s unique opportunities, which include allowing students to take part in real life applications of their majors.

The department will be emphasizing a slightly different approach when recruiting students to the North East campus.

“We want to emphasize job readiness and availability at the North East campus,” said Veitch. “Employment opportunities are a huge seller for the two-year campus. Mercyhurst faculty hopes to equip all of their students with the necessary tools to be successful within their chosen field of study.”

The campaign will combine a variety of mediums. Veitch aims to capture people’s attention using video, pictorial, print, radio and social media. The marketing department will not be spending as much on billboards as it has in the past but instead will focus on social media. The school is in the process of creating an Instagram account.

Students can collaborate in the new marketing plan. Select communications students will be chosen to work in the department’s social media arm. The focus on social media, while also low cost, is intended to maximize Mercyhurst’s exposure to students.

“While people in this area will see our advertisements, social media can reach more recruits,” Veitch said.