The School of Social Service Administration, University of Chicago
Brand Identity, Messaging, Media Relations
One of the oldest and most prestigious graduate programs in social work, the School of Social Service Administration committed new resources to branding and marketing and communications to raise the visibility of the 100-year-old school and to increase the influence of the work of its senior faculty. The School also undertook a strategic communications audit to assess its local and national positioning ahead of its Centennial and capital campaigns.
Melcher+Tucker Consultant’s work was closely connected to the objectives of the School’s development and communications offices and the dean. Activities included positioning leading faculty researchers as experts in such fields as poverty, children and family, race and immigration, and work and employment to local and national media. We interviewed SSA professors to prepare them for media interviews, and provided editorial guidance for the re-launch in the spring of 2007 of a national magazine of social policy. To support a strategic audit and understand the School’s brand identity, MTC conducted focus groups with alumni, and interviewed faculty, administrators, alumni and social service organization leaders. This work helped provide the framework for a targeted and expanded communications and messaging strategy.
SSA celebrated its Centennial during the 2008-9 school year with great momentum. The School’s faculty and their research are often-cited in leading national newspapers, journals and on TV, ranging from the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal to NBC Nightly News. MTC created specific content for the Centennial web site, and developed talking points to help equip the School’s Visiting Committee with key messages. A new communications strategy was put in place, aligning messages, publications and media with SSA constituencies.