Editorial: You can, but why didn’t you?

The new marketing campaign has begun, though attentive freshmen should recognize it from the Griff Welcome Rally during New Student Orientation. “You Can.” In many ways, it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy, evidence that we can (and are) moving away from the pitfalls of “Go Exploring.” Seniors remember and everyone else is likely familiar with the days of “Where Leaders Are Made,” and now we see the dawn of a new age: “You Can.”

Canisius President and former Griffin Editor John J. Hurley wanted to see a student-centered university and now we have a student-centered advertising campaign. This paper applauds the new branding because we are finally moving towards an external image of the College that befits our institution. You Can. It’s so simple. It’s been right in front of our faces this whole time. Perhaps if we’re ever awarded university status, we’ll literally see U Can everywhere.

Associate Vice President, Marketing & Communication Matt Wojick, when he and several of his colleagues came to speak at the student Senate on Tuesday, stated that people weren’t as familiar with Canisius as they could be. People didn’t understand the value of this education, and so that’s where their focus originated. This paper certainly thinks that it was successful.

You can. It highlights the opportunities. You can go on a service trip. You can climb a mountain in Ireland. You can intern with the Buffalo Bills. You can write for a paper founded in 1933 (that’s us, in case you were wondering). The specificity and generality exists simultaneously–these are things that real people are doing and the tagline itself is the common denominator. It’s Canisius.

There’s no doubt that personalization is the way that Canisius really knocks people’s socks off. Sure, we’ve got the programs, but it’s the personal experience that are institution offers that truly sets us apart. Admissions sends out Christmas cards, gives away Canisius secrets and swag, and the counselors have to be surreptitiously studying high school senior photos because they’re always remembering names. This campaign does something that Admissions has already worked very hard to do: they connect a statistic with a student. And it does it on a much wider scale.

So what’s the problem? We’ve got a great marketing campaign. We’re finally characterizing ourselves correctly to the campus community. A question remains:

How did we get it?

This paper endeavored to answer this question, as newspapers are indeed wont to do, and though we’ve obtained figures in the past, even the half a million dollars over two years that was spent on “Go Exploring,” we were not allowed access to the numbers for this year’s certainly more successful campaign. Furthermore, the reason we were given for not having received such information was that we didn’t want to give it away to our competitors. Yet the idea is not for them to catch up to us; it is for us to lap them from a marketing standpoint, to bring in more students through a successful understanding of the College.

“You Can” also came about after a year’s work, with two of the billboards finished Tuesday morning, the same night as Wojick’s presentation to the Senate. What took it so long? As of this writing, it hasn’t even rolled out on the website, something that was supposed to have happened last week. Why wasn’t this done when “Go Exploring” was first discovered and detested?

This paper didn’t demand an itemized breakdown of paperclips and staples allotted to the project, but it would certainly take that as an option if it included an explanation of exactly how much was spent on this marketing campaign. Editor-in-Chief CJ Gates spoke with Director of Public Relations Eileen Herbert, who suggested that this paper speak to Matt Wojick on Thursday. That day, Griffin editors made an attempt to do this in a diplomatic process and were promised a financial explanation following the last information session which ended at 4:00 p.m. Thursday. Just after 4:00 p.m., Wojick said “Do you think you could come over to Lyons at 4:30? I just want to make sure that we’ve got everything that we’re going to share with you.”’

Upon arriving at Lyons Hall at the suggested time, Griffin editors waited twenty minutes before Wojick addressed them, just after 4:50 p.m., and then were told that they didn’t want the amount of money spent to be public knowledge–at 4:55pm on Thursday afternoon, just before close of business (i.e. our last chance to gather information for this printing). Five minutes before the end of the workday is not sufficient notice to look elsewhere.

Why aren’t our readers allowed to know? There are certainly many confidential matters involved in the running of a college, which this paper respects; why is marketing one of them? Students pay thousands of dollars in tuition, and it has gone up for years, which is again within the nature of running of a college. Enrollment has been down. “Go Exploring” broke student faith in the College’s ability to represent us. They have a right to know how much it took to dig us out of the hole. They have a right to know how much it cost to fix that mistake. This paper wonders why adminstration wouldn’t give that information to them. There is a degree of much-needed transparency between administration and students which was avoided in these discussions.

President Hurley promised us a student-centered university, and that’s been respected and reflected in the marketing campaign. “You Can” is brilliant; it’s everything we’ve been waiting for in a marketing campaign, but why aren’t we given details about how much it cost us? Apparently, we can do everything but get all the facts.

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