FGCU recently launched its newest brand campaign called The FGCU Effect. The FGCU Effect, which has been in development since 2013, is formatted to show the impact that the university has on students and that students have on the world.
“It’s designed to tell the good news of the institution,” said Deborah Wiltrout, FGCU’s associate vice president of marketing and communications. “We wanted to create something that would raise awareness of FGCU, build pride and increase academic integrity.”
Similar to the butterfly effect, the positive acts that FGCU students and alumni commit reverberate and spread throughout the community and beyond. It is from this angle that all university marketing and communications efforts will now stem.
The campaign is focused on undergraduate admissions but is gradually working to encompass current students and alumni.
Wiltrout, a member of the campaign’s development team, said emphasis has been put on admissions in order to attract students who will be a good fit for the school-ones who will be engaged, involved and ultimately successful in university life and beyond.
By targeting graduates with The FGCU Effect, former students are reminded of their FGCU experiences and are more likely to become involved as alumni. Current students took part in the development of the campaign in spring 2015 with large chalkboards spread around campus, asking about the effect FGCU had on them.
All responses were recorded, and many statements were incorporated into the new undergrad admissions materials.
Senior Nicolas Tavel participated last year, with his words being “a new beginning.”
He came to FGCU right out of the closet and was thrilled with how welcoming everyone with his gay lifestyle was compared to his experiences at home.
“I’m an international student from Honduras, and coming here meant new experiences, new friends, a new lifestyle,” Tavel said. “I hope my words give new students the courage to start whatever they want and to take life and college whatever direction they want.”
The university first began efforts in 2013 when it contacted outside market research group, Neustadt Creative Marketing, to study university constituents (prospective and current students, alumni, legislatures) and to create a branding theme unique to FGCU. It found that the school was in need of an integrated communication unit and a redesign of marketing materials. An internal marketing collaboration team was consequently formed to do a complete overhaul of the school’s marketing initiatives.
The team and its campaign was developed by FGCU faculty and staff and integrates admissions campaigns, advertising, videography and photography. A large-scale integrated campaign using only staff members is unusual on university campuses.
“The campaign is very collaborative,” Wiltrout said. “No one was hired to do the campaign. So, it was made up of people who understand the university.”
The team designed the effort to reinforce the branding themes of the university and to share students’ stories to promote the institution. According to the campaign’s website, it strives to put students first, to spread knowledge throughout the Southwest Florida region and to become a cultural, social, and scholastic resource for the community.
The branding campaign will continue to progress and grow by involving students. The University Marketing and Communications team hopes to target and spread the word about The FGCU Effect through a recently hired marketing intern, student ambassadors, tour guides, the televisions in campus buildings, the online newsletter and sporting events.
More information regarding The FGCU Effect, its development and research, and its continued progression can be found at www.FGCU.edu/TheFGCUEffect.