Survey Says

By The Creative & Marketing Group, June 2, 2021
Feedback from key advisory groups on 'Progress' thus far.

A huge swath of the campus community informed the development of “A Place Called Progress” (APCP) and the four key attributes of that brand platform 

There are also two standing committees guiding ongoing work and providing input.  

The Checks and Balances (C&B) Committee and Progress Advisory Committee (PAC) both keep the development of APCP honest. In fact, members of each provided extensive feedback and analysis through a survey distributed earlier this year 

These groups are composed of a cross-section of faculty, staff, and current students, alumni, donors. 

A future post will look at the membership and charge of each of these groups, but we wanted to share a summary of their feedback—a whopping 160+ pages’ worth! -- provided via the survey.

Potential in ‘Progress’

The groups found a lot of promise in APCP. Many respondents commented on the brand platform’s potential to spotlight what the IC experience has to offer (including the people who make it all possible!).  Respondents saw the greatest potential for this in student enrollment efforts, but also retention and engagement of current students.  

Others saw long term benefits to the attributes espoused by APCP and the messaging it could entail, particularly around the concept of “boundary-less” learning—which certainly took on new meanings during the 2020-’21 school year, but was reshaping higher ed before “coronavirus” entered our everyday lexicon.  

Points of Caution

The groups also issued some caveats. For starters, there seems to still be some general head-scratching around the phrase “A Place Called Progress.”

This is understandable. Admittedly it’s an assertive, even off-centered statement that makes you pause and think. On its own, it might not make immediate sense. That’s why it’s imperative the statement is backed up with storytelling and messaging that aligns with and highlights four key attributes of that brand platform. Context is everything. 

Another key piece of advice from the C&B group and PAC: The importance of linking APCP to the classroom to spotlight how faculty embody progress and innovation. This input included a "watchout" - a concern among faculty that marketing campaigns will try to drive and influence curriculum.  

To which we would suggest: we're all in agreement. It’s actually the reverse: the brand platform (from which individual marketing campaigns take shape) is informed by the curriculum and our faculty’s approach to their work. Just as it’s informed by our mission, vision, core values and stakeholder focus groups and interviews during the extensive discovery phase of brand development. We’re simply using APCP to broadcast those values to the world in a cohesive way.  

“A Place Called Progress” is not meant to be slathered broadly over any aspect of IC we want to call attention to in marketing work. IC is already infused with these qualities, and we can use APCP to amplify and tailor the messaging to taste.  

Questions or feedback? Any topics you’d like this blog to explore in more detail? Email progress@ithaca.edu