Investment of employees in a brand can lead to greater public understanding and positive impressions of a brand by external stakeholders. However, this can be challenging in public organizations with multiple brand segments and a large number of employees spread across great distance with limited funds for marketing. While previous work has looked at Extension agents, faculty, and volunteers’ brand perceptions, no studies have looked at communication services employees’ investment in the brand. The purpose of this qualitative study was to discover how well employees in a university and Extension printing and mail entity understood the Extension brand and their investment in the brand. Research questions that guided this study were: 1) What perceptions and investment do communication services employees have in the Extension brand? And 2) what are employees’ perceptions of the organization’s branding and marketing efforts? Each of the 18 interviews included a series of questions focusing on employees’ story related to Extension and employees’ thoughts on branding and marketing efforts. Results in this study with communication services employees indicate these employees are not invested in the brand with the majority having little to no understanding of the mission of Extension. This contradicts previous research with employees in other brand segments of Extension. Implications of this work include a need for training on the Extension mission for communication services employees, a shift in culture to encourage investment in the brand, and inclusion of all Extension employees in the mission of Extension.
Zagonel, Anissa; Baker, Lauri M.; and King, Audrey E. H.
"Printing and Mailing for the Brand: An Exploratory Qualitative Study Seeking to Understand Internal Branding and Marketing Within University and Extension Communication Services Units,"
Journal of Applied Communications:
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