On Jan. 13 Interim President Timothy Trainor announced Jack Chielli as the new Vice President of Marketing and Communications. Chielli had previously held the position of Associate Vice President of Marketing Communications at Wilkes University, where his marketing strategies gained national attention. At the Mount, Chielli hopes to further strengthen school branding, increase enrollment and get the university’s message out to an even wider audience.
As VP of Marketing and Communications, Chielli deals with the Mount’s public relations, communications, graduate and undergraduate marketing, digital media, publications and creative branding. Part of his position is to bring all of the functional areas of the Mount’s communications department together as a team. Bringing this already high-functioning group even closer will help get the university message out in a way that is better and stronger than ever before.
Chielli served at Wilkes University for 11 years, gradually growing his responsibilities until he gained his Associate VP position. This role was very similar to the one he has taken here. During his tenure at Wilkes, he was able to grow the marketing department, increase enrollment and strengthen the university’s brand. His innovative marketing techniques gained national attention through features in The New York Times and NPR.
One of Chielli’s unique campaigns included surprising newly-accepted students at their school, place of work or other central location. They would bring the university mascot and deliver the student’s acceptance letter, all while filming their excitement and surprise. These videos were then posted online, and as friends shared the videos, Wilkes went viral.
Chielli also employed micro marketing advertisements during his time at Wilkes. These ads would target common hang-out spots for students at feeder high schools, such as the local pizza place. The pizza boxes would feature a personalized advertisement with the student’s name, telling them to call the number on the box. When they called, they would hear a message from one of their high school’s alumni telling them what a great experience they had at Wilkes. This highly personalized ad campaign received extremely positive feedback.
Chielli has two main goals for marketing at the Mount. The first is to find a valued proposition that resonates with our community to create a brand that properly promotes our school to prospective students. The second is to redesign the Mount’s website through new content management to make it more responsive. He would like to create an integrated marketing campaign that features smart advertisements (specifically digital) to further attract prospective students. Chielli also plans to reinvigorate university communications and public relations.
Overall, Chielli’s goal is to “get to know the Mount culture and people here,” and to embrace the already rich community so he can learn how to best brand our school. He has been reading research and market analysis to get a better sense of how the Mount should be marketed, but he is also delving deeper into understanding our Catholic identity, our regional roots and meeting students and faculty to further nail down our primary markets.
Chielli knows he has more learning to do, but he says “I’m going to do my best to get to know [the Mount] and embrace it.” He looks forward to meeting people, learning more about our academics and athletics and embracing our community. As stated in Interim President Trainor’s email, Chielli will be a “tremendous asset” in strengthening our brand in the Catholic liberal arts tradition, growing enrollment and delivering our message to the world.
Photo courtesy of Haley Phelps.