Celebrating the
and Ohio State

University Communications' strategy for awareness and engagement.

Our Plan

University Communications used the web and social and traditional media to accomplish two complementary goals. First, we shared the news to a wide audience. Then, we engaged the Ohio State community in a conversation. This dual approach allowed us to move from creating awareness of the news to engaging with our audience.

1- Share the news, create awareness. 2- Create conversation, engage our audience

Creating a Moment

As news of the Board of Trustees vote broke, Ohio State’s website (osu.edu) became the primary destination for web traffic. University Communications worked to create a consistent visual approach and used a common landing page for osu.edu, the Alumni, Giving and Advancement sites and OSU Mobile. This maintained continuity in messaging and visual identity. Directing traffic to a single online location also gave us a basis for measurement. The @OhioStateLive Twitter account and live webcast shared the moment with far-flung alumni and friends.

osu.edu homepage screenshot
OSU.edu home page

Giving homepage screenshot
Giving home page

Alumni Assoc. homepage screenshot
Ohio State Alumni Association home page

Advancement homepage screenshot
Advancement home page

Sharing the News

Once the announcement was public, University Communications used social media, email and traditional media to create maximum buzz.

  • Columbus Twitter trends during announcement
  • #OSUnewprez Breaking
  • @ohiostatelive Breaking
  • #osuprez Breaking
  • osu
  • buckeye

President-Designate Michael Drake


More than 420,000 were reached through social media

More than 116,000 interacted with our content

Likes, shares, comments, retweets, posts, clicks, etc.

Nearly 325,000 emails to alumni, friends

30% opened, driving 8,000 page views


More than 1,400 live webcast viewers in 41 states and 13 countries

More than 150,000,000 potential media impressions from 200 news outlets

News outlets such as the Washington Post, Huffington Post, Chronicle of Higher Education

The Conversation

We engaged the Ohio State community in a conversation. University media consistently used the #OSUnewprez hashtag to ensure maximum impact. An Ohio State storify (a tool for compilation of social media across sites) shared photos, video and welcome messages not only from the university, but also from faculty, staff, alumni and students.

Facebook comment:

In the News

Coverage in 200 news outlets between January 30 and February 3 resulted in more than 150 million potential media impressions.

Some print and broadcast highlights from Ohio and beyond:

ABC News
“Ohio State names California educator as president” ABC News (January 30)
The Plain Dealer
“Ohio State University new president, Dr. Michael Drake, ‘honored, excited’ with post” The Plain Dealer (January 30)
Los Angeles Times
“UC Irvine chancellor takes top job at Ohio State” Los Angeles Times (January 31)
NPR News
“Ohio State Selects UC Irvine Chancellor Michael Drake as new president” NPR (January 30)
Columbus Business First
“Michael Drake expects strong business partnerships as Ohio State president” Columbus Business First (February 1)

On Social Media



Total reach: 417.8K
Total interactions: 111,993
(Likes, Comments, Shares)

Via Facebook:
Ohio State welcomes #OSUnewprez Michael Drake to the Buckeye family.



Hashtag use of #OSUnewprez: 1,808
Retweets: 1,904
@OhioState mentions: 575

Via Twitter:
"The spirit of Ohio State is something that extends through all 4 corners of the state," says #OSUnewprez http://ow.ly/tcnNF


Email announcement

Total emails sent: 323,944
Total opened: 99,669 (30%)
Total clickthroughs: 7,956 (2.4%)
(Traffic to osu.edu from email)

Via Email:
Special announcement:
On behalf of the Board of Trustees and the Presidential Search Committee, it is out great pleasure that Dr. Michael Drake, current chancellor of the University of California, Irvine, will serve as the 15th president of The Ohio State University.

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