University of Wisconsin–Madison

Case Study

From the Ground Up


Parent Program

The Challenge

Introduce a new campus unit and launch materials to support parents and families of UW–Madison students.


The Parent Program was launched in 2007 as part of an institutional initiative to improve communications with parents and families of UW–Madison students. The new program partnered with University Marketing. Together we defined audiences, crafted messages and selected the best tactics to use. We created a suite of materials, integrated in appearance, tone and purpose.

Branding and Visual Identity

Because the program is core to the university’s academic mission the defining mark is a second- tier UW–Madison logo that places the program’s name with the UW crest.

Website Strategy

The Parent program’s robust website keeps parents connected to their student’s campus life with reminders about important dates, events and opportunities; and resources and publications of special interest to parents. Parents can get live help with an online chat, phone call or email. Live web chats with other campus offices are also held throughout the year.

To support the parents of the many Chinese students at UW–Madison, the Parent Program launched the university’s first-ever website in Chinese. And work is underway for Spanish and Hmong versions.


Calendar and Handbook: Geared for the parents of first-year students, this attractive, comprehensive, award-winning publication is handed out at SOAR and mailed to parents of current students.

Badger Parent: For direct and targeted communication with parents, we developed and produce the Badger Parent e-newsletter, sent to parents twice each semester and once each summer, providing them with advice on how they can help their student succeed.


In the fall it’s Parent’s Weekend and in the spring, the Badger Family Spring Visit. University Marketing developed a suite of materials for each event: programs, tickets, posters, tote bags and other giveaways.

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