Fee for service—chilling! Memos of understanding—horrific! Brand compliance—blood-curdling!
If the thought of working with IU Communications drains the crimson from your cheeks, read on. In this post, we address the most common fears associated with collaborating with us.
I’ll lose my identity to the IU brand
The IU brand is the shared identity of your unit and all the others on all IU campuses. It’s not something forced on you from above, but an essential part of who you are. That’s how we built it: from the ground up. The university-wide brand campaign creates equity: in the trident, our most powerful and recognizable graphic, in our commitment to communities near and far, in our connection with alumni around the world. The shared branded components of the work we do for you adds value to your messaging, lends it and status and credibility. The IU brand gets you attention. Then, working together, we can get down to the business of identifying and promoting the unique features of your office and the unique benefits you offer your audiences.
You will take control of my marketing efforts
We don’t have the resources to do that, even if we wanted to (and we don’t). We will contract with you to do as much or as little as you want. Help with using the IU brand promises with your established messaging? We can do that! A new website and help maintaining it periodically after launch? We can do that, too. Consultation on how to position your new unit or program, with an eye to making you self-sufficient after our collaboration? Done! We always follow your lead.
You’ll make my website and marketing materials look like everybody else’s
There will be a family resemblance, yes. But from the perspective of your target audiences, the elements of the IU brand that we incorporate into the work we do for you tend to become invisible. Headline typefaces, website interactions, the trident: these components and others—because they are recognizable—drop from the front of audience members’ minds because they know what they mean and how they function. That leaves audiences free to notice and respond to what makes you unique: your personality, your linguistic and graphic voice and tone.
You won’t stick to timelines
We sometimes have to adjust schedules, true, but often that is because of unforeseen circumstances or because of a hold-up you couldn’t have anticipated on your end. We are a capacity-managed office, which means we allot the personnel and resources necessary to meet our deadlines, and are flexible enough to accommodate the unforeseen detours that complex projects always take. When necessary, we reset deadlines, then re-dedicate people and resources to meet them.
You cost too much
If you want to design a t-shirt or poster or other quick-turnaround product, we are not your best choice as a full-service agency; you are better off going with a vendor better equipped to do that work. The same is true for some kinds of video. We know that, and if you come to us with such jobs, we’ll tell you as much.
But in most cases we are your best investment. We manage the IU brand, we understand the university’s most important audiences (prospective and current students), we base our decisions and creative direction on sound research, and we have developed metrics and analytics that enable you to see the value of our work.
And we will finish the job; vendors sometimes promise more than they can deliver. We will always make sure you know exactly what you are paying for.
You don’t know my organization as well as I do
Of course we don’t! But the expertise we offer includes a series of exercises and processes that let us get to know you, identify subject matter experts that our team consults every step of the way, and share work and gain feedback at key milestones—so you always know where your project stands.
If you still have concerns, please contact us, and we’ll talk through them together.