UCM created unique pieces of Rutgers Excellence content distributed across multiple channels to about 2 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 Health. 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 2023
Rutgers Digital Asset Library
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
To advance the awareness of Rutgers’ excellence and support a presidential initiative to improve Rutgers' reputation, UCM launched the Rutgers Excellence campaign. Spotlighting the accomplishments and innovations of our scholars, our multichannel content distribution in FY 2023 reached nearly 2 million readers and resulted in 70+ million impressions. Our work continues in FY 2024.
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, 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.
Proactive outreach to news media has earned the attention of 12 target publications, selected for their influence on higher education leaders. Rutgers has appeared 1,000+ 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 2023 fiscal year, the campaign:
• Secured more than 70 million impressions
• Reached about 2 million readers
• Distributed 56 unique pieces of content promoting Rutgers’ excellence
• Earned over 1,000 mentions in the 12 most influential news publications
• Included over 100 paid ad placements
• Sent 57 direct emails
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 2023
- 2.7 million pageviews
- 238 regular and special issues published
- 350 stories written or edited
UCM continues to promote the recognition of Rutgers–New Brunswick as a Top 15 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.
Rutgers-branded merchandise is now available for purchase at select locations along the New Jersey Turnpike in the new Applegreen Travel Plaza convenience stores at the Molly Pitcher, Thomas Edison, Walt Whitman, and James Fenimore Cooper service areas. After much effort, this is the first time that UCM has been able to secure placement for branded merchandise in these high-traffic areas. We are pursuing plans to expand the program to additional locations along the Turnpike and Garden State Parkway.
Rutgers Health kicked off a sponsorship at a home football game with about 39,000 attendees. This brand activation introduced the new Rutgers Health logo to attendees and featured the new Rutgers R logo. Special guests included Chancellor Brian Strom, who took to the field along with student representatives from each of the eight schools at Rutgers Health. Representatives hosted interactive activities, provided important educational information, and distributed various giveaways to visitors.
Rutgers Special Collections showcase points of pride across the university through limited-edition runs of fun and unique apparel. UCM's second Special Collection celebrated the Rutgers School of Engineering. T-shirts and totes featured five custom designs created to highlight the breadth and expertise of the important work that goes on every day at the school. The merchandise was available at the Barnes & Noble bookstore on the College Avenue campus in New Brunswick.
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.
UCM launched a new line of vintage-styled apparel celebrating classic designs from the university’s past. Produced in collaboration with the Rutgers University Foundation and Athletics, the Retro Rutgers collection can be found online at retro.rutgers.edu and the Rutgers Team Shop—each offering exclusive looks.
University Initiatives and Communications
UCM provides communications planning, consultation, promotion, and support for selected university initiatives, events, and programs.
To support the goals of greater institutional clarity and stronger brand recognition, UCM announced that Rutgers will streamline the universitywide visual identity system and adopt the Rutgers R as the primary logo for the university. The change will reduce the number of primary Rutgers logos from three marks to one consistently applied visual representation of the Rutgers brand for all our stakeholders and audiences.
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 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.
• 16,936 impressions and 411 engagements on social media
• Includes coverage from NJ Spotlight News
UCM developed, produced, and promoted a comprehensive package that highlighted the top moments in women’s history at Rutgers and #PhenomenallyMe, showcasing six students on social media.
• 2,966 pageviews on Rutgers Today
• 629,524 impressions and 20,423 engagements on social media
• 91,878 views, 74,200 reach, and 2,720 engagements on Instagram Reels
UCM promoted the presidential initiative Rutgers Scarlet Service as it launched its second year and expanded to Washington, D.C. The summer internship program provides students with service experiences through paid internships at nonprofit and governmental organizations.
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 created and promoted a multi-camera video, “Rainbow Talks,” featuring members of the Rutgers LGBTQIA+ community in a casual conversation about life, success, love, and everything in between.
