October 19, 2021
The Division of Student Affairs and Enrollment Services won high honors from the Houston chapter of the Public Relations Society of America.
Two websites were recognized at the organization’s annual Excalibur Awards ceremony:
- The Undergraduate Freshman Admissions landing page, created by Enrollment Services Communication and Marketing and the Office of Admissions, took gold in the tactics category for websites;
- And the 2019-2020 Annual Report website, created and designed by the Office of the Vice President and DSAES IT Services, won silver in the tactics category for annual reports.
The PRSA Houston’s Excalibur Awards “honor outstanding public relations professionals, programs, and tactics” exhibited by communicators in the Houston area. The annual ceremony — which recognizes outstanding work in numerous categories such as blogs, videos, magazines or campaigns — was held on October 7.
The prospective freshman landing page was created by the UH Enrollment Services Communication and Marketing team and the Office of Admissions for the undergraduate admissions website. Filled with valuable information for freshman applicants, the landing page truly evokes the spirit of the University of Houston while giving students all they need to start their journey to becoming a UH Cougar. The webpage speaks to prospective freshman students at their level, walking them through the application process in the least confusing way possible. It does this by utilizing web design, conversational and plain language, and aesthetic visuals to present content to the freshman applicant.
Redesigned from an old, catalog style informational page and created in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, the new webpage was especially important as students started spending more time on their computers and obtaining information digitally. The need for digestible, clear, and engaging content became essential, as many prospective college students were experiencing the college decision-making process completely virtual.
The 2019-2020 Annual Report website, unveiled in December 2020, replaced the traditional printed publication the Office of the Vice President had previously published. The Office of the Vice President explored digital options for its annual report in an effort to cut costs as the COVID-19 pandemic weakened revenue across the University. The new website not only greatly reduced the cost of creating the annual report, but it also allows the Division to replicate and build upon it in following years.
The report features a message from the vice president, key metrics from all departments across the Division, and news articles that highlight the successes of the year. It also includes a section about overcoming the challenges of 2020 — the sudden and immediate need to transition to online-only services and programs, as well as focusing on the uncertainty of enrolling a new generation of students with a brand new virtual class schedule, while still dealing with very unusual and dangerous circumstances.
The annual report website was created by Sandi Martin, director of marketing and communications, and Scott Radimer, director of assessment, both in the Office of the Vice President; and Kyle Stehling, assistant manager of design and web development in DSAES IT Services.