The University of Kansas An Official Employee Publication From the Office of University Relations


Cover story    

April 9, 2004
Vol. 28, No. 14

Prof’s work is play
KU to fine-tune image across state
KU programs rank among nation’s best
KU earns ‘Best Value’ designation
Memorial Drive to add Korean War monument
Women’s basketball hires coach
A capitol education
KU set to begin construction on Dennis E. Rieger Scholarship Hall
Pharmacy hacking hotline open

KU graduate wins Pulitzer Prize for reporting
Lied Center celebrates two anniversaries with art, event
CSA to be screened at KC film festival

KU musicians perform in Guatemala
Promotions and tenure announced
Board of Regents announces sabbaticals
KU Archives contributes to Chamberlain documentary
Annual book contest schedules program
Fun philathropy
Ragin’ Cajun

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KU to fine-tune image across state

What is KU’s image? How strong is our reputation? Are we visible for the right reasons with the right people?

These are some of the questions being asked this spring as part of an integrated marketing communications planning process under way throughout the university. As part of that process, KU also will investigate the repercussions of weaker images and reputations and the impact they may have on public and private support, recruiting and a university’s role in economic development.

The effort, begun under former Executive Vice Chancellor for University Relations Janet Murguia and continuing under her interim successor, Kevin Boatright, so far has involved more than 100 faculty, unclassified staff, alumni and students. All four campuses are represented, including academic units, research centers and affiliated groups.

“As we move toward implementation, we welcome questions and feedback and anticipate posting information on a Web site,” Boatright said.

The overriding goal of the research and integrated marketing effort, he said, is to enhance the image, reputation and visibility of KU.

Four KU marketing teams of staff are working on objectives related to strengthening state funding, enhancing recruiting, improving visual identity, and spreading the university’s messages about how KU serves and benefits Kansas. Several survey research projects also are under way that will fine-tune preliminary plans and help evaluate future progress toward the objectives. The university also is assessing the overall effectiveness of internal communications at KU.

Visual identity is a key component of the planning process.

“Large corporations develop brands because it’s smart business,” Boatright said. “Consumers recognize and value the Hallmark crown or John Deere green. The same principle applies to universities.”

Currently, KU has many different logos and symbols. Color usage also is inconsistent, as is something as basic as the name of the university.

“KU serves Kansas in many ways, but we don’t always get credit for what we do,” Boatright said. “One advantage of an integrated marketing plan is that audiences will better recognize the depth and breadth of our contributions to the state. We think that will pay off in student and faculty recruitment, future legislative support and other ways.”

Chancellor Robert Hemenway, Executive Vice Chancellors David Shulenburger and Don Hagen, and various deans are involved in the effort, which is being paid for largely with private funds.

In addition to KU staff, the university has drawn on the advice and experience of a nationwide team of alumni who work professionally in the marketing field. This team is providing feedback. The planning process also has been assisted by Simpson Communications, a nationally respected consultant to major universities.

“The marketing communications planning process is continuous, and it involves more than just University Relations or the Lawrence campus,” Boatright said. “Our goal is to make it a permanent process that adapts to new conditions and the changing expectations of our audiences.”

Members of the four teams welcome opportunities to share details of the marketing effort.

“We’ve identified groups we’d especially like to meet with, from now through the fall, but we are also open to invitations from other interested groups,” Boatright said.

For more information, or to request a presentation, call 864-710 or e-mail

KU marketing goals
• Further the overall mission of the university
• Better define the KU image and institutional identity
• Tell the KU success story to key audiences more effectively
• Make better use of existing resources: staff/funding
• Enhance recruiting of prospective students and faculty
• Strengthen internal communications
• Develop more sustained public and private revenue streams
• Be recognized as a Top 25 public university


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