At the risk of doing a shameless plug, both Alex Hummel and I will be presenting in November at the American Marketing Association’s national Higher Education Symposium. We are speaking on the topic of integrated marketing communications (IMC) in a higher education environment. It’s an extremely complex topic, and challenging to fit into a 45-minute presentation. Putting this presentation together has moved me to blog because I’ve been able to reflect on the success we’ve seen. I’m so thrilled at how far this campus has come with IMC and how the individuals at UW Oshkosh have embraced it.
When IMC first got off the ground here a great deal of time was spent educating campus on the value of it. The more opportunities I had to discuss it with people the more excited I got about what we as a campus were going to be able to accomplish with it. The initiative quickly moved beyond campus education and now the main focus of IMC at UW Oshkosh is COLLABORATION.
For example, this fall we launched a new concept called “Story Champions” which pulls together those on campus who have a primary communication role on this campus (although anyone is welcome to join us). We meet weekly (Thursdays at 10:00 a.m.) and talk about the individuals and innovations that make this campus great, then outline a schedule to tell these stories. In my humble opinion, this level of collaboration on a campus is unheard of and I couldn’t be happier to be a part of it. IMC on this campus is only successful because of the amazing people here who have embraced it.
I think the Dragon Boat races provide a good analogy for what is needed to truly succeed with IMC. If you’ve ever watched the races or been in a boat you know that it’s not the strongest team that wins. The team that wins is the team that is coordinated and are all paddling together. In Dragon Boating and IMC, when we are all in sync we can move faster and pull ahead of the competition.