Strategic Directions

Drop Shadow

Marketing: Additional Ideas and Comments

Participants in the workshop and open forums were invited to submit additional ideas and comments about any of the topics under discussion. The following comments have been received on the topic of Marketing.

  • Need to focus on San Diego visibility before we go national.
  • Increase USD student goals to a higher number of freshmen
  • We should conduct an intensive market research project, probably using outside consultants, to get data about people’s perception of USD locally, regionally, and nationally.
  • Unmistakable, clear communication about who we are—particularly with admissions and recruitment. Not being apologetic about who we are and so students know in advance what they are getting into.
  • Think about providing residence space for conference participants on campus that functions as reasonable hotel space when not needed. Loyola Marymount and Georgetown are examples.
  • Integrity is key. Let’s not get caught up in “doing things” that are band-aids to unresolved, deeper issues. For example, we should not market ourselves as something we’re not, even if we want to be that. Let’s have congruency between what we do and say and our values.
  • What about marketing to different demographics? Should it differ from region to region, etc.?
  • What about on-campus marketing? Can we bend a little, be more realistic? On-campus marketing needs to be more consistent. Involve students in marketing campaigns.
  • Use students to help at different units to gain experience but also to keep work-study or graduate students.
  • The most effective way to achieve greater uniformity is through centralization of decision-making. On the other hand, centralized decision-making is often the best way to hinder innovation, diversity and even efficiency. Centralized administrators need sufficient staff to fully support other campus units. We need to really provide our central overseers with sufficient manpower to provide the support that campus units need to remain complaint with University standards. That would make it possible to have more training and collaboration on how to comply with existing standards, developing and disseminating templates (e.g., invitations, posters, announcements), etc.
  • "University of Learning" is a good tag line.
  • Like the idea of a conference center/hotel.
  • Community Outreach: if we are not already doing so, we need to look strategically at the outreach by our leadership (vice presidents, deans, president). Is USD well represented on key local and regional boards? Do we know where USD is represented?
  • Public Relations: Faculty in the room [Open Forum] were saying that there isn’t enough PR going on at USD and that we are reactive. CA Western School of Law was named as being more frequently in the media than USD’s law school. I used to do CA Western’s PR and the reason they receive so many media interviews is because of the faculty. The faculty are very proactive and when they know an issue is brewing in their area of expertise, they will contact the PR person who will pitch an interview to the media. The media appreciate it because they have a heads up before the issue comes to a head and they naturally come back to that contact when it’s time to do the story. The faculty weren’t always that way but it started with a few willing participants who influenced other faculty to come forward (peer pressure). So my points is that it has to be as much an effort of faculty (if not more) as it is the PR department.
  • Please be mindful of “too many cooks in the kitchen”! The dialogue today was great, and market research should be done to assess public perception, but direction needs to come from the top-down. Once she has sufficient information, the president needs to steer the University in the appropriate direction of establishing its identity, whatever that may be.
  • Periodic marketing meetings would be ideal as would the marketing department moving from its current spot to a more central position.
  • We saw today that these meetings could go on forever with everyone’s personal agendas and opinions on what USD should and should not be. The University’s marketing plan should encourage creative freedom, but provide some basic guidelines or rules so that consistent quality is maintained.
  • Communication between departments is integral and centralizing resources would be tremendously efficient (e.g., graphic designers, copy writers, etc.)