One of the key responsibilities of a university's communications department is to create a storyline that reflects the uniqueness of the university and then share it broadly.
(PRWEB) April 05, 2016
On April 13, 2016, Anouar Majid, the University of New England’s vice president for Global Affairs and Communications, will present a keynote address at the University Communicators conference, the premier symposium for university PR administrators. His lecture, titled “The Pulse of the University: Establishing Communicators as Institutional Storytellers,” will discuss the ways in which communications professionals shape the identity of universities.
Majid’s talk will take place at the Harvard Faculty Club.
As Majid notes, communications departments in universities typically serve a threefold purpose: publicize the work of faculty, manage the reputation of the university, and oversee branding efforts. However, the work of the department should extend beyond these traditional functions and help position the university for a better understanding of its strengths and mission.
In his lecture, Majid will explain the ways in which communications professionals can help faculty and academic leaders sharpen their vision of their own institutions. Creative designers, filmmakers, photographers and writers are instrumental in this project of collective self-definition.
In less than three years after assuming the job of vice president of Communications, Majid has overseen the redesign of UNE’s website, built on a new platform and hosted in the cloud; redesigned the university’s magazine, and added new profiles to the unit, such as a full-time filmmaker, full-time photographer, social media strategist, writer and director of marketing. In very short order, the University of New England was named among the top in the nation in the 2014/2015 Collegiate Advertising Awards program, receiving Gold Awards for the revamped magazine and video work. In 2015, the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine (AACOM) awarded the same magazine its top prize. This year, AACOM bestowed another prize to UNE’s Office of Communications for excellence in design in advertising.
Commenting on this rapid transformation, Majid says that the key idea is never to be bound by the dictates of unexamined convention. “Just like in academics or politics, people tend to be driven by the latest fads or wisdom, but no two situations in life are exactly alike. UNE is unlike any other university, so you need to create a storyline that reflects this uniqueness and then share it broadly. We are not just branding but instilling pride and loyalty within our own institution.”
Anouar Majid is Vice President for Global Affairs and Communications, the founding director of the Center for Global Humanities and the founding chair of the Department of English, which he headed from 2000 to 2009. He conceived and oversaw the establishment of UNE's campus in Tangier and is the managing director of UNE's operations in Morocco. Majid has published widely on relations between Islam and the West and is the author of six books published by some of the leading academic presses in the United States. Majid's articles and op-eds have appeared in Cultural Critique, Signs, Chronicle Review, Washington Post, and other publications. He was featured in the Bill Moyers Journal and on Al Jazeera Television. He was the co-founder and editor-in-chief of the print magazine Tingis, a Moroccan-American magazine of ideas and culture, and now edits it online at Tingismagazine.com.
The University of New England (UNE) is Maine’s largest private university. It offers dozens of undergraduate, graduate and professional degree programs and is home to Maine’s only medical and dental schools. With coastal campuses in Portland and Biddeford, Maine and one in Tangier, Morocco, UNE attracts internationally recognized scholars in the sciences, health, medicine and the humanities. It is one of a select group of academic institutions with a comprehensive health education mission that includes programs in medicine, pharmacy, dental medicine, nursing and an array of allied health professions.
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