IMC Strategy and Plan

Oregon State University
Integrated Marketing Communications Strategy and Plan

Background

Oregon State University, with the assistance of Lipman Hearne, underwent a strategic approach to building its branding and integrated marketing strategies in 2008. With the purpose of developing a consistent messaging and branding system, OSU will enhance appreciation for the University’s role and value in the region, nation and world.

Approximately 2,000 individuals were engaged in focus groups, surveys and conversations regarding current perceptions about the university.  From this data, OSU has several brand positioning opportunities and challenges that the integrated marketing initiative can address:

  • Replace a modest, old-fashioned image as Oregon’s land grant university with a dynamic image as a contemporary problem-solver for the state, nation and world
  • Encourage investment in the institution
  • Prove relevance in the metro as well as rural context
  • Enhance understood significance of contribution relative to state, national and global peer sets

IMC Objectives

To address these branding opportunities and challenges, OSU has established three overarching objectives for building its reputation:

  1. Ensure internal alignment with the brand
  2. Strengthen OSU’s leadership role in Oregon
  3. Enhance awareness, understanding and appreciation of OSU in the national and global markets

University Priorities

To shape the IMC and to advance the OSU Strategic Plan, the University has established three primary goals and accompanying metrics.  If each of these goals is advanced, the OSU reputation will build.

  1. Attract high achieving and diverse students
  2. Build and increase University/Industry Partnerships
  3. Continue to advance the OSU Campaign

IMC Objectives and Strategies

The integrated marketing initiative provides OSU with clarified positioning.  The primary goals of the IMC focus on:

  1. Ensure internal alignment with the brand
    Ensuring that the OSU positioning is appropriately and credibly translated in all communications, outreach and actions is a critical step in clarifying the university’s distinctive identity among stakeholders. The internal OSU community will understand and embrace this positioning so that the university speaks about the value of OSU with one voice.
    1. Develop and implement comprehensive branding guidelines that offer direction and resources for communications efforts.
    2. Offer training workshops with leadership, OSU Foundation, OSU Alumni Association, student organizations and campus communicators to educate the community about the brand in order to create brand ambassadors from key internal community members.
    3. Assess communications materials and establish implementation plans for incorporating brand positioning.
    4. Develop a student brand ambassador program.
  2. Strengthening OSU’s leadership role in Oregon
    OSU will strengthen its value proposition relative to Oregon’s needs and to the positioning of other institutions. These goals are in concert with OSU competing in a complex global system and of affirming OSU’s distinctive value to Oregon.
    1. Enhance OSU’s role in Portland by identifying and contributing in key areas essential to Portland’s current and future well-being.
      1. Develop a campaign to reach the Portland market to raise awareness of OSU’s relevance to this market and to further the university’s reputation.
      2. Leverage opportunities to spread the university’s messages through speaking engagements and sponsorships.
    2. Activate OSU alumni to serve as brand ambassadors, especially in the Portland Metro area which OSU’s value is less appreciated
    3. Position OSU as Oregon’s university that works to make a positive difference on quality of life through state opinion-leaders
  3. Enhancing awareness, understanding and appreciation of OSU in the national and global markets
    By positioning OSU as a national and global contributor of knowledge, innovation and talent, national and international audiences will recognize the unique value and contributions the university makes, particularly in the areas of earth systems science, health and wellness, and economic growth and social progress.
    1. Increase awareness and understanding of the OSU brand internationally through service in areas of expertise and demonstration of “better living for all” proposition.
    2. In communications to national and international audiences, show how OSU enables and advances the university’s brand promise.
    3. Attract out-of-state students whose primary interests lie in earth systems science, human health and wellness and economic growth and social progress. 
    4. Ensure that those audiences who have the most contact with and influence over national and international audiences, including out-of-state alumni, international students and faculty, understand the brand and are ready to serve as brand ambassadors.

Target Audiences

In advancing objectives and priorities, University Relations and Marketing and our collaborative external relations partners (OSU Foundation and the OSU Alumni Association) will focus its planning and resources on the following audiences.

