Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Marketing and Communications Assessment July 2004 ROBERTS & more Public Relations Reputation Management Marketing Communications
The Communications Continuum Awareness Appreciation Action Attachment Reach Behavior Change Action Loyalty ROBERTS & more Public Relations | Reputation Management | Marketing Communications
What are we trying to accomplish? • Enhanced service to Minnesota • Informed, motivated employees • Better recognition of contributions to Minnesota’s vitality • Expanded financial base
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
The Assessment: The 4 x 4 Method • The model • The strategies • The language • The impact
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
The Model: Indicators 1. Committed leadership 2. Precise and actionable plans 3. Adequate financial resources 4. Appropriate staffing levels/skills
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
The Strategies: Indicators 1. Aligned with the strategic plan 2. Targeted by audience 3. Pro-active and persistent 4. Able to be leveraged/replicated
The Strategies: Findings • Good people doing good things • Outstandingpublications. 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
The Language: Indicators 1. Emphasizes benefits, not features 2. Persuades and motivates 3. Is simple and easily understood 4. Avoids jargon, clichés and acronyms
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
The Impact: Indicators 1. Measurable 2. Visible 3. Memorable 4. Satisfies leadership/stakeholders
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
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.
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
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.
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!
The result? The right people… hearing the right messages… at the righttime to persuade them… to take the right action… for the right reasons.
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
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
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
Recommendations: Strategies • Launch major events for FY 2005 -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
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
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 surveysto evaluate progress; shift energy to targeted actions rather than research • Resolve internal disagreements; don’t let them fester
Next step…. To develop a FY 2005 system marketing and communication plan by September 17, 2004
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