Marlboro College

How do you complete a successful communications engagement when you're working for more than 300 clients?

That was the challenge we encountered at Vermont's Marlboro College, an intentionally small institution known for its unique, progressive approach to education. Marlboro uses a community governance model based on the New England tradition of Town Meeting, where students, faculty, staff, and administrators discuss issues affecting virtually every aspect of campus life. 

Marlboro engaged Libretto and our creative partner, kor group, as part of a comprehensive engagement to bolster awareness, enhance recruitment efforts, increase visibility, and effectively articulate their institutional culture to prospective families. Along the way, we would worked hand-in-hand with the entire Marlboro's community of almost 300 individuals, who shared their extensive, thoughtful feedback with us during multiple Town meeting sessions.

Our discovery process resulted in robust findings that addressed virtually every dimension of the school's communications, including proposals for a new institutional brand structure and a complete overhaul of marlboro.edu. We then developed Marlboro's first institutional messaging platform, which revealed significant opportunities to reposition the College's graduate offering and integrate those activities with undergraduate-level activities.

We then embarked on the development of creative platforms for the school's communications efforts. This phase included Creative Collections Week, a special event designed to give the Marlboro community the opportunity to respond to creative concepts and share their reactions, many of which were incorporated into the new admissions materials. The College chose "Radically Traditional" as the overarching theme of the effort, supported by complementary phrases such as "Collective Individuality." We then went on to develop approximately 75 pages of content for the relaunch of the Marlboro website, as well as a promotional campaign focused on NPR listeners. 

Since completing the engagement, Libretto has continued to work with the Marlboro team on strategic communications projects ranging from annual appeal letters and refinements to the graduate-level messaging platform. We also worked with kor group to provide naming, messaging, and content development in support of Marlboro's Renaissance Scholars initiative, which has produced significant increases in enrollment and was the subject of a profile on NPR's Marketplace

Objective: Achieve Consensus Among 300 Clients