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Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Those Who Can Duluth Update

Campus Community:

I would like to provide you an update on our institutional branding campaign and the tagline, Those Who Can Duluth (TWCD), which was launched in September 2012.  You may recall that the campus community was surveyed in February-March about the campaign, after I received a number of comments and concerns about TWCD.  The recent survey included valuable feedback, and I thank those who participated. 

We recently received the survey results and I have asked Lynne Williams, our new director of external affairs, and her team to review the information.  While nearly everyone on campus who completed the survey was aware of the TWCD campaign, the perception and understanding of the campaign was mixed, with more negative than positive results.  Feedback has identified that while weaknesses exist with the tagline, strong attributes of the TWCD campaign are the concepts and stories it tells, which serve to differentiate UMD from the other UM campuses.  I have clearly heard your concerns, and we will address them.

How we communicate about UMD is vitally important, and it is critical for that message to resonate with our external audiences and be endorsed by our internal community.  Moving forward, Lynne Williams and her team will analyze the results and look at the various audiences individually.  Over the summer, the External Affairs team will make recommendations, which may include further creation and testing of revised and new messaging.  We will discuss this with the campus community in the fall, with a goal of having a clear direction by the end of the calendar year.  In the meantime, we will diminish the use of TWCD until a new direction forward is determined.  

Please contact Lynne at lwilliam@d.umn.edu if you have any questions about this important project.


Lendley C. Black