Primary:

  • Internal community (faculty, staff, students)
  • Alumni
  • Prospective Students
  • Oregon Economic Leaders
  • Donors

Secondary:

  • Legislators
  • Federal Funding Agencies
  • Media
  • “Other” Universities
  • National Corporate Leaders

IMC Outcomes and Metrics

In the next three to five years, Oregon State University will be recognized as an international research university with its greatest contributions in the areas of earth systems science, health and wellness, and economic growth and social progress. OSU University Advancement will repeat the aggregate opinion leader research in five years. In addition, to build this reputation, the IMC drives OSU to achieve the following strategic goals:

OSU will have succeeded in building its brand when it:

Metric Responsibility
1. Attracts and retains high-achieving and diverse students.

Lead:

  • Enrollment Management

Members:

  • University Relations and Marketing
  • Student Affairs
  • OSU Alumni Association
  • OSU Foundation
  • Faculty Senate
  • Athletics
2. Attracts and retains top faculty.  

Lead:

  • Academic Affairs

Members:

  • University Relations and Marketing
  • OSU Foundation
  • OSU Alumni Association
  • Academic Affairs
  • University Divisions
  • Research Office
  • Faculty Senate
 3.  Secures an international reputation of distinction in earth systems science, human health and wellness and economic growth and social progress.

Leads:

  • University Relations and Marketing
  • Academic Affairs

Members:

  • OSU Foundation
  • OSU Alumni Association
  • University Divisions
  • Research Office
  • Enrollment Management
  • Faculty Senate

 
4. Increases recognition and support from the Oregon state legislature, business community, voters and citizens of Oregon for its stature as a “best partner” for the state’s future.

Leads:

  • Government Relations
  • OSU Foundation
  • OSU Alumni Association

Members:

  • University Relations and Marketing
  • Research Office
  • Academic Affairs
  • University Divisions
  • Faculty Senate
 
5. Establishes pride, engagement and commitment to OSU among alumni to support the university’s campaign goals.

Leads:

  • OSU Alumni Association
  • OSU Foundation

Members:

  • University Relations and Marketing
  • Faculty Senate
  • University Divisions
  • Athletics

 
6. Develops pride in and commitment to OSU among students, faculty and staff as global leader in solving the world’s most pressing problems.

Lead:

  • University Relations and Marketing

Members:

  • OSU Foundation
  • OSU Alumni Association
  • Academic Affairs
  • Faculty Senate
  • University Divisions
  • Research Office
  • Enrollment Management
  • Student Affairs

Oregon State University Brand Summary

Brand Promise

Better living for all.

Brand Statement

The brand statement encapsulates the distinctive characteristics of Oregon State University. It serves as the foundation for consistent, credible messages about the university, our people and their accomplishments. Use the brand statement as a frame of reference when producing your own communications to ensure they incorporate and reinforce the Oregon State brand.

Oregon State University turns ideals into reality with a unique approach characterized by collaboration and strategic focus, making a positive difference on quality of life and the natural world in Oregon and beyond.  As an international research university, OSU attracts exceptional students and faculty who are taking an interdisciplinary approach toward solving some of the world’s most pressing problems. We apply our land grant heritage in contemporary ways by leading innovation and scholarship in the areas of earth systems science, health and wellness and economic and social progress.

Oregon State University will advance its brand into the future using the following message platform:

Intention: What we exist to do Brand Benefit (why we are relevant and distinctive) Brand Value (what the brand will stand for over time) Brand Personality (the face of OSU)

OSU people generate knowledge-for-use, leadership and solutions for Oregon and the world’s healthier people, economy and planet.

We produce better living:

  • Smarter
  • Greener
  • Healthier
  • Safer
  • Kinder
  • More sustainable
  • More prosperous
  • More innovative
We are practical idealists: making what “should be” happen through talent, perseverance and innovation.

In our tradition of service to the global community we are:

  • Mindful
  • Authentic
  • Confident
  • Achieving