La Crosse, Wisconsin
In planning the scope of its next campaign, Viterbo University saw a need to further enhance its brand awareness and ensure communications efforts are more strategic and proactive prior to launching a campaign.
The University decided that an outside assessment of its communications function across the enterprise was in order.
In addition to a review of pertinent communications and marketing materials, the assessment included interviews with 20 University leaders and staff members and a benchmarking study of peer institutions focused on organizational structure and activities. Ultimately, Viterbo received a report that covered key findings and conclusions, identified areas of strength and gaps that could impact communications and marketing effectiveness, and made specific recommendations to enhance efforts and strengthen the communications function across the institution. The final report was presented to University leadership.
“Our collaboration with BWF meant that Viterbo was able to have a 40,000-foot view of how our communication efforts were working within the institution. This effort was successful because it validated what we suspected and offered opportunities to improve. BWF was willing to be honest and helpful to the organization, and their goal was always to make the University better.”Jim SalmoVice President, Advancement • Viterbo University
The assessment affirmed for campus leaders those areas that warranted attention and would factor into future decision making about changes that could be made. Those areas included addressing how best to work with (or possibly change) the decentralized, siloed structure; create both a comprehensive strategy and unified, integrated messaging; and fully leverage all areas of the university (such as athletics) to achieve its brand-building and fundraising goals.
The findings were shared with employees across campus. Campus leaders then made decisions about how best to address the assessment’s recommendations, including hiring key personnel—several of which were identified in the assessment—and integrating financial support in both the FY2022-2023 budget and campaign budget.
Viterbo University utilized the strategic communications services offered by BWF.