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Communications Toolkit

Know your audience

BSU has many audiences. In order to effectively reach them, it's important to know what matters to your audience(s) and communicate that. Since all BSU communication is a reflection of the overall university, it's also important that audiences get a consistent sense of BSU whenever possible. To help you do so, we've developed specific key messages (below). Each key message has been tested and found to resonate with a specific BSU audience. These key messages should be incorporated into your communications either verbatim or in your context.

Target Audiences

BSU's audiences are broad and diverse. Communications need to span across various demographics, including multiple generations, ethnic backgrounds, income levels, and regional and national locations. Here's a snapshot of BSU's "target" or "key" audiences to help you get a picture of who you're trying to reach. It's important to keep their unique perspectives and needs in mind when developing your communication.

  • Prospective Students
    Including high school students, transfer students from other colleges, and potential graduate students. They're looking for a quality, personal, and customizable experience at a northern Minnesota campus, or remotely via online services.
  • Current, Graduate, and Distance Learner Students
    Including full- and part-time students living on or off campus. Graduate and Distance Learners tend to be older than undergraduate students. All act as stewards of the BSU brand when they relate their experience to others.
  • Faculty and Staff
    Includes mostly adults with college or advanced degrees. This group is loyal and committed to the success of BSU.
  • Alumni
    Individuals who have graduated from BSU?including adults of all ages who have graduated recently, a long time ago, and anywhere in between. With their direct tie to the college, they are also potential donors and represent BSU within their personal and professional communities.
  • Influencers
    This demographically diverse group includes teachers and administrators within the K-12 system, parents, coaches, and counselors. This group needs be confident in BSU as a viable and valuable choice.
  • Donors
    This demographically and socio-economically diverse group includes current donors, prospective donors, and donor partners at all donation levels. They need to be confident that their contributions are going toward a worthy institution.
  • Businesses and Industry
    This includes business leaders and members of industry groups and associations, primarily those with college or graduate degrees who are recipients of BSU resources, including talented trained workers and economic development. This includes many of the key audiences of the 360° Center of Excellence and the Optivation
  • Regional and Local Residents
    These members of the greater BSU community encompass all ages and demographic categories, and span across Bemidji, greater Minnesota, and the Midwest region of the U.S. They need to perceive the value BSU provides and have a spirit of connection to BSU.
  • General Public, Media, Taxpayers, Legislators, MNSCU
    This includes all others, mainly adults, who are influencers and representatives of the BSU brand?the media, state systems (MnSCU), legislature, taxpayers, and the general public.

Overall Key Message

Here is BSU's overall "brand message" for all audiences. You can use this copy verbatim or convey the essence of this message when creating your communications:

Bemidji State University attracts and develops outstanding, driven students through our student-directed academics, both on campus and online, our close, personal relationships, and our engaging campus traditions. What's more, BSU generates cultural and economic energy through rewarding partnerships with the region's industry and residents. Our lakeside campus is set within the comfort and ease of authentic hometown Minnesota, surrounded by clear lakes, crisp air, and expansive forests.

Target Audiences - Key Messages

There are also specific key messages designed to resonate with each BSU audience that may be incorporated into your communications. You can use any of the following messages verbatim or as a springboard for your projects.

Prospective Students

Come to BSU for student-directed higher education set in the comfort and ease of authentic hometown Minnesota. Stay to accomplish your ambitions, made possible and enjoyable by the close personal attention, lasting relationships, engaging campus traditions, and friendly environment that's rich in natural beauty and recreational opportunities.

Current Students

Your BSU experience is a lifelong journey. From academics and friendships to activities and achievements, the opportunities you engage in at BSU will enrich your life and frame your future for years to come.

Graduate Students

BSU delivers a stellar advanced education and valuable opportunities for professional enrichment, thanks to our student-directed graduate programs, flexible curriculum, and personal support from faculty and staff.

Distance Learners

BSU delivers a stellar, easily accessible online education, along with valuable opportunities for professional enrichment, thanks to our student-directed academic programs and to personal support from faculty and staff.

Faculty and Staff

Faculty and staff are dedicated stewards of BSU's strong academic and campus traditions, fostering a personal, one-on-one environment that propels students toward educational success and achievements, while generating cultural and economic energy throughout the community and region.


Your BSU education and experience helped shape who you are today. The academic and personal ambitions you achieved at BSU and the lifelong relationships you made contribute to a strong, lasting tradition of excellence that you, and today's students, continue to enjoy.


BSU delivers the benefits of a private college experience without the private college cost, from small class sizes and personal student/faculty relationships to enriching leadership opportunities, vibrant arts and cultural programs, spirited intercollegiate athletics, and a flexible online curriculum that is easily accessible wherever you are. Our campus is set within the comfort and ease of authentic hometown Minnesota, surrounded by clear lakes, crisp air, and expansive forests.


Those who invest in BSU create a lasting legacy and a meaningful impact by enriching lives, preparing future leaders, advancing scholarship, and strengthening the future of the university.

Businesses and Industry

BSU strengthens the state and region by collaborating closely with our partners in business, industry, and nonprofits to deliver specialized academic opportunities, educational resources, organizational expertise, and training support. Furthermore, BSU nurtures talent, advances support and scholarship, generates employment, and prepares workforces with strong intellects and service ethics to lead Minnesota's industrial, healthcare, educational, and civic sectors.

Regional and Local Residents

BSU students, faculty and staff generate cultural and economic energy within Bemidji and throughout the region by choosing to live, work, learn, and invest their talents and money here.

General Public, Media, Taxpayers, Legislators, MNSCU

BSU effectively stewards public resources and private support by nurturing the passion and potential of students, faculty, and staff and by inspiring the next leaders of Minnesota's public and private sectors to serve the environment, community, and world.