By Abby Cole, Comm ’16, communication specialist
With 11 different schools and colleges, and 17 offices, there are many contributors and partners representing the Marquette University brand. With so many voices, coordination and communication aren’t always easy. Which is why the Office of Marketing and Communication in March 2018 launched “Marketing Partners,” a series that connects those in marketing-related roles through monthly presentations and interactive sessions.
Marketing Partners presentations are delivered by Marquette experts — campus partners, OMC colleagues and outside guest speakers. Sessions focus on various communication topics including social media, web and digital strategy, media relations and storytelling, marketing planning, and brand guidelines.
Speakers from outside organizations offer fresh perspectives on industry trends and best practices, while presentations from campus partners like Athletics and University Advancement provide in-depth overviews of departmental operations and highlight how collaborative marketing strategies play a role in the success of key university initiatives.
“With growing marketing and communication needs at Marquette, we wanted to create a program that would provide professional resources, facilitate discussions and build relationships across the university,” said Sara Pforr, director of administrative services in OMC. “For years, OMC has worked closely with key campus partners, offering marketing expertise and support. But centralizing and unifying these partnerships not only encourages greater collaboration — it allows us to better promote the services in our office.”
It didn’t take long to see the benefits of such opportunities for collaboration. In fall 2018, a Marketing Partners discussion led to a Sunday morning feature story on CBS 58. During a media pitching exercise, Mykl Novak, web development manager in IT Services, shared a story idea about a Marquette honors course in which students explore what a Mars mission entails from a variety of disciplinary perspectives.
Marketing Partners participant Calley Hostad, assistant director of communication strategies and enrollment for the College of Education, says she appreciates the opportunity to connect and collaborate with colleagues across campus in similar roles.
“The value of Marketing Partners comes not only from the opportunity to learn more about the science and craft of marketing, but also to interact with people doing similar work on behalf of Marquette,” Hostad said. “I’m grateful for the chance to step out of my little corner of our community and see more of the big picture.”
When it started, Marketing Partners was a group of about 40. Today, it has close to 90 members and continues to add colleagues each month.
The group has evolved to include people from all sectors of the university, not just those in positions that require them to represent or articulate Marquette through marketing and communication responsibilities. Anyone who seeks to learn more about marketing best practices, the Office of Marketing and Communication or the many communication resources on campus is welcome to attend one or all presentations.