Capabilities Chart_gcf01

There are over 4,000 colleges and universities in the US. GCF can help you stand out in the crowd.

Our process

Phase 1/Research

GCF begins with a series of discussion groups, briefings, and one-on-one discovery meetings to gather vital information and lay the groundwork for a consensus-building process. We review all existing materials and discuss in detail our project goals, roles and responsibilities, deliverables, process, timelines, and final project specifications.

Initial campus visit We make an initial campus visit to conduct interviews and focus groups with specific audiences—students, alumni, faculty, university leadership, admissions and communications staff—to gauge opinions and competencies, threats and opportunities.

Project management system Project management principles guide our work through to deliverables—and ensure that we deliver on time, on budget, and above expectations. Our clients value our reputation for organizing the details and keeping projects on track, while ensuring the highest levels of quality and creativity at every stage.

On-site presentation of findings We prepare a draft report of our findings, including an analysis of competitive messages, strengths, challenges, and opportunities along with preliminary recommendations for a communications plan. We provide the draft report to our main client contact for review and revision. After incorporating changes, we give a presentation of the final plan on site.

Although we may provide general budget estimates in this phase, final estimates and production schedules are not developed until Phase 1 is completed. Once consensus has been achieved on overall strategy, we begin the design process.

Ongoing growth planning We provide workshops to review materials and discuss how to leverage them most effectively. We offer both technical and editorial training for in-house staff on the best uses of new design strategies.

The simple truth about marketing: you won’t stand out by saying the same things as your competitors.

Phase 2/Design

Informed by research, GCF’s design phase delivers the “wow” factor. Research tells us what we need to do, and design tells us how to do it. We connect the research and creative elements, providing a visual experience that will resonate with diverse audiences.

Once we have client approval of the communications plan, the design process begins. We develop copy outlines, storyboards, sitemaps, and sample pages of our interactive and print design concepts. We arrange for on-site presentation of design direction.

Phase 3/Production

This phase begins after we have client approval of all design concepts presented at the end of Phase 2. We develop a specific schedule and process for each project. We work closely with our clients on schedules, and we can produce material in sequence based on your timelines.