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Rice named Houston's marketer of the year in education


Rice University has been named Houston's marketer of the year in higher education by the American Marketing Association’s Houston Chapter.

"The Marketer of the Year" category winners were determined by a vote of AMA Houston members and a panel of local marketing practitioners and educators.  More than 200 companies, organizations and institutions were nominated.

Rice will compete against 41 other category winners for "2010 Marketer of the Year," which is selected by a panel of marketing leaders from outside the Houston area. The award will be announced March 7 at the Alley Theatre.

Marketer.jpg“Rice University is Houston’s premier institution of higher education, and we work hard to ensure that our brand and reputation bring honor to both our school and our city,” said Linda Thrane, vice president for public affairs. “Over the past four years, our public affairs team has strengthened the way we present ourselves to our community and the world, and you see the results of that on campus, in our publications and website, and in the growing awareness of Rice around the country and world.” 

Thrane said the university's branding and marketing efforts gained momentum in 2010. That was reflected in increased media coverage, web and social media traffic and student applications.  The redesigned www.rice.edu website received a record 9.4 million visits, including more than 1 million from outside the U.S. in 2010.  Media coverage, which featured the research and expertise of Rice's faculty members, grew by 148 percent to more than 20 billion impressions.  And student applications have nearly doubled in recent years, with more applications coming from outside Texas in 2010 than total U.S. applications received in 2005. 

Rice is consistently ranked in the nation's top 20 universities by U.S. News & World Report and is one of only 63 research institutions in the U.S. and Canada to be members of the prestigious American Association of Universities. 

“President David Leebron decided that it was time for Houston’s ‘little gem of a school’ to get the recognition it deserved in the rest of the country and world, and we’ve been using a comprehensive marketing and communications campaign to help that gem shine more brightly,” Thrane said.  “This is about using these tools to celebrate and communicate the teaching and discovery that make Rice the unique school it is.  It all adds up to what we call ‘unconventional wisdom.’” 

Blinds.com, the winner of the 2009 award, will be on hand to announce this year’s winner.  Prior winners include Kelsey-Seybold Clinic (2008), the Houston Zoo (2007), Weatherford International (2006) and the Houston Symphony (2005). 

For more information about AMA Houston’s Marketer of the Year, visit www.amahouston.org.