Update on the MarComm Path Forward

May 2, 2022, 2:30 p.m. CDT

Hello marketers and communicators -

It's been a few months since we've reached out with updates related to the Path Forward and the centralization of marketing and communications. I can assure you there have been many within Working Group #39 and the nine affiliated subcommittees working daily on this project. Today I'm happy to share some important progress, as well as a look ahead at what you can expect.

Over the last few months, members of Working Group #39 have met with their individual subcommittees (Student Affairs; Admin-Academics; Admin-Operations; Colleges; College of Arts & Sciences; Health; Athletics; Affiliates; and Branch, Remote and Teaching Campuses) to develop deliverables for their initial charge. That charge includes: 1) recommendations for high-level organizational structures; 2) identification of gaps and areas of duplication in services; 3) recommended aspirations for the future university-wide team; and 4) a set of recommended core services.

All work completed by the Working Group and subcommittees has been guided by our overarching vision for change: One university-wide marketing and communications capability will allow us to reimagine a best-in-class model that combines our many skills, strengths, and perspectives onto one collaborative team driven by a shared purpose, and in alignment with our identified guiding principles:

  • Transparency and openness - We will commit to sharing information (big and small) throughout the process and create channels and opportunities for ongoing dialogue and engagement for stakeholders.
  • Dedication to co-creation - We will work together to create a shared purpose, vision, and roadmap for the future of university marketing and communications.
  • Don't make assumptions - We will ask questions and not assume to know the answers to avoid misunderstandings.
  • Growth mindset - We will design a model with clear pathways for professional growth, development and leadership.
  • Continuous improvement - We will maintain flexibility and learning as we go and will embrace an evolving model and adjust based upon what is working and what is not working.
  • Clarity of purpose and services - We will clearly articulate our division's purpose and service offerings with internal stakeholders to eliminate confusion, minimize distractions and ensure our expertise is leveraged effectively to provide the greatest impact to the university.
  • Continuity of services - We will commit to continuing our day-to-day work as we develop our new model so that there is no lag in marketing and communications support.
  • Supportive approach - We will move to a culture of "we," invoking the spirit of a truly unified team, and sharing of ideas, experiences and opportunities with one another.

The Working Group recently met for an all-day working session to continue to fine tune our high-level organizational structure and service catalog/delivery mode, and also outline key next steps, including the articulation of the division's culture and customer service philosophy, identification of necessary processes/guidelines in a centralized model and creation of helpful tools/resources for communicators, including a glossary for common terminology.

I know many of you are curious to learn more. In the coming days, the Strategic Implementation Committee plans to share high-level organizational structures for each of the functional areas undergoing centralization. In the next few weeks, I would like to bring all of you together for a town hall to walk through themes that emerged from the census and subcommittee reports, as well as the high-level organizational structure and future service catalog/service delivery model, among other items.

I know this period of uncertainty is difficult. But please keep in mind, this is a marathon, not a sprint. My suggestion to each of you is to continue focusing on your current projects and priorities. While reporting lines will change as of September 1, your job and specific responsibilities will continue as usual while we fine tune the blueprint for the new structure alongside each of you.

I look forward to engaging with you all at our town hall in the next few weeks, and will follow up with details on this meeting soon. As always, please reach out to marcomm@tamu.edu with general questions, feedback or suggestions.

Thank you,
Marilyn