MarComm’s realigned strategy – Part 1
Focus on academics and research
Despite pickup in the pace of work we’ve all experienced along with the added anxiety that Covid-19 has brought us, MarComm has been busy in other ways as well. Over the past few months we’ve been retooling the team, hiring new staff, and revamping our processes. A key change in our realigned strategy is to focus on the University’s value drivers—academics and research, admissions, advancement and athletics, as well as strategic positioning. Each of these focus areas nurture important relationships within the lifecycle of the institution from prospective students to alumni.
By focusing on these areas, MarComm will be able to accelerate its efforts to advance the University’s brand and inspire students to enroll and engage. At the heart of the University is academics and research. Jon Stone, media relations manager and team lead for this focus area, is concentrating on the support of DU’s colleges, schools, institutes, and other units by showcasing student and faculty research and scholarship. Through owned channels, as well as earned and paid media, he and his team will continually look for better ways to highlight the impact students and faculty are having in our community and the world.
Students and faculty at DU are empowered to work together to solve the challenging problems of our time. Showcasing the work they are doing through a variety of vehicles will advance DU’s reputation, support admissions on both the undergraduate and graduate level, and will be a point of pride for alumni. Increasing the focus on academics and research complements the work we have done since the creation of the DU Newsroom in 2016, the introduction of the Public Impact Fellows Program in 2018, and the launch of the RadioEd Podcast at the beginning of this year.
A new initiative that will soon get underway is a Communicators Forum, which will improve connections with the academic units by creating opportunities for everyone to meet together, share ideas and discuss issues and concerns around enhancing DU’s reputation by showcasing its academics and research. The Communicators Forum will meet every other month beginning in December. The plan is for each meeting to carry a theme, such as faculty research or experiential learning, with the goal of advancing the academic and research story of the University. In addition to sharing ideas, another anticipated outcome is to identify interdisciplinary efforts that are occurring across multiple units. The meetings will complement the beat system that currently exists and will serve as an opportunity for communicators to work more cooperatively together.
According to Jon, “Increasing our efforts on the incredible work of faculty and students will allow us to share more of their stories and demonstrate the impact DU is having on our community and around the world. There are stories that have gone untold and others that have not been shared beyond our campus. This is an opportunity to focus our work on an area that can ultimately enhance the reputation of the University.”