Trent University Online Virtual Tour Wins International and National Awards


New Student Recruitment Tool Recognized by IABC and CCAE

Friday, May 28, 2009, Peterborough

Trent University’s online virtual tour has been honoured with a 2009 Gold Quill Award of Merit by the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) and has won a Bronze Award in the 2009 Canadian Council for the Advancement of Education (CCAE) Prix d’Excellence.

Part of a broader strategic marketing plan to increase awareness and encourage applications to Trent University, the virtual tour was created to communicate the unique benefits of Trent to prospective students in a dynamic, entertaining and interactive way. The tour is prominently displayed on the University’s home page at and immediately accessible at .

“Research tells us that one in five students uses the web as the primary source of information when considering universities. We also know that close to 50 per cent of students who visit our campus will register as Trent students,” said Marilyn Burns, director of Marketing & Communications at Trent University. “We needed a way to allow students to tour our exceptional campuses from anywhere in the world – and to hear about the distinct qualities of Trent from the students and professors themselves.”

Since its launch in March 2008, Trent’s online virtual tour has had over 85,000 visitors or “hits.” The tour has been promoted through a targeted campaign on the online social media network Facebook and other advertising that drives traffic to the University’s 50,000-page website. Features in the tour include a graphic “fly-in” that situates Trent in North America; video of student and faculty “heroes” who speak about different aspects of the University; photo galleries; information about the cities of Peterborough and Oshawa; and various entry points to the Trent website.

The virtual tour project was led by Marilyn Burns with support from Marilyn Strain, web developer; Elizabeth Kowacz, administrative and planning assistant; and staff from the Marketing & Communications department. Resolution Interactive Media of London, Ontario won the contract to design, produce and implement the online tour.

The International Association of Business Communicators is a professional network of more than 15,500 business communication professionals in over 80 countries. Well over half of the IABC’s members are private sector organizations. According to the 2009 Chair of the Gold Quill Awards, “entries are judged rigorously against international criteria that consider strategic alignment and tangible outcomes as key measures of excellence.”

The Canadian Council for the Advancement of Education is the professional association for educational advancement professionals. CCAE judges gave the tour a near perfect score and a “unanimous bronze” stating that Trent “succeeded where others couldn’t with virtual tours.”


For more information, please contact Marilyn Burns, director, Marketing & Communications, Trent University (705) 748-1011 ext. 6184
Jonathan Kochis, president, Resolution Interactive Media at (519) 936-6674