Image Study Measures How University is Perceived by Key External Audiences
What do corporate CEOs and recruiters, government leaders, foundation executives, opinion leaders in the higher education industry and alumni really, REALLY think when they hear the name Carnegie Mellon?
You would assume they think of one of the best interdisciplinary, problem-solving research universities in the world, one that blends world-class programs in science and technology with preeminent programs in the arts and humanities.
But, do they? Or don't they? And if they don't, just what DO they think?
That's what the university will find out later this semester when Tripp Umbach Associates, Inc., a Pittsburgh-based company specializing in quantitative and qualitative research and planning services, completes an image and brand evaluation study for Carnegie Mellon's University Advancement Division.
"This will be the first time Carnegie Mellon can begin to assess quantitatively how our target audiences define our institutional image," said Kyle Fisher Morabito, associate vice president for university advancement/marketing and media relations. "How do select external audiences perceive Carnegie Mellon, what values are most meaningful to them in judging the quality of a university, and how is Carnegie Mellon valued in comparison to our key competitors?
"Once we know what these audience segments thinkand don't thinkabout Carnegie Mellon, we can begin to target more effectively the messages we need to send, and be more effective in generating the supportive attitudes and behaviors we need to meet university goals. We'll use this information to help develop a more strategic and integrated approach to the way we communicate with our key audiences," she said.
Fisher Morabito said the study would also begin to assess the "brand awareness" of Carnegie Mellon's seven colleges and schools.
The study, in the form of a 14-part survey, is being distributed to corporate CEOs in several industries, leaders of federal agencies, policymakers and legislators on the federal, state and local level, and to leaders of professional, arts and cultural organizations. It is also being sent to corporate recruiters from the top companies who recruit on campus and to others from the same industry segments who do not frequently recruit at Carnegie Mellon.
Also being polled are faculty and leading administrators from the top 50 national universities, according to the latest U.S. News and World Report magazine's "America's Best Colleges" survey, and from all member schools of the American Association of Universities.
Carnegie Mellon alumni from seven key cities and regions are also part of the survey population. About 53% of the university's 54,000 alumni live in Pittsburgh, New York City, Washington, D.C./Baltimore, Silicon Valley/San Francisco, Los Angeles, Philadelphia and Boston. With about 11,900 alumni, Pittsburgh has by far the highest concentration, more than double that of New York City's (5,195).
Individuals will either receive an email asking them to link to a Web site to complete the survey or will be sent a survey by U.S. mail. Preliminary results are expected this spring and will be shared with key stakeholders, including colleagues in the colleges and schools and within the administration.
Fisher Morabito said Tripp Umbach was selected because of its experience with Fortune 500 and higher education clients and because it is also conducting a similar survey for the Graduate School of Industrial Administration. The firm, headquartered in Pittsburgh with branch offices in New York, Minneapolis and St. Louis, has more than 400 clients in the fields of health care, arts and tourism, government, business and higher education.
Its client list includes Bayer Corporation, Midas Corporation, Giant Eagle, the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Cornell University, the Ohio State University and the University of Pennsylvania.
For more information on this survey, or the university's brand or marketing plans, contact Fisher Morabito at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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