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Old Dominion University will host an open forum for faculty, staff, students and alumni to discuss the next steps in the university's marketing initiative Tuesday, Nov. 28.

The forum will be held from 12:30-1:30 p.m. in the Hampton/Newport News Room of Webb University Center. Pizza, beverages and cookies will be provided.

Over the past few years, Old Dominion has been involved in an important process to clarify its emerging position in the marketplace, both externally and internally. Under the direction of President Roseann Runte, much foundational work was done to establish a core positioning framework that included an institutional promise (the benefits our constituents receive from ODU) and a set of drivers (the proof of that promise). This framework provides a way of defining what makes ODU unique and compelling in preparation for a university marketing and communications program.

Input was gathered through focus groups, and in other ways, from a variety of ODU constituents. Several themes, which were particularly valuable to the development of the university's strategic plan, emerged:

§ Engaging and exciting teaching;
§ Innovative and cutting-edge research;
§ Diverse and friendly campus;
§ Attractive and vibrant metropolitan location.

Old Dominion recently contracted with Educational Marketing Group (EMG), a marketing and communications firm that specializes in higher education, to assist with the next steps. The EMG staff will explain the entire process and answer questions at the Nov. 28 forum.

EMG will guide the university in constructing a robust messaging platform that further shapes and expands ODU's core themes for use in internal and external communications. The campus community will be asked for additional input. These will be different questions from those asked in the earlier focus groups and are intended to determine what each of these themes truly means at Old Dominion University. Feedback will be gathered through anonymous Web-based input and it is critically important that everyone participates.

Once completed, the results of this process will be used to enhance Old Dominion's public image and assist in recruitment and fundraising efforts. The goal is to ensure that ODU's audiences immediately understand what the university stands for, what it offers, and why they should support it.

This article was posted on: November 8, 2006

Old Dominion University
Office of University Relations

Room 100 Koch Hall Norfolk, Virginia 23529-0018
Telephone: 757-683-3114

Old Dominion University is an equal opportunity, affirmative action institution.