University of Illinois launching rebranding initiative

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Champaign/Urbana- The University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign has invested $550,000 in a public relations firm to brand the University.

WAND's reporter Brigette Burnett asked students on campus for the summer if the dollar amount is too high?

"Some of that should go, not all of it. That's way too much," Kawana Hunter said.

Even though Hunter doesn't agree with paying Edelman a little more than half a million dollars, she does think hiring a firm is necessary.

"The problems that they have been having like with Salita. . . They should advertise it more so more people can come in," Hunter added.

An international student said he believes the University can do the job by using UIUC employees and students.

"What kind of marketing do we need? I don't think we need to spend too much money on marketing. This kind of stuff we can do ourselves."

In a written statement, the Director of Research Communications, Melissa Edwards wrote, "it's not just a branding plan but a comprehensive look at the way we do marketing and communications work at the university. This project is about making comprehensive, collaborative, and permanent investments in marketing and branding at both the central campus level and also in our colleges and departments. We want to make sure that we have the right infrastructure to reach our ambitious goals."

"It's like a business right. If you don't advertise for it you're not going to have as many candidates or applicants you should," said international student Fardin Abdi.

As for the pr employees already getting a pay check from the University Edwards wrote, "PR employees from across campus are deeply involved in the process."

"UIUC spends much less then some of the private schools, like Stanford, so I don't know if 550 is justified, but they should increase the budget to do that," said international student Prekalp Srivastelva.

When asked where the $550,000 is coming from, Edwards wrote, "the project is being undertaken in partnership with the University of Illinois Foundation and being paid from unrestricted private funds."

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