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Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Marketing and Communications Assessment July 2004 ROBERTS & more Public Relations Reputation Management Marketing.

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Presentation on theme: "Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Marketing and Communications Assessment July 2004 ROBERTS & more Public Relations Reputation Management Marketing."— Presentation transcript:

1 Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Marketing and Communications Assessment July 2004 ROBERTS & more Public Relations Reputation Management Marketing Communications

2 The Communications Continuum Awareness Appreciation Action Attachment Reach Behavior Change Action Loyalty ROBERTS & more Public Relations | Reputation Management | Marketing Communications

3 What are we trying to accomplish? Enhanced service to Minnesota Informed, motivated employees Better recognition of contributions to Minnesota’s vitality Expanded financial base

4 How will this project help? Assessment of current capacity and strategies Articulation of a one-year action plan Development of a longer-term strategic marketing plan

5 The Assessment: The 4 x 4 Method The model The strategies The language The impact

6 Assessment Process Reviewed plans, collateral material, strategies, speeches and other communications tools Interviewed over 50 trustees, presidents, chancellor’s staff, faculty, staff and students Observed and participated in various meetings Advised the chancellor about opportunities

7 The Model: Indicators 1. Committed leadership 2. Precise and actionable plans 3. Adequate financial resources 4. Appropriate staffing levels/skills

8 The Model: Findings Times have changed; so must the model. Outstanding leadership who respect each other. Lack of agreement among leadership about system vs. colleges/university public positioning Directional plans without specific goals/objectives Little collaborative planning/implementation Inconsistent funding of marketing; no master plan Talented staff, who generally work independently A new development function

9 The Strategies: Indicators 1. Aligned with the strategic plan 2. Targeted by audience 3. Pro-active and persistent 4. Able to be leveraged/replicated

10 The Strategies: Findings Good people doing good things Outstanding publications. graphic identity Excellent project management Activity, not action Delivered in campaigns Not assertive enough Broad (e.g. “underserved populations”) Not well-leveraged Public relations hasn’t been a priority Employee communications hasn’t been a priority

11 The Language: Indicators 1. Emphasizes benefits, not features 2. Persuades and motivates 3. Is simple and easily understood 4. Avoids jargon, clichés and acronyms

12 The Language: Findings Too focused on the system rather than service to the people of Minnesota Too focused on two-year colleges/programs Good statistics, facts, stories, case studies Multiple themes, tag lines Too focused on process and not on outcomes Documents are often too long, complicated Tendency to sound defensive

13 The Impact: Indicators 1. Measurable 2. Visible 3. Memorable 4. Satisfies leadership/stakeholders

14 The Impact: Findings Chancellor’s work is very well received Doors have been opened—very important Impact is hard to measure; metrics are missing Hard to judge overall “bang for the buck” Lack of collaborative planning and implementation results in dissatisfaction Hard work doesn’t equate to progress

15 One vision for the system All Minnesotans will know and appreciate the contributions of Minnesota State Colleges and Universities. Decision makers will value equally the University of Minnesota and Minnesota State Colleges and Universities in the same manner. All students will understand they are part of a larger educational enterprise. All graduates and supporters will speak of the system as they speak of their favorite college or university.

16 To get there, we would need… Consistent college and university names Aligned brand management 2-3 percent of gross system revenues dedicated to marketing 10 years

17 An alternative vision for the system The state’s decision makers—in government, business, philanthropy, the communities of color and the volunteer sector—recognize the importance of Minnesota State Colleges and Universities to the vitality of Minnesota. Their actions support the system, its colleges and universities and programs. Their words challenge the system to ever higher levels of service and quality.

18 To get there, we will need…. Clear and shared goals Compelling messages Pride An effective, aligned leadership team Assertive, targeted, regular strategies Consistent, engaged relationships Effective public relations To think big!

19 The result? The right people… hearing the right messages… at the right time to persuade them… to take the right action… for the right reasons.

20 Recommendations: The Model Add specific goals and objectives to the system’s plan; include presidents in planning Secure agreement about marketing the system vis a vis marketing the colleges and universities Articulate integrated marketing and PR objectives to advance the system’s goals Hire a public/media relations director Maintain consistent funding for marketing and PR Revisit naming policy

21 Recommendations: Strategies Balance the power of the system with the influence of the colleges and universities Build strategic alliances and relationships Create news; don’t just announce it Aggressively pitch stories and op ed pieces; train spokespeople Target a small group of influential people (no more than 250) Leverage—get as much mileage as possible from each initiative Develop specific strategies for each legislator/government official Increase number and distribution of Performance Develop a system-wide employee communications strategy

22 Recommendations: Strategies Take the system to Minnesota. -Schedule speeches and presentations -Produce a video and small brochure about the system’s contributions to Minnesota -Include media interviews, meetings with community leaders, meetings with faculty and students on every campus visit -Hold board meetings on-campus; create news -Encourage membership on boards and commissions -Integrate the system more fully into college/university marketing -Engage Minnesota leaders more regularly -Locate the Chancellor’s Office in a free-standing building

23 Recommendations: Strategies Launch major events for FY September:Chancellor’s State of the System address in a public meeting -Fall: 4-6 large, regional public meetings to “listen” to Minnesota; present findings to legislature (builds on CAC) -Winter:Lobby Day at the Legislature--EVERYBODY -Spring:System annual meeting; state-wide awards program Don’t ever, ever, ever quit

24 Recommendations: Language Adopt new message system about service to Minnesota “We educate Minnesota; we make it work.” Balance messages about certificate/diploma/associate programs with baccalaureate/graduate programs Use consistent organizational terms (e.g.-Chancellor’s office, colleges and universities) Emphasize benefits, results, achievements, value, outcomes Write and speak simply, clearly and persuasively Be proud—not apologetic or defensive Seize teachable moments Remember that shorter is ALWAYS better than longer

25 Recommendations: Impact Invest in results not process Require staff to quantify contributions to achieving goals Add metrics to plans. “We will know we will have succeeded when….” Measure outcomes not inputs Don’t do surveys to evaluate progress; shift energy to targeted actions rather than research Resolve internal disagreements; don’t let them fester

26 Next step…. To develop a FY 2005 system marketing and communication plan by September 17, 2004

27 ROBERTS & more Public Relations | Reputation Management | Marketing Communications more than the average consultant


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