By RICHARD BOHAN
An outside marketing firm has helped streamline St. Lawrence University’s unique selling-points through a new communications platform that targets potential students.
“The [St. Lawrence] brand was not as strong as their product,” Studio-e founder, Liz Rotter said during a presentation of the project at Thelmo last Wednesday. Studio-e, a marketing firm based in Concord, Massachusetts, has devised a series of messages with the communications office at SLU in order to guide “a brand identity that reflects the strength and character of the SLU experience,” Rotter said.
The communications platform’s messages rely on a “palette of words” that emphasize action and doing, Rotter said. These messages consist of one general, focused statement with words or phrases, such as “vibrant,” “engage with global challenges,” “collaborative community of learners,” highlighted and connected to more detailed explanations of their meaning on the platform’s webpage.
According to the webpage, the messages provide a “framework for guiding external communications,” such as informational pamphlets, magazines, and brochures distributed through the mail, and these materials primarily target prospective students and their families while still serving all of St. Lawrence’s many and varied audiences.
Consolidating the SLU brand also entails the condensation of the school’s logos, better integration of social media such as Twitter, and revamping the website so that information is much more accessible, Rotter said, all of which effects even the veteran SLU student.
Furthermore, the messages themselves were derived from the stories of St. Lawrence students.
“This project is the culmination of a lot of research we’ve conducted here,” communications vice president, Tom Evelyn said at the presentation for Thelmo. According to Evelyn, this research included comparative research with other schools, focus groups, as well as surveys.
“I think the school is broadening the ways in which they reach out to students,” Annalise Grueter ’12, a participant of one focus group, said. She added that one of the avenues that the school might continue to promote itself is through social media such as Twitter.
However, despite some of these changes, Rotter emphasized that the new communications platform should not be confused with a mission statement which deals more with the internal workings of the institution, whereas the platform deals with the external nature of the way St. Lawrence University is presented to the public and its own students.