‘Awesomeness’ slogan not effective

The University encourages students to “Unleash Your Awesomeness,” but the Office of Admissions says the year-old campaign has created more of an atmosphere than a recruitment tool.

Dr. Bobby Hodum, executive director of enrollment management, said the campaign is successful, but he did not credit the campaign to the influx of freshmen.

Admissions records state there are 1,968 new freshmen this fall, which is 16.7 percent of the student population at Tech.

Hodum said the admissions office asked new students why they chose Tech, and no students stated it was because of the campaign.

 “I chose Tech because of its size and that my sister goes here too,” Carly Owens, freshman from Morristown, said.

Freshman Jacob Parkinson from Kingston, Tenn. said he did not recall the “Unleash Your Awesomeness” campaign.

“I have heard of it, but I have no clue what it is,” Parkinson said. “I have only heard of it because I got a free t-shirt with that saying on it.”

Jonathan Turner, freshman from Cookeville, Tenn. agreed.

 “I know its Tech’s slogan but other than that I do not know much about it,” Turner said.

According to Hodum, the campaign is a piece of the puzzle that brings in students, but there are about 250 other factors. Such factors include academic offerings, affordability and campus comfortability.  

The Office of Communication and Marketing used funds that were set aside to develop brochures with the campaign slogan for each Tech department. The brochures were developed to make a consistent look for the University.  They will be used for potential students or when faculty representatives visit high schools.

“In the big picture, the campaign works well and provides a good opportunity for Tech,” Hodum said. “The old campaign ‘More Than Tech’ did not work well and departments had a hard time with the slogan.”

 Hodum said that the new campaign provides a healing process to all the departments on campus.

The campaign launched fall of 2010 after a year of planning by the Office of Communication and Marketing.

Focus groups, with seven student participants from the Upper Cumberland area, were held in high schools July 2010. The main goal of these focus groups was to get students’ opinions on the campaign.

According to marketing records, 86 percent agreed that the “Unleash Your Awesomeness” message appealed to them in the focus groups. All of the students either agreed that the “Unleash Your Awesomeness” message made them want to find out more about Tech.

 “Focus groups are intended to be smaller and more intimate to really have a roundtable and in-depth discussion about the topics,” Bobbie Maynard, marketing director said.

Twenty-one high school students were surveyed while on a campus tour in July 2010. Most of the students who were surveyed were from the Nashville area.

Marketing records show 76 percent agreed that the tagline message “Unleash Your Awesomeness” appealed to them. 67 percent agreed that the message “Unleash Your Awesomeness” makes them want to find out more about Tech.

“We got mostly all good feedback from the focus groups and surveys,” Maynard said.

In March 2010, an official Facebook page for the University was created as part of the campaign. By September 2010, the page had 12,871 likes and it currently has 23,153 likes.

“The campaign means to me that when students come to Tech, the University will help you reach your full potential,” Maynard said.

Some freshmen at Tech do recall the campaign when choosing a university.

“I remember the campaign when deciding on a university and I thought it was cool and stood out from other universities,” Katy Cox, freshman from Mt. Juliet, Tenn. said.

 “I do remember the campaign when I was deciding on my university, and liked it because it distinguishes Tech from other schools,” Mary Kate Nalan, freshman from Memphis, Tenn., Said.

A freshman focus group is to be conducted this fall. To participate in the focus group, contact