Seminar 1 /
Julie Backer (NO) and Kjertsti Thoresen (NO)

    OsloMet – The Brand Launch that Engaged Half of Norway

    What a ridiculous name! The name is modern and cool! A name unbefitting a university! An original and ambitious new name!

    This is but a small sampling of the reactions that appeared in social media and traditional media following the launch of OsloMet – Oslo Metropolitan University in January 2018.

    Just when the debate had begun to die down, the unveiling of the university’s new logo and the installation of signage across OsloMet’s campuses several months later sparked a new furor.  

    The debates surrounding these seemingly symbolic changes tapped into long-simmering differences of opinion on campus surrounding the decision to pursue university status. At the same time, they lent a new dimension to debates about internationalisation and democracy in academia.

    This is the story of the day-to-day life of a communications department’s charged with planning and implementing a controversial set of changes and managing the subsequent reactions to the unveiling of the new university and the new institutional brand.

    What happens within an organization during a time of great change? How can we show the public that our societal contribution and our core values remain unchanged? And how can we support our president as he sells the benefits of university status, a new name and a new visual brand both internally and externally?

    Seminar speakers:

    Julie BackerJulie Backer is the manager of the marketing and communications division at Oslo Metropolitan University (OsloMet).

    Prior to joining OsloMet, she was project manager at BBDO in Düsseldorf and marketing manager at ELOPAK, a worldwide food packaging company. Her career spans brand strategy, marketing campaign expansion and business-to-business marketing, as well as project management, organization development, mergers and change management.  

    She has her Bachelor degree from CBS – Copenhagen Business School and a Master of Science in international marketing from the University of Cologne. Between her international working experience and management positions in both the private and public sectors, she has taken full advantage of various communication mediums to engage employees and students in building the brand OsloMet.

    Kjersti Thoresen heads the team responsible for corporate and internal communications at Oslo Metropolitan University, and works as the communications and media advisor for President Curt Rice. She is closely involved in the ongoing efforts to strengthen the university’s position in the media and in the public, and also internally within the organization.

    Kjersti is a trained journalist with extensive experience within strategic and managerial communication. She has been a front-row participant as the institution has undergone major changes over the past decade.