August 9, 2010

TO:         Duke Communicators
FROM:   Michael J. Schoenfeld
RE:         Office of Marketing and Strategic Communications

I am pleased to announce the launch of the new Office of Marketing and Strategic Communications (OMSC) as a result of a reorganization within the Office of Public Affairs and Government Relations.  This new unit is the result of collaboration and consultation with Duke schools, institutes, major administrative departments, and, most notably, partnerships with the Office of Information Technology (OIT) and the Office of Procurement Services.

The mission of the Office of Marketing and Strategic Communications is to assist Duke units with strategic planning for a wide range of projects, to identify and oversee internal and external vendors of communications services, and to create opportunities for schools and departments to collaborate on communications and marketing activities.   Aligning these functions for the first time will result in considerable cost savings to Duke and help strengthen the university’s brand and position.

Denise Haviland is the Director of Marketing and Strategic Communications.  She has 20 years experience in marketing, communications, brand management and creative services, and has held senior positions in Undergraduate Admissions and the Institute for Genome Sciences & Policy at Duke.  For the past year, she has overseen the development and implementation of Duke’s branding initiatives, including serving as creative director for the new, launching the first online style guide for the university, and working with many schools and departments on branding and marketing initiatives.   Denise is joined by Senior Consultant Blyth Morrell, who has been the senior manager in Duke Web Services and has spent more than 10 years leading major university web projects and working with external web designers and producers. 

OMSC will be Duke’s in-house consulting and project management department, helping clients identify audiences; determine the most appropriate channels and tactics for reaching those audiences; identify opportunities for collaboration with other departments on campus; and matching them to appropriate University-approved vendors that can complete the work.   As we continue toward the parallel but equally essential goals of reducing costs and enhancing the quality and effectiveness of our print and digital content, OMSC will assist Duke units in identifying cost effective, high quality solutions for print and web projects that enhance the Duke identity.

OMSC will work closely with the Office of Procurement & Supply Chain Management and the Accounts Payable department to coordinate the use of internal Duke service providers, where appropriate, and manage relationships with external vendors.  Of immediate interest, OMSC will launch Duke’s first vendor certification program for external print, graphic design, web design, web development, advertising and marketing, writing and editing, bulk email services, videography, multi-media creation, photography, and bulk mail and mail services.  By demanding the highest quality at the lowest cost, and brokering Duke’s communications work, OMSC will take the guesswork out of selecting the optimal mix of vendors and contractors for your projects.

The Office of Marketing and Strategic Communications will be responsible for implementing revised policies on the bidding and selection of vendors for a wide range of projects. Please see for a complete description of the policies and projects that will now come through this office for review and action.

I appreciate the assistance, input and support of the many people who contributed to this important organizational evolution, especially the members of the Duke Administrative Reform Team (DART), who identified communications as an opportunity to demonstrate significant efficiencies by modernizing and coordinating activities. Working informally over the past several months, we have already realized more than $2 million in savings for schools and units while continually improving our quality.  We can now apply this expertise on a much wider scale to benefit all parts of Duke.

Denise and Blyth are located in the fourth floor of the West Union and can be reached at 613-6771. I encourage you to work with them early and often.  They look forward to working with you.


Michael Schoenfeld
Vice President for Public Affairs and Government Relations
Duke University