Strategic Communications During Difficult Times by LipmanHearne

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									Strategic Communications
  During Difficult Times
       CASE IRF Conference
         March 25, 2009

                        Robert M. Moore, Ph.D.
                               Managing Partner
2 How difficult are these times?

  • DJIA = Q1 1997
      • Nearly 50% of value
        evaporated (>$3 trillion)
  • Family net worth
      • -20% since 2007
      • -$13 trillion
  • 8% national unemployment
  • Job loss > 2.5 million
  • 65% of states report mid-
    year budget reductions
3 And in higher ed…

  • 10-year change in higher ed funding
     • Public support -7%
     • Net tuition +20%
     • Total educational revenue +1.3%
  • FAFSA forms completed before meltdown
     • Increasing need for new levels of financial aid
  • Designated funds underwater
  • Really poor time to launch capital campaign
     • But a great time to plan/position
  • Increasing reliance on annual fund
     • Participation, retention, and upgrades – oh my!
―Never let a serious crisis go to waste.‖

                               — Rahm Emanuel
5 What can this crisis do for us?

  • Demonstrate the importance of philanthropic
  • Provide a means to explain what endowment is
    and does…
      •…as well as what it isn’t.
  • Position the Foundation as a true partner to the
  • Align investor communications with institutional
    outreach and intent
6 So how we doin’?

   ―I’ve seen better alignment
     on a ’49 Ford farm truck.‖
7 Messages that institutions are sending

     • ―Absence of funding will
       create substantial
       challenges.‖ – Mark G. Yudof, U

     • ―Hefty cost increases will
       impact all campus
       programs.‖ – Steve Olsen, UCLA
     • ―Severe restrictions.‖ –
       Marye Anne Fox, UCSD
8 And even more extremes…

    • ―Hiring freeze…furloughs…job losses.‖ – Robert
     Birgeneau, UC Berkeley

    • ―Quality of institution…at risk.‖ – George Blumenthal, UCSC
    • ―A devastating blow.‖ – Michael Crow, ASU
    • ―Outlook for students is bleak.‖ – T.K. Wetherell, FSU
    • ―Is it really as bad as they say? Yes.‖ – Carolyn Busch,
     University of Washington

    • ―Harsh realities.‖ – Judy Genshaft, USF
    • ―Very threatening.‖ – John B. Simpson, University at Buffalo
9 And what are we saying?

     • ―We’re a mission-based
     • ―Equipment donation.‖
     • ―Get involved.‖
     • ―Gifts at work.‖
     • ―Endowed professorship.‖
     • ―Building for the future.‖
     • ―The time is now – to
     • ―Ways to give.‖
     • ―Gala creates fellowships.‖
10 Those things are…

   • Affordability for my kids…
   • Quality of programs…
   • Ability to serve the growing needs of state and
   • Access and opportunity…
   • New discoveries that will lead to greater economic

                       …and the role that philanthropy plays.
  If frugality is the new black,
then giving is the new hot pink.

     Your Homework
21 We hear from you

      • Assets -19% on
         • Range -13% to -30%
      • Hearing from
        stakeholders 2-3
         • Range: ―daily‖ to
           ―hardly ever‖
         • Larger institutions
           hearing more
How you’re communicating

                           • Communications tools
                             •   Yes: by mail, email, telephone,
                                 media, one-on-one
                             •   No: web, white paper, blogging,
                                 social media

                           • Coordination with
                             •   ―Not really‖

                           • Key message framework
                             •   Focus mostly on status of investment
                                 returns and role of long-term
                                 investment strategy
23 What can we do?

   • Truly link Foundation mission/capability with
     institutional need
      • Determine nature of demand going forward
      • Understand role that Foundation assets can play
   • Develop a message strategy/framework
      • Address audience concerns and institutional position
      • Coordinate message content/outreach with institutional
        communications stream
      • Integrate Foundation story/role in institutional
   • Identify/prepare spokespeople
24 What can we do?

   • Be bold
      • Anxiety creates opportunity
      • Make the Foundation memorable for its response
      • Consider new programs/focus
   • Use all the tools at your command
      • Traditional methods (media, mailings, newsletters, email)
      • Web posts
      • Stakeholder planning/dialogue sessions
   • Pivot off national stories
      • Concerns about rising tuition
      • Senator Grassley
      • Pressure on ―mega-wealthy‖ institutions
25 What can we do?

   • Emphasize role/importance of annual giving
     • ―Cornell University President David Skorton…hit up one
       generous graduate for $1 million to endow a
       scholarship…the alum said that all he could commit to
       was giving $50,000 per year for the next four years.‖ –
       Businessweek, 3/01/09

   • Tell stories of immediate impact
     • Students who could enroll/persist
     • Faculty research outcomes
     • Community service projects
26 What can we do?

   • Join the UGC dialogue (a.k.a.: 21st century)
      • Monitor/use social media
      • Enter the blogosphere
      • Provide content
         • Economic analysis
         • Showcase thought leadership
         • Student/faculty accomplishment stories
      • Open avenues for conversation with alumni and
      • Gain ―authority‖ by links to outside sources
     My Fellow UA Alum,

     As you may be aware, the State is planning to make drastic budget cuts that will have a huge, negative impact on the

     The new proposal, if accepted, would force massive layoffs, close colleges and departments, provide fewer class
     sections and larger classes, reduce services and increase tuition. The best faculty would be lost, taking with them the
     research grants that are so valuable for stimulating economic growth and improving quality of life. This could possibly
     prolong the current recession and ruin future economic prospects of Arizona having a high-skill, high-tech workforce
     for the coming decades.

     The proposed cuts to the University System are devastating, but there are alternatives that are much less so.
     Legislators will consider alternatives if large numbers of constituents object to the proposed plan. There are solutions
     to the State's current budget challenge beyond slashing and dismantling our universities. Governor Napolitano, before
     leaving office, put forward a balanced budget that did not raise taxes and provided a mid-year cut to our universities
     of only 5% (rather than the 25% mid-year cut being proposed.)


     Please feel free to email me at if you would like a list of the AZ legislators, a sample letter, and
     more information on how the budget cuts will impact the UA.


     Bear Down

     Melissa Rose
     VP East Valley UA Alumni Chapter
     UA Business Professionals Organization
Everybody’s talkin…

  • Google (
    • 40,800,000 hits for
      “foundation blogs”
    • 1,390,000 for
      “philanthropy blogs”
    • 148,000,000 for
      “university blogs”
    • 86,200,000 for “college
    • 15,500,000 for
      “university foundation
  • And tweeting…

 •And on Facebook (
 •And on MySpace (
 •And on Flickr (
 •And on YouTube (
 •And on and on and on…
   • Social media now ahead of email in online usage
   • One in every 11 minutes online globally is in
     blogging and social media
   • Biggest increase in 2008 from 35-49 age group
   • Mobile increasingly important
   • Facebook 30% market share of online users
 •Social media usage now 4th – and growing
   twice as fast as other forms of use

        Join the conversation at

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