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Ologie marketing firm does outreach for the College

Ologie, the new marketing firm that will be representing the College, gave a presentation in the Harris Center Cinema on Thursday, Feb. 2.

Grinnell College has recently hired Ologie, a Columbus, Ohio-based marketing and strategy firm, to further the college’s marketing and outreach efforts. The company has a large roster of higher-education clients and intends to build a powerful platform for Grinnell to tell its story.

In a presentation last Thursday, representatives from Ologie described the goals for the partnership.

“[One goal is to] raise the awareness, recognition, visibility and reputation of Grinnell College with prospective students and their parents, current students, faculty and staff, alumni, business and community leaders and other key external audiences,” said Patrick Locy, a senior account manager at Ologie.

This sort of language is common in the industry, but essentially the company intends to help promote Grinnell as a prestigious institution.

“Some of this language is … what happens when you take marketers and the people who write contracts and put them together,” Locy said.

The College hired the firm as a continuation of the previous work done on marketing, specifically the Arts and Sciences Survey and the Crane Research.

“To keep the momentum going, we had done this work with art and science, we had done the work with Crane, and really just the acknowledgement that we need to continue down that path and that we need to be competitive in the marketplace,” said Jim Powers, director of communications at Grinnell College.

The College selected Ologie out of a number of top firms.

“We sent out a number of RFPs [request for proposal], we had identified about 15 nationally known firms that specialize in higher-ed marketing ranging from really small boutique firms to larger studios … narrowed it down to three, and invited those three firms to campus. They made presentations, we reviewed the material, thought about fit and chemistry with Grinnell and then made an offer to Ologie once we got excited about their work,” Powers said.

The firm hasn’t produced much yet, as they are still getting a feel for the campus and culture.

“Right now we’re very much amid the strategy phase,” Locy said.

The company’s philosophy on higher-ed marketing is to build a compelling brand through interesting, authentic stories. The brand, or the complete image of the College, is supposed to truly represent the campus experience.

“At some college campuses ‘brand’ can be a dirty word, but we don’t agree with that. … Great brands are built on clear positioning and a great story,” said Kyle Kastranec, an associate creative director at Ologie.

The presenters emphasized that all communications and marketing need to be authentic and truthful in order to have the desired impact.

“[Ologie makes a] genuine representation of the culture, campus, and experience,” said Erin Burk, an executive strategy director at Ologie.

The firm will also assist with the implementation of Vision 2030, President Kington’s long-term plan for Grinnell.

“All of these efforts can work together really well,” Burk said.

Hopefully, with the help of Ologie, Grinnell will be able to continue to tell its ever-growing story effectively and enticingly.


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