York University crafted a campaign called, “This is my time”. The campaign focused on reshaping the perception of York University in the eyes of prospective students as the institution was failing.
The University was saturated in a heavy presence of negativity as labor disruptions at the school and on campus protests and on-campus safety concerns where taking place. York’s marketing and communications budget also did not compare to that of other universities. “AC Nielsen reported York’s reputational spending of just $285K thousand against $12.74M post-secondary education for 12 of 21 schools” (York University: This is my time).
York set out to change the perception of their University. Strengths that York took advantage of included their 250K alumni, which some had built a famous reputation for themselves. The institution’s Schulich School of Business and Osgoode Hall School of Law were prestigious colleges but the individual colleges and university did a poor job of integrating the success of the colleges with the name of the university.
The school targeted prospective students in grades 11-12 along with that of their parents. Relationships with alumni that were business leaders that influenced public opinion where developed and nurtured. With 65,000 faculty, staff and students, the university engaged with them to act as ambassadors, the population needed to feel inspired by the campaign.
Owned, earned and paid media was included in the mix, the communications featured current students voicing their journey and how York has guided them to change the world.