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Reputation strategy update for October 2022

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Renea Morris

Renea Morris

News  •
Internal  •

Since our last quarterly update, and now that the 2022-2023 school year is in full swing, we hope you’ve noticed instances of the evolved DU branding around campus. Maybe you’ve seen the modernized look on the website or the new swag in the campus bookstore. If you’re a hockey fan, surely you won’t be able to miss the bold new logo that’s taken center ice. Regardless of where or when or how many times you’ve noticed DU’s refreshed look this fall, we hope you feel, like we do, a sense of new beginnings and possibilities.    

In September, we launched a brand resource website with a host of tools and resources. Among those are links to the brand book and other information on editorial standards; the Visual Style Guide for photography, videography, colors, and logos; and other brand tools, such as logo kits, PowerPoint templates, email signatures, and (in the near future) help ordering business cards and stationery.

To further help the campus community get comfortable with the new branding, we started our MarComm Camp training series in early August. Created for campus marketing and communications professionals and other brand ambassadors, MarComm Camp uses a train-the-trainer model to equip staff with the information and tools they need to teach others in their departments the nuances of the new guidelines and messaging.

We’ve also been busy updating other public-facing mediums and materials, including those for the second For the Difference marketing campaign. See a sneak peek of our new commercial and one of the stories from the accompanying content marketing. We’re excited about year 2 of the marketing campaign following the huge success of year 1. A few of the highlights that are attributed to the campaign include more than 2,000 campus visit requests, more than 1,000 applications, a 13 percent increase in new website visitors across all five target markets, and nearly half a million clicks on digital ads. During the second year of the campaign, we are expanding into three more markets and will be bolstered by fresh new visuals and messaging designed to raise DU’s visibility with prospective students, alumni, thought leaders, and broader communities.

As we continue building on the University’s external visibility and reputation, we’re also taking care of internal processes that help protect our students, faculty, and staff. Through a partnership between MarComm and Campus Safety, we are working to deepen our toolkit for crisis and emergency situations. Campus Safety Dispatch Officers now have a set of templates to use at the onset of a crisis, ensuring campus stakeholders have information early and often to make quick decisions and best protect themselves and one another. A comprehensive Emergency Operations Plan and Aftercare Guide was developed for University leadership to inform the first few minutes, hours, and perhaps even days of an emergency. This manual removes some of the guesswork that is common during a crisis, to empower leadership to take quicker action and feel reasonably confident in doing so. In addition to one-on-one training, we are incorporating regular small- and large-scale drills to pressure test our crisis response.  

To continue the positive momentum and results from the Public Impact Fellows (PIF) program, we are pleased to announce that our fifth cohort is now underway. The program is a partnership between the Office of Research & Sponsored Programs and the Division of Marketing & Communications to provide faculty with access to training on ways to disseminate scholarship and research to public venues including blogs, radio, and television as well as through op-eds and social media. This year’s cohort features eight faculty and one staff member. The group meets monthly throughout the academic year and will have opportunities to engage with members of the media, local politicians, and University leadership.

Just as pumpkin spice marks the return of fall for some, the first episode of RadioEd has been one of my favorite personal markers of the season. RadioEd is back, with hosts Matt Meyer and Emma Atkinson aiming to draw an even larger audience than last year as they focus on introducing a range of timely topics. The new format features multiple guests and richer background content. The Colorado River: A Political Climate Crisis,” premiered September 20 and focused on the political and environmental consequences of the dwindling water supply from the Colorado River. Episodes will be released on a biweekly basis for the duration of the academic year.

Our plate is full of many more exciting things to be unveiled over the coming months, and we know yours is, too. Please reach out to MarComm if you have any questions about our revitalized brand or for guidance on the new resources and details on how to use them. With so many things to look forward to this fall—the return of fall sports, Homecoming, the Crimson Classic, and bringing to life our new and refreshed brand—we’re excited to be there with you as all the opportunities unfold.