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Running Head: PROMOTING COMM.

STUDIES

Promoting the Communication Studies Department:


Increasing the departments utilization of digital technology

Patricia Garcia
20 May 2015
Public Relations Campaigns

PROMOTING COMM. STUDIES

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Table of Contents

I.
II.
III.
IV.
V.

Introduction2
Problem & Solution...3
Electronic Media Audit..5
Campaign Evaluation.....9
Conclusion...12

I.

Introduction

PROMOTING COMM. STUDIES

Through this plan, I am attempting to market the Communication Studies Department and the
opportunities offered within the department to increase student involvement in the department.
By creating promotional videos for the department website, implementing the use of social
media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and unifying media channels within the
department, I will address the misconceptions about the major, bridge the gap between students,
faculty, and alumni, and move towards a media convergence. As I evaluate this plan, I will be
monitoring the use of the promotional videos, including the views on the videos. Also, I will be
closely monitoring the activity on the various social media sites, including the followers, likes,
and regular postings by students, alumni, and professors alike. Finally, through the use of surveys
over time, organization enrollment and involvement, and an increased audience for all
organizations, we can evaluate the success of the media convergence. Throughout the plan and
after reviewing constant results from the evaluation steps, I will change and alter the plan
accordingly to ensure more effective strategies.

II.

Problem

PROMOTING COMM. STUDIES

The Communication Studies department faces several problems that we attempt to resolve.
First, the department faces criticism from students who do not know what is studied by majors
and by not correcting those misconceptions, the department is losing out on potential major
students. However, the department is also lacking communication to current major students
about the opportunities that are available to them. This robs students of the ability to take
advantage of the college experience and getting involved as undergraduates.
Furthermore, the department has not bridged the gap between faculty, students, and alumni,
which could allow for a more involved community and better networking opportunities for
students. Within this problem, the department has failed to incorporate social media with their
students or alumni, or unsuccessfully incorporated small aspects of social media.
Finally, adding to the problems seen in the Communication Studies Department, there are
several media channels like the radio station, the newspaper, the sports show, and a few other
organizations that are not working together to promote each other. In fact, the organizations have
often competed like rivals, rather than work together.
Solution:
My solution for these problems includes three different waves of promotions. First, a
series of promotional videos will be created for the department to address misconceptions and
simultaneously bring awareness to department organizations. These videos will appear on the
department website, they will be available for viewing at New Student Orientations, and the
department will take advantage of the information offered through these videos to show them to
lower-division Communication Studies courses.
The second wave of promotions includes the implementation of four social media sites.
First, Facebook will be used for students, faculty, and alumni to come together to share updates

PROMOTING COMM. STUDIES

in their lives, offer links to productions, publications, and surveys, invitations to events, and any
general communication. Second, an Instagram account will be made for the department to share
things like outstanding student leaders, professor appreciation posts, successful alumni, tips of
the week, and other posts that will provide a sense of community for the Communication Studies
Department. Next, a Twitter will be made to share events and publications for the department
organizations, possible tips or advice for students in the department, share department
announcements, and even share the publications of professors and their research. Finally, a
LinkedIn group will be created for students to form professional relationships and network with
faculty, peers, and alumni after graduation.
The last wave