Dear whomever reading this,
Whether you’re an NGU Mass Comm alum, family member, current student, or a part of the Vision Media community, this letter is to you:
Over the past semester, we have been rebranding our Student Media at NGU. We’ve heard your feedback: your compliments, concerns, rebuttals, confusion, and support. We thank you for everything we’ve heard! We really do. The feedback we’ve heard has made us stay focused on our goal, and what we are trying to accomplish.
Before we move any further, let us tell you who “we” are. “We,” the authors of this post, are Megan Conley and Clay Webb. Megan Conley is a senior Print Media major (the last class of Print!) who is the Vision Media Director. Megan helps direct the four student media and does a lot with helping the four teams communicate. Clay Webb is a junior Broadcast Media major and is the Vision Media Marketing Director. Clay manages the social media, among many other things. Megan and Clay have both headed up our rebrand, as well as further concentrating on Vision Media’s identity, look, feel, and more. So, Megan and Clay are the “we” who co-wrote this letter.
The 2016-2017 school year, we realized that our department needed more. Our student media was award-winning, but really wasn’t too far ahead of everyone else. We knew our students had the potential to do so much more if we could set up the right environment for them. So we did something about it. Dr. Heidi Campbell, the chair of the mass communication department, approached the two of us about taking on this challenge: converging our student media, and rebranding it, too. What. A. Challenge. We knew nothing about either of these things, but we knew we wanted to be a part of this, and we would figure out whatever we had to so that we could make this a successful venture.
To start this convergence, we realized that we had to have a unified name. Our student body couldn’t identify our four separate media, but we figured they would be able to identify just one: Vision Media. As a whole, our student media is now known as Vision Media, with four teams under it. Vision Magazine. Vision Online. Vision Radio. Vision TV.
Vision Magazine and Vision Online kept their same names, and Radio and TV were the ones that had to change. We had to drop “The Vibe” and “Vision 48 News.” We heard your feedback on this, and we really did value it. We understood the ties and the emotional attachment that everyone had to these names. The Vibe and Vision 48 helped many of our alumni launch their careers in their fields, and our current students loved it, too. We’ll tell ya, getting everyone on board wasn’t easy but we knew it was a necessary change that had to happen.
Following that, we had to create a new, unified logo. That took us like three months. It wasn’t easy. We went through dozens of ideas, and then chose one. We sent it out to a focus group, and man they shot us down. We had to go back to the drawing board. We came up with three new ones, and then, basically an entire semester later, we found the one. It’s the logo you’ll begin to see on our work (and shirts!).
We also made the decision to have one social media account on each platform, instead of four. With Facebook, we were able to merge our pages into one, which brought all of our likes together. Instead of having four pages with a few hundred likes each, overnight, we were able to merge those together and have one page with 2,000 likes. That helped us out a ton. Now, our content was being seen by 4x as many people, and our content was being seen, viewed, clicked upon, and interacted with more than it ever has been. We did have to give up some of our old, individualized content, and that wasn’t easy to have to lose.
We also agreed upon a slogan for Vision Media. A Different Kind of College Media. If you were familiar with the tagline that The Vibe had, “A different kind of college radio,” it literally came right from that. Whoever came up with that tagline many years ago, thanks for making it a good one. It now encapsulates our entire brand, as we truly are a different kind of college media. You won’t find many college campuses in the United States that are using a converged student media, where students from video, print, online, and radio are working together and collaborating on projects (you also won’t find many universities around the U.S. that even have all four of these options of student media available). We also are different because of our “parent company.” Being a part of North Greenville University is truly a blessing to us. Attending a university who believes that Christ Makes The Difference falls down into our media coverage as well. Our content is presented through a Christian worldview, and that is also something you won’t see on college campuses, which is something else that makes us A Different Kind of College Media - and we’re proud to be that!
We have valued all of the feedback we have received thus far, and we still want to hear what you like and what you don’t as we continue to tweak, make changes, and present new content. Our work still isn’t done...we’re still looking into the future: a redesigned website, a Vision Media app, and who knows what else will come along? We still have another semester to work on new projects and ideas. And, whoever falls into our positions next year will be able to tweak what we have done and continue to improve upon it and make it better for future students. They will be able to continue to meet our students needs as the world of communication continues to exponentially grow and change each day.
Megan Conley & Clay Webb
Vision Media Director & Marketing Director