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Ohio Wesleyan Makes Strategic Move Towards Integrated Marketing

February 1, 2006

Integrated marketing. It is a concept that today has, in the higher education marketplace and especially at Ohio Wesleyan, taken on new meaning and importance as we strive to communicate more clearly and consistently our strengths as one of the nation's top residential liberal arts colleges. In keeping with this critical goal, President Mark Huddleston announced on Friday, the creation of a new Office of University Communications which will report to Dr. Margaret Drugovich, who has served as Vice President of Admission and Financial Aid since 1998.

In her expanded role as Vice President for Strategic Communications and University Enrollment, Drugovich will continue her work in the admission and financial aid arenas while leading the community in the creation of an integrated marketing communications plan. "This plan will serve as the foundation of a comprehensive, coordinated, institution-wide effort to communicate our mission, critical values and core messages in ways that target audiences will notice, understand, value and act upon," says Huddleston.

As the first step in this plan, members of OWU's University Communications staff, Pam Besel, Mark Beckenbach, Toby Boyce and Ericka Kurtz, along with interim Web Services Director John Valera have immediately joined the new Office of University Communications.

"The office will act as a communications service bureau for the entire campus and manage the critical areas of strategic marketing, community and media relations, print and electronic publications, writing and design and advertising," explains Drugovich.

A Director of University Communications will provide overall leadership for the office.

Preceding this initiative were many discussions among community members, including those focusing on strategic marketing at OWU during two planning meetings in the past year. A strategic planning subcommittee has continued its work throughout the year in defining core themes upon which a marketing strategy will be built. There was, in addition, assistance from Stamats marketing professionals who conducted an audit of the University's current communications efforts.

"This is the beginning of our long-term institutional commitment to articulate fully and accurately our value proposition to key constituents--donors, alumni, employers, foundations, graduate schools, and prospective students among them," says Huddleston.

"I am confident that this strategic direction will succeed and help us achieve our highest aspirations for the great institution that is Ohio Wesleyan University."