The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

Promoting a positive brand

Chief Marketing and Communications Officer Marie Williams (Photo by Matt Barrett ’21).

Q&A with Chief Marketing and Communications Officer

Marie Williams was named the new St. Joe’s chief marketing and communications officer, and started her duties on Feb. 12.

An alumna and former employee of the University of Pennsylvania, Williams brings 20 years of experience in communications to St. Joe’s.

In particular, Williams was previously the senior vice president at the high profile communications and marketing firm, Edelman. Williams has also worked with higher education institutions, namely Yale University, Columbia University, Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). She will oversee numerous aspects of the St. Joe’s identity such as student, faculty and staff perception of the university, promoting the university’s brand, and giving the university a positive national profile.

What do you want to accomplish this year?

“One of the things on the national profile piece is making sure that we are getting Dr. Reed and the faculty out there in the news media more prominently. Obviously there are so many experts here who have a voice and we just want to give them a form to make sure that their voices are getting out there. In terms of other marketing initiatives, taking a critical look at the brand. What is working and what is not working in terms of advertisements for student recruitment both undergraduate and graduate levels.”


Did you always want to be in this field?

“I think I always knew I wanted to be in communications in some capacity. I was a journalist sort of in house at the University of Pennsylvania after graduating and freelance writing for a while. But I had the opportunity to be exposed to public relations, marketing and other communications functions because it was situated in an in-house fashion. I think the conclusion is while I love writing and I love journalism, I think there will always be a part of me that’s very editorially driven, that I love all communications. All the different forms and if you think about social media and digital media, all of the different ways we communicate now, it is just a really exciting time to be in this particular profession.”


What is one thing you want to change in your first year here?

“I do not know if it is a change as much as strengthening something that is already there, and that is just absolute pride for the institution. A sense of holding everyone’s head up high because this is a great institution with a great history and great legacy. There are phenomenal faculty and students are here and I want everyone to feel that when they are walking across campus. There is a lot that communications and marketing can do for that but you know it comes from all different sides. It comes from leadership but I just want everyone at the end of the day when the name St. Joe’s is mentioned, and this may not be up in a year it may take longer but, say I know St. Joseph’s university, it is a phenomenal university and I am so proud to know you. You know that kind of feeling.”


Do you have any advice for students?

“I cannot say enough about being persistent. I know that a lot of people talk about grit. I think that word is a little bit overplayed but I think that both as a student and then once you get out working I cannot say enough about creating your own destiny. Finding your own opportunities, not sitting around waiting for people to hand you something but like knowing what you love, what you absolutely want and going after it and then not stopping until you get it. I think that it is an incredible trait that is going to serve people throughout their entire life just. Never be satisfied and always keep wanting to do more of yourself.”

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