UCM created unique pieces of Rutgers Excellence content that were distributed across multiple channels to about 4 million readers.
University Communications and Marketing
About Us and Our Work
University Communications and Marketing (UCM) includes two major divisions—U-wide Comms and R-Comm—charged with elevating the public prominence of Rutgers. U-wide Comms is the universitywide communications and marketing department for Rutgers and includes the offices of University Brand, Marketing, and Creative Services and University News and Media Relations. It focuses on protecting the university brand, broadly advancing the university’s reputation, promoting Rutgers people and programs from all campuses, and managing initiatives and priorities of the university’s central administration. R-Comm is the communications and marketing department that focuses on promoting Rutgers–New Brunswick and Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences (RBHS). While R-Comm reports centrally through UCM, the department is dedicated to advancing the AAU flagship and is guided by the priorities of its two chancellors. The alignment of these two divisions within UCM provides opportunities for collaboration, clarity of message, and support of a strategic focus on elevating Rutgers' prestige and reputation.
By the Numbers
Highlights of FY 2022
Rutgers Digital Asset Library
MarCom and CASE Recognize UCM's Work with a Dozen Awards
MarCom International Awards
Great Things to Know about Rutgers (educational brochure) - GOLD
Rutgers.edu (educational website) - GOLD
The Inauguration of Jonathan Scott Holloway (special event) - GOLD
Rutgers Magazine Summer 2022 (print media) - PLATINUM
Faces & Voices of Rutgers (team initiative) - PLATINUM
Faces & Voices of Rutgers (video series) - GOLD
#HowWeMetatRU (social campaign) - GOLD
Pep Band Director Behind Ear-Shattering Chants (video) - HONORABLE MENTION
CASE Awards (Storytelling Category)
Med Student's Disability Helps Him Connect With Patients by Lisa Intrabartola
World Trade Center Health Program Saves Lives 20 Years Later by Robin Lally
Protein Data Bank Marks 50 Years Unlocking Human Disease Mysteries by Robin Lally
Senior's Newsletter for the Asian Community Makes National Impact by Robin Lally
Great Things to Know about Rutgers
UCM released a digital version of Great Things to Know about Rutgers along with the new printed brochure. This universitywide communications tool spotlights the people, programs, and achievements that make Rutgers a distinctive institution.
The digital version features robust content, including videos, a photo gallery, links to news stories, and expanded details that a print version cannot support. To engage users and provide us with content for future scheduled updates, we added an online form to the digital version for users to submit their Great Things to Know about Rutgers suggestions.
The new print version of this national award-winning Great Things series is also available and can be easily printed on your desktop as a downloadable PDF.
Rutgers Excellence Campaign
Excellence happens at Rutgers every day, and the world needs to know. To advance the awareness of Rutgers’ excellence and support a presidential initiative to improve Rutgers' reputation, UCM launched the Rutgers Excellence campaign in 2021. Spotlighting the accomplishments and innovations of our scholars, our multichannel approach to content distribution in FY 2022 reached nearly 4 million readers and resulted in 138 million impressions, and our work continues in FY 2023.
To reach target-specific audiences of academic leaders and alumni working in higher education, sponsored LinkedIn posts were placed.
Multiple digital and print ad placements ran in focused media outlets including The Chronicle of Higher Education, Inside Higher Ed, Science, Nature, and other outlets by target media markets.
Using cultivated lists to reach academic leaders and other higher education influencers, UCM sent direct emails featuring university accomplishments and initiatives, promotional content, and faculty and student achievements.
There were 70,473 pageviews last year to the Rutgers.edu/excellence campaign landing page from digital advertising, enewsletters, social media, and direct email click- throughs to learn more about campaign topics and facts.
Proactive outreach to news media has earned the attention of 12 target publications, selected for their influence on higher education leaders. Rutgers has appeared 900+ times in these media outlets, with mentions about Rutgers' initiatives, research, faculty, and students.
To support and elevate our stories of excellence making it more likely that our audiences see and remember our messaging on multiple channels, UCM developed a series of videos that feature topics from across the campaign.
During the six months, the campaign:
• Secured more than 18 million impressions
• Reached over 1.8 million readers
• Distributed 26 unique pieces of content promoting Rutgers’ excellence
• Earned over 500 mentions in the 12 most influential news publications
• Included over 45 paid ad placements
• Sent 24 direct emails to higher education leaders, alumni, and Rutgers Research subscribers
Rutgers Today is the universitywide news center promoting news, features, and videos with daily content additions and updates on all things Rutgers.
