Digital media students develop marketing campaign for local Catholic schools

SIOUX CITY, Iowa — F.A.I.T.H. is not only the foundation of Catholic schools, but a new marketing campaign to promote the Diocese of Sioux City’s school systems. The acronym was created by Briar Cliff University digital media students as part of their senior research course.

The eight Briar Cliff students unveiled their hard work on May 9 at the St. Francis Center on the campus. They showcased samples of new logos, infographics, brochures, videos and a new website they created.

They were very creative when they hit on family, academics, inspiration, teaching and honesty. That’s what our schools represent.

— Dan Ryan, Ed.D., Superintendent of Catholic Schools, Diocese of Sioux City

During the past semester, the students worked closely with the diocesan officials to formulate the campaign, aimed at increasing awareness of the diocese’s Catholic education options for young families.

“We were trying to replicate a real-world situation for the students,” said Kristen Perez, assistant professor and chair of BCU’s department of digital media. “We wanted them to realize this is a client and what you produce, they will be using and it has to be good.”

Student leaders of the project were Grace Gallagher of Saint Michael, Minn., and Desiree Beckmann of Yankton, S.D.

“What has helped me the most was working with a team,” said Beckmann, a graphic design major. “In the real world, especially as a designer, we are not just working by ourselves.”

Gallagher, a journalism and mass communication major, explained the students brainstormed on what makes Catholic schools different from other schools and kept returning to the “faith” aspect.

From there, they created the acronym representing Family, Academics, Inspiration, Teaching and Honesty. The tagline the group agreed upon was “Catholic Schools. Where Values Matter. Diocese of Sioux City.”

The branding will continue in all aspects of marketing, including billboards, postcards and brochures. Promotion also includes a voiceover carrying the same message for radio ads. Each item can be personalized to the needs of the 16 school systems in the diocese which educate more than 6,000 students.

Diocesan administration is excited for the campaign and impressed with its strong message.

“The challenge in going into this was not knowing the students’ abilities,” superintendent Dan Ryan admitted. “They were very creative when they hit on family, academics, inspiration, teaching and honesty. That’s what our schools represent.”

“It’s been a learning experience for them, as well as for us,” added Stacia Thompson, diocesan director of enrollment. “The amount of knowledge the students acquired of our schools and the discovery of the value found in them has been an amazing experience. It has helped all of us to speak more confidently about our product.”

Read the entire Catholic Globe article →

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Tags: Academics, BCU, Local Media, Digital Media, Graphic Design