The Student News Site of Roger Williams University

The Hawks' Herald

The Student News Site of Roger Williams University

The Hawks' Herald

The Student News Site of Roger Williams University

The Hawks' Herald

RWU Hires first Central Marketing Officer
Laura Baldwin, Central Marketing Officer of Roger Williams University. Courtesy of

As Roger Williams University continues its ongoing plan to revamp the university’s branding, the newest addition to that process is Laura Baldwin, the new central marketing officer on campus. The position of Central Marketing Officer (CMO) is a new position on campus, with Laura Baldwin being the first CMO in the university’s history.

Baldwin comes to campus with 30 years of experience in marketing for higher education, previously holding a position as Vice President of Marketing and CMO at Arcadia University.

The process to rebrand Roger Williams started last September with hopes that the campus marketing team could find a way to better reflect life on campus. As most of the “discovery process” of the rebrand happened last spring with an attempt to connect with student voices now, it is Baldwin’s job to take that data and focus on a plan for the future implementation of the rebranding process.

“When you go through discovery for a branding it’s a lot of data,” said Baldwin, “so for me it’s been a very good introduction into the findings around that.”

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Through the data collected in the discovery process she can take a better look at the authentic Roger Williams experience while also being aspirational in looking to the future of the university.

“One of my goals is to really tell the story of Roger Williams,” Baldwin said, “that means getting involved in the community, getting to meet student groups, listening to student feedback and really being able to say ‘hey this student is doing something here.”

As the marketing unfolds it becomes more about the story of the campus than it does about a new logo or a new website.

Baldwin specified that this nebulous “story” of Roger Williams encompasses everything different and special about the campus. From being near Providence, Bristol and Newport, to being on the water, to featuring programs that exile students past what other colleges can give them, that is what the rebrand is truly about.

As the university goes deeper into their long rebranding process, the “story” of Roger Williams is not only how you get people to come here, but also how you get students to stay here and what graduates will take away.

“If you think about a brand it’s really how everything you interact with at Roger Williams that’s going to be what you take away when you graduate,” said Baldwin, “and that’s what your thought about Roger Williams is going to be.”

Baldwin talked about the larger picture of the branding process, the marketing team can’t just stick on a new logo and persuade incoming students to apply here, the marketing team’s job is also to solidify what Roger Williams means to higher education and grow the university’s legacy.

Looking to the future, it becomes Baldwin’s job to present a complete plan of the branding process that incorporates students’ voices along with the data that was already gathered before she was hired.

Baldwin emphasized how Roger Williams is a young school and that put the institution in a good place to make these changes and allow their students to accelerate in a shifting world and a shifting workforce.

“I think the story follows that narrative, whether it’s Roger Williams, the person who inspires how the institution develops,” Baldwin said, “it’s really about how the institution is leading students into a workforce that is completely changing and shifting,” she said.

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