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  Home > Events > Past Events > Making Your Message Span the U


Making Your Message Span the U:
Innovative and Effective On-Campus Communications
December 16, 2003

Speaker 1: LeAnn Melin, Orientation & First Year Program Initiatives
Student Research:
Discovered each incoming student received between 24-47 pieces of literature, program specific
Most students responded that there was too much, overwhelming information
Important information was discarded because of the volumes
Ten years ago, research indicated that students weren't receiving enough information. Current research discovered the reverse was true.

Initiatives (2):
1. Created a "Monster" Brochure - A bigger brochure with a unique size and shape
  Collected pertinent information from various programs and combined the information in the monster brochure as a guide to help students
  Overview provided of how to manage information, symbols and icons, where to go, etc.
  Brochure supported by an student orientation CD-rom (ex. campus bus information for recognition purposes) and Web site
2. Began branding with the "Class of 2007"
  Previously the Bookstore provided an Orientation folder that held 40 different pieces
  The branding effort blended together information using the maroon & gold colors and the same images in the orientation convocation program on the first day, on the T-shirt given to all incoming students, portal, and will be used in all publications
  Encourages the name "Class of 2007" to promote graduating within four years

Speaker 2: Santiago Fernandez-Gimenez, Cross-Cultural Learning - Study Abroad Curriculum Integration & Learning Abroad Center
Learning Abroad Center offers resources for faculty, departments, and communicators regarding Study Abroad Curriculum Integration at

Merger of units: Global Campus +LSTC = Learning Abroad Center
•. Marketing Includes--
  Paper (catalog, program brochures, ad materials)
  Electronic (Web, e-mail, etc.)

Campaign: Featured institutional priority (by President Bruininks) with grant requests and delivered to all four campuses

Communication Strategy:
Use evaluations to identify priorities and collect data to document success (included faculty surveys, student surveys, focus groups, accurate data collection)

Leverage Institutional Commitments
Use pictures and quotes of president, deans, vice presidents
Work top down and bottom up
Connect work to University priorities (ex. recruit top students, promote four-year graduation, etc.)

Value Relationship; Work Within Existing Structures
Target stakeholders
Create a safe space for groups to meet and discuss needs
Have a plan (Assess-Match-Motivate)
Work with deans, directors, department heads; AANs (the University's Academic Advising Network), Communicators Forum, etc.

Long-Term Planning Focus
Work with administration to design materials:
  11 Academic Interest Sheets to target freshman
  Major advising sheets for upper division
  Global adviser newsletters to inform advisers & faculty of opportunities/options
  Encourage advisers/faculty to incorporate communication about Study Abroad into their plan

Look for Missing Pieces
Comprehensive list of campus communication contacts
Encourage communicators to use Study Abroad information with other communications sent to students
Encourage communicators to contact Study Abroad for more information

Speaker 3: Janis Tiedemann - Aurora Center

Questions asked when designing promotion:
How to get the communication out?
How to get to students we serve?

Marketing and Promotional Needs
Need to be creative in approaching a promotional campaign
With name change, need to brand -- use of bright, recognizable colors

(Note: Grants funding of $150,000, Advocacy in Education - Student Affairs,
made marketing possible over the last five years)

Marketing Tools Used:
Professional style brochure, sent to DDD list
Heat-sealed clear plastic magnet designed by University Relations as a visual to help in recognition of program (color theme branding continued with the magnet)
Relevant statistics used whenever possible
Bookmarks for students and new employee orientation to inform them of the program
(A catchy slogan used, "How to spot a loser…" which generates discussion and comments and which helps trigger memory of the program)
Goal: Message to the people who need it with catchy or eye-catching materials
Plan events to promote program, ex. Pledge Against Violence, Silent Witness Conference
Promote events, ex. March is the Sexual Assault Month
Take advantage of free real estate, Kiosk/Brief articles, Radio K, Women's Press articles, and the Daily (nurtures a point person at the Daily and invites over for an interview intermittently to help promote an event such as the Silent Witness)
Collaborate and partner with other (small) programs to make a bigger impact: ex. GLBT, Women's Studies, Psychology, etc.
Include others in the design of an effective Web site (ex. invite student interns and advocate volunteers to participate in a design contest -- to be part of the process. Pass out flyers, using the opportunity to inform at the same time
Continually keep the promotion going. Can't just flood the market in the fall and hope that is all that is done. Must continue it regularly.
Word of mouth used to reach another six or seven people

Speaker 4: Steve Baker, University Relations
Steve recommends checking out the UR Web site for a good overview of their services:

Overview of U of M Home Page: Leverage Ability to Compete
60,000 hits/day
This is prime real estate for promotion

1. Calendar Highlights is taken from the Campus Events Calendar (you must be on the Campus Events Calendar to be eligible for Calendar Highlights)
500 events listed in Nov./Oct.
Suggest at least a two-week notice
Suggest pre-review for openings on Events calendar and book ahead of time
Contact/follow up w/Bill Magdalene in UR for Calendar Highlight requests

2. Spotlight
Varies with time of year and composition
Good visual image
Snappy copy
Good Web site link
All increases chance of spotlighting on homepage
Contact Matt Sumera in UR

3. Brief - 23,000 hits/every Wednesday it comes out
No event will be included unless previously listed on Events Calendar
Get items in early (a couple weeks early)
Brief - short, snappy, newsy
Brief Extra - once a month for longer feature items with a link to Web site
Contact: Jason Sanford in UR

4. E News - Sent to all staff & faculty, 32,000 subscribers (includes donors/alumni and faculty/staff has been added)
Maximum 300 words/article
Features research, profile, etc. articles
Re-edited from colleges/depts
Contact: Pauline Oo in UR

5 . M (Magazine)
Print piece
Coordinated w/Alumni Assn/Fdn
Sent to every (following closure of Kiosk)
User group: intelligent, who care about the U
Feature stories -- international, research, and innovative stories about students, faculty, and staff
Contact: Martha Coventry

New News & Information Web site: Coming
More comprehensive
Features best content
Place for people to go for ALL information at the University
Uses Content Management System
Lots of links, staying within the University
Easier in-take editing process
Create a news room, triage work

Note: January 27, 2004 Communicators Forum meeting will present an update on the State Legislative process with an overview by Donna Peterson

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