The NWC Board of Trustees held their monthly meeting in Meeteetse on Monday, which included a review of active vendor contracts and memorandums of understanding for fiscal year 2020. The review …
The NWC Board of Trustees held their monthly meeting in Meeteetse on Monday, which included a review of active vendor contracts and memorandums of understanding for fiscal year 2020. The review provided the board with a look at the college’s business associations.
The list of contracts and MOUs included software licensing with Adobe Software, which produces photo, video and document editing software. NWC has an annual licensing contract with Adobe for a minimum value of $24,891. The college has a similar contract with Microsoft for a minimum value of $41,543.
The college also has two contracts with Lamar Advertising, which manages billboards throughout the United States. The two contracts with NWC have a value of about $16,500 and expire in spring of 2020.
Trustee John Housel commented on the prominence of one of the college’s billboard ads near Laurel, Montana, which he’s passed on trips to Billings.
“I think our college billboards are doing the job,” House said.
NWC Vice President for College Relations Mark Kitchen provided some details on how the contract works. The availability of the billboards varies, but they “don’t open up all that often,” he said. Some of the purchased spots are what they call “traveling vinyl,” where the ad is moved to other billboards for a few months. Then, when they return to a billboard, it leaves the impression the billboard has been there for a longer period of time to those exposed to it.
The college explored the possibility of buying space on a digital billboard, which features a rotation of video advertisements.
“Those are very popular these days. They’re also enormously expensive,” Kitchen said. He said the option was too expensive for the college’s budget.
Housel asked how the effectiveness of the billboard campaign was measured, and Kitchen said they have metrics in terms of traffic passing the billboards, as well as some anecdotal measurements.
Lisa Watson, vice president for administrative services and finance, said the NWC’s social media campaigns were much easier to measure exposure, but the ads don’t always reach the same demographics that billboards do.
NWC Board President Dusty Spomer proposed the possibility of reviewing the college’s advertising budget for areas where it may be lacking in resources needed for effective campaigns, but the board didn’t discuss any specifics.
The board also discussed a licensing agreement with Amy Williams Kustomizations, which requires the business to pay a 6.5 percent royalty on the use of the college’s logos.
Watson explained that NWC licenses the use of its Trapper and college logos with local businesses.
Kitchen said the idea of the licensing agreements are not to make money, as they are not often utilized. But the college wants to make sure its logos aren’t “bastardized,” where someone uses the logo without the right colors or fonts. This protects brand integrity.
Watson said that while not making a lot of money, the licensing agreements give the college the authority to address unapproved use of its logo if the situation arises.
“We could tell them they have to pull the merchandise and destroy it,” Watson said.
The college holds a meetings once a year in the tax district outside Powell, which are Cody and Meeteese. The next board of trustees meeting will be on Sept. 9, and it will return to the NWC Yellowstone Building.
Last week’s Northwest College Board of Trustees meeting was Mark Kitchen’s last before he retires from the college. Kitchen, who is vice president for college relations, began working at NWC in 1977. Board President Dusty Spomer thanked him for his decades-long service to the college at Monday’s meeting in Meeteetse — which was followed by a standing ovation by the board and other meeting attendees.
In May, when his intention to retire in September was announced, Kitchen said he had only taken a two-week vacation twice during his time at NWC. He plans to treat his retirement, at least initially, as an extended vacation. He then plans to pursue a number of hobbies that have been neglected while he was working, as well as spending more time with his family.