University of Minnesota
University Relations
Our Brand: How to Convey It

Our Brand: How to Convey It.

October 2011 Archives

New Discover Student campaign assets now available

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The next phase of Driven to Discover, the Driven to Discover Student Campaign, is now live and the communications assets for University units are available. You can find the guidelines here and the asset & template downloads here. Informally, we're calling the campaign Discover Student.

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You might have already seen some of the commercials on TV in recent weeks but, as the name says, the campaign focuses on the student experience. It shares how our students go about their own process of self-discovery during their collegiate years - whether it's a new field of study, an alternative student club, or an inspirational mentor.

The assets for the Discover Student campaign include the basics - print and web graphics and brochure and presentation templates. One new item you'll notice is a special color palette that contains the specific colors of the campaign.

It's important to note that Discover Student does not replace Driven to Discover. Driven to Discover is the University's official brand and Discover Student is an extension of it. If you're a unit still using the Because campaign, don't worry. You can continue to use it and eventually switch over to Discover Student if you'd like to do so.

If you have any questions about using the assets, contact me.

User-centered design kudos

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Last week, at the 10th annual Minnesota Interactive Marketing Association (MIMA) Summit, Avinash Kaushik, Google's analytics evangelist, threw out some kudos to the University of Minnesota homepage and its views.

If you're reading this, you're probably familiar with the views model we've been using on the homepage since May--you can self-select your audience and get more customized content, including navigation, appropriate to you. Students, future students, staff, faculty, and more all have views for that purpose. It's been an eye-opener for us in several ways, including providing more data on what our audiences are interested in, at least those willing to self-select.

Unfortunately, none of us were there to see Avinash's talk, but this writeup from Lisa Grimm at Communications Passionista covers it a bit. The short version seems to be: the U has been called out, in a good way, by a prominent figure in the analytics and wider web community for taking a user-centric approach to our design.

Big impact marketing without the big impact cost

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Last spring Tony Baisley was in a familiar position for communications directors across the University. He needed to come up with a communications campaign to share the amazing work of his faculty while operating on a tightened budget.


Tony and his staff worked with a small team from University Relations to develop five ads sculpted to the stories of his School of Nursing faculty, using the University's Because campaign. It proved to be a success. They built an affordable series, and the school has infused the creative theme throughout its communications.

After he first determined which School of Nursing stories to highlight, Tony turned to UR to help articulate the work and design a creative. He was able to leverage the University's brand and Because templates - saving his money and maximizing communications impact. "We would have had to try our own hand at this or hire an agency to tackle it were it not for their partnership," he says. Tony was also able to work with a team that was familiar with the University and its brand standards. There wasn't the learning curve that an outside designer would have faced.

Going forward, Tony is repurposing the ads throughout the School of Nursing. They hang as artwork in hallways, are part of notecards to donors, and are table tents at events. Next up? "We are now building off the original five ads," he says, "and creating new ones featuring strategic areas of opportunity for us!"

If you want to leverage Driven to Discover in your communications, contact me at