Willamette University develops Institutional Marketing Plan

by University Communications,

Willamette’s 2013 strategic plan identified the need for an institutional marketing plan as one of its top priorities. The plan’s purpose would be to tell the Willamette story more clearly and compellingly to current (alumni, students, faculty, staff, friends, donors) and future (prospective students, donors, faculty members) members of our community.

Over the past year and a half, members of Willamette’s Institutional Marketing Committee (IMC) have worked to define Willamette’s distinctions, market position, messages and competitive environment. This work culminated in the Institutional Marketing Plan, recently ratified by the president and Administrative Council.

Read a copy of the Institutional Marketing Plan (PDF Link)

The plan outlines Willamette’s many target audiences and identifies key communication objectives the university hopes to achieve within the next three years. Communication efforts (identified as “tactics”) are described to achieve these objectives.

“One of the main reasons I came to Willamette was to help the university develop an institutional marketing plan,” said Michael Beseda, Vice President for Enrollment and University Communications and chair of the IMC.

“Willamette has a great story to tell. It is essential that we tell that story authentically and in a focused and relevant way as we encounter increasingly competitive markets for donors and prospective students and prepare for a possible comprehensive fundraising campaign and 175th anniversary.”

Though the University Communications office will provide the impetus and leadership for many of the new initiatives, the support and guidance of many groups across campus will be required. Some tactics have already launched — including the new Willamette magazine and Bearcat Bulletin internal newsletter. Other activities — including a renewed university website and re-vamped undergraduate admission materials — will roll out this summer and fall.

“The Institutional Marketing Plan gives us the tools to tell the Willamette story more effectively to our many audiences,” said Russell Yost MBA ’05, Associate Vice President for University Communications. “These new efforts will reinforce our key messages and provide new ways to share the wonderful things that happen at Willamette and that our university represents.”

Faculty and staff can learn more about the Institutional Marketing Plan and all Willamette’s communications efforts during the next Administrative luncheon, scheduled for Wednesday, April 8, or at the next Administrative (April 7) and Classified (April 9) Forums.