Three years ago, St. Ambrose enlisted the assistance of Zehno Cross Media Communications to work with the university to better understand audience perceptions and needs. With their help, the university conducted a communications audit and interviewed campus stakeholders and faculty. The Goal/Reality campaign, played out in publications, advertising, billboards and on the web, was based on what that research revealed: St. Ambrose needed to better communicate the benefits and “extras” students (and graduates!) could expect.
The Goal/Reality juxtaposition is action-oriented — although a student’s aim is one thing (ex. the right fit), St. Ambrose will give them something unexpected and meaningful (ex. a second family). Different aspects of individual student stories are highlighted in multiple channels.
In year three of the initiative, St. Ambrose has re-launched its brand and rolled out fresh new materials—billboards, radio advertising, a new website and content management system, undergraduate tools and a suite of graduate brochures.
“The results to-date have been excellent, helping us to recruit an undergraduate class that surpassed expectations in numbers and academic quality last fall,” said Linda Hirsch, assistant vice president of communications and marketing at St. Ambrose. “We are also getting strong anecdotal feedback that this work is making a positive difference for our overall brand image and awareness locally and regionally.”