Friday, March 23, 2018

President Eighmy launches President’s Initiative on Strategic Communications

President Eighmy launches President’s Initiative on Strategic Communications

(March 6, 2018) – UTSA President Taylor Eighmy today announced a fourth initiative in UTSA’s strategic planning portfolio. The President’s Initiative on Strategic Communications will focus on both internal and external audiences, elevating perceptions of UTSA among alumni and the San Antonio and South Texas communities. In a broader sense, this work will serve to raise the awareness of UTSA in Texas, the United States and the world.

President Eighmy has appointed a 28-member Strategic Communications Task Force and charged them with evolving UTSA’s brand commensurate using UTSA’s six themes and the university’s growth as an aspiring Carnegie R1, Hispanic-serving discovery enterprise focused on societal grand challenges.

The task force will work with University Communications and Marketing to develop a comprehensive, integrated marketing program for UTSA. This includes messaging, a visual identity, media strategies and internal communications. Joe Izbrand, associate vice president for communications and marketing and chief communications officer, will chair the task force.

“Now more than ever, it is time to reposition our brand and identity to distinguish UTSA from other research universities in Texas and beyond,” said Eighmy.

The Strategic Communications initiative is foundational in extending the reach of other task forces—particularly the President’s Initiatives on Strategic Enrollment and Student Success.

“The integration of this effort with those two task forces is especially important,” added Eighmy. “The strides we are making toward the vision for UTSA as a multicultural discovery enterprise and urban serving institution must be translated for a wide variety of audiences. In order to remain competitive in the marketplace, our prospective students, research partners, donors and local community members must receive consistent, compelling messaging about UTSA that resonates clearly. This is especially important given our intentions for strategic growth.”

The groundwork for these efforts began last year. UTSA engaged Stamats, a leading higher education integrated marketing firm, to conduct market research on the UTSA brand. Stamats surveyed UTSA students, faculty and staff, alumni, and Texas employers/hiring managers. The study identified institutional strengths and strategic differentiators for the university. These findings will form the basis of the task force’s work, and will be used to inform the launch of new brand positioning and advertising campaigns later this spring. Stamats will continue to act as a consultant for the task force for the duration of their work.

“To be truly effective, our communications must be audience-appropriate and data-informed,” said Eighmy. “We already have an excellent head start in this regard. I am certain this work will result in compelling new expressions of the UTSA brand.”