Growth is simultaneously good and bad. There is a purity and excitement to being a small organization that is lean and agile, but an organization ultimately needs to grow. Many will end up as large, organized, efficient institutions with many specialized departments all doing their best work for a common goal. But in between these two states, there is an uncomfortable middle ground where results must improve, but the size of the group does not allow for specialization.
Phoenix Seminary is in that place: they’re good at their core discipline, have a great faculty, and are well respected in the Phoenix area. Still, they’re not large enough to have a marketing or communication department, and individual departments are largely responsible for their own communication. On its own, this is a workable solution for a very long time, but it requires clear strategy to ensure that everyone is pulling in the same direction. Having worked on a few individual event projects for the seminary, we noticed that this strategy was practically nonexistent. This is not unusual for this type of institution, but it is still a problem.
A Work In Progress
Keenly Interactive is currently engaged in a brand/communication study for Phoenix Seminary that will assess current perceptions among key groups, address the gaps between perception and reality, and set guidelines for future communication. To do this right, we’ll have to do some research. We’ve already spent a lot of time learning the school, its history, and what the leaders want the community to know. We’re spending time interviewing students, alumni, local pastors and leaders, comparing public perception to internal goals. We’re also keeping our ears open for brand new thoughts about Phoenix Seminary and its future.
More to Come
When we’re finished (I’ll keep updating this), we will be presenting the leaders of Phoenix Seminary with a guidebook of branding ideas, instructions for communicating with key audiences such as students, donors, and supporters, and strategic recommendations for future communication. We will create something that all departments can use as a reference for their own events and initiatives, ensuring that consistent branding is presented across all areas of public communication. We are all excited to see a great institution use a new tool reach more, help more, and do more.