Friday, March 8, 2013

GRU Augusta Marketing Debacle

The community has been asking, "Where's the A?" But today they're asking, "Where's the ASU?" They're referring to pictures that were published in a GRU admissions view book. The pictures were of some Augusta State University sports teams, but their jerseys were doctored so that "Augusta State" was wiped off. Georgia Regents University (GRU); the saga of the A continues.

The words "Augusta State" are supposed to be on the basketball jersey, and the ASU logo has been erased from many of the golf hats. Many ASU students say seeing these pictures is another slap in the face, some even saying it makes them feel like they never even existed.

Georgia Regents University President Ricardo Azziz has issued a statement on the alteration of photos in an admissions view book.

"...We messed up! And because at the end of the day the buck stops at my desk ... my team and I have to take full responsibility for this error.

The alteration not only represented an error in judgment, but demonstrated an insensitivity to our history, to GRU’s history, rooted as it is in the long traditions and richness of our seminal universities, Augusta State University and Georgia Health Sciences University.

And so firstly I want to assure all of you that this in no way represents a concerted effort to erase or rewrite history. In fact, similar photos of ASU athletics were used unaltered, proudly displaying the ASU logo, in other GRU publications prepared at about the same time as the admissions view book. We are proud of ASU’s and GHSU’s past accomplishments, and those that achieved them.

We should all recognize that the future of Georgia Regents University is being built upon the strong and rich histories of Augusta State University and Georgia Health Sciences University. We value this history, and we value the contributions of those who came before us. And as such I have made capturing, recording, and displaying our histories a priority of this administration.

Secondly, we must try to minimize the risk of these kinds of mistakes happening again. For starters, we are putting in place a policy that requires that all GRU publications, regardless of what unit they come from, to be routed through the Office of Communications and Marketing for production consultation and final approval. A greater number of eyes are required to ensure correct branding and positioning. And we are finalizing a template of approved logos and standards to ensure consistency across our enterprise.

Thirdly, and paradoxically, we all must understand that mistakes will and do happen. We have almost 10,000 employees in our enterprise, all working very hard. And we are all working very fast to do the right thing in a very dynamic environment ... not just by choice, but because we have to, for there are many pressing issues that need to be addressed as we become GRU."

Dr. Azziz said in the past: "We haven’t wasted tons of money with our prior name change (from MCG to GHSU). Then, as good stewards of limited resources, we allowed most expendable materials to be used up. And we spent less than $300 Thousand on temporary signage.

It is an exciting day to finally have a name for our new university.

And so I strongly encourage and urge our community, our university, our alumni, and most importantly our prospective students and faculty, to embrace the future and to remember that the true hard work remains ahead of us. And if we do this right, and we come together, we will create the next great American university… in Augusta… for Georgia and for the world.

A university that will create greater value for our students. A university that will inject over $3 Billion into our local economy, creating new jobs and opportunities."

Grand (brand) Compromise

After months of discussion about the school’s new name, Georgia Regent’s University, president Ricardo Azziz came up with a grand compromise to add the word Augusta for branding purposes.

“Which is the t shirts and the polos and the caps and the cups and all the good stuff we’re supposed to buy, will be Georgia Regents University Augusta,” said Azziz.

He was right about the shirts and cups. They do include the word Augusta. So why not the brochure and any marketing or advertising material, such as the 2013 Alumni Weekend ?

From Marketing 

This was an error in judgment and does not reflect the views of University leadership, the Office of Communications & Marketing, or the Athletics department on the importance of Jaguar intercollegiate athletic accomplishments or the student athletes who competed, and will continue to compete, as the ASU Jaguars throughout the 2012-2013 athletic season.

While we believe this was an isolated occurrence, I anticipate the issue will receive a fair amount of coverage in the local media.

We will continue to work hard to brand and market our consolidated university as GRU Augusta. We will also work smart to maintain the legacies of ASU and GHSU to properly reflect the history of these institutions.

Thank you for your patience and support as we continue to work together in promoting and branding our educational, research and clinical services and programs.

David Brond,
Senior vice president
Communications & Marketing


No comments:

Post a Comment