When it comes to being involved in all areas of Northwestern’s campus, the marketing and communications office here at the college has that covered. Their responsibilities not only include promoting NW as a whole, but they also take on public relations duties for individual departments and offices on campus.
The responsibilities and duties of the MarComm office range from organizing photo shoots, to publishing the alumni magazine known as The Classic, to managing the college’s website and social media accounts, to drafting emails and writing news releases.
Two of the office’s staff members are Duane Beeson, director of marketing and communications, and Juliana Pennings, assistant director of marketing and communications. Beeson has been working in NW’s MarComm office for 35 years.
“When I started, the web wasn’t even around, nor was social media,” Beeson said.
Beeson also commented on how the college’s campus has physically changed with the construction of new buildings as well as the increase in student enrollment. The technology used within marketing and communications has also drastically changed over the years.
However, NW has continued to be a tight-knit community that aims for excellence in academics and strives to remain a Christian institution.
“Northwestern and its mission haven’t changed at all,” Beeson said.
Pennings is a NW alum who graduated in 2012 and has been working in the college’s marketing and communications office for three and a half years.
“My favorite part of this job is being able to tell Northwestern’s story,” Pennings said.
Being on the MarComm team allows Pennings to be a part of sharing about a college that has deeply impacted her life as well as her family as a whole. Pennings cares about NW, and she enjoys talking with others who have also been impacted by the college and sharing their stories.
Like his coworker, Beeson enjoys seeing how NW’s legacy continues as he talks with alumni and hears about their experiences at the college. Beeson has an appreciation for the work that is happening for God’s kingdom here at NW.
“A lot of us wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t a Christian institution,” Beeson said.
One of the most challenging parts of working in the MarComm is how there is constantly a list of tasks needing to be done which requires prioritizing and good time management. There is always a variety of work going on in the office, and no two days look the same. However, Beeson and Pennings find the variety of work fun and challenging.
While the MarComm team is always busy working on various projects, a lot of their work goes unnoticed because it takes place behind the scenes.
“There’s a lot of planning and collaborating that goes on before things happen,” Beeson said.
Pennings commented that those of us here on campus and the general public would be surprised by the amount of work that goes on inside of the MarComm. A lot of the team’s work isn’t seen on campus because the purpose of it is to target a specific audience and entice students to come to NW.
The staff members work individually, but they are also able to come together to bounce ideas off of each other and help each other be better.
Beeson said, “Everybody in the office is an unsung hero.”