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CD-ROM viewbook gives APSU new, interactive recruitment tool

September 5, 2002

When student recruiters from Austin Peay's Admissions Office hit the road next month, they'll be armed with a new recruitment tool.

Prospective high school students can choose the traditional printed viewbook or an interactive CD-ROM viewbook. The CD-ROM mirrors the teen-targeted design and bright colors of APSU's new 14-piece student-recruitment publications.

Created by APSU's Public Relations and Marketing Office in collaboration with the Office of Admissions and produced by J. Stocco of Zebra3Media, Nashville, the CD-ROM is designed to appeal specifically to teens.

Stocco said, “The design and video editing of Austin Peay's CD-ROM are similar to VH1 and MTV. High energy and informational, this style will make Austin Peay feel like home to prospective students.

“Everyone learns differently,” Stocco said, “relying on their visual, auditory and kinesthetic senses to different extents. Interactive multimedia engages all the senses.”

“Why Austin Peay,” a one-minute opener with quick shots of the campus and brief testimonials from students, is designed to grab attention and arouse interest. From this fast-paced opening, the viewer is taken to the main menu page, which looks much like a graffiti wall.

There the viewer can click on such options as “Hot Careers. Hot Majors,” “Student Life,” “Housing,” “Getting in,” “Paying for it,” “The answers” and “The 411” (which provides contact information).

According to Debbie Denton, APSU marketing manager, the strength of CD-ROM viewbooks is that they link prospective students to APSU's Web site for more in-depth information. “It's quick, it's direct and it smoothes the path to enrollment,” Denton said.

Bill Persinger, director of graphic design, said, “With its Internet hyperlinks, cool video images and funky music, our CD-ROM shows APSU is current, relevant, innovative and ahead of many universities in using this technology for student recruitment.”

A request for proposals was distributed in late March, and by state bid process, Zebra3Media was chosen April 15. Collaboration on the CD-ROM's content and design began immediately, with the Office of Public Relations and Marketing funneling information, videos and photos to Stocco.

Donna Price, associate director of admissions, and Amy Deaton, assistant director, represented APSU's Office of Admissions on the project, providing valuable content information.

With a delivery deadline of Oct. 1, Zebra3Media representatives had only one day on campus to shoot needed footage.

An invitation to all APSU students to participate in the video was posted in key locations on campus. Invitations also were extended to students via University-wide e-mail.

“We had about two days to pull everything and everyone together for the shots we needed,” Denton said.

“We really appreciate those students who stepped up to the plate and volunteered to help Austin Peay with this project. Talking on camera isn't easy, but these students realized how important this project is to Austin Peay.

“Although they worked for free, there's really no price tag we can put on their contributions to the CD-ROM and to their University. To them, we just say ‘thank you!”

Dr. Sherry Hoppe, APSU president, said, “The CD-ROM format allows us to combine text with interactive video, animation, graphics, sound and a link to our Web site.

“I've heard it said that when it comes to quality of presentation, neither printed viewbooks nor the older diskettes can hold a candle to the multimedia magic of CD-ROM.”

In anticipation of demand, APSU ordered 5,000 copies of the CD-ROM viewbook.