Improve Student Organization Campus Relations in Three Ways
As soon as I was sworn in to my position as Student Government Association Vice President of Internal Affairs, I told myself I will be using this opportunity to gain additional marketing experience likewise to an internship. I hope you find you learn from my journey improving and growing student outreach. I used mainly three tools: Microsoft Office 365, SurveyMonkey, and Adobe Creative Suite.
If your campus Student organization has trouble getting students to know what you do for student life, it’s time to make a strategy to engage with your students who are active on campus and be readily available for those who aren’t but may search for you in the future. For members who aren’t Marketing majors, it’s considering where students are at and if they are looking for something, where will they go? This is meant digitally and physically. For example, WCSU students often open Instagram to find out about events and opportunities. Offline, students are always passing through the Student Center lobby on their way to eat meals. This foot traffic is where we want to be - sometimes, your audience won’t be looking so you have to find them first.
SGA Leadership Training Fall 2019 with Logo Design Updated using Adobe Illustrator
Market Research: From 31 responses in Two Weeks to 600 in One
My Principles of Marketing professor had the class write an assignment on target, reach, engagement, and interaction. This came to mind one year later. I knew our target was WCSU students, reach was the amount of students asked to complete the survey, engagement was their participation in the survey, and interaction was whether they would participate/respond to our social media/online campaigns.
How would this work for our outreach goals? Our first survey was a general survey often prompting comments and short answers. While this is valuable, it is difficult to analyze at a glance and we would see skipped responses as the questions progressed. We only had 31 responses with little promotion despite urging our members to share.
My next step was to apply several tweaks:
Reduce the amount of time it takes to complete the survey
Add more quantitative metrics for the Student Relations committee to easily analyze and present interpretations of results both internally and externally (administration and faculty).
Incentivize members to share and gain responses
I used the Conversation style SurveyMonkey layout instead of the general and utilized the outreach responsibility to drive up reach (students). By requiring each member (25 students) to have ten students respond, we would have a minimum of 250 responses. Factoring natural competitiveness, we had 500 responses within two days. Granted, students were eager to voice their opinions since the first week of going to a “virtual” campus was challenging both times of distribution, however these were the necessary steps to increase responses.
While the Conversation format was received well, we had to revert to the One Question at a Time since students were skipping required questions. Our third survey was released and received 200 responses in 24 hours with no skips for required questions, enhancing data integrity among respondents.
Within a week or two of distribution, we follow up with all respondents with information and updates as a way to continue communication with students and keep them informed. Exporting responses into an Excel spreadsheet is highly recommended for doing this.
Reducing Friction for Increased Conversions (Actions Taken by Audience)
During my freshman year, our website had a list of names of the executive board, senators, committee times, and a few photos from events. Today, our revamped website has a call-to-action for budget revisions. Throughout the year, it was identified that those on the SGA website are most likely searching for club financial forms.
Establishing and Implementing Brand Guidelines
In 2018, WCSU transitioned into using new branding guidelines for the institution. When it came to advertising, we didn’t have high quality files for clubs to put on their flyers. Luckily, our contact who produced our Senate attire uniform had Illustrator files and gave me a walk-through of functions. It was a moment that helped me understand the importance of branding for an organization. Soon, our shirts, website, social media, memos, email signatures, business cards, and governing documents became unified visually. More exposure of our name and logo to the campus community contributes to increased brand recognition whether it is online or at events.
Logo until Fall 2019 vs. Current SGA Logo with WCSU Logo (Since Fall 2019)
Anna Adebambo, '21