University of West Georgia


Insight: As institutions of higher education began to feel the effects of the impending enrollment cliff—expedited by the COVID-19 pandemic—the University of West Georgia (UWG) was determined to stay ahead of the curve. Crawford partnered with UWG in early 2021 to support the university’s enrollment goals through a unified brand positioning that targeted prospective students, alumni, faculty and staff, and local communities. The mission was to develop a campaign to attract, nurture, and convert prospective students into enrolled students.

Vision: Our approach had three strategic aspects. First, we defined the UWG student: They’re fiercely confident, ambitious, self-aware, and know their purpose in life. Then we identified the UWG differentiators, which described the university as student-focused, outcomes-based, and supportive. The communications challenge was that those who weren’t as familiar with UWG felt it was a second-choice school when considering where to earn an education.

The I am WEST campaign focuses on the students, their attitudes, and their goals in a way that prospective students can now see themselves at UWG. Students are captured owning their passions, creating opportunities that set themselves up for future success and cultivating positive perceptions of UWG.. The multimedia campaign included high-impact digital OOH, digital media, paid social, digital video/radio, and print.

Outcome: The campaign has been embraced by students, faculty, and alumni as a rallying cry for pride in their institution. I am WEST signage and displays can be seen across the campus, and apparel emblazoned with the campaign line is a bestseller in the bookstore. In a challenging environment for higher education, the campaign was a major driver in UWG’s successful performance. Enrollment grew by more than 6%, application submissions grew by more than 7%, and graduate enrollment was up by more than 30%.