The Institutional Communication Office served as precursor of the Marketing Communication Office. Established in the late 80s, the ICO was involved in University internal communications (i.e. publications, calling card production, etc.) and public relations.
Recognizing the need to improve institutional image and student profile of DLSU, the Marketing Communication Office (MCO) was formed in 1999 to formulate, execute, and supervise the marketing and imaging efforts of the university. With its new positioning statement, “The future begins here,” MCO spearheaded marketing and communication initiatives geared towards the improvement of the public’s perception of the institution.
Through the efforts of the office, the University improved the profile of students, helped stabilize enrollment figures, increased media coverage and public awareness of University achievements and developments, and further established DLSU as a leading teaching and research institution in the region.
Communication as Strategic Function
As the university continues to expand and spearhead programs for development in different fields of endeavor, there is an ever-increasing need for initiatives to be properly communicated to the University’s various publics. The rapid development of communication technologies has also resulted in diverse challenges and opportunities on how we connect with our various stakeholders. Communication requirements have become as diverse, and thus communication has evolved from being a staff or support function to being a line function of the University.
Considering that communication is a vital component in effective management and with MCO serving as the operational arm of the Office of the President and Chancellor in the development and implementation of communication strategies, it is advantageous for the University to engage MCO in the decision-making process of the administration. The move is essential in ensuring that the information received by the University’s various audiences are correct, complete, and relevant to the attainment of specific strategic objectives, as well as consistent with the over all vision/mission of the University.
With its engagement in policy-making, formulation of strategies, and implementation of integrated marketing communication programs, a change of name is recommended to fit the realigned role of MCO. It is proposed that MCO adopts the name Office for Strategic Communications (STRATCOM) starting Academic Year 2010-2011. The renaming of the office is an appropriate acknowledgement of the growing responsibility of the office in the University.
From a “piece meal” and project-based approach, the communication blueprint of the university evolves into a long-term vision, trickling down, engaged with, and reflective of the strategies and objectives of both the university and its discrete units. More than serving as a passive communicator of university messages, the expanded engagement of STRATCOM is a pro-active tool by which shareholder perception can be efficiently and effectively managed.