Global Health Nexus, Spring 2000

Allied Dental Health Programs Get New Look

Over the past several years, NYU Dentistry has expanded both the Dental Assistant Program and the Dental Hygiene Program in response to the needs of the profession for an increased supply of these key members of the dental health-care team. More recently, the two programs were joined conceptually and administratively when Professor Cheryl Westphal was promoted to assistant dean for allied health programs. In this reconfigured structure, Professor Westphal has overall responsibility for both programs, while the Dental Assistant Program is under the direction of Professor Judith Cleary. Now, thanks to a new marketing campaign, the two programs are also linked by a shared design and promotional strategy.

NYU College of Dentistry Offers You Choices

The new marketing campaign is built around the theme NYU College of Dentistry Offers You Choices. Consisting of an advertisement, a poster, and a brochure, the campaign is designed to build a comprehensive look, communicate information, and generate a response among people who may be considering a career in health care as well as those who are unsure of what they want to do. Each piece has been fashioned to communicate with a range of potential students and to complement and expand on each other.

For example, a subway advertisement (Figure 1) targets primarily the group known as nontraditional students. These are people who may be employed full-time but are interested in going back to school to pursue a new career, or they may be unemployed, out of school, and unsure of the direction they want their lives to take.

Whether the response comes from a nontraditional student or a traditional student (high school graduate and college bound), each respondent receives a brochure (Figure 2), which describes in more detail the allied dental health program choices offered at NYU. The brochure also includes program endorsements from current and former students.

In addition, a poster (Figure 3) has been distributed to hundreds of high schools and community colleges throughout the New York region.

Finally, Figure 4 shows a print advertisement from the New York Daily News that reinforces the theme NYU College of Dentistry Offers You Choices.

Assistant Dean Westphal says that the new, unified approach to marketing allied dental health education at NYU is driven by strategy, not just technique. "Dental assisting and dental hygiene are two such interrelated aspects of dental health-care provision that it makes perfect sense to link them in terms of marketing. In addition to promoting careers in dental assisting and dental hygiene, each piece in the marketing mix also raises awareness that NYU offers a B.S. degree in dental health education. Our objective is twofold: (1) to communicate the synergy and rich diversity of allied dental health education opportunities available at NYU Dentistry and (2) to increase the number of NYU-educated allied dental health professionals available to work with our colleagues in private practice."