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South Arkansas Community College received two national awards for video projects

Posted on March 22, 2016

Published by El Dorado News-Times

March 22, 2016

ST. LOUIS, Mo. – The marketing department at South Arkansas Community College received two national awards for video projects on Sunday from the National Council of Marketing and Public Relations. One of them was singled out as the nation’s best promotional video produced for community colleges in 2014-2015. N.C.M.P.R. is the nation’s only organization for community-college marketers and has more than 1,600 member institutions.

The Paragon Awards are presented annually at the council’s national conference in many different categories related to community college promotion and advertising, according to a news release from SouthArk.

SouthArk’s college promotional video, produced in fall of 2014, received a Gold Paragon Award, representing the best of the promotional video category. The humorous six-minute video stars former SouthArk student Shelby Gage in a number of different roles as she provides a college tour. It was written by SouthArk marketing coordinator Heath Waldrop and photographed by local filmmaker Alex Jeffery. The category is not split into different divisions, so SouthArk was competing against all other member community colleges in the nation. Placing second in the category was Northern Essex (Massachusetts) Community College, which has more than 16,000 students. Placing third was the Community College of Denver, which has about 13,000 students. SouthArk has fewer than 1,500.

SouthArk’s college promotional video also placed first at the district level in December.

“We felt confident about the quality that we produced, but were humbled to be placed in such esteemed company,” Waldrop said, “particularly since out of all of the great submissions by huge colleges, it was our promotional video that was selected as the best in the nation. It represents a lot of hard work and inspiration among creative people, with plenty of support behind the scenes.

“After wrestling over the script for more than two months, trying on a ton of different concepts, I ended up landing on an idea and basically writing the whole thing in about half an hour. Alex is a huge asset to our area and after so many recent awards for his work, must be running out of trophy space in his house. And I can’t say enough positive about Shelby, who is an amazing young talent. We never, ever would have been able to pull this off without her,” Waldrop said.

The local college’s summer promotional video produced in winter of 2015 received a Bronze Paragon Award, representing third place in the category of video shorts. The humorous one-minute video stars former SouthArk student Kaitlyn French and SouthArk student Michael Welch as “Danielle” and “Eddie,” two students who chose different paths for their general-education requirements. It was written by Waldrop and photographed by Craig Ballin of BluWave Productions.

“We actually shot the summer promotional video on a day February 2015 on which the college had abbreviated hours due to snowfall from earlier in the week,” Waldrop said. “If you look in the background on some shots, you can see that there still was snow on the ground. Kaitlyn had some outdoor scenes in which we had to dress her as if it was summer and just have her think warm thoughts. She pulled it off convincingly, but we had to take breaks to keep her thawed.”

Winning the category was Wallace Community College (Alabama), enrollment 4,000; Silver went to Delaware Technical Community College, enrollment 23,500.