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Grad returns as administrator

Joe Piarulli | Monday, August 28, 2006

Notre Dame graduate Todd Woodward, the man who helped launch and coordinate the “Got Milk?” ad campaign, returned to his alma mater June 19 to take over the newly-created position of associate vice president for Mar-keting Communications.

Woodward, an executive vice president for the public relations and communications management firm Weber Shandwick, will be responsible for integrating communication channels in order to present a consistent message about Notre Dame.

The only reason this role was not created earlier is because no one as qualified as Woodward had come along, said Hilary Crnkovich, vice president for Public Affairs and Communication.

“The position itself, the need for someone to manage products at an integrated level, is something that has been under consideration for some time,” she said. “The channels for communication have grown, and the need to integrate our message across channels has become more important.”

Woodward’s job is to use those channels – primarily Web, television and publication – to make sure that the University is not sending out a fragmented message.

Plenty of public knowledge exists about Notre Dame, Crnkovich said, so the goals now are to strengthen the University’s messages and to keep them consistent.

As a graduate, Woodward brings an appropriate perspective to the job, Crnkovich said.

“His heart, his passion is here, so he understands what Notre Dame is about,” she said.

Woodward will be working closely with Crnkovich and University officials to help develop and lead public affairs divisions such as the Notre Dame Media Group, the Notre Dame Web Group, Notre Dame Magazine, Strategic Communications Planning, and ND Works.

Woodward has already campaigned for many Weber Shandwick high-profile clients, including Ace Hardware, Staples and Harley-Davidson.

Before joining Weber Shandwick in 1997, Woodward held management positions with Prince Sports Group and Benetton Racquet Sports.

“It’s important to take a look not just at who he is as a person but where he’s been in terms of his work,” Crnkovich said.

Woodward’s background, however, does not mean that Notre Dame will be seen as a product like milk or motorcycles.

“His experience in the business sector is a positive, because he has worked with very complex companies,” Crnkovich said.

And Crnkovich believes the entire Notre Dame community will benefit from that experience.

“Our success, I think, will be measured in terms of how powerfully and how broadly we begin to shape a stronger Notre Dame message across the board,” she said. “We should hopefully experience the difference, in a very, very positive way.”