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Uconn Marketing Communications plan


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This was a marketing communications plan I developed for the School of Nursing at UConn.

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Uconn Marketing Communications plan

  1. 1. A Marketing and Communications Plan February 12, 2008 University of Connecticut School of NursingGoals Communicate a sense of excitement and confidence about our mission. Be perceived as preeminent Nursing School in New England; one of the top 25 nursing schools in the nation. Attract candidates from outside of New England. Attract a younger graduate student. Attract more Master’s candidates. Target recruitment of PhD candidates to support and advance ongoing research with the School. Build the proportion of honors-caliber students in the undergraduate program. 1
  2. 2. Situational Analysis We Have Many StrengthsThe SON Is Vastly Under Celebrated We have enormous resources in our faculty and staff. We produce leaders in the field of nursing. We hold strong partnerships with our clinical sites, offering students a wide range of clinical opportunities. Our program is unique because it offers a strong grounding in philosophy . Our leading researchers are experts in their respective fields. The Honors program is expanding. The MbEIN program is expanding and growing, helping to stem the nursing shortage. 2
  3. 3. Masters / PhD Programs Those who attend Masters/PhD info sessions typically decide to come to UConn. The PhD program is a success. Our PhD graduates are highly sought after and graduate having funded research and having had their work published. Our program is unique in its emphasis on both qualitative and quantitative research.Unique Offerings The Thomas Dodd Research Library retains the research library of Virginia Henderson, the First Lady of Nursing. Urban Service Track is a one-of-a-kind program nationally We have the largest collection of nursing artifacts in the State of Connecticut, and one of few in the country. We can offer undergrads the larger UConn experience and all that that brings (athletic events, social life etc). Our Baccalaureate Program has a strong liberal arts foundation. The DNP program is a 1st in the State of Connecticut. 3
  4. 4. Room to GrowOur Weaknesses are our Opportunities Lack of Diversity Older Graduate Student No Data Lack of diversity among graduate student population. Lack of students from outside New England and the US impacts the student experience. Older student. The average age of our PhD students is 54; average age is 45 for Master’s students. Difficulty attracting practicing nurses to teaching due to lower salaries available in Academia. We do not collect useful data on prospective students. 4
  5. 5. Great Reputation Not Enough Faculty Below Average RecruitmentPerception among faculty and staff that the SON has awell-regarded reputation, yet there is no empirical datato support that reputation.Lack of enough faculty causes the SON to turn awayqualified undergrads.Low turn-out at Master’s/PhD structured infosessions. Media RelationsLackluster media relations program.Personnel loss of Beth Krane at UniversityCommunications creates inconsistent effort.Any consistent media relations program must beinitiated at the SON. Not enough manpower at UC todo what is needed.We have leading experts in their respective researchfields, yet we gain minimal press associated with theseresearch efforts. 5
  6. 6. Program LiteratureMany current brochures present partially redundantinformation.Production quality is substandard and doesn’t adequately reflectthe quality of the programming and resources the SON offers.Inconsistent packaging.Little content which ties the program offerings together toshow connections, or to reinforce continuing scholarship.Currently no umbrella piece which talks about the SON and itsunique qualities.No faculty promotion, one of this institutions greatest assets.Printed program literature at this time not utilized by thefaculty; perceived to be “useless” or used only at info fairs.Faculty find content of printed brochures becomes datedquickly.No visual vehicle to help a student determine how theprograms connect for continuing study. 6
  7. 7. Interior /Exterior SignageTemporary paper sign with faculty/staff and theirrespective room numbers doesn’t reflect aninstitution of our history or stature.Unless you approached the building from onedirection, you wouldn’t necessarily know whatbuilding you’ve just entered.Bulletin boards should be developed with a theme inmind and refreshed quarterly at a minimum. OperationsHeavy reliance on student workers to support agrowing faculty base.Low morale among many staff and faculty due toadministrative inefficiencies caused by the largestudent worker administrative staff.Relationships between faculty and staff and betweenstaff and the Dean need to be strengthened.Everyone must feel invested in the School’s success inorder to be successful. 7
  8. 8. Strategies 1:1 Marketing Internal Communications Precedes External CommunicationsBefore launching an external communicationsprogram, focus on an internal communications.Everyone, especially leadership, needs to be pointed inthe same direction. 8
  9. 9. Be Proud of What the SON Offers Train faculty and staff to project a sense of confidence in the future of the SON and to know why we are unique. All touch points with current and prospective students should show pride and quality. Show pride in alumni and their accomplishments. Use alumni and current students to market School (testimonials). The audience dictates where, when, and how content is delivered to them A shift from inward-focused to outward-focused communication A shift from raising awareness to building relationships A shift from announcing our brand to sharing ownership of our brand A shift from developing content to using content your audience formulates. Marketing is about engagement. 9
  10. 10. Expand AwarenessPromote and expand awareness of the clinicalexperience of our Masters Faculty.Promote and expand awareness of the researchexperience of our PhD Faculty.Expand awareness of the SON’s innovativeprogramming. Program LiteratureSolidify program literature and eliminate redundancies.Develop literature is useful and easy to update.Ensure all literature is representative of the diversepopulations we seek to attract.Consider developing a brochure specifically forrecruiting men in nursing. 10
  11. 11. Promote our History while Embracing the FutureEmbrace technology wherever possible in marketingefforts both with prospective students and alumni.Give more prominence to the Dolan Collection andthe research archives at the Dodd Center bothinternally and externally. Tactics 11
  12. 12. Data CollectionBuild a SON database.Use database for marketing informational sessions andother events electronically.Upgrade web site to capture data.Create content of interest to prospective students. More Than Eye CandyA great web strategy facilitates community withprospective students and others.Part of this facilitation depends on the site’s ability togather data on each person that accesses the site sofuture communications can be customized, not merelypersonalized 12
