Last year the City of Kent was the client for a senior class of marketing/communications students at Kent State University. The challenge for the class was to come up with different campaigns that present Kent in a more unified way as a place that is relevant for both residents and Kent State students.
The class came up with 3 interesting campaigns, each of which emphasized the idea of one Kent. The messages varied a bit but the goal was the same — to rediscover Kent as a place that is interesting and meaningful for everyone.
I attended the Ohio 2nd Annual Town Gown Conference and the message was clear — cities and universities have to get beyond just tapping in to each other, they must get fully engaged. They called that the power and possibilities of partnerships. My favorite quote of the day was “partner or perish.”
Much of the downtown redevelopment work is premised on the physical (esplanade extension) and economic impacts of a fully engaged Kent, where residents and students have places to shop, eat and hang out. With the downtown project building the physical connectivity, the idea behind the Kent re-branding campaign was to create social connectivity themes.
We happened to be digging through our files this week and we pulled out the student project materials, and that got us thinking some more about how we communicate our Kent brand in our web site, this Blog, and any other place where you’ll find the City. We think we can do better so we thought maybe we could get some fresh ideas from the student projects.
We decided to go ahead and upload the student project reports for anyone that’s interested to browse. Here’s a link to the full reports and below is a couple of my favorite excerpts from the 3 campaigns: