Media Heaven on Earth Meets Internet Marketing
Garry Jones, President, Full Sail University.
- Full Sail University has a 30 year track record of delivering education to students who are passionate about working in the entertainment and media industries. Full Sail originally began as an audio school. Its mission has become to stay abreast of changing technology in the entertainment and media industry while staying focused on the students. The faculty at Full Sail leverages the tools and technology to support the students. Full Sail has multi-million dollar studios and the latest software to enable students to get their stories out to their audience. In this podcast interview, Garry Jones, President of Full Sail University has the leading role. His supporting cast is Carol Cox, Department Chair, of the Internet Marketing degree program and Andrew Solberg, V.P. Marketing responsible for the advertising and promotion.
Media Heaven on Earth
The Full Sail campus is located in Winter Park, FL and is comprised of 190 acres. There is almost one million square feet of sound stages, recording studios, computer animation labs, green screen rooms, motion capture suites and just about any type of environment to create a video, a movie, sound track, animated feature, a game, etc. There are 9,000 full time students studying in 30 degree programs. Some students are campus based and some are online. The students are all passionate, driven story tellers interested in learning the tools of their trade. They are matched with teachers similarly passionate about these tools and story telling. The result is a hip learning environment where people are super charged and where sparks fly in the creative process. Full Sail attracts students from around the globe. Though, the main campus is in Winter Park, FL (near Orlando) there are sister schools in the Los Angeles Film School and the Los Angeles Recording school as well as outside Denver, at The Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design.
The Harvard of the Media and Entertainment Education
Garry recently attended the Grammy’s in L.A. along with 18 staff members. Over 100 Full Sail graduates participated in Grammy nominated projects. The Full Sail staff toured graduate’s studios, Warner Bros Pictures and visited with many Full Sail graduates catching up on their lives and careers. Full Sail has captured the attention of much media. Rolling Stone Magazine has named it one of the five best music programs in the U.S. Electronic Gaming Monthly, named its Gaming Degree one of the top 5 in the world. Shift Magazine named it the #3 new media school. Unleashed Magazine named it one of the top 5 film schools in the U.S. Rolling Stone magazine, also dubbed Full Sail one of the Schools That Rock, naming it one of the best music business departments in U.S. Full Sail’s recognition is growing because their graduates are performing great results in the entertainment and media industries.
Internet Marketing Curriculum
Full Sail launched an online Bachelors and Masters degree program in Internet Marketing in October 2008. The Masters program is a one year long program and the Bachelors degree is a two year program. Under the leadership of Carol Cox, the students get a well rounded education in Internet Marketing including, SEO, PPC, analytics, consumer behavior, branding, mobile advertising, social media and consumer behavior. Each course is four weeks long. All the instructors are located on campus. They work very closely together to share information to keep the content current. They keep up to date through web news, webinars, podcasts, conferences, blogs and other online sources of updated content that can be added to the curriculum as needed. Course content is sometimes up to the minute fresh….They don’t use any textbooks. They use trade publications and other relevant industry articles. The Internet Marketing curriculum continues to grow as they attract students from varying backgrounds including entrepreneurs, corporate marketing departments and stay at home moms starting a new business or working in a family business.
Full Sail Marketing Strategy
The university market is a very competitive market with over 4500 colleges plus 3000 proprietary colleges in the U.S. Full Sail does a fine job of articulating their core message and value proposition in all their marketing communications. Under the leadership of Andrew Solberg, Full Sail’s marketing strategy includes many of the Internet marketing techniques they teach including SEO, PPC, display ads and email marketing. Additionally they use traditional marketing including outdoor, television and print. All their traditional media includes links to their website or a landing page for tracking purposes. When someone visits the Full Sail website they quickly get exposed to the student experience and the breadth of their educational credentials. Not surprisingly, their website provides a very rich media experience that is noticeably different than most college websites. A visit to their website allows you to experience a tour of their campus.
A Launch Box Moment
On the first day of classes at Full Sail each new student experiences The Launch Box. Full Sail accelerates their learning curve by putting a mobile, digital studio in their hands on day one. The Launch Box includes a MacBook Pro with all applicable software for each student’s degree program. From day one the student has tutorials to get set up and running. The famous moment on the first day of class is when the instructor says to the class “Welcome to the the next chapter of the rest of your life. Turn on your launch boxes!” At the same moment everyone powers up their customized MacBook Pro and they end up in wild applause.
I thoroughly enjoyed this podcast interview with Garry Jones, Carol Cox and Andrew Solberg of Full Sail University and encourage you to listen to it (above or from iTunes). The next time you watch the Grammy’s or the Oscars, know that Full Sail graduates had a hand in some of those works of art as well as many others in private industry that may not appear in awards but nonetheless have a powerful impact in their respective market segment.
The education provided by Full Sail University allows students to earn a living in current economic conditions whether as an entrepreneur or as an employee in media, entertainment, gaming and Internet marketing fields.
As a Floridian, I’m proud to know Full Sail University is based in my home state. As a digital citizen and marketer I’m thrilled to see the economic impact of this fine institution of specialized learning and their commitment to students through tools, technology and devoted instructors.