Using their previous professional experience as television producers and reporters, three staff at the Pullman campus are creating videos to reach out to prospective students, potential supporters and other vital audiences. Their efforts augment the university’s video advertising campaign, directed through marketing communications.
Two of these staff videomakers are alumni from the Murrow School of Communications. Kari Montgomery Watkins and Darin Watkins graduated in 1984 and married in 1985. Kari worked as a producer and reporter for commercial TV stations in Reno, Spokane and Rochester, N.Y., before beginning in Seattle as a writer and producer at KING-TV in 1996. Darin, who had worked in those media markets as well, began as a reporter at KING-TV in 1996.
They moved to Pullman in 2003 when Darin was hired as a public information officer for the College of Veterinary Medicine. Kari taught a class in student television production for two years and, in 2006, was hired as a producer at KWSU-TV. She produces television programming aired throughout the northwest on public broadcasting stations as well as cable stations like the Research Channel and TV Washington.
Darin created a pair of 30-second TV ads for the teaching hospital at the College of Veterinary Medicine to increase awareness of the college’s reputation and of the number of clinical cases brought to the hospital. The ads will run on the Animal Planet cable station in Seattle through this summer and during WSU basketball and football games.
“We’re already getting great feedback,” Darin reported. “Those ads boosted pride at the college and resulted in inquiries about estate planning from three potential donors.”
Gary Lindsey is the senior public relations/communications coordinator for the College of Liberal Arts and has a shared appointment with marketing communications.
He is also involved in video production. Before coming to Pullman in 2002, he was an executive producer and anchor at KOMO-TV in Seattle.
Lindsey recently began creating video features that are being used to reach a wide variety of audiences. He created Flash videos for distribution via e-mail to prospective high-achieving students. The first were released in January.
Future video productions will enliven websites. He says there are plans to incorporate video in media relations and he envisions video eventually becoming a tool for communication with donors, alumni and other audiences.
“Using video in this manner is just beginning,” Lindsey said. “Video is such an effective and compelling way to tell the WSU story.”