Highlights of FY 2022
- 2.3 million pageviews
- 610 daily and special issues published
- 350+ stories written or edited
Special enewsletters for targeted audiences: alumni, students, retirees, and others
UCM continues to promote the recognition of Rutgers–New Brunswick as a Top 20 public national university by U.S. News & World Report with billboards throughout New Jersey, new pole banners installed on campus, and a landing page promoting the ranking.
UCM introduced a limited-edition merchandise collection to showcase university points of pride. The inaugural Special Collection spotlights the Rutgers Marine Field Station on its 50th anniversary of preserving the state’s coastal habitats. The collection includes T-shirts and tote bags featuring designs of six marine animals and sold at Barnes & Noble at Rutgers bookstore and online.
As part of a universitywide effort to elevate the visibility and prestige of Rutgers University, static and video ads are appearing on 114 screens throughout Newark Liberty International Airport terminals A, B, and C. The ads reach millions of domestic and international travelers.
University Initiatives and Communications
UCM provides communications planning, consultation, promotion, and support for selected university initiatives, events, and programs.
Your Voice, Our Rutgers, a universitywide website, showcases a series of climate surveys to assess the experiences of faculty, staff, and students. Each survey is part of a larger effort by the university administration to use research-based assessment methods to gather data that will help the university realize opportunities to make Rutgers a better place to work and learn.
UCM promoted President Holloway’s announcement that Rutgers will prohibit tobacco use on campus by 2023.
44 news stories
1,417 pageviews on Rutgers Today
26,675 impressions on social media
UCM led promotion of President Holloway’s acceptance of the recommendations by the Future of Work Task Force. UCM contributed to the website update, wrote a Rutgers Today story, and posted the announcement to social media.
23 news stories
4,153 pageviews on Rutgers Today
22,213 impressions on social media
UCM continues to support Rutgers–New Brunswick with the 15+ to Finish campaign aimed at current students and advisers, encouraging them to consider a minimum of 15 credit hours a semester to decrease time to graduation and lower overall student debt. The campaign was featured on digital screens throughout campus and in flyers. Also, UCM published social posts on the @RutgersNB platforms that coordinated with emails sent to students.
UCM began sharing posts to the @RutgersNB social media channels highlighting the news that Rutgers–New Brunswick was a top producer of Fulbright Scholars this year. The promotion of this achievement is ongoing.
@RutgersNB social media: 16,936 impressions and 411 engagements
Includes coverage from NJ Spotlight News
In support of the Cannabis Decriminalization Impact Task Force, UCM created a comprehensive communications plan to inform the university community about the continued prohibition of cannabis on campus. A webpage includes FAQ, resources, the task force report, and university policies about the prohibition of the use and possession of cannabis on university property.
The universitywide gateway site to Rutgers, UCM manages this important channel to the Rutgers digital universe.
- 16.5 million pageviews in FY 2022
- 2.9 million visitors
UCM promoted President Holloway's second annual budget address to the University Senate, outlining Rutgers’ fiscal challenges and plans for addressing them in the years ahead.
UCM supported the president’s first stakeholder address as he shared his vision for the future of the university with hundreds of community members, board members, and government officials who gathered at Kirkpatrick Chapel and online.
In conjunction with the Office of the President, UCM monitors coverage of President Holloway in the news, promotes his standing as a leading historian, and facilitates interviews with media. He was mentioned in more than 6,700 stories in print, digital, and broadcast media last year, including his contributing commentary in a History Channel series on the American presidency.
UCM promoted the president's third University Senate address that outlined creating a council on online education, improving the student experience, aspiring to a beloved community while recognizing differences, and serving the common good. Our work resulted in 895 pageviews on Rutgers Today, 11,781 impressions and 238 engagements on social media, and three news stories.
UCM promoted President Holloway’s Rutgers Summer Service Internship Initiative, which was launched last year, with profiles and videos of some of the first 100 students to participate in the program.
UCM manages updates on the president’s website adding messages to the Rutgers community, op-eds and media coverage, multimedia, and university initiatives. In FY 2022, the site had 234,812 pageviews.
University News and Media Relations
UCM tracks all news coverage of Rutgers and develops daily, monthly, quarterly, and annual news coverage reports for university leadership and governing boards that capture the breadth and sentiment of the coverage.
Highlights of FY 2022
Pitching and Promoting Stories
School of Arts and Sciences Professor Leslie Kay Jones Unpacks A.P. African American Studies Controversy
Rutgers professor Leslie Kay Jones talked to Rutgers Today about Florida's decision to ban the A.P. African American Studies course and what it means for teaching Black history nationwide.
