NCMPR’s District 1 “Shoring Up Success’ conference connects college communicators across the NE

Ann Marie Baker, Vice President of Design 446, and Kenneth J. Malagiere, Executive Director of the Ocean County College Foundation, were the closing keynote speakers at the district-wide event.

Ann Marie Baker, Ken Malagiere and Jan Kirsten

Ann Marie Baker, Ken Malagiere and Jan Kirsten

LONG BRANCH, N.J.Oct. 27, 2021PRLog — During a time when a community college education is more imperative than ever, a group of industry innovators embarked on Long Branch to headline the National Council for Marketing & Public Relations (NCMPR) District 1 “Shoring Up Success” conference held earlier this week at Ocean Place Resort and Spa. Ann Marie Baker, Vice President of Design 446, and Kenneth J. Malagierie, Executive Director of the Ocean County College Foundation, were closing keynote speakers at the event.

The NCMPR is the only organization of its kind that exclusively represents marketing and public relations professionals at community and technical colleges. Governed by a 14-member board of directors, the NCMPR’s seven districts offer regional conferences with programming on topics of current interest to community college marketing and PR practitioners. “These conferences give attendees a huge advantage by offering learning and networking opportunities in small settings with colleagues from neighboring states,” said Jan Kirsten, Executive Director of College Relations for Ocean County College and New Jersey State NCMPR representative.

Overlooking a magnificent stretch of beach, the in-person and virtual event connected community college communicators from across the northeast, inclusive of: Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, the Canadian provinces of New Brunswick, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Quebec, and United Kingdom.

By utilizing shared experiences and perspective from a wide range of organizations, Baker and Malagiere shared industry best practices and revealed true success stories to help organizations rise above the noise. “It is so important that organizations utilize key marketing and outreach tools that are already at their disposal in order to appeal to a wider range of stakeholders, polish their brand and harness success in a post-pandemic era of edutainment,” said Baker.

Malagiere further identified the benefits of having a strategic plan in place versus simply being task oriented. “It is so important to be calculated in terms of how we reach the consumer… whether that is the student, the extern, the intern or even the donor,” he said. “Our business models, especially when it comes to higher education, should not only identify the goal, but also contribute, acknowledge and support it all the way through achievement.”

Some key questions Baker and Malagiere asked of higher institutions are as follows:

  • Who do we serve and what are they trying to accomplish?
  • How do we help those we serve achieve their goals?  
  • How should we deliver our services to them?
  • How could these components translate to revenue?
  • Who are our key partners and resources and how do they fit into our business model in higher education?

The content-rich conference highlighted topics such as diversity, inclusive leadership skills, marketing ROI, increasing enrollment and recruitment efforts, creating competitive crowd-sourced initiatives for fundraising efforts, embracing non-traditional marketing efforts, encouraging alumni success, increasing social media engagement and effective media relations.

“This conference was an effective way for impact organizations to collaborate with each other in a small group environment in order to spark conversation and stimulate action,” said Kirsten. “Through the support provided by the NCMPR, as well as all the professionals who lent their expertise at the conference, we have the ability, knowledge and resources to shape the path for tomorrow’s leaders and promote positive change in all of our communities.”

About Design 446

Design 446 is a full-service marketing firm based in Manasquan, NJ. The firm creates sales environments, signage and brand development, in addition to interactive presentations, digital/traditional advertising, website development, e-marketing, social media/public relations, graphic design, on-site printing, interior merchandising and installation. For more information about Design 446, please visit

About The Ocean County College Foundation

The Ocean County College Foundation, a private non-profit organization, is dedicated to the growth and development of Ocean County College through scholarships, endowments, and capital and special projects. The accomplishments of the Ocean County College Foundation are a tribute to an unwavering belief in its mission by all who have participated to provide academic excellence that is accessible to all Ocean County residents. For more information on the Ocean County College Foundation, please call 732-255-0492.

About The National Council for Marketing & Public Relations

The National Council for Marketing & Public Relations (NCMPR) provides professional growth for those working in marketing and communication at community and technical colleges. With a focus on learning, networking and advocacy, NCMPR helps members become better at their jobs and supports two-year colleges in their mission to promote student success.