Jerry Jerman, previously the development officer for OU Outreach, has been named the interim director for Outreach Marketing and Communications. He started his new post in May 2011.
First arriving at Outreach in 1982 as a promotion and infomation specialist, Jerman also served as assistant to the vice provost before becoming director of Marketing and Communication in 1991, a position he held until 2002. His duties as development officer included fundraising, various writing projects and developing academic programs such as the world cultural studies degree program that the College of Liberal Studies plans to offer in 2012 .
In addition to his responsibilities in Marketing, Jerry teaches ancient and modern humanities for the College of Liberal Studies and film courses for the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute. He has also published six children’s books in addition to the books on continuing education that he has edited with Dr. Pappas. Jerry said that returning to marketing after an extended period between his last stint with the department has been both a rewarding and unexpected.
“When I first transitioned from Marketing to working as a development officer, I felt satisfied that I had done everything I could for the department. I wanted a new challenge,” he said. “When I was asked to return as the interim director of Marketing, I wondered if it would be a different kind of experience. I was pleasantly surprised – it was completely new.”
In addition to a staff of eight, including four part-time student employees, Jerry said that the new experience in Marketing required tackling a media landscape that had changed remarkably over the years. He talked about that dynamic in a recent presentation to Outreach’s Administration Communication and Administrative Support group where he also showed a television ad from the department’s “Go Get It!” campaign.
“When I was here ten years ago, we were mostly involved in print campaigns. Now it’s expanded to include all kinds of online publications and advertising and television and outdoor. But we have quite a few resources for doing marketing activities, including nine vendors that can provide marketing and advertising support.”
In addition to utilizing new media outlets and vendors that enhance the department’s ability to implement marketing and publicity campaigns, the Marketing and Communication department is working with its writers to relaunch its online staff newsletter and an electronic newsletter for faculty. The department will also begin work on a new coporate capability booklet that emphasizes Outreach’s capacity as a learning organization. Jerry also said that the department is strengthening its relationship with different departments within Outreach to more effectively communicate information about their programs.
“In terms of being a coordinator for a lot of different activities, Outreach Marketing is very well positioned for the future,” Jerry said. “We’re working with many different departments within Outreach and with the division marketing coordinators and streamlining our processes for getting things done. And our success with our vendors has enhanced our ability to reach audiences and do an effective job of promoting our programs. It’s been a really fun experience this time around. I very much enjoy working with the staff, and I look forward to many new challenges.”
University Outreach’s online newsletter can be found at insideoutreach.ou.edu.