HighEdWeb Assocation October 10-13, 2010

Session Details


Powered by Orange: Lessons from Launching a Digitally Driven Campaign

SOC11 Social Media Track

Continental Ballroom, Mezzanine Level


In 2009, Oregon State University launched a national campaign called "Powered by Orange." With a languishing economy and dwindling advertising budget, we were tasked with raising awareness about OSU and its impact on our region, and in the world. And we were asked to do this with a reduced budget. poweredbyorange.com was born, and it became the cornerstone of a multifaceted, award-winning campaign. For the first time, television advertising was abandoned and social media was embraced. Instead of buying TV air time, we hired a social media specialist. Instead of working with an external agency, we did all of the creative work in house. Heavily driven by social networks and Web tactics, the campaign also had comparable efforts in print, live events, and media relations. We did a lot of experimentation along the way. And in the process, we learned quite a few lessons. First, every virtual component needs a physical-world counterpart, for reasons ranging from mobilizing your internal ambassadors to energizing content contributors who eventually engage with you online. We also learned a lot about creating internal buy-in and alignment, to taking advantage of chance occurrences, ongoing efforts and peripheral happenings to advance our campaign. Powered by Orange is a Web-driven campaign with real-world connections. More than a year into the effort, we're still moving forward with new successes (and plenty of failures), and gathering some recognition and awards along the way.


David Baker
Director of Web Communications, Oregon State University

David began as a New Media Lead for Accenture before serving as the Web Coordinator at the University of Missouri System.  He joined Oregon State University as Director of Web Communications in 2008 where he led a team of five Web professionals, including two developers, a designer, a Web writer and a social media specialist. Together they maintain OSU's top-tier sites and plan overall institutional Web strategy. Our latest initiatives have been the Powered by Orange campaign and the redesign of OSU's homepage.