• 50,000 plays on Instagram Reel and 300 views on YouTube
• 38,000 impressions and 825 reactions on social media
• 465 pageviews on Rutgers Today
The universitywide gateway site to Rutgers, UCM manages this important channel to the Rutgers digital universe.
- 15.2 million pageviews in FY 2023
- 3.7 million visitors
UCM promoted the launch of the Presidential Employee Excellence Recognition Program to acknowledge those who do so much for our students, for our employees, for the university itself, and for the broader society. The program was one of the recommendations from the Future of Work report released last year.
UCM supported the president’s second annual stakeholder address as he shared university achievements and aspirations with hundreds of Rutgers community members, board members, and government officials who gathered at the New Brunswick Performing Arts Center and online.
President Holloway coauthored an op-ed in The Star-Ledger with Benedict College president Roslyn Clark Artis on why they are standing up for free speech on college campuses.
President Holloway's 2023 Byrne Seminar for first-year students is designed to heighten understanding of the roles and responsibilities of citizenship and features conversations with distinguished leaders from the corporate, political, nonprofit, media, and faith communities on critical questions related to civic engagement.
Two pieces featuring the president ran online and in print on October 29 including one focused on free speech on college campuses and the president's effort to promote civil exchange and the other a Q&A addressing a range of topics.
President's Holloway’s website, managed by UCM, was updated with a new page on the Rutgers Scarlet Service program, highlighting the overall initiative, student stories, and information on applying for the program in our regional metropolitan area and in Washington, D.C.
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 President Holloway's second annual budget address to the University Senate, outlining Rutgers’ fiscal challenges and plans for addressing them in the years ahead.
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 2023
Rutgers stories that were pitched and promoted
A record-breaking donation to Rutgers Law School will be used to establish the new Ruth Bader Ginsburg Women’s Rights and Gender Justice Clinic. The clinic’s mission will be to advance gender equity through education, litigation, and legislative work.
14 news stories
1,708 pageviews on Rutgers Today
UCM promoted Rutgers’ big gains in the U.S. News rankings with a press release, Rutgers Today story, on social media, and on Rutgers.edu. UCM also shared the story with higher education leaders as part of the Excellence campaign.
42,000+ pageviews on Rutgers Today
551,300+ impressions and 27,500+ engagements on @Rutgers social media
20% email open rate
UCM created a multimedia series to celebrate the start of the fall 2023 semester and advise new students and parents on what to expect. This series included social media photos and reels, Rutgers Today stories, media pitches, and a Rutgers.edu takeover.
6,100+ pageviews on Rutgers Today
415,000+ impressions and 52,000+ engagements on @Rutgers social media
In separate cases, Dion Miller and Armond McCloud were exonerated after receiving representation from the New Jersey Innocence Project at Rutgers Law School. Miller served 20 years in prison and McCloud served 28 for crimes they did not commit.
12 print and online news stories
4 broadcast news stories
According to a study led by Stephen Anderson from the School of Arts and Sciences and Rutgers Center for Advanced Biotechnology and Medicine, a new COVID-19 vaccine developed at Rutgers may provide more durable protection against SARS-CoV-2 and its emerging variants than existing vaccines.
535 news stories
5,616 pageviews in Rutgers Today
UCM promoted the announcement of alumna and Emmy Award-winning actress Sheryl Lee Ralph as the 257th Anniversary Commencement speaker.
100 news stories
8,370 pageviews in Rutgers Today
326,021 impressions and 6,521 engagements on @RutgersU social media
21% Excellence campaign email open rate
A team of Rutgers scientists identified part of a protein that could provide clues to detecting planets on the verge of producing life.
13,846 pageviews in Rutgers Today
The state-of-the-art medical school and translational research facility are slated to be completed by 2026.
25 news stories
2,689 pageviews in Rutgers Today
Rutgers researchers conducted a national survey and found that most firearm owners keep at least one firearm unlocked for quick access in an emergency. When they do lock their firearms, Rutgers researchers discovered that firearm owners are most likely to use gun safes.
