Office of Advancement
Office of Advancement

ALTogether Now

Vol. 55 – July 7, 2020

exterior photo of Summerhill building


Scott Anderson

The certain uncertainty of well-laid plans

By Scott Anderson, Executive Director, Communications, Marketing, Events and Donor Relations

In 1785, Robbie Burns wrote an apologetic poem to a mouse whose nest he had destroyed with his plow. The poem is most famous for the line “The best-laid schemes o' mice an' men/Gang aft agley,” (original Scots) or as it is often paraphrased in English, “The best laid plans of mice and men/Oft go awry.”

Like all of you, we mice in the Communications, Marketing, Events, and Donor Relations unit saw many things go “agley” this year as the pandemic forced us to rethink our plans and put our attention fully on the crisis at hand. For us, that meant slowing down several key projects for which we had received funding in the last fiscal year. The key projects on our plate include development of a refreshed alumni brand infrastructure, narrative, and awareness campaign, renewal of all the websites we manage in Advancement, and a full redesign of the Queen’s Alumni Review. When we received funding for these projects last fall, I dubbed them collectively the May Day Project because I fully expected us to be mostly done by the end of April. In fact, I was sure of it. Then COVID-19 came along and plowed up our field.

While work did slow down as a result of the need to focus on the great work our alumni are doing to help during the pandemic, we have been making progress. Today I want to give you an update on what I am now calling the Thanksgiving Day Project.

icon of a gearBrand refresh and awareness campaign

This spring we received proposals from three agencies to refresh the alumni brand, which was last updated in 2007 before social media was a big deal for universities. The successful agency, Jacknife Design, will be presenting us preliminary design drafts of the alumni logo on July 15. Assuming we think they’re on the right track, we’ll begin testing the designs with our stakeholders, including staff. The only thing I can tell you with any certainty right now is that the new logo, like the current one, will be based on the Queen’s flag, which our research showed is beloved by alumni.

As part of our plan to unveil our refreshed brand as well our new websites and redesigned magazine, we developed and tested three concepts for a brand awareness campaign. We chose one concept – United by Queen’s – to move forward. We are currently presenting this concept to all our Advancement units and stakeholders in order to refine it before going into market in the fall. By the way, United by Queen’s was the brainchild of Alex Beshara, who was working with us on a contract basis until he joined our unit last month as Director, Strategic Content and Publications. Alex will be leading the brand project going forward.

icon of a gearWebsite renewal

The new brand direction has been applied to an updated website, thanks to the creative mind of Wendy Treverton. We have realigned some of content to better reflect our strategic priorities and Deborah Melman-Clement has been tirelessly working on a refreshed brand tone and voice documentation. The giving section of the alumni website is being refreshed with lots of input from the Gift Planning team and insights from our web analytics. We will being loading content into the site over the next couple of weeks and the new site will be ready to go live then. 

icon of a gearQueen’s Alumni Review redesign

We have just begun the process of hiring an agency to conduct the redesign of the magazine so that we can align the magazine more closely with our refreshed brand. Stay tuned.

icon of a gearEmail and events software upgrade

iModules announced this morning, July 7, that it will be merging with two other companies, Campus Management and Campus Labs to form a new organization Anthology. Learn more.

Julia Bryan and Rachel Deir continue to work with iModules on the data implementation and integration with our software systems. We have provided iModules with our new visual identity and are developing the email and event template designs to align with the new brand. Faculties will still be able to use their own brands in their content creation.

We recently posted a new term position for an email marketing manager who will oversee the email system. They will serve as the subject matter expert for content creation and email performance and act as an important resource for teams who want to improve their email communications.

We will do our best to keep you updated from time to time as we move forward with the Thanksgiving Day Project, keeping in mind, as Robbie Burns less famously said, “there is no such uncertainty as a sure thing.”

Register for Sizzler

Anxious to learn about what’s possible with iModules?

We encourage you to register for their annual conference, Sizzler, on Monday, July 27. This annual event brings advancement professionals together to network, share, and learn valuable best practices to enhance creativity, boost productivity, and maximize Encompass.

Register for Sizzler.

If you have any questions, please contact Julia or Rachel.

icon of magnifying glass with data pointsReporting on diversity

For the last couple of years, Advancement has been providing a year-end report to the Deputy Provost (Academic Operations and Inclusion), Dr. Teri Shearer, highlighting our work in advancing equity, diversity, and inclusion initiatives on campus related to the recommendations from the Principal’s Implementation Committee on Racism, Diversity, and Inclusion (PICRDI) and the Yakwanastahentéha Aankenjigemi Extending the Rafters: Truth and Reconciliation Commission Task Force Final Report.

The reports are not necessarily user friendly because they get rolled up into a board report, but you can access the 2019-20 and 2018-19 reports here.

Jobs with Advancement

We need your recruitment help. Know great talent that would be a good addition to our team? If so, please promote the vacancy below with your networks and let’s find some amazing new team members.

Applications (including a cover letter and resume) must be submitted through CareerQ. For additional information on this posting, please reach out to either Katelyn, Carla, or the hiring manager for the position you are interested in.

Available Position:

Email Marketing Manager Communications, Marketing, Events & Donor Relations July 12, 2020 9
Fund Stewardship Officer Communications, Marketing, Events & Donor Relations July 20, 2020 8

Fun fact

Ban Righ Hall

Built in 1923-25, Ban Righ Hall is a women's residence located at the corner of University Avenue and Queen's Crescent. It is the oldest of the university's residences still standing and owned by the university, and the first specifically built to be a residence.

Its opening in 1925 represented the culmination of about 15 years of work by the volunteer members of the Alumnae Association, the association of female Queen's graduates, who entirely planned Ban Righ Hall and raised $80,000 — more than half of the money needed for the building — through bit-by-bit fundraising in the form of teas, bake sales, bridge parties, and small donations.

The term "ban righ" is Gaelic for "wife of the King" — or, in other words, "Queen."