The Daily Gamecock

In our opinion: Public image spending needs tangible results

In the never-ending quest for an improved public image, USC is going to spend an additional $600,000 a year to polish its image. The effort to boost communications will create six new staff positions, including an associate vice president for media relations “designed to build and foster relationships with national news outlets while increasing USC’s focus on blogging and social media.” The university is also working on redesigning its website, as well as creating new television commercials and a more unified logo and image.



However, the purpose of this much spending seems vague — the university has failed to internally communicate what exactly it believes will result from this investment. If the efforts are to attract students to attend the university, USC needs no help in that field -— it already accepts more students than it has the capacity for. And if the university is looking for external financial contributions, we would like to know who would be willing to provide grants based on a fancy website or a new logo.

Having a positive image and being seen as a reputable university to the rest of the world is important, but the best way to achieve that shiny image would be to improve factors of the university that will in turn improve the lives of students here.

Why should we focus more effort and spending on “communicating the great story” we have to outsiders instead of creating a greater story for the Carolina community? And as far as the new associate vice president for media relations position goes, we really hope it’s more than just a glorified Twitter user.

If USC is going to spend $600,000 on looking good, we want to see some results from these makeover efforts that positively improve the university and the lives of students. And if we’re spending that much money, the website better actually work this time around. Seriously, it’s awful.