UMass Amherst seeks PR support for enrollment effort

AMHERST, MA: The University of Massachusetts at Amherst is seeking PR support for an outreach effort to grow enrollment at the school.

AMHERST, MA: The University of Massachusetts at Amherst is seeking PR support for an outreach effort to grow enrollment at the school.

The Amherst branch is the flagship campus of the UMass system with 25,000 students.

The campaign is set to take place after the university completes a year-long project with qualitative and quantitative research to develop messages to improve perceptions of the institution. The university system hopes to increase enrollment by making it students' first choice as they pick schools, according to agency search documents.

Last fall, enrollment in the University of Massachusetts' five-campus system exceeded 70,800, which officials have said is a record. The UMass system also has campuses in Boston, Dartmouth, and Lowell, as well as the university's medical school.

The contract is worth $450,000 and will last from this summer to May 2014. Responses to the RFP are due June 5.

The selected firm will be asked to conduct promotional activities for the campus' upcoming 150th anniversary. Its key event will be “UMass Day in Boston,” scheduled for October 25.

The winning agency will be asked to create buzz to generate attendance of at least 2,500 people at the event's Grand Salute. The firm will also develop a list of key civic leaders and public officials and work to achieve 50% attendance of that group at a breakfast held during the event.  

Last fall, the University of Massachusetts system hired O'Neill and Associates to provide PR services for its president's office. The two accounts are separate, a representative at O'Neill said.

A representative from UMass Amherst did not return several requests for comment about the RFP.

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