Normandale Community College Issues Marketing RFP

2016-08-21 by EPR Staff

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Normandale Community College is an urban two-year college serving primarily the communities of the southwestern metropolitan region of the Twin Cities. Established in 1968, the college is accredited by the

Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. More than 17,000 students from diverse backgrounds take courses at the college annually.

Normandale is part of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MnSCU).  MnSCU constitutes the seventh-largest system of higher education in the United States.  The system comprises 31 two-year and four-year state colleges and universities with 54 campuses located in 46 Minnesota communities.  The system serves approximately 410,000 students annually in credit-based courses, an additional 140,000 students in non-credit courses, and produces 42,000 graduates each year.

The College is seeking proposals from qualified firms to provide marketing and digital advertising services.

In general, key audiences for Normandale Community College are prospective students and the gatekeepers who influence the postsecondary choices of prospective students.  Prospective students include high school graduates (or those holding a GED) who have not yet earned an two-year Associate of Arts (A.A.) degree or four-year Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree.

Prospective students include both traditional age students (students proceeding to college immediately or shortly after graduating from high schools) as well as non-traditional returning adult students (generally students age 27 to 54).  Gatekeepers include high school counselors, coaches, teachers, parents, community leaders, corporate executives, human resource professionals, business owners and others who significantly influence the credit and non-credit higher education choices of prospective students.

Additionally, from its recent geodemographic research, Normandale Community College knows that its enrollment success has been built almost exclusively on traditional-age students from middle and upper middle income populations.  The College’s student profile mirrors the distribution of racial/ethnic distribution in the seven-county metropolitan area but does not with regard to socio-economic status of its students.  As a result, the fastest growing portions of the traditional age potential student populations in Normandale’s service area are also those that are currently most underrepresented in the College’s student profile.

Finally, as a state-sponsored institution with both funding and service delivery commitments to the general public, Normandale’s key audiences include business and governmental leaders, the Minnesota Legislature and citizenry.


  • Strengthen the competitive position of Normandale Community College relative to the other colleges and universities with whom the College competes for prospective students, faculty, staff and philanthropic gifts.
  • Increase enrollment from diverse communities and create pathways to other college programs.
  • Support recruitment, retention, completion and student success as defined in the enrollment plan.


Marketing professional support services will include:

  • Strategy, market research, and analysis
  • Advertising: conception, planning, design, development, production and evaluation
  • Media buying, placement and monitoring
  • Graphic design

The College is developing a 365-day marketing and advertising strategy to tell the public about special opportunities and events that arise during the year. However, Normandale primarily remains focused on advertising fall, spring and summer registration

  1. a) Target markets:
  2. High School students seeking:
  3. Degree and/or certificate for a trade or occupation
  4. Transfer to a four-year university to obtain a bachelor’s degree
  1. Adult learners seeking:
  2. New career opportunities
  3. Adult Basic Education/GED preparation
  4. Personal enrichment for themselves (seniors) or their children

iii.   Businesses seeking training for their workers

iiii. Opinion leaders and community pillars who can:

  1. Advocate for College initiatives
  2. Support College for development

How the College gets its message across:

Offline marketing:

  • Print
  • TV: broadcast and cable
  • Radio: advertisements
  • Direct mail

Online marketing:

  • Digital Marketing: SEO (search engine optimization), SEM (search engine marketing), content marketing, influencer marketing, social media marketing and optimization, direct marketing, display advertising and non-Internet channels that provide digital media, such as mobile phones (SMS and MMS).

In short, Normandale wishes to be more broadly known as a source of low-cost quality, excellence and prestige as well as “the college” students go to if they want a direct route back to prestigious four-year baccalaureate institutions such as the University of Minnesota and other top-flight institutions throughout the nation and Upper Midwest.

Particularly given recent economic developments, Normandale believes that it can become a choice for many students who would otherwise select high cost, selective public and private colleges and universities.  By choosing Normandale, these students can receive a very comparable education in their first two years of college for a fraction of the cost.  (Normandale’s full-time annual tuition and fees are less than half the cost of the University of Minnesota and less than 20% of the cost of an average Minnesota private college or university).

Proposals are due by Wednesday, August 31, 2016 to:

Valerie Skromane

Purchasing Coordinator

9600 France Ave S, Bloomington, MN 55431


Padilla-CRT and Fleishman-Hillard are major PR firms with operations in Minnesota.


Everything Public Relations News Insights Author Richard D. Pace