2022: Moving DU onward and upward
The new year of 2022 marks the beginning of a new phase in the reputation strategy work we have underway. Here’s a sneak peek into what’s in store for DU in the coming months.
Marketing & Strategic Positioning
Our marketing and strategic positioning efforts are moving rapidly. We are also focused on the following areas:
- The development of a new visual identity system for the University, including the introduction of a single, new logomark for DU,
- The advancement of the University’s inaugural central marketing campaign—FOR THE DIFFERENCE—through the integration of messaging about DU’s distinct 4D Experience and new offerings, such as the Kennedy Mountain Campus, as well as additional personalization, targeted messaging, and tracking of our efforts through our website, advertising, and more,
- The completion of the first phase of distinct brand messaging, Unique Value Propositions, and voice for the University to separate us from our competitors in a noisy marketplace, and
- The creation and distribution of a variety of tools, training, and talking points so that we can equip our campus community, as well as signage and other environmental branding enhancements.
We have a heavy lift ahead in our Web Overhaul project with 57 OmniUpdate (OU) sites left to launch in our new content management system (CMS) by June 30, 2022. While the sunset of the OU CMS system will be a major milestone for the University, this initiative is ultimately about moving the University to one content management system, Drupal, for all our websites, an effort that is critically important. A consistent CMS and hosting environment ensures that the look and feel of DU’s digital presence is cohesive and helps to promote and protect DU’s overall reputation. Additionally:
- It ensures a better user experience by creating seamless continuity throughout the visitor’s journey and time on our website as well as allowing for better search functionality on du.edu sites to help all of our audiences complete their objectives as easily as possible.
- It allows for better and more efficient crisis management, allowing for full ecosystem takeover during a catastrophic event.
- It enables the deployment of syndicated content as well as the integration of other systems throughout our central API aggregator and allows users to deploy a multitude of universal functionality tools without the need for additional new development, saving the University substantial time and resources.
To this end, we will be partnering with Daniels College of Business, University College, and others to continue the migration of content to one system.
And lastly, as our primary marketing tool for the University, it’s critical to ensure that our website functions optimally at all times. We will be upgrading to Drupal 9 in January, improving the Faculty Profiles workflows, and planning to automate programs, degree, certificate, and micro-credential offerings through an integration with CourseLeaf so that content no longer needs to be updated manually.
We will further refine the ways in which we share DU news by planning a revamp of the DU Newsroom and the launch of a new faculty and expert directory, thus making it easier for local, national, and international media to connect quickly with DU experts for stories. The refreshed Newsroom will serve as an even more powerful tool for storytelling, amplifying the remarkable DU brand narratives and bringing student, faculty, staff, and alumni stories to life through more robust multimedia inclusion and better podcast integration. And considering the expansive media coverage DU continues to receive, the new DU Newsroom will become a landing spot for DU news coverage—showcasing and archiving the best from at home and abroad.
Crisis Planning and Management
In 2022, we will continue the groundwork necessary to maintain our good standing with our stakeholders in even the most challenging scenarios. In 2021, we built several templates and supporting materials to triage the onset of the most common crisis events. Now, in 2022, we will build on the foundational work completed last year with new websites and templates with additional layers of infrastructure and planning to help us respond and adapt quickly to any scenario. While we hope not to have to use these plans, this level of preparation will also help optimize our day-to-day operations, as we take a close look at our collaboration, communication, and connections with our team and across campus.
In 2022, the strategic publications and magazine team will continue producing print and digital issues of our signature publication, The University of Denver Magazine, that help bring the University’s brand to life. We will be showcasing service to the public, academic innovations, impact around the world, and DU’s research enterprise—all while introducing readers to our diverse community of fascinating people.
In the fall, we plan to debut a redesigned print magazine that reflects DU’s refreshed visual identity and brand messaging. An enhanced digital edition will follow, offering exclusive content targeted at our various audience segments.
Thank you for your continued collaboration and partnership as we work together to do our part to ensure a bold, sustainable future for the next generation through our practices.