Bond, Emotional Bond

What we should be striving for is to turn the usual institutional communication paradigm upside down. It’s no longer enough to submit our content out there to the world and wait to find out who cares. That just doesn’t work any more. We’ve known it for years and have still been slow to adapt. We need a cultural shift across campus with regard to communications to make a change.

Striving to create and foster the deep engagement we need with our many audiences starts with presenting the captivating, emotional aspects of UF’s brand – in whatever form that takes for your College, School, Unit, Center, Institute, Department, or group. Why do people care about what you do? How are you changing lives?

Here’s the secret to attracting your audience’s attention and getting results: When people are emotionally engaged by your messages and desire more information, they have a much higher – an exponentially higher — chance of actually making decisions based on it. If someone isn’t engaged by what you have to say, then it’s safe to say they’re only being bombarded by unsolicited communications you haven’t figured out how to make them care about.

Establishing the foundation for communications that engage first and convey valuable information second is one critical way we can all reinforce the emotional components of UF’s strong brand. When you support the brand, the brand supports you.

Jim Harrison is UF’s Creative Director in the Office of University Relations.