President’s Image and Public Relations Council Progress Report

November 2011 - May 2012

Archived Image and Public Relations Council Progress Reports

January 2011 - October 2011 Progress Report (.pdf)

August 2010 January 2011 Progress Report (.pdf)

Chairs: Deborah Leliaert, Vice President for University Relations Communications and Marketing, and Lisa Baronio, Vice President for Advancement and UNT Foundation Director of Development

The President’s Image and Public Relations Council demonstrates President Rawlins’ commitment to facilitate the exchange of a broad range of ideas and viewpoints in the development of plans to raise awareness of the university and more sharply focus and advance the university’s image and reputation, engage our constituents, and build (internally and externally) a broad understanding of and support for the institution and its goals.

Branding Initiative

During the last academic semester the council embarked, with the assistance of Dallas-based SullivanPerkins agency, on the redevelopment of the university’s brand platform, creating new verbal and visual expressions for the UNT brand. Following an intensive emersion process, branding concepts developed by the firm were vetted by the council and tested with various university groups.

A new institutional theme line, "A green light to greatness." and the associated narrative and artwork were rolled out with fanfare along with the university’s new strategic plan Four Bold Goals for the Future of One Great University: University of North Texas Strategic Plan 2012-17 at a momentous event on Feb. 13, 2012. Immediately following the event, the university launched a new multi-year brand campaign -- endorsed by the council -- employing various communication channels, including billboards, TV and print ads, and electronic mediums. New university website templates, stationery and business cards reflecting the new theme line and artwork also were launched.

The bold goals, new iconic theme line and brand campaign signal to the university’s diverse constituents that UNT is on the rise and driven by one purpose -- to be the catalyst for the greatness of our students and the communities we serve. The campaign launched with the important objectives of:

  • Engaging our university community
  • Positively impacting student recruitment outcomes (targeting more academically talented prospective students)
  • Influencing the “influencers” for support and recommendations of UNT (business and community leaders and alumni)

Many elements of the brand platform are still in process, including:

  • Clearly establishing the university’s brand hierarchy
  • Developing various audience-focused iterations of the university’s brand narrative
  • Developing a new in-depth institutional Identity Guide, which will launch in print and electronic formats in the new academic year
  • Holding education sessions to teach others campus-wide about how to implement the new brand platform and campaign, so that work products created by all divisions, colleges, schools and departments support a united brand.

Currently, the new brand expressions already are being incorporated into many university communication and experience touch points, especially those related to the recruitment and retention of students, fundraising, and institutional communications. And the next iterations of advertisements are in development.

The council further encouraged the continued engagement of SullivanPerkins in the development of related work products and in the creation of materials for the public phase of UNT’s comprehensive fundraising campaign. Campaign-related work is underway.

The PIPRC determined that previously defined council initiatives related to social media and news needed to be re-examined in relation to the university’s new strategic plan, enrollment goals and comprehensive fundraising campaign. That work is underway.

The PIPRC advanced FY 2013 budget requests to the President's Finance Council for funds to continue the university’s advertising campaign and for a campus-wide banner program. The funds will ensure that the brand platform continues to be developed and implemented and that the brand campaign goals of increased awareness and student recruitment marketing outcomes are achieved.

The PIPRC also recommended that the university, under the co-leadership of Facilities and URCM, reinstate the Sign Committee to address sign concerns, including outdated parking signs and lack of wayfinding and monument signs (marking the campus boundaries). The committee also will create a formal review and approval process for new sign and banner requests, which are proliferating. The council recommended the committee examine and recommend changes to current policies and procedures, as needed. The reinstated committee will be reporting back to the council, and related budget requests may be submitted to the President’s Finance Council through the PIPRC.

Council’s Work Groups

The PIPRC’s four work groups, which also involve non-council faculty and staff members, are undertaking work related to advancing the image and reputation of the university and the engagement of its constituents.

  • The Institutional Brand and Image Work Group, led by College of Arts and Sciences Dean Michael Monticino and URCM Vice President Deborah Leliaert, is undertaking discussions related to advancing understanding of the university’s bold goals internally and externally; brand identity and training; and advancing the university brand and reputation regionally and nationally.
  • The Stadium Engagement Work Group, led by Mayborn School of Journalism Interim Dean Roy Busby and Athletic Director Rick Villarreal, will examine how UNT's Apogee Stadium can best serve as an engagement tool through entertainment and athletic events.
  • The Alumni Engagement Work Group, led by Vice President for Advancement Lisa Baronio, will examine how to best increase the engagement of alumni.

Engagement of other Councils

The council advanced a recommendation for an independent Outreach Work Group comprising chairs of other UNT President’s Councils. The chairs of the President’s Enrollment and Retention, Diversity, Community Engagement, and Image and Public Relations councils met in November 2011 to discuss the recommendation.

Regular Divisional/Departmental/Committee Updates

To guide its work in the next academic year, the council will begin receiving regular updates about the activities and accomplishments of:

  • Division of University Relations, Communications and Marketing
  • Division of Advancement and UNT's comprehensive fundraising campaign
  • Department of Athletics
  • Department of Trademark and Licensing (The department is based in URCM and is a collaboration of the division and the Department of Athletics)
  • Sign Committee



Other Councils and Council reports