SCU Launches “Making a World of Difference” Campaign
Through countless initiatives and over a century of ambitious achievement, the SCU community continually offers generous support to those in need, pioneers scholarly research and innovative curricular design, and leads the way in integrative, team-based, collaborative healthcare that has become the model of quality and efficiency in today’s healthcare delivery systems.
SCU’s Office of Marketing, Communications, and Brand Management began development of a strategic communications and brand messaging campaign in Fall, 2017 out of a desire to bring awareness to SCU’s numerous endeavors and stories while connecting them to the larger institutional mission and vision.
The campaign began with a substantial discovery process, followed by organizing data, refining the message based on findings, creative concepts, and a plan for execution and optimization.
The discovery process included interviews with faculty, staff, and students. It also drew from considerable market research that was performed on our current program offerings in addition to ad message testing directed toward external audiences.
Interviews with individuals and campus groups revealed a wide range of attitudes towards and understandings of SCU’s undertakings. There was a disconnect between some assertions that were made (e.g. “we’re changing healthcare”) and how our initiatives were substantiating those claims.
Students reported a separation between our mission and their experience. Many faculty and staff were unaware of major accomplishments or initiatives outside their own departments. Thus, this campaign was developed on a premise: If we do not know or embrace our own story, we cannot expect that of others.
These dynamics spoke to a need to:
- Organize our initiatives and communicate them effectively.
- Connect initiatives to our mission.
This effort would seek to clearly and comprehensively consolidate every major initiative and communicate them in the most powerful and effective ways – ultimately inspiring others to be motivated, inspired, and compelled to be a part of the SCU movement.
We organized every major SCU initiative into an outline and mapped out how each component helps carry out our mission in the areas of competent, caring, and integrative based on the portion of our mission statement that states: “SCU’s mission is to educate students as competent, caring and successful integrative healthcare practitioners.”
We also mapped the endeavors that were categorized in multiple areas.
Refining the Message:
Upon completion of the previous steps, we entered the strategic and creative process. It was determined that the following would be developed: tag line, messaging for the overall campaign and each major outline category, a series of long form articles, and many other deliverables. Every portion was driven by the strategic outline of initiatives.
It was determined that the messaging should:
- Overcome a brand obstacle – that we are a small, single purpose institution.
- Capture the lasting impact were making in both healthcare delivery, transformation of students, practitioners, and beyond that is not bound by space (throughout the world) or time (we have a rich history and are preparing students for the healthcare system of the future.)
- Speak to the highest-level brand messages. It should be the dream not the details. In marketing terms, these messages would not communicate the features or benefits but the brand promise.
- Answer the question – why are we doing this?
- Be inclusive of all we do.
Research informed that prospective students and other stakeholders are most interested in helping others and changing lives. When testing messaging through digital ads and in the research of Widmeyer group, the top message that resonated was “Making a Difference”.
The Tagline: “Making a World of Difference”
- Includes the “Making a Difference” message that resonated from research – that stakeholders will be a part of making a difference in the key areas of our mission.
- Making a WORLD of difference refers to the way SCU envisions a world that is different and better than it is now.
- SCU’s mission is not confined by time or geography.
Once the tagline was chosen, the creative and execution phase began. This included emails, social media posts, signage across campus (photos coming soon), and the development of SCUHS.org/Difference.
The “Making A World of Difference” campaign has been well received by the higher education marketing community thus far. Here are a few quotes from leaders in this space:
Brenda Harms – Higher education marketing, branding, and enrollment consultant:
“People think of SCU in its track. ‘Making a World of Difference’ says there’s much more than I thought. It draws people into the notion of there’s more than you think just with the tagline. “Making” is action oriented – how we are actively pushing forward in turbulent times – this will draw people. It is an excuse to brag about SCU’s accomplishments – This is not something schools do well.”
Jason Bender, owner of InFocus Advertising and experienced in higher education brand messaging and advertising:
“Making a World of Difference is spot on. It works so well. It is methodical and well thought out. Everything you want in a branded campaign is present here. This is the kind of stuff that will make you stand out. Students, faculty, staff are all making a difference. It incorporates the global aspect of the product offering. Its global thinking – not just a western philosophy. Students may have never thought they would own their own practice can now say, “Look at me and what I’m doing to help others.” The entrepreneurship of the university is brought out. This campaign will be inspiring to many.”