32,302 pageviews in 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
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
Managing Universitywide Social Media Accounts
UCM tracks, manages, and monitors the five @RutgersU social media accounts: LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube.
Highlights of FY 2023
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.
Rutgers Pride Campaign, #GreatThingsRU
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 #GreatThingsRU to frame the collection of weekly university facts, many correlating to major news stories, holidays, or events.
Elevate your presence when you use Rutgers-branded exhibit materials at events on and off campus. Available for use by faculty and staff, the kit includes table coverings, banners, podium signs, media backdrops, and other items.
Document skills, knowledge, and abilities with digital credentials. Digital badges are awarded for demonstrating completion of cocurricular, extracurricular, or noncredit-related learning. A digital certificate is earned when the learner has completed all the necessary requirements and assessments and has been given access to accept and share the digital certificate.
This 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.
36,500+ visitors annually
The ACE program includes outside communications firms with service agreements in place with the university, making engagement for Rutgers units faster and easier. Over 65 Rutgers units have taken advantage of the ACE program, spending over $14 million across more than 90 projects. The program currently features 74 suppliers across 10 ACE marketing/communications categories.
UCM oversees the implementation of policies that protect the Rutgers brand and distributes a periodic enewsletter to the Rutgers community featuring brand updates and tips. As Rutgers streamlines the visual identity system to adopt the Rutgers R as the primary logo for the university, watch for the Brand Aid enewsletter to keep current with the visual identity transition.
In adherence with Rutgers’ advertising policy, UCM reviews all advertisements, ensuring that Rutgers is presented in a consistent, coherent, and brand-standard manner.
• 436 ads reviewed and approved
• $7.1 million in total media buys
• 948 million impressions
UCM created a family of event communication materials, including the program book and graduate/family direct mailer. We also provided news and social media coverage, captured celebratory photos and videos, and managed media relations. A total of 1,697 news stories were generated.
We featured 36 graduating students from all the chancellor-led areas on Rutgers.edu, the Class of 2023 page on Rutgers Today, and shared on our social media channels. They earned 35,000 pageviews and over 1.4M social media impressions.
UCM manages the Commencement website, which received 91,000+ visitors and 613,000+ pageviews over six months, an 8.27 percent increase from last year. The 257th Anniversary Commencement event was streamed live on the site, and videos were uploaded for later viewing.
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 Information Technology–Web Consulting Services (OIT-WCS). 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
UCM's Work Receives International Recognition
The Association of Marketing and Communication Professionals honored UCM's work with the following Hermes Creative Awards, an international competition for the creative and marketing industry.
- Professionally Black Black History Month 2023 campaign by Evie Duvert, Marques Ruiz, and John Munson (Team's Specific Project Achievement)
- Rutgers Magazine Winter 2023 (Print Media–Magazine)
- Veterans House at Rutgers to Be Named After Medal of Honor Alumnus by Lisa Intrabartola (Brand Journalism)
- Professionally Black Black History Month 2023 campaign by Evie Duvert, Marques Ruiz and John Munson (Internal Communications Campaign)
- Rutgers Class of 2022 Senior Profiles by Marques Ruiz (Instagram Campaign)
- Rutgers Pianist Celebrates Lunar New Year With New Jersey Symphony video by John Munson (YouTube Video)
- FIFA World Cup Security for U.S. Is Led by Rutgers Grad by Robin Lally (Brand Journalism)
- Great Things to Know about Rutgers (Microsite)
- Al Roker’s Former Intern Makes His Mark in Meteorology and Modeling video by John Munson (YouTube video)
UCM Videos Earn Prestigious Awards
The Telly Awards represent work from some of the most respected advertising agencies, television stations, production companies, and publishers worldwide. UCM was recognized with:
- What RU Made Of? Black History Month 2023 student social media campaign by Marques Ruiz and Evie Duvert (Series: D&I)
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 2023
- 26,400+ total assets in database
- 12,100+ assets downloaded
- 3,700+ assets added