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IU schools tackle new marketing strategies

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Indiana University is taking steps to better market itself to students and donors, using a strategy more common to consumer products.

The Kelley School of Business is featured on Nasdaq's MarketSite Tower with the tagline, "Go from moment to momentum." Other schools are directing efforts at explaining why IU, known as a liberal arts school, is also a good place to study technology and working to boost the university's name recognition outside the Midwest.

Eric Bruder, IU's chief marketing officer, said the goal is to deliver more effective creative marketing campaigns.

"We want to help Kelley — or any school — stand out," Bruder told The Herald-Times of Bloomington.

Each school within IU is responsible for its own marketing budget. Schools customize their marketing because each has challenges and audiences that are unique to their specialty. A potential graduate student at Kelley, for instance, will want something different than a potential undergraduate who wants to study history, he said.

At the School of Informatics and Computing, the focus is on explaining why students should attend IU for technology. The School of Education began branding efforts in 2012 to stress the value of the school and the value of teaching as a career choice after changes in legislation made teaching a less desirable profession.

"We wanted to take charge and tell our story," said Beth Smith, director of marketing for the School of Education. "We need to do a better job putting ourselves out there to capture the attention of students."

The School of Public and Environmental Affairs has targeted a different audience: high school students.

Jim Hanchett, SPEA director of marketing and communications, said the goal is to familiarize students with public and environmental affairs before they arrive on campus.

"SPEA is considered a discovery school that students find once they get here," he said. So targeting high school students can bring top students to the school from the start instead of in their junior year.

Darren Klein, Kelley's director of marketing and communications, said the business school's "moments to momentum" campaign emphasizes significant moments on career paths.

He said the rebranding is a response to competition for students and to social and cultural trends as people question the value of higher education.

Through alumni, Kelley worked with an advertising agency in New York that did about half a million to a million dollars of branding work pro bono to help the school.

"Our core belief goes back to if you put your heart and soul into something it makes all the difference," Klein said.

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