It is our hope that you will find value in this Communications Resources website, which was created to enhance both internal and external communication efforts by providing a comprehensive clearinghouse of information on everything from policies and best practices to artwork downloads and an inventory of available promotional tools.
While many within our campus community pursue myriad communications projects to advance fairly narrow objectives such as promoting a particular program or event, we must all recognize that each of these discrete efforts is a reflection on the university as a whole.
Accordingly, while there is a prevailing of rule of "do no harm," we should also never fail to take advantage of opportunities to maintain consistency in voice and design, which can help broader efforts to help move and shape the institution's image in helpful, strategic ways.
Indeed, the primary goal for external communications efforts at Cal State Fullerton is to help the institution move toward an aspirational position within the higher-education landscape where the cumulative, collective perceptions within key stakeholder groups allow the institution to most effectively fulfill its educational mission. In this context, that can mean raising private financial support, attracting and retaining the best faculty, securing adequate public funding through advocacy and developing enrollment and involvement in planned, thoughtful ways consistent with institutional interests.
Here in University Advancement, the division responsible for many externally focused advancement-related communications, a positioning statement developed in 2009, which was based on research and analysis of recent market and perceptual data conducted during the preceding year, helps to focus and guide communications work:
California State University, Fullerton is widely understood to be a standout institution of the CSU system – a comprehensive, investment-worthy university based in Orange County that is of the highest academic quality with which key markets (prospective students, donors, and faculty) actively seek to associate, where the value of one's degree increases in value over time, and whose ongoing commitment to accessibility and affordability is already known and appreciated. Together with the benefits of an advanced technological environment, commitment to sustainability, and a teaching-focused faculty that help make students globally competitive in their careers of choice, CSUF's unmatched value serves as the institution's defining characteristic and competitive advantage. This cumulative understanding by our primary audiences is at the center of Cal State Fullerton's core brand attributes, resulting in the institution growing as a first-choice option for prospective students and employees, and making it increasingly attractive for both private and public financial support.
The research and analysis that led to this statement indicated that while perceptions of the university among various audiences would be interpreted by many as being quite "positive," Cal State Fullerton meant many different things to many different people. The core concept around which most data orbited was a sense that Cal State Fullerton was truly "a cut above" – that everything from the depth and breadth of programs, to the quality of instruction, to the vibrancy of co-curricular offerings was superior to that of like institutions at like price points.
It will be incumbent on the university to periodically assess its market position and determine if perceptions by a variety of stakeholder groups is changing, and how. We must continue to think about, develop and analyze metrics that seek to help assess the university's progress in evolving into the type of institution it chooses to be and the degree to which communication and other advancement efforts support that vision.
Jeffrey D. Cook
Associate Vice President / Chief Communications Officer