Branding a University Media Department/What are the immediate priorities to begin a branding process?
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- It must be recognized that...
- We must be able to deliver on the promise of the brand. We should not overpromise or underpromise.
- We must understand our niche. Questions to ask: What is our program's/degree's point of differentiation? Is this significantly different than peer institutions or competitor schools?
- We must identify the primary audience. If the over-arching goal of branding is to recruit students, then the target audience should be P1: prospective students and their parents. Secondary audiences (P2) may include brand evangelists such as alumni, church youth pastors, guidance counselors, employers, etc.
- We must address other barriers to the P1 decision-making process.
- Costs (money and time) - Academic standards - Current technologies being taught/learned - Friendships - Faculty - Degree flexibility/marketability
- We must intersect our point of differentiation with the reasons our primary audience should believe us. What are the stories we should tell? How should we tell them? How is the story disseminated to multi-platforms such as online, email, mobile, video, social media, traditional channels (TV, radio, print, advertising, public relations, events) and more?
- A web presence must be one of the highest priorities and that the site’s media content should reflect all aspects of the program.
- An updated branding campaign must surpass what has preceded it, regardless of previous financial investments.
- A script must be created for the story to be told to this unique audience.
- A framework is required to begin the process and, at the outset, the scaling up a media brand must be considered. What must we build into the framework to keep telling our story?
- A communication arts brand must be a subset of the greater university's brand, but also more dynamic and student centered.
- Professors and programs that show commitment and initiative to the branding process should be addressed first.
- A communication, arts and media department is unusually diverse.