Public Relations campaign
Regarding the bad reputation of NDU’s education
Dr. Khaled Fakih
Define the problem:
We as the public relations department at NDU have discussed with the
administration the problems NDU is facing. We found that NDU “the University of the
Third Millennium” is suffering a problem with its reputation. To know exactly what’s
happening, we surveyed internal and external public including students, staff, parents and
employees all over Lebanon. We learned that NDU has a mostly negative reputation
regarding the level of education it provides. Most people we surveyed said that at NDU
students can get acceptable grades without studying, caring, and attending.
This negative reputation started inside the university with the students and the
staff, and extended to the external public mostly by word of mouth communication. Most
people we surveyed claimed that an NDU student is a lazy, careless, and poor worker
who prefers sitting in the cafeteria drinking coffee and smoking rather than attending his
The administration of NDU considered this problem as an emerging situation, and
they exposed the problem to the Public Relations Department to get a fast and effective
solution for the problem. On the other hand, we as Public Relations Department at NDU
took the approval to start working to improve and correct the image of the university. We
expect our work to be done successfully with the minimum amount of time and money.
In order to achieve our main goal, we as the Public Relations Department set
• The first objective is concerned about the internal public of NDU, including
students and staff. Our objective is to target those people by sending messages
that inform them about the level of education and create confidence with the
university they are studying at.
• The second objective is concerned with the external public of NDU, including
parents of initial and potential students. Our objective is to connect to those
people and build mutual relationships with them in order to disseminate our
After researching the NDU problem and studying it carefully, we designed these
objectives, which we think will solve NDU’s problems. These objectives are also realistic
and could be achieved by hard work alone. In order to evaluate the success or the failure
of our campaign we designed it to be measured in terms of numbers (increasing or
decreasing rate of potential students), and in terms of public opinion that can be surveyed.
As we mention before, our audience are categorized into two main categories:
• The first category is our internal audience within the university: students,
instructors, staff, and even the workers.
• The second category is our external public of the university: parents of initial
students at NDU, parents of high school students who may apply to a private
university, and for the general public.
Our strategy is divided into two frameworks:
The first framework is an internal one, while the second is an external one.
Each framework has its separate strategy to be achieved; the first framework
should encourage a mutual and beneficial communication between the administration and
the students. This relation sends messages to the staff and students to inform about the
high level of education NDU provides and the qualifications of the instructors, in addition
to presenting the achievements and successes of NDU students inside and outside
The second framework can be achieved by creating mutual and beneficial
relationships between the institution and the external public. This can be done by using
tools and techniques of communication in which we can send our message to the right
people at the right time and make sure that our message is understood correctly.
The strategy we proposed to achieve our goals and objectives gave us the outline
of our Public Relations Project. This outline is followed by special techniques necessary
to make our objectives well done. Again the work is distributed on two areas: the internal
and the external.
The beneficial communication between the administration and the students that
we mention in the strategy can be achieved through certain activities:
• Conferences: hold conferences within the university discussing issues regarding
the better level of education and what the university is doing for that sake.
• Meetings: hold meetings with the staff, student cabinet and special departments to
discuss, motivate, and listen to the students’ problems and how the administration
can serve them.
• Special events on a small scale: Founders Day can be used as an example.
• Internal magazines
• Guest speakers on campus: inviting the minister of education, for example, will
improve our educational image.
• Internal brochures, Displays, Fact sheets
• Slides presentation
While building relationships with external publics can be achieved in these
• Special events on a wide scale: a meeting between all university students around
Lebanon in a party situation, for example.
• External brochures, displays, fact sheets
• Advertorials: we pay for a medium to publish or broadcast our Public Relations
• Radio announcements: announcements for events, guest speakers, activities…
• Video tapes
• News releases are to be done for every single activity in order to publicize it, and
make the external and the internal public knows about it.
We have to be sure that we use effective communication tools to disseminate our
messages to the right people at the right time.
Timing in our campaign is very importance for its success or failure. Since our
main targets are the external public, we should start with them. Our preparation for the
first work will be started on august 12, 2004.
We are going to start with the special conferences, held on campus. The first one
will be on August 21. Press releases will be sent to the media immediately after any
conference. And weekly meetings between the administration, staff and students are
essential to start with. August 16, 2004 is the date for the first meeting. Seminars will be
held from the date the preparation starts till the end of the Public Relations Project.
Special events for NDU students are to be held once monthly starting from September 1,
2004. We are already started preparing for an internal magazine distributed among
students and staff. It will be published every semester, starting from fall 2004. Our first
guest speaker on campus will be held on the august 29, 2004. Guests are to be invited at
any time. Brochures, displays, fact sheets and other printed activities will be done before
the beginning of the fall 2004 semester. This kind of Public Relations activity can serve
our PR campaign as well as advertising for the next year. Slides presentations are to be
held on the beginning of fall 2004; these slides will be presented to the new students as
well as initial once. NDU will organize an enormous event considering public out side
NDU on the 10th of September 2004. For that event we are designing brochures to be
distributed. Radio, television, newspapers, and magazines should always be in contact
with our work. Building relationships with the mass media will make our messages
spread faster to the larger number of audience. Video tapes, news releases will be
produced immediately after any event we organize.
We as the Public Relations Department at NDU discussed with the financial
authority the budget ascertain for our project. As we calculate that we need a $15000 to
start with. The financial authority decreased this number to $12800. We also demand
$5000 for crisis handling and we got our demand.
This $12800 is distributed as follows:
• Conferences: $700
• Meetings: $200
• Seminars: $150
• Special events on a small scale: $1200
• Internal magazines: $600
• Guest speakers on campus: $100
• Internal brochures, Displays, Fact sheets: $800
• Slides presentation: $50
• Special events on a wide scale: $4000
• External brochures, displays, fact sheets: $1100
• Advertorials: $3000
• Radio announcements: $300
• Video tapes: $400
• News releases: $200
Specify evaluation procedures:
Our campaign as we said before should be easily to measure and to be evaluated.
The client has the right to ask: what did you do? What did you achieve? Is what you
achieve worth the money spent on the project? Did you use time correctly? …We as the
Public Relations Department at NDU develop evaluation criteria capable with the
information that the administration needs.
Since we are working on an abstract thing: reputation, we can measure the
influence of our work by the actual respond of the public. In our case the only respond is
the increasing rate of potential students measured by the number of registered students
before and after. Another way to test our work without referring to numbers is to research
the public opinion concerning education at NDU.