When UF President Bernard Machen announced in 2012 that he intended to retire from his position the following year, the university was tasked with finding an elite group of highly qualified leaders as candidates to lead UF forward. The PR & Marketing subcommittee of the UF Presidential Search Committee, chaired by David Brown, enlisted University Relations to create a presentation that would consolidate the most critical and captivating points of interest about UF to be delivered to those candidates. The centerpiece was a 28-page booklet, printed on thick stock and perfect bound, with oversized graphic call-outs highlighting some of UF’s most important rankings and metrics, all designed to make a strong, concise, compelling statement: UF presents a unique opportunity to lead a Top-20 research university. Photography in the booklet showcased UF’s scope and program array, as well as the beauty and appeal of the UF campus.
Realizing a presentation of this magnitude deserved special treatment that would make an instantly favorable impression of a unique opportunity, University Relations decided to create a lavish package for the booklet and accompanying materials. The result was a stunning, custom-designed anodized aluminum box with the UF logo etched on the cover. At 9” x 11.5” x 1”, it was large enough to house the booklet as well as printed pieces provided by individual colleges and units, in addition to other information about UF and Gainesville. The box was meticulously adorned with orange and blue satin ribbon and then shrink-wrapped for protection. UF enlisted an executive search company with vast experience in higher ed to coordinate the effort. They called the package “extremely successful” and one of the best they had ever seen. A website was also launched to keep the public up to date of any developments and all scheduled meetings of the Presidential Search Committee.
And because President Machen ultimately decided to stay at UF, the momentum of the search effort was not simply put aside, but harnessed and refocused. A larger conversation between trustees and administrators began, regarding the role of effectively communicating the University’s most important messages and raising awareness of UF to our key audiences.
Jane Adams, Vice President, University Relations
Dan Williams, AVP Marketing, University Relations
Janine Sikes, AVP Media Relations, University Relations
Scott Nygren, Presidential Search Committee
Jim Harrison, Creative Director, University Relations
Aaron Hoover, Speechwriter, Office of the President
Paul Bernard, Copywriter, University Relations
Steve Orlando, Director of Media Relations, University Relations
Al Kirby, Web Designer, University Relations
Eric Zamora, Photographer, University Relations
Ray Carson, Photography Coordinator, University Relations
Critical strategic planning and development of a thorough communications plan
Effective collaboration with the President’s office to ensure the appropriateness of search messages and narrative themes with the candidates
Campus-wide communication and cooperation to cull and organize all relevant facts and figures about UF and ensure their accuracy
Constant contact with members of the Presidential Search Committee
Constant contact with members of the media
Utilizing Indigo digital printing for short-run literature quantities at a maximum level of fit & finish
Effectively sourcing an unexpected kind of presentation package through Case Club in California
Effective use of the most exclusive, “five-star” UF photography