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Strategic Plan for Institutional Marketing

Context For Planning

Grand Valley finds itself competing against more institutions for fewer students with less financial help from the state. During the Great Recession, West Michigan was the most viable area of the state so competing institutions who hadn't targeted our market before began looking for students here and are now entrenched. Meanwhile, the decline of traditionally aged college students and low funding from the state of Michigan continues. All of this while the media persistently hypes exorbitant college debt and questions whether there really is a return on investment for a college degree.

Mission

Provide tools and services that empower faculty members, staff members, students, and alumni to enhance the image and visibility of the university.

Vision

To provide the university's faculty, staff, and students with research-based messaging that fills them with pride and allows them to tell their stories about Grand Valley to enhance its image and reputation. To provide the university's constituencies with a truthful image of Grand Valley's commitment to educate students to shape their lives, their professions, and their societies.

Value Statement

Institutional Marketing adheres to the core values outlined in the university strategic plan in making decisions and setting goals: excellence, integrity, inquiry, inclusiveness, community, sustainability, and innovation.

Strategic Priorities, outcomes, and key objectives

Strategic Priority Area 1: Actively engage learners at all levels.

Strategic Priority Area 2: Further develop exceptional personnel.

Outcome A: Grand Valley's learning environment is personal, challenging, and transformational, supporting excellent academic programs and co-curricular opportunities.

Objective 2.A.1

Ensure that each staff member takes advantage of at least two professional development opportunities, whether on campus or sponsored by a professional organization per year.

Baseline

Each staff member recorded at least one professional development experience (Sept. 2016)

Progress

2018 Status
Achieved
All staff members reported more than two professional development activities in which they participated.

2016 Status
Achieved
Nearly all staff members reported more than two professional development activities in which they participated -- 192 in all.

Outcome B: Grand Valley is diverse and inclusive.

Objective 2.B.1

Create a pipeline of talent for jobs in Institutional Marketing.

Baseline

Zero students of color out of 8 student workers in Fall 2016

Progress

2018 Status
Substantial Progress
One out of three student workers identifies as a member of an underrepresented population.

2017 Status
Substantive Progress
We currently have one (out of six) student worker of color.

Outcome C: Grand Valley has mutually beneficial relationships, partnerships, collaborations, and connections with local, state, national, and world communities.

Objective 2.C.1

Each IM staff member is civically engaged annually. Ex. professional organizations, boards, Schools of Hope, volunteering, voting.

Baseline

Each staff member has recorded at least one activity/engagement (Sept. 2016)

Progress

2018 Status
Achieved
All staff members reported at least two civic engagement activities in which they participated.

2017 Status
Achieved
Each staff member participated in at least 3 professional development opportunities, with a total of 276.

Objective 2.C.2

Each IM area (writers, designers, web, project managers) exchanges information with other institutions to learn about best practices at least once every two years. Ex. Padnos International Center staff exchange program, visits to other Michigan institutions, info exchange at conferences, listservs.

Baseline

One IM area out of four as of Fall 2016.

Progress

2018 Status
Substantive Progress
Nearly every staff member participated in this way.

2017 Status
Substantive Progress
Nearly every staff member participated in this way in 2017

Outcome E: Grand Valley strategically allocates its fiscal, human, and other institutional resources.

Objective 2.E.1

Evaluate return on investment for time-intensive projects. Ex. Annual reports, UPO packages

Baseline

TBD once we have our new project management system running

Progress

2018 Status
Achieved
Priorities and protocols have been identified, as well as possible solutions to offer. Some of these solutions include “storefronts” to produce standardized pieces.

2017 Status
Substantive Progress
All projects are being managed through Workamajig, our project management system. Implementing new storefront for university (called Blueprint) staff and faculty to order simple and/or frequently reprinted marketing pieces to offset IM staff time. Building stronger relationship with Promotions Office to leverage their new capabilities to offset IM staff time.

Strategic Priority Area 3: Ensure the alignment of institutional structures and functions.

Outcome B: Grand Valley is diverse and inclusive.

Objective 3.B.1

Ensure university website is compliant with accessibility policies at WCAG 2.0 Level AA..

Baseline

Content management system and all new applications built are compliant at WCAG 2.0 Level AA. Training is provided for all CMS administrators

Progress

2018 Status
Substantial Progress
Training was offered to all CMS administrators. Web team continues to scan gvsu.edu and address issues.

Strategic Priority Area 4: Enhance the institution's image and reputation.

Outcome A: Grand Valley's learning environment is personal, challenging, and transformational, supporting excellent academic programs and co-curricular opportunities.

Objective 4.A.1

Recommend what the rating system should be.

Baseline

None

Progress

2017 Status
Achieved
Recommendation sent to VP Matt McLogan and Chris Plouff. Chris Plouff reports that rating system has been finalized.

2016 Status
Substantial Progress
Developed the list of public regional universities in the Midwest, developed list of ranking systems. Have a recommendation.