1,992 pageviews on Rutgers Today
Less than a month after earning her MFA from Mason Gross School of the Arts, a T-shirt Grace Lynne Haynes designed for Black History Month hit the racks at Old Navy. Haynes is the latest artist of color to partner with Old Navy’s Project We graphic T series celebrating diversity.
1,790 pageviews on Rutgers Today
UCM profiled Rutgers researchers named AAAS fellows in Rutgers Today, on @RutgersU social media and with the media. A modified version was used in the Excellence campaign as a print ad and email to over 7,000 leaders at U.S. peer higher education institutions.
2,676 pageviews on Rutgers Today
28,700 impressions on @RutgersU social media
32% email open rate
UCM produced a video of music professor Min-Kyung Kwon performing the world premiere of James Ra’s "Fantasia on Sae Taryeong" on piano in advance of her New Jersey Symphony’s Lunar New Year celebration performance.
430 views; 1,900 impressions on YouTube
12,600 impressions on @RutgersU social media
790 pageviews on Rutgers Today
Leelabati “Leela” Biswas, a M.D.-Ph.D. candidate at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, earned a grand prize of $10,000 for her research, “Decoding Pregnancy Loss, Validating a Novel Genetic Biomarker of Poor Egg Quality.”
3,819 pageviews on Rutgers Today
UCM created a roundup of noteworthy stories and achievements in 2022 for distribution to a range of audiences through Rutgers Today, social media, and emails to higher education leaders and high school guidance counselors.
1,539 pageviews on Rutgers Today
151,000 impressions on @RutgersU social media
35% email open rate
UCM promoted alumna Assata Davis being named a prestigious Marshall Scholar, resulting in coverage including in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and 1,339 pageviews in Rutgers Today.
138 news stories
UCM promoted alumnus Kenneth Greenblatt, who was the head of U.S. security at the World Cup in Qatar, resulting in coverage in The Press of Atlantic City and more.
86 news stories
2,062 pageviews in Rutgers Today
We pitched Rutgers experts Maria Venetis, Maurice Elias, and Yana Rodgers to speak on aspects of life after the pandemic, including mental health, how we communicate, and the future of work.
71 news stories resulted
Managing Universitywide Social Media Accounts
UCM tracks, manages, and monitors the five @RutgersU social media accounts: LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube.
Highlights of FY 2022
Issues, Emergency, and Crisis Management Communications
UCM coordinates with Institutional Planning and Operations and communication teams across the university to notify the Rutgers community of urgent issues, testing, and emergency notifications.
UCM Wins Six 2022 Hermes Creative Awards
About 6,500 entries from around the world were entered in the 2022 Hermes Creative Awards, an international competition for the creative and marketing industry. UCM's work was recognized with the following achievements.
- The Inauguration of Jonathan Scott Holloway (Special Event)
- Faces & Voices of Rutgers (Team Achievement)
- Rutgers Magazine Spring 2021 (Print Media)
- Faces & Voices of Rutgers (Video Series)
- Rutgers.edu (Education Website)
- #HowWeMetAtRU (Social Media Campaign)
Rutgers Pride Campaign, #DYKRutgers
UCM designed a campaign to deliver bite-sized institutional facts and figures to build pride among our strongest brand ambassadors: faculty, staff, students, alumni, and Rutgers supporters. Distributed through myRutgers portal, search.rutgers.edu results, and social media, we use #DYKRutgers (Do you know Rutgers?) to frame the collection of weekly university facts, many correlating to major news stories, holidays, or events.
UCM defines, elevates, and protects the Rutgers brand by managing our brand assets and enhancing the public prominence of the university through effective communications.
Communicators Network Training Event: Engaging Digital Audiences
Over 100 Rutgers communicators attended the November 2022 event. Mark Beal, assistant professor at the School of Communication and Information, presented Engaging the Gen Z Audience and social lead at Squarespace, Brandon Smithwrick, shared the latest trends and best practices in social media. Attendees gave the event a 96 percent satisfaction rating.
Partnering with Academic Affairs, UCM developed new design guidelines for digital badges that are awarded for demonstrating completion of cocurricular, extracurricular, or noncredit-related learning. Digital templates allow badge administrators to easily create the graphic files needed for the Rutgers digital badge catalog.
This reimagined resource site, built with the Rutgers Core Component Library, features a new Quick Links section, FAQ library, streamlined brand policy details, and a “I Want Help With” service-focused section to help university communicators find the resources they need.
