By Andrea Vernot, President, Choptank Communications: I was honored to join Chesapeake College President Barbara Viniar yesterday to preview the school’s new marketing campaign for the Star Democrat. Designed to increase awareness and enrollment in the college’s degree, career and enrichment programs, the multi-year campaign officially kicks month with the opening of Chesapeake’s new 100,000 sq. ft. Health Professions and Athletic Center. Here’s why community engagement was a critical component of our outreach and branding.

The soft launch culminates almost a year-long initiative. We were selected last Fall to spearhead planning, research and creative development for this comprehensive branding campaign. Our work was informed and inspired by more than 500 alumni, business leaders, government officials, students, faculty and staff answered online surveys or participated in one of 12 focus groups.

Working with Lucie Hughes, Vice President for Institutional Advancement, and her team, we set out to discover what makes the college special to the community. Time and again, we learned of the great affection people have for Maryland’s first regional college. Accessible, affordable and highly respected staff have made Chesapeake the place people turned to time and again for 50 years.

The result? Your time. Your place. The campaign is a positive, personal and proud affirmation of the school’s commitment to the community and emphasizes the people who turn – and return here to jump start college, earn a degree, expand or change careers, or for personal enrichment.

Featuring a new, distinctive logo mark inspired by the college’s wind turbine and symbolic of its identity, the tagline honors the milestone anniversary while emphasizing Chesapeake’s students. The logo, rendered in traditional and iconic colors, conveys continuous movement around a center, reflecting multiple points of entry on each person’s educational journey.

Through a series of six student profiles, the campaign highlights individual stories of people in the region who have taken advantage of Chesapeake’s programs and resources.Your time. Your place. embraces Chesapeake’s 50-year evolution from cornfield to modern campus with a vibrant and uplifting statement about the college’s personal connection to citizens throughout the region.

“For 50 years, Mid-Shore residents have turned to Chesapeake for college credit, degrees, career training and personal enrichment. This campaign underscores our value as a high-quality, affordable and nurturing center for higher education, career advancement and lifelong learning.” Barbara Viniar