Public Relations shoots new publicity photos

by Clint WallaceStaff Writer

The Department of Marketing and Public Relations recently photographed many aspects of the Simpson community for new guidebooks and other publicity for the college.

“We are going to use the pictures wherever we can,” said John Fuller, executive director of college relations. “We do a lot of publications for Admissions. We do the Web site. Where ever we use pictures, that’s where you’ll see them.”

Public Relations took photos in practically every place at Simpson, including classrooms, the library, Pfeiffer Dining Hall and the middle of campus.

While the main goal of the photographs is to portray Simpson in a positive light to prospective students and their families, faculty and students both have questioned the validity of the pictures.

“You have to put your best image out there,” said Susanne Gubanc, assistant professor of communication studies. “As a marketing tool they are great, but are they the truth? That would be the big question mark. It’s sort of like going to a job interview and wearing a nice suit. It’s probably your only one, but it’s the same thing. This is our first chance to impress you, and we want to.”

Junior Kim Bilstad feels the same way. Bilstad had her picture taken while playing Monopoly in a Barker Hall lounge.

“I’ve never been to Barker Lounge before, nor am I a first-year,” Bilstad said. “I did not enjoy it. It was rather awkward. It took forever because people who were supposed to come didn’t.”

Junior Zach Rus was also asked to be part of the project. Rus was in Pfeiffer Dining Hall, a place he barely frequents, when a friend asked him to participate. Rus and others were told to stand by the salad bar and wait for fresh salad to appear.

“They moved a whole bunch of stuff around just so they could get a good picture,” Rus said. “They were going to get different salad bowls but decided against it. I think they are a joke. Nothing looks real, it all looks staged.”

Though some photographs may seem unrealistic, others were taken of actual classes and members of the Simpson community in their natural surroundings.

“I haven’t seen them yet, but I would be surprised if they didn’t (really represent Simpson) because they’re our students, it’s our campus and it’s our faculty and staff.” Fuller said. “It’s real life stuff. They went into classrooms. They caught students on campus.”

Along with the photo shoots around campus, the Marketing and Public Relations Department was busy shooting new Simpson commercials, which will be broadcast in the future on the major networks during the 10 p.m. news.