Florida A&M taps Edelman for branding consultation

TALLAHASSEE, FL: Florida A&M University has selected Edelman to consult on advertising, marketing, community relations, brand positioning, and management matters.

TALLAHASSEE, FL: Florida A&M University has selected Edelman to consult on advertising, marketing, community relations, brand positioning, and management matters.

The firm will work with the university to develop strategies to ensure stakeholders have a clear picture of its strengths and what it offers as a higher-education institution. Florida A&M wants stakeholders to know its key values, such as academic integrity, future employability of graduates, and the value of the student experience.

The school hired Edelman following an RFP process because of the agency's experience in higher education and brand management, said Sharon Saunders, CCO and executive assistant to the president for communications at Florida A&M.

Last year, Penn State University hired Edelman to work on crisis response to the Jerry Sandusky child-abuse scandal.

Florida A&M is facing its own crisis after the November 2011 hazing death of drum major Robert Champion. DKC has helped the school with communications following that incident and other crisis communications needs.

Edelman and DKC are working under separate scopes of work for Florida A&M, Saunders said. There may be some overlap in communications work related to the Marching 100 band should Edelman include the group in its branding strategy plans.

Last month, Florida A&M hired a director for the band, but it has not yet announced when it will allow the band to return. It has not performed since Champion's death.

For now, Edelman's work is focused on planning and has a budget of $40,000. However, that amount would increase if the university implements the firm's suggestions.

Edelman Atlanta GM Steven Behm said the agency is looking forward to working with a university that has “played an important historical presence in the future-forward higher-education space.”

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