Objective 4.A.2

Create a searchable story system that allows internal storytellers to share more stories through their communication channels.

Baseline

Many story databases or spreadsheets throughout the university.

Progress

2018 Status
Achieved
System has been refined and internal storytellers have access to share stories for multiple uses.

2017 Status
Substantial Progress
Departments represented are currently Institutional Marketing, University Communications, University Development, Alumni Relations, and recently added is the Provost's Office.

Objective 4.A.3

Develop and implement marketing plans to increase registration and retention rates.

Baseline

New 2018

Progress

2018 Status
Achieved
Marketing plan was developed and implemented and enrollments increased.

Outcome B: Grand Valley is diverse and inclusive.

Objective 4.B.2

4. B.2: Grand Valley's ratings achieve 6.0 or above on a 7-point scale for familiarity and 6.0 or above for reputation, as rated by West Michigan general public of color.

Baseline

2015 Institutional Image Research Survey; 7 pts. ordinal scale; Familiarity 6.0 pts.; Reputation 6.0 pts.

Progress

2018 Status
Minimal Progress
Familiarity and reputation declined from the 2015 baseline. Should be interpreted with caution as sample size was small in 2018.

2017 Status
Substantial Progress
Implemented marketing plan.

Objective 4.B.3

Grand Valley's ratings achieve 4.0 or above on a 7-point scale for familiarity and 4.7 or above for reputation, as rated by Metro Detroit prospective students of color.

Baseline

2015 Institutional Image Research Survey; 7 pts. ordinal scale; Familiarity 3.8 pts.; Reputation 4.6 pts.

Progress

2018 Status
Minimal Progress
Familiarity and reputation declined from the 2015 baseline.

2017 Status
Substantial Progress
Implemented marketing plan.

Objective 4.B.4

Grand Valley's ratings achieve 5.6 or above on a 7-point scale for familiarity and 5.9 or above for reputation, as rated by West Michigan prospective students of color.

Baseline

2015 Institutional Image Research Survey; 7 pts. ordinal scale; Familiarity 5.6 pts.; Reputation 5.9 pts.

Progress

2018 Status
Achieved
Maintained similar results as the 2015 baseline.

2016 Status
Substantial Progress
Implemented marketing plan. Study to be conducted in 2018.

Outcome C: Grand Valley has mutually beneficial relationships, partnerships, collaborations, and connections with local, state, national, and world communities.

Objective 4.C.1

Grand Valley's ratings achieve 3.5 or above on a 7-point scale for familiarity and 4.8 or above for reputation, as rated by Metro Detroit general public.

Baseline

2015 Institutional Image Research Survey; 7 pts. ordinal scale; Familiarity 3.4 pts.; Reputation 4.7 pts.

Progress

2018 Status
Achieved
Maintained similar results as the 2015 baseline.

2017 Status
Substantial Progress
Implemented marketing plan.

Objective 4.C.2

Grand Valley's ratings achieve 5.5 or above on a 7-point scale for familiarity and 5.8 or above for reputation, as rated by West Michigan general public.

Baseline

2015 Institutional Image Research Survey; 7 pts. ordinal scale; Familiarity 5.4 pts.; Reputation 5.8 pts.

Progress

2018 Status
Achieved
Maintained similar results as the 2015 baseline.

2017 Status
Substantial Progress
Implemented marketing plan.

Objective 4.C.3

Grand Valley's ratings achieve 4.3 or above on a 7-point scale for familiarity and 4.9 or above for reputation, as rated by Metro Detroit prospective students.

Baseline

2015 Institutional Image Research Survey; 7 pts. ordinal scale; Familiarity 4.2 pts.; Reputation 4.8 pts.

Progress

2018 Status
Minimal Progress
Familiarity and reputation declined from the 2015 baseline.

2017 Status
Substantial Progress
Implemented marketing plan.

Objective 4.C.4

Grand Valley's ratings achieve 5.8 or above on a 7-point scale for familiarity and 5.7 or above for reputation, as rated by West Michigan prospective students.

Baseline

2015 Institutional Image Research Survey; 7 pts. ordinal scale; Familiarity 5.8 pts.; Reputation 5.7 pts.

Progress

2018 Status
Substantive Progress
Maintained similar results as the 2015 baseline.

2017 Status
Substantial Progress
Implemented marketing plan.

Outcome E: Grand Valley strategically allocates its fiscal, human, and other institutional resources.

Objective 4.E.1

Provide brand university for communicators of GVSU

Baseline

New initiative

Progress

2018 Status
Achieved
Ran two half-day sessions of Brand University for those with communications/marketing responsibilities on GVSU's staff; 24 attended. Sessions covered various standards of marketing and communications, including print, logo, web, advertising, social media, and video.

2017 Status
Achieved
Brand University curriculum written and training offered as a pilot during fall of 2017 to representatives responsible for communications from 10 offices around campus.

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