  13. 13. Web Site Use technology tools that allow for easier dissemination of information. Upgrade web site to better communicate clinical and research expertise of faculty by adding expanded bio- sketches about each faculty member. Build community with blogs, online student diaries. Upgrade “About us” section of the web site to include information about what makes the SON unique and desirable. Personalize InteractionsAnyone can create a site that remembers a firstname, but it is more effective to gather data so anautomated response isn’t just a “Dear Dave” but… 13
  14. 14. Dear Dave….“We understand that you are interested in our BS to PhD program. Here are the names of three alumni who went through this program at the SON. They would love to speak with you about their experiences at UConn. In fact, Cheryl Beck is involved in the same research area you have shown interest and will send you an introductory email in the next two days.”Attracting A Younger Grad Student Anyone under the age of 30 processes information differently than you and I. They are online, watching TV, flipping through a magazine, talking on a cell phone, and studying – successfully! They are able to process things in parallel and simultaneously. We have to recognize we have a radically different person out there than in the past. 14
  15. 15. Add VideoSix out of 10 high-speed Internet users either watch or download online video content at least once a week. As much as 86 percent do so on a monthly basis, according to a new study by Horowitz Associates. December 31, 2007 Attract Students Beyond CT To Increase DiversityDevelop narrated “video tours” to be placed on website.Web site should be reviewed for opportunities to keepit a fresh, renewing media vehicle.Web is designed for video, for interactivity. Maximizethese opportunities.Add an RSS feed on nursing issues and allow forsubscription from our web site. Use informationgleaned for electronic marketing. 15
  16. 16. Technology – Use it!Expand technology tools for marketing purposes.Attendees must register for Webinars in order toaccess (another opportunity for data collection).Add box to web site to advertise upcoming Webinarson various topics.Increase the number of Masters/PhD sessions usingtechnology tools to minimize travel.Develop An Electronic PresenceCreate Dean’s blog and other blogs for our primaryresearchers. Focus commentary on the content forwhich we are known.Investigate the use of Wikis as a tool for students tocollaborate remotely on projectsPromote technology tools to reinforce how easy wemake it for students to study nursing. 16
  17. 17. Centers of Excellence Reorganize programs into “Centers of Excellence” to give some structure to professional tracks. Shift reliance on print medium to the web. Any pieces that are printed should be of higher production value and have longer shelf life. The Missing Piece• Create a high level branding piece which speaks about the soul, the history of the SON and which establishes our “Centers of Excellence.”• Develop more sophisticated packaging for program literature.• All program materials will direct students to web site for detailed information. 17
  18. 18. Reinforce Continuing EducationProgram materials should easily show continuity ofprograms to promote continuing scholarship.Streamline number of programs where appropriate.Details of programs should be available only on theweb site.Reduce number of clicks needed to reach information. K.I.S.SCreate pocket sized “fact cards” on each Center ofExcellence, showing individual tracks available withineach to hand out at fairs.All cards will direct reader to web site for detailedinformation. 18
  19. 19. Be in the Company of WinnersCreate a piece highlighting the SON’s outstandingalumni over the years.Become comfortable with name dropping.Incorporate testimonials in all literature whereappropriate.Create a “wall of honor” of alumni. Media Relations Establish relationships with media outlets at strategic locations throughout the state and regularly communicate with them. Schedule Dean visits with key editors to begin to forge relationships. Begin to establish the SON as the “nursing experts” in the state. Constantly comb media for opportunities where Dean or key researchers can contribute commentary on important issues of the day. 19
  20. 20. Market ResearchExpand statistical and reporting information for theSON to aid in promoting its strengths.Conduct primary research with current students todetermine vehicles they used to evaluate nursingprograms. AdvertisingAs database is created, begin to use electroniccommunication to build 1:1 relationships withprospective Masters/PhD students.Create regular correspondence that contains pertinentinformation relative to their field.Consider social networking sites as vehicles forpromoting the SON story. 20
  21. 21. Operations People are this institution’s greatest asset. Create an administrative structure that fosters a team atmosphere of equality by faculty and staff. There is no limit to what can be accomplished when everyone feels supported and works collaboratively towards the same goal! Consider appointing an operations “chief” who is responsible for overseeing to ensure efficiency.Address Morale Issues – Build A Team Take immediate steps towards improving internal communication between the Dean’s office and staff. Give staff an opportunity to get to know Anne as a person while becoming more familiar with her strategic vision. Take advantage of any opportunities to bring faculty and staff together such as receptions for new faculty. 21
  22. 22. ConclusionA focused differentiationTarget communications leveraging our dataExpand promotion of our strengths and uniquequalitiesIncrease efforts to recruit the “right” type of studentExpand and build the SON community throughcontinual engagement using customer focusedmarketing. The Result…The SON will distinguishitself and build on itsreputation and uniquestrengths.It will maintain an ongoingdialog with its students,alumni and donors that isbased on THEIR interestsand is cultivated throughnumerous touch pointswith the School. 22
  23. 23. The School will createnew opportunities todifferentiate itself, sothat students will have acompelling reason forwhy they should choosethe University ofConnecticut School ofNursing. The SON will attract a younger Master’s/PhD candidates through new media. The SON will actively recruit outside of CT and among underrepresented populations to increase the diversity of its graduate student population. 23
  24. 24. Alumni will have a compelling reason why they shouldsupport this institution because It is forward thinking. It is focused. It is on its way to becoming the preeminent publicinstitution in New England for nursing education and oneof the top 25 nursing schools in the nation. 24