Case Study

University of Virginia

Built on the dream of a U.S. president in 1819, the University of Virginia consistently ranks as one of the best public universities in the nation. Like other institutes of higher education, U.Va. houses multiple schools, each with a distinct specialty, mission and audience within the larger university brand expression. Journey Group helps U.Va. document and celebrate its progress toward achieving these missions, school by school, and always with excellence and innovation.

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One brand, many expressions

In 2012, we partnered with U.Va.’s office of the president to create a robust digital solution for its annual report. In light of the university’s longstanding tradition of printed reports, this project conveyed trust in us to understand, guard and grow the U.Va. brand. Such trust has been built over a 10-year relationship with U.Va.—creating effective media experiences for eight of its schools and two of its affiliate programs.

Depth and breadth

Sometimes our work for one school involves engagement at a critical point, such as when the College of Arts & Sciences transitioned to a new dean and needed a refreshed website. Other times, we produce multiple print and digital expressions to meet a school’s varying communication needs—anything from student-recruitment tools to quarterly magazines and high-gloss, commemorative books. Whatever the project, we explore how each school can distinctly reach its audience while remaining connected to the parent brand.

Recruitment brochure, Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy, U.Va.
Gift planning book, Jefferson Scholars Foundation
Standing Still Is Not an Option, book honoring Dean Bruner, Darden School of Business, U.Va.

“I am so appreciative of our partnership with Journey Group, and their ability to listen and under­stand how to precisely capture the Foundation’s ethos in so many beautiful and brilliant ways.”

— Helen Dwyer, Director of Business Planning and Operations, Jefferson Scholars Foundation

Storytelling as a tactic

Every university faces the four-prong challenge of attracting talent, documenting progress, deepening loyalty and encouraging action. In our work with U.Va., we help meet these challenges by creating products that center on stories. We unearth the narratives that we know will build on the loyalty nurtured among students and faculty through years together at the university.

Batten Reports, public policy magazine published with Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy, U.Va.
2014 Annual Report, Jefferson Scholars Foundation
Invest/Transform, 2014 Darden Investors Report, Darden School of Business, U.Va.

Stronger digital presence

We also help U.Va. enhance its day-to-day web presence, from crafting a website’s content strategy to building its digital architecture. For one school, that means taking a utilitarian site—with application requirements and FAQ searches—and revamping it into a communication tool that piques interest and invites exploration. For another, it means starting from scratch to build a platform that works seamlessly for both students and those administering it behind the scenes.

Always tailor-made

We like to constantly ask: Which medium will best communicate the story and move the audience? Sometimes, that means a print solution, a digital one or both. Other times, a video serves as a powerful, emotive rallying cry. We embrace the challenge of uncovering the best solution and creating a beautiful articulation of the U.Va. brand in all its expressions.