New campaign lets the UO tell its story from coast to coast

February 13, 2015 - 9:28am

The chance to learn more about the UO’s first comprehensive, integrated communications initiative attracted more than 400 faculty, staff, students and alumni to three events held in Eugene and Portland over the past month.

Launched in January, the five-year communication effort is taking University of Oregon stories of excellence to the state of Oregon, the West Coast and to a national stage. The initiative works in conjunction with  the university’s $2 billion fundraising campaign, which will help it continue support for students and faculty with the resources they need to pursue research, follow their passions and compete on the international stage.

"This is a really exciting time to be at the University of Oregon, and we have more than one amazing story to tell,” said Tim Clevenger, associate vice president for communications, marketing and brand management. “Our athletic program has propelled us to national awareness, but we have even more stories from our academic side that complete the story about the University of Oregon. The collaboration and discovery here is truly unique, and we want to share that in bold ways.”

A significant part of the initiative is highlighting the expertise of UO faculty and the groundbreaking research happening on campus. Among the next steps is the establishment of a “media ambassadors” program, which will position faculty experts with national media and showcase the work of our faculty on leading topics.

"What inspires me most about the UO is the culture of freshness and curiosity that seems so deeply rooted here — from classroom to lab, studio to stadium,” said Lisa Freinkel, vice provost for undergraduate studies. “This verve to strive and question is what anchors transformative education and what undergirds a great research university. This new campaign nails it, I think. We're finally finding a way to broadcast what makes us special.”

The university has been working with the agency 160over90 on the project, with the goal of helping capture the culture that is unique to the UO in a narrative that can be told and received across the state and on a national stage.

The effort will be paid for with private dollars from donors who want  to expand the conversation about the UO, the excellent work happening on campus and the bright future of opportunity that exists at the UO for students, the faculty and the entire state of Oregon.

The current three-year agreement with 160over90 is for $3.3 million to develop many creative projects, from websites and television commercials to brochures and advertisements. The entire $20 million initiative will also buy advertising and produce new, creative and engaging communication elements.

“We are extremely fortunate to have donors who understand the importance of telling the University of Oregon story. We are sharing the distinct UO brand to help us in the recruitment of students and faculty, in fundraising and in bolstering awareness across the country,” Clevenger said. “Our donors see this as a critical initiative that will help define the future of the university, the cities of Eugene and Springfield, the state of Oregon and the world, and we are beyond grateful.”

—By Tobin J. Klinger, Public Affairs Communications