A View from Blue Grotto

Monday, October 09, 2006

National University of Singapore celebrates 100 years

I often refer to client success stories when talking about Blue Grotto’s work - real-time examples of organizations who truly take the message of leveraging a milestone to heart.

One organization, though not a Blue Grotto client but who deserves special mention in the milestone category, is the National University of Singapore, just concluding a year-long celebration of their 100th anniversary. I found out about them through my weekly tracking of hits to the Blue Grotto website. The folks at NUS visited our site several times throughout 2005-06.

Amazement would describe my feelings when I, in turn, visited their site. The comprehensive program, as outlined on their Centennial page, http://www.nus.edu.sg/centennial/ is truly impressive. From a video, to a roving exhibit, to more than a dozen pieces of memorabilia commemorating the Centennial – their organizing committee had significant resources available to them. And though not every organization will have that same level of funding devoted to an anniversary, resources, of any magnitude, and the support of the organization’s leadership are critical to the success of any milestone program.

Some may argue that many of the NUS “activities” go against the grain of the Blue Grotto philosophy that an anniversary is more than just a party, but the University also demonstrated a keen understanding of messaging and communications as well. An ongoing newsletter helped to keep visitors to the site updated and engaged, and served as a vehicle to articulate key messages throughout the year. Most importantly, the University communicated its strategic plan for the Centennial with an outline of the organizing committees, people charged with the tasks of implementing activities, and by making a copy of the Master Plan available to staff and faculty through the University’s intranet site. Communicating how you plan to maximize resources helps others to support your efforts.

The National University of Singapore’s Centennial campaign is a terrific illustration of the opportunities to reconnect with alumni, instill loyalty and pride in students, and articulate the importance of the institution in the commuity. Objectives any oganization or company would be eager to put to use.

Email me with examples of an anniversary message or campaign that impressed you.

Yvonne Hundshamer
President, Blue Grotto Inc.