Tech Transfer eNews Blog

Happy anniversary! Tech Launch Arizona ‘projects and reflects’ with video marketing series

By Jesse Schwartz
Published: March 15th, 2023

A detailed article on Tech Launch Arizona’s video series used to celebrate the office’s 10th anniversary while serving as a key, multi-part marketing effort appears in the March issue of Technology Transfer Tactics. To subscribe and access the complete article, or for further subscription details, click here.

To celebrate its 10th anniversary last year, Tech Launch Arizona (TLA) at the University of Arizona in Tucson employed a multi-pronged marketing approach that spotlighted its success, celebrated those who helped along the way, and provided a long-lasting boost to the program’s visibility and brand. The well-honed strategy may be worth studying as a means of marking milestones for your own TTO, and leveraging the celebration as a great way to gain valuable exposure both on-campus and more widely.

In May, the TTO launched its anniversary celebrations with the release of a commissioned economic impact assessment that reviewed its successes in the previous five fiscal years and projected its impact on the local and regional economies over the next 10 fiscal years. TLA bookended that event with the October release — in conjunction with its ninth annual I-Squared Awards and Expo event — of an advertiser-supported special supplement in the local business magazine BizTucson that captured success stories from its 10-year history.

While those events provided the storytelling firepower for the 10th anniversary celebrations, TLA also chose to add multiple human connection points with a series of 17 videos highlighting the attitudes and insights of leadership, internal partners, and external partners. The final product can be viewed on TLA’s website where the Biz Tucson article is also featured. Paul Tumarkin, assistant director of marketing and communications, walked Technology Transfer Tactics through the campaign’s development process, as well as how TLA used this video series — and plans to continue maximizing its marketing impact.

The working title for this video project was “Projections and Reflections,” says Tumarkin. “The original vision was to capture the reflections on our history and the projections for our future from people who have been involved with TLA throughout our 10-year history. While in the end that name didn’t carry through to the whole project itself, it helped us position what we were doing in terms of the content we were gathering. When doing a video project, it’s easy to get off-track, so you have to keep your end game in mind” — that is, keep your focus on exactly what content you want and how you will use it.

The goal was to include interviews with people from across the full 10 years of TLA’s history, featuring key players from the entire breadth of the innovation ecosystem, says Tumarkin. “Initially, the interview pool started with a brain dump. We made a list of all these key people who have been important in our history, who would be essential in telling our story, and who would be important voices to hear in support of our mission.”

The next step was to look at how the people on the initial list grouped together, says Tumarkin. “We wanted representation from within the university, including the people who were involved in the initial effort of bringing TLA to life and the people who are now driving our growth, university leadership, and our faculty inventors and start-up entrepreneurs. Bringing in voices from the entrepreneurial and investment communities outside of the university was also key to telling the story. Achieving a balanced number of individuals in each category required some whittling, but in the end we settled on a great mix of 17 people from across our ecosystem that allows the videos to have multiple uses and speak to all our audiences.”

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