Chapter 3: Analyzing Audiences

How the Pros Do It: University of Pittsburgh Forges Ahead

University of Pittsburgh Forge Ahead CampaignThe University of Pittsburgh is a top-ranked institution with award-winning research facilities. Despite fairly high awareness of the university, there wasn’t a deep understanding of what Pitt stood for or its tremendous accomplishments – especially outside of its home city.


The university was looking to refresh its brand and move into the upper echelon of nationally-ranked universities while increasing enrollment and boosting its reputation as a leader in innovation and a driver of change.


To reach these goals, Pitt worked with marketing and branding agency Ologie to create the Forge Ahead campaign.


Ologie began with a deep dive into audiences, asking five core questions:

  1. Who are they?
  2. What do we need them to do?
  3. How can we reach them?
  4. Where can we place media to reach them?
  5. How will we apply messaging?

During the discovery process, Ologie looked at qualitative and quantitative data about the brand and audiences Pitt wanted to reach (prospective students, alumni, donors, Pennsylvanians, current Pitt community of students, staff and faculty).


They explored things like:

  • Geographic and demographic data of audiences
  • Competitor media placements across key regions and key cities
  • Areas with high usage public transit
  • TV and streaming channels with relevant viewership
  • Social media platform usage across key audience groups

The campaign centered on the idea of “We will always forge ahead.” Research drove content, experiences and specific messages specifically for each audience segment (prospective students & influencers, alumni & donors, constituents).


The campaign launched with a range of digital and out-of-home assets released in waves across five Northeastern cities. It included digital ads, digital urban panels and transit shelters, streaming video and broadcast placements and public radio – plus a full three-level takeover of 30th Street Station in Philadelphia.


With 71 million impressions in five urban markets, the campaign raised awareness of Pitt in the surrounding region.


View an Ologie case study to learn more about the University of Pittsburgh campaign.


Icon for the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License

Write Like a PR Pro Copyright © 2023 by Mary Sterenberg is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.