Norma S. Kennedy, East Georgia State College’s Director of Marketing and Community Relations, was recently presented the GEAC Marketing/Communications Award at the 2014 Georgia Educational Advancement Council Conference in Savannah. The conference was held at the Savannah Desoto Hilton.
GEAC honors excellence within Georgia’s advancement community with an annual conference awards program. Each year, GEAC solicits nominations from college and university presidents, chief advancement officers and members at large. Winners are selected by a committee of GEAC members representative of the various disciplines in advancement as well as the different types of institutions within the organization. Recipients are honored at an awards dinner hosted during the annual conference.
There is no cost associated with the program. It exists solely to honor those who excel in advancing the cause of higher education in Georgia. Eligibility is open to advancement personnel at all of Georgia’s public and private colleges, universities and technical colleges.
Norma developed and organized the marketing department in 2008 after transferring to the advancement area from her previous position as Director of Human Resources.
Her strategy as marketing director is based on the very simple premise that education is personal and the message to students and parents must be engaging. She tells the motivational story of potential with advertisement design, story writing and campaign development.
The marketing department functions are aligned with the college’s strategic plan and the Complete College Georgia Initiative and that focus never waivers. Before any project is undertaken or any dollar spent, she asks the question of how it fits with the overall strategy. Understanding the college brand and setting goals based on that strategy have become second nature to her. Her deliberate planning and execution continue to move the college forward.
Along with her duties in marketing, she is also responsible for the customer service initiative at EGSC. She has developed the annual employee service award program to recognize outstanding contributions from faculty and staff. One of the reasons that she was asked to keep the customer service representative distinction after leaving HR was the fact that her ability to foster an environment of positive employee morale has led to EGSC being consistently named as one of the “Great Colleges to work for” by the Chronicle for Higher Education.
“Norma was not selected for this award due to any big marketing campaign that won awards and gained national attention. She was selected for being consistent – for being focused – and for realizing that a student’s success is the answer to the question. She is the picture of commitment – to the University System, to East Georgia State College and to the student,” commented EGSC Director of External Affairs, Elizabeth Gilmer.