37,000+ visitors annually
The ACE program includes outside communications firms with master service agreements in place with the university, making engagement for Rutgers units faster and easier. Last year, nine virtual information sessions were held featuring 47 ACE vendors with 234 Rutgers employees participating.
To help faculty and staff better understand the communications resources available to them and to provide guidance on the correct implementation of the university's policies related to branding, marketing, and communications, UCM launched an enewsletter distributed twice per semester. Issues are opened by more than 5,700 recipients with 1,300 users clicking through to obtain more information.
In adherence with Rutgers’ advertising policy, UCM reviews all advertisements, ensuring that Rutgers is presented in a consistent, coherent, and brand-standard manner.
359 ads reviewed and approved
$5.9 million in total media buys
528.4 million impressions
Swag Portal for Rutgers-Branded Merchandise
UCM, in collaboration with University Procurement Services, created the Swag Portal, an online platform that encourages the strategic sourcing of Rutgers-branded merchandise. Making finding and buying Rutgers-branded merchandise easier, the portal streamlines the purchasing and design process for Rutgers units to secure promotional items: apparel, face coverings, bags, pins, displays, specialty items, giveaways, and more.
350+ Rutgers units placed orders
1,800+ total orders placed
$3.6 million in total orders
$4 million+ in savings resulting from competitive and discounted pricing for the university
UCM successfully promoted and supported Rutgers' 256th Anniversary Commencement ceremony held in person on Sunday, May 15, 2022.
UCM created a family of event collateral material: refreshed Commencement graphics, invites, program book, social media. Promoted graduation ceremonies and highlighted Class of 2022 graduates across universitywide social media accounts.
We created and promoted graduating student profiles, the ceremony speaker and degree recipients, and Commencement events and celebrations through storytelling, photography, and video in Rutgers Today and on @RutgersU social media, garnering over 25,000 pageviews, 259,400 video views, and over 1 million social media impressions.
UCM manages the Commencement website, which received 64,000+ visitors and 516,000+ total pageviews from February to May 23. The live streaming of the May 15 event had nearly 6,500 views on the site.
Rutgers Core Component Library
The RCCL is a multi-template, 65+ component building tool for websites that empowers university units to create brand-forward, accessible sites with an improved online presence and better user experience. It is managed by UCM, R-Comm, and the Office of Research. Using Drupal (and in the future WordPress), the component library will continue to grow to meet the web needs of the university.
Examples of Sites Created by Units Using the RCCL
Website Collaborations with Rutgers Partners
Working with partners at the university and using the Rutgers Core Component Library (RCCL), we created websites with brand-consistent, graphically driven, and engaging content.
Partner Websites Created with the RCCL
UCM Videos Earn Prestigious Awards
With over 12,000 entries from all 50 states and five continents in 2022, the Telly Awards represent work from some of the most respected advertising agencies, television stations, production companies, and publishers worldwide. UCM was recognized with:
Bronze Award in Online: Non-Scripted Web Series for Faces & Voices of Rutgers
Collegiate Advertising Awards
The national Collegiate Advertising Awards honor excellence in higher education advertising, marketing, and promotion. Entries are judged by a panel of higher education marketing professionals on criteria that include creativity, quality, and overall experience. UCM won:
Gold Award in the TV/Video Advertising/PSA–Single category for schools with 20,000 or more students for Rutgers’ Big Ten commercial: Progress Is Earned
Storytelling through Video
Telling the stories of Rutgers people and places through video, UCM produces content for Rutgers.edu, Rutgers Today, social media platforms, and other university projects and channels.
Highlights of FY 2022
- 11.3 million total video views, including YouTube and Vimeo
- 38 videos produced for UCM channels
- Faces & Voices, an award-winning video series, premiered on the Big Ten Network
Photography and Other Digital Assets
UCM provides the Rutgers Digital Asset Library to store, organize, and share photos and videos with the university community. Providing access to thousands of images and a growing number of videos, the self-serve asset management tool is accessible to faculty and staff who can create collections and share and download photos and videos.
Highlights of FY 2022
- 19,500+ total assets in database
- 11,000+ assets downloaded
- 5,000+ assets added
Get to Know UCM
UCM and R-Comm are part of the Department of External Affairs at Rutgers, which is also home to the offices for State Government Affairs and Federal Relations. In all that the department does, communicating Rutgers’ knowledge and value as a top public research university and increasing the university’s prominence are paramount.