Pride in PSU

Portland State University, like many of the nation’s public institutions, was struggling to do more with less. Reductions in government funding and increased competition from other charitable organizations were making it difficult for PSU to meet advancement and recruiting objectives. Phinney Bischoff was selected to help develop and implement a campus-wide marketing campaign that would unite the school’s fragmented marketing and advertising efforts and ultimately improve engagement across a variety of audiences—especially among a large, but disconnected, alumni base.

Bottom line: Build pride in PSU.

Strategy Concept and Development

A thorough discovery process, including a quantitative survey, provided a solid foundation for the strategy and concept development. Multiple campaign approaches were developed and tested via focus groups, which helped ensure relevance across audiences.

Three concepts were narrowed down for focus group testing, which included individual written input and group discussions. The feedback strengthened the creative, with Fearless being the chosen direction.

Unifying Rally Call

The final campaign, Fearless, highlights the independent spirit PSU students and alumni share, and showcases the many, noteworthy accomplishments of Viking grads. Feedback from PSU’s recruiting and alumni relations teams has been extremely positive. What may be most notable is the unanimous sense of pride the PSU community now feels and the engagement that results from a compelling narrative.

Award Winning Results

Phinney Bischoff was honored to be part of the team that earned PSU a Grand Gold Award in the Platinum category at the 2015 CASE Communications Awards Celebration in Seattle. The CASE District VIII Conference is a convergence of advancement professionals from over 130 Pacific Northwest higher education institutions to recognize outstanding work in educational advancement and communications.

The Platinum category recognizes the best-of-the-best communications practices for educational advancement. PSU entered their Fearless integrated marketing campaign for “Best Practices in Communications and Marketing.” As a Grand Gold winner, PSU’s work was selected as the highest caliber of work among all seven Platinum categories.