Communication Audit: Kwantlen Polytechnic University Web view In order for Kwantlen to meet its goal

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Transcript of Communication Audit: Kwantlen Polytechnic University Web view In order for Kwantlen to meet its goal

Communication Audit: Kwantlen Polytechnic University

Running Head: Communication Audit


Communication Audit

Communication Audit: Kwantlen Polytechnic University

Justin Wong

Jailum Bhandar

Warren Wong

Horace Ng


April 9, 2013

Table of Contents

Goals 2

Objectives 2

Identification of Audiences 3

Relationships 3

Integrated Communication Strategy 4

Strategic Alignment and Positioning 5

Interaction feedback and service response 6

Customization and personalization 6

Blocking Chart 6

Paid Media 7

Owned media 8

Website 8

Facebook 9

Twitter 9

YouTube 9

Inconsistency of Social Media 10

Other Various Owned Media 10

Earned Media 11

Kwantlen’s Logo 12

Issue Management 13

Contingency Plan 14

Recommendation 14

Exhibits 17



Ever since Kwantlen became a University in 2008 (Kwantlen, n.d.), Kwantlen’s goal has been to solidify its status as being a university and to ensure Kwantlen is known as a university. However, many people still don’t know that Kwantlen is a university. In order to promote Kwantlen as a university, Kwantlen needs to increase brand awareness. Kwantlen plans to accomplish this by promoting the programs it offers and the success students have after attending Kwantlen. For example, Kwantlen uses student achievements for promotional purposes.

Although Kwantlen wants be to be known as a university, it is not aiming to be compared to The University of British Columbia or Simon Fraser University. Kwantlen is a smaller educational institution that serves a different purpose. Kwantlen markets itself as being a local university that has many campuses around the lower mainland, which are easily accessible for students. Kwantlen also differentiates itself by having much smaller class sizes than UBC and SFU which offers students a better learning environment.


In order for Kwantlen to meet its goal in being recognized as a university, one of their objectives is to have 95% of their students to clearly understand what it means to be a polytechnic university by the end of 2014. As students are a major force in promoting the school as they share their experience at Kwantlen and talk about where and what they studied, it is important that they communicate to others what it means to be a polytechnic university. If the current students don’t understand what that is, they will be communicating a mixed message on their own ideas of what Kwantlen’s image portrays to them; and not the image that Kwantlen wants its students to communicate.

Identification of Audiences

According to our interview with Joanne Saunders, their main audience consists of students, employees, and potential students. She was able to inform us that their primary target audiences are students between the ages of 17 to 25. Their secondary audience consists of parents who have children attending the school or who plan to go to Kwantlen as well as mature students, which are students who plan to go back to school.

She was unable to give any further information on any other audiences that Kwantlen may have such as shareholders, government employees, suppliers or any outsourced companies that they employ.


During the meeting with Joanne, she mentioned that marketing efforts are generally towards their target audiences, which are students between 17 to 25 years old. She also mentioned “Suppliers, Employees, Government and Media are not target audiences in our marketing efforts. Some of these people may fall into the categories of parents and mature students though.” She then goes on to mentioning “As for media, we target them with information to promote the University but they are not a target audience for our marketing efforts.” Based on Joanne’s response, there is no long term customer relationship management (CRM) plan implemented for these individuals. Kwantlen promotes to these individuals but has not looked into building a long-term relationship with them. Relationship is an important aspect for Kwantlen as they are a public institution. Relationship would play a major role in many aspects for Kwantlen. It could in the long run benefit Kwantlen financially or give Kwantlen a competitive edge over other public institutions.

Integrated Communication Strategy

The plan for Kwantlen’s integrated communication strategy is to make all aspects of its marketing communication to work together and portray the same image. This is especially important with what has happened within the past couple of years as Kwantlen began rebranding its image. Its previous strategy no longer communicates the same message, as its current strategy because in the past they were known as a college where as now they are labeled as a “Polytechnic University”. In order for Kwantlen to have an integrated communication strategy, all marketing proposals have to go through Joanne Saunders, the head of the Marketing and Communications department, as she determines if the projects fits into their communication strategy. This is how she is able to ensure that all advertising, sales promotion, public relations, and direct marketing work together as a unified force, instead of each working on its own.

As for controlling what other people communicate through social media, she is not able to direct them to follow the same procedures that she currently uses for Kwantlen’s communication strategy. For example, if a student or a teacher has a website or a social media account that showcases Kwantlen and communicates a totally different image compared to Kwantlen’s current strategy, Joanne has no control over this and is not able to integrate it into its communication strategy.

Strategic Alignment and Positioning Comment by Horace: Wtf is this?

Kwantlen has positioned itself as a mid-level institution. There are other universities that are given more prestige, and are perceived to give a better education such as Simon Fraser University and University of British Columbia. These universities may give a better education but this comes along with higher tuition fees. Kwantlen offers a wide variety of programs that extend to trade which most of these prestige universities do not. Also Kwantlen is conveniently located throughout the Lower Mainland for easy accessibility for students. Kwantlen also offers small class sizes, and an integrated education system that involves first-hand experience and not just theory. This is carried out by majority of the classes having an applied component where students have to utilize the theory, and most of the time interact with the community.

Internal Communication

For internal communication with staff, Kwantlen communicates electronically and with print. Electronic tools include e-mail, telephone, video, and electronic newsletters. Print based communication consists of newsletters, posters, and memos. There aren’t any specific regulations for internal communication except that staff members are expected to have their signatures at the end of their e-mail. An example of a signature can be seen in exhibit 3

For internal communication with students, Kwantlen uses the LED monitors around the campuses, e-mail, and bulletin boards. The LED monitors and bulletin boards are generally used to communicate about events and programs while e-mail is for a two-way communication between professors and students.

Interaction feedback and service response

Currently, interaction with students and other individuals is done through the use of email and social media platforms. The interaction on the social media platform for Kwantlen is through Twitter [footnoteRef:1]and Facebook[footnoteRef:2]. According to Joanne, her department staff manages the social media platforms and deals with questions and provides feedback on these social media platforms. Their Twitter page is driving more on interaction between KPU and students then Facebook even though both platforms are following a push strategy for marketing. [1:] [2:]

Customization and personalization

There is very limited customization and personalization in terms of Kwantlens current communication plan. The emails are standardized in terms of sign off required at the end of each email. Refer to exhibit 3 for an example that Joanne has provided us for Kwantlens sign off for emails. Exhibit 4 and 5 is an email that is standardized with no personalization that is sent to the Kwantlen students. It does not have a personalized name reference to the individual and does not meet the required sign off that the emails should entail.

Blocking Chart

As quoted from Joanne “I do not have one blocking chart for the entire university marketing plans. We have one for each department and various others for other mediums. Sorry, but I cannot provide such.” Currently there are blocking charts for each separate department but no full combined blocking chart listing all the different days which department will be doing certain advertising strategies. A foreseen issue is duplicated advertisements, since each department has their own block charts.

Paid Media

As quoted from Joanne “This past year, we did TV, Radio, print, and social media advertising” which includes all the different forms of the paid media for Kwantlen. Referring to exhibit 1 and exhibit 2, you can see the example of the print media that Kwantlen has partaken. These posters and others are posted around the various campuses to promote Kwantlen and the