To: “LCB Faculty” LCBfaculty@lcbmail.uoregon.edu “LCB Staff”, LCBstaff@lcbmail.uoregon.edu, “LCB OA’s” LCBOA@lcbmail.uoregon.edu
Subject: May 10th LCB Faculty Staff Meeting Materials and Dean’s Message
LCB Faculty Staff Meeting, Friday, May 10, 10-11:30am, Room 211 Lillis – Agenda Attached
Sent on behalf of Dean de Kluyver
As the attached agenda attests, the upcoming faculty meeting will be a busy one. To expedite things, I want to take a few minutes to provide background information to agenda item #6 – the marketing/communications project we have initiated with Songlines Communications.
As I shared with you a few weeks ago, an anonymous donor gift allowed us to retain Songlines Communications (Songlines) to “create a unifying brand story that succinctly, elegantly, and emotionally communicates the Lundquist College of Business’ unique identity and differentiates our value proposition from that of our competitors.” The brief stipulated that “the story should help to answer the question “Why Lundquist?” or “Why Oregon’s business school?” relative to all the alternatives. Moreover, it should leverage and blend with the overall University of Oregon brand story/positioning.”
After examining prior research, mining college and UO documents, surveying how other business schools describe their mission and competitive advantage, and conducting more than 40 in-depth interviews with faculty, staff, students, alumni, board members, recruiters, employers, and other stakeholders, we are one step closer to our goal–to develop a brand identity that will:
1. Provide a clear sense of the Lundquist College’s organizational identity based on our mission, values, culture, core competencies and strategic objectives,
2. Articulate, in an authentic and compelling way, this identity to external constituencies in a clear and consistent manner,
3. Serve as a guide for long-term strategic planning and a set of guardrails for “moment of truth” judgments and decision making.
As we begin to digest the findings and recommendations we have received we must remind ourselves that characteristics such as academic excellence, experiential learning, a world-class faculty, or ideas such as a focus on sustainability or global business, while highly desirable, do not differentiate us effectively from our peers. The challenge, therefore, is not only to capture these truths in a brand story, but also to express them in a way that is different, exciting and memorable. Over time, a brand idea that meets these criteria can identify a specific organization without even stating its name.
To this end Songlines has created a number of “Story Themes”–each different in emphasis, representative of a different, unique combination of characteristics, and capable of supporting a broad spectrum of stories that reflect key insights about the Lundquist College of Business. What differs in each is the lead idea or central focus of the theme but all these themes share the over-arching notion of Thought Leadership and have application in all areas of study at the College.
For example, one theme is A New Business Model–the idea that at the Lundquist College of Business we are thought leaders on how to integrate concepts such as responsibility, sustainability and a focus on values into a new business model for the 21st century. Another is the New Oregon Way which leverages the pioneering spirit that characterizes much of Oregon and the UO and emphasizes our reputation in innovation, creativity, and quality of life issues.
In the weeks to come, we will work with Songlines, UO Communications, and our external relations staff to refine the list. As we do so, we should heed Songlines’ advice:
“First, whatever brand theme is ultimately selected, what is most important is that the College “pick a lane” What distinguishes great brands from other institutions is the fact that they know who they are, they embrace a set of values that reflect their unique identity, and they commit to behaviors consistent with who they are and what they believe. In doing so, they also decide who and what they are not. They have, in other words, picked one lane over another. There are consequences to picking a lane, the most important of which is the commitment to stand for something. This commitment is what defines and builds a community. It also builds the power to influence. It engenders loyalty and draws in those who share the point of view. But because these decisions describe what an organization is not, they also alienate. Presented with a clear choice and point of view some people will select the organization and others will not. Committing to a lane requires discipline and courage.
“Second, we strongly recommend that once the college selects a “lane,” it proceed with purpose and confidence. Our research has convinced us that the Lundquist College of Business is special and unique. It offers a combination of educational advantages and opportunities not offered by any other institution. The problem is that not nearly enough people are aware of these strengths. It may be the Oregon Way to be humble and modest, but we would encourage the college to be proud of its curriculum and accomplishments and to express pride in all it communicates to its constituencies.”
We look forward to Songlines’ update and your reactions and suggestions as we move forward with this important project.
Cornelis A. “Kees” de Kluyver, Dean
Encl: 10-MAY-2013 Faculty Staff Meeting Agenda
08-FEB-2013 Meeting Minutes
Public records updates: The B-school faculty is good for the scotch, right?
From: UO Matters
Subject: request for Songlines contracts and invoices
Date: May 1, 2013 8:34:34 PM PDT
To: Lisa Thornton Cc: firstname.lastname@example.org, Tracy Bars , email@example.com
Dear Ms Thornton:
This is a public records request for contracts between UO and Songlines Communications (Songlines) to
“create a unifying brand story that succinctly, elegantly, and emotionally communicates the Lundquist College of Business’ unique identity and differentiates our value proposition from that of our competitors.”
And also any invoices, from 1/1/2012 to the present.
I ask for a public interest fee-waiver on the grounds that making this information public will help
“leverage and blend with the overall University of Oregon brand story/positioning.”
I’m ccing LCB Dean Kees de Kluyver, as he should be able to easily provide these documents, without exceeding the one-hour threshold for a fee.
And, a near instantaneous response from Dean de Kluyver:
On WednesdayMay 1, 2013, at 8:41 PM, Kees de Kluyver wrote to the PR Office, his staff, and the consultant:
Please comply and furnish details as requested.. Kees
This is a novel and welcome response from a UO administrator. I’m a little embarrassed for being so snarky. You reading this, Randy?
Sure enough, at 9:50 AM Dean de Kluyver sent me the docs, pdf here. No charge, no redactions: