Nov. 7, 2003 – A St. John company donated about $40,000 worth of its services to help the University of the Virgin Islands Public Relations Office evaluate UVI's image.
The Link Group, a market research company that has offices at the Marketplace complex in Cruz Bay as well as in Atlanta, collected data from focus groups it convened in August on St. Thomas and St. Croix.
Patrice Johnson, UVI public relations director, said the company was looking for a way to fulfill its community service obligations as an Economic Development Commission beneficiary. "A student who is interning there suggested us," she said.
The university needed to know if it was a place of choice or a last resort for people seeking a college education, Johnson said. Utilizing The Link Group, which had no previous relationship with UVI, to find the answer eliminated any appearance of a political agenda from the survey.
Dan Callahan, market research analyst at The Link Group, said the company decided to work with UVI because the university has a big impact on the community.
Participants in the focus groups had good things and bad things to say about UVI, according to Johnson. "We got people who were passionate one way or the other," she said.
While she declined to disclose the results of the study, she said that UVI alumni said they still felt connected to the university and wanted it to succeed. And, she said, people from the community without UVI ties were supportive and wanted to help the university.
The findings will help the university improve its quality, Johnson said.
According to The Link Group's Web site, the company's annual revenues exceed $5 million. The firm was founded in 1994 by Brad Camrud and Tom Pfeil. Both previously worked for Proctor and Gamble, and Pfeil also had worked for Coca-Cola.
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