Focus groups seek to help create new brand for the college

by Laura King / Beacon Staff • February 12, 2015

The members of the advisory group for Emerson’s rebranding initiative were announced on Feb. 6 in an email from President M. Lee Pelton. The group, which includes students, professors, and administrators, will meet and provide updates throughout the year, the email said.

“We are confident that Emerson’s profile today is more prominent, carries even greater admiration within academic and professional communities; and is even deeper and profoundly more substantial than it was then,” Pelton wrote in the email, referring to the last time the Emerson brand was evaluated in 2003.

The initiative, first reported by the Beacon in October 2013, intends to create a new brand for the school that better reflects Emerson today, according to the email.

The first stage of the project—surveying opinions on the college’s public image—has begun this month and is scheduled to be completed in December, according to the email.

The initiative will be led by Andrew Tiedemann, vice president for communications and marketing. The five core team members are Brian Geer, director of development communication; Michael Sarra, assistant vice president of enrollment marketing; Nicole Sullivan, assistant director of marketing and project manager; Ruthanne Madsen, interim vice president of enrollment and associate vice president of student financial services; and Keira McClain, vice president of development and alumni relations.

The branding advisory group contains one member of the board of overseers, two members of the board of trustees, one member of the alumni board, seven vice presidents, three professors, five staff members, one graduate student, and four undergraduate students. 

Emerson held its first round of focus groups at Emerson Los Angeles on Feb. 10 and 11, which sought to gather information from faculty, students, alumni, and staff about how they perceive the college.