The University of Wisconsin Oshkosh’s vision for integrated marketing and communication was recognized this month with the Teresa du Bois Exline award for Best Practices in Communication and Marketing (10,000 FTE and up) from the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) Region V. The silver award went to Minnesota State College and Universities.
The groundbreaking transformation of the University’s former decentralized approach into the Integrated Marketing and Communications department has resulted in enhanced use of resources, improved effectiveness of marketing and communication tools, and the opportunity to create an overall brand identity for the campus.
The University’s Integrated Marketing and Communications focus began four years ago when the institution realized that a unified effort would strengthen and realign its identity and image while re-engaging alumni, impacting student recruitment and faculty and staff retention, and improving donor relations.
“By creating an integrated model, the campus committed to ensuring a strategic approach to its communications efforts emphasizing consistency and authenticity,” said Chancellor Richard H. Wells. “The effort involved providing a dynamic vision through the development and implementation of an integrated communications plan that reflects the University’s mission and goals and that effectively uses resources.”
The transformation project included a complete overhaul of the Integrated Marketing and Communications department to implement five new strategic initiatives designed to provide better service and accountability to campus colleges, units and departments, and to transform marketing and communications across the campus:
- Account liaison system — launched September 2008
- Project manager system — launched September 2008
- Plan-Act-Assess-Improve — launched September 2008
- IMC Web site with an online toolbox for campus communicators (www.uwosh.edu/imc) — launched September 2008
- IMC Workshops — launched October 2008
“The IMC team’s creative resources and expertise are the cornerstones of an innovative mix of communication and promotional efforts that span multiple mediums and channels, while providing services to colleges and various departments and programs throughout the University in support of recruitment, retention and outreach,” said Jeanette DeDiemar, executive director of IMC.
While developing and launching an integrated brand effort, the team provides both creative thought leadership and strategic support to the campus and its communication efforts externally and internally. This integrated strategy provides UW Oshkosh with opportunities to strengthen and best communicate the distinctiveness and relevance of the institution and its role in delivering a quality, accessible and affordable education to the residents of northeastern Wisconsin.
The IMC team is currently engaged in preparing to launch the creative expression of the brand for the University. The project includes a strategic brand message and image for the University with regard to brand distinctiveness, key message and creative platform.
In addition to the Teresa du Bois Exline award, the University received a silver award in the Most Improved Alumni Magazine (10,000 FTE and up) category for Engage. As part of UW Oshkosh’s emerging integrated marketing and communications strategy, the goal of the redesign of the institutional alumni magazine was to more effectively communicate the University’s message and brand, using emerging technologies that allow for a more integrated, interactive approach. Engage also serves to build readers’ relationships with the University and reconnect alumni with their alma mater. The magazine’s purpose is to engender pride in the University and its campus community and to support the Advancement Division’s development and friendship-building efforts by delivering and reinforcing the brand and key University messages through the diverse voices of the University’s community of alumni, faculty, staff and students. The gold award went to Purdue University.
The awards will be presented in December at the annual CASE V regional conference in Chicago.
The Council for Advancement and Support of Education is the professional organization for advancement professionals at all levels who work in alumni relations, communications, fundraising, marketing and other areas. Its members come from more than 3,300 colleges, universities, independent elementary and secondary schools, and educational associates in 59 countries around the world. The CASE V region is the largest in the nation.
- For additional details regarding CASE and CASE V, visit www.case.org and www.casev.org.
- To learn more about the University’s Integrated Marketing and Communications initiatives, visit www.uwosh.edu/imc.
- To see other industry distinctions the University has received for its integrated marketing and communications efforts, visit www.uwosh.edu/imc/awards.