COMMUNICATION IS A TEAM A SPORT
Sports and teamwork are important to Marcia Neville. In fact, she’s made a career out of them. Neville grew up hopping around the country, landing in Denver after graduating from Ithaca College with a Bachelor’s degree in Radio & Television in 1983. She wanted to settle in a place where she could ski and enjoy sports for a living because in the 1960s, sports weren’t mainstream activities for women.
“My dad jumped around in sales, so every town we moved to my mom cheered for the home NFL team,” Neville said. Marcia developed a love of football while spending every Sunday afternoon with her mom ironing and watching the game. “The draw for me was halftime, when there were actual marching bands that would come out onto the field and play,” Neville said. “I stuck around for the second half and saw Miss America turned sportscaster Phyllis George talking about the game and was hooked—seeing someone doing what I wanted to, that was empowering.”
After moving to Denver and doing exactly what she wanted—sportscasting, sports reporting, and authoring a sports column—she joined the CU Denver Student Affairs team as the Communications Manager in 2012. Student Affairs is the eclectic hub of many departments on campus. It staffs 200 professionals in admissions, advising, financial aid, registrar, K-12 outreach, and the Learning Resource Center, to name a few.
CU Denver didn’t have a communications division three years ago. Raul Cardenas, PhD., the Vice Chancellor who runs the Student Affairs division, is responsible for instituting the Communications division and brought Marcia in to head it up. Her division is responsible for the branding and style of academics, the Student Wellness Center, club sports, and all things Milo.
Marcia’s communications team works around the clock to ensure students have all the information they need to be a success on campus—or that they at least know who to contact. The team has a trifecta of a communications platform via an e-newsletter, webpage, and social media channels to get their messages out to the student body. The current open rate is 25-27 percent, far above an average of 17 percent—that means they are doing well!
With different messages happening simultaneously, not everything goes according to plan. Marcia’s team is only as good as the information they are given. This semester a communications piece about flu shots did not have the correct location sent out for the shots. “Hopefully no one went to the wrong place,” Neville said. “Lesson learned: Pay attention to the details, always check, and double-check.”