Dedicated advertising station serves admissions department • Home Page • Low Power Radio Blog
College takes resorts' cue in pitch
Francis Marion College has borrowed a trick from the resort industry in an attempt to lure students to the school.
Last month the college installed a low-power AM radio transmitter to let the hundreds of thousands of travelers who use U.S. 301 out of Florence know about the college along the busy highway.
College officials figure there probably are a lot of potential college freshmen in those cars.
The transmitter is similar to those used in the parking areas of theme parks, national parks or to provide road conditions in urban areas. But it's one of the first times a college has put one to use.
"We have so much traffic going to the beaches. We're trying to let people know they can stop by the campus and take a tour and get a brochure," said Jerry Smith, the college's director of public relations.
"We're not a tourist attraction per se," he said. "But we're named after an historical figure. It's a state school and the facilities are open to the public. We do want to let people know we are here."
Smith said a lot of folks didn't know they could stop by campus for a tour. But those who do, generally leave with an admissions application, he said.
The station plays no music or advertisements. It does provide continuous information about the college in general and sporting and cultural events in particular. There are about 4,000 students at the college.
Dan Myers is an engineer with Information Station Specialists of Zeeland, Mich., which installed the transmitter.
He said the firm has installed many of the approximately 500 such stations in operation nationwide. He said the Francis Marion transmitter is the first the company has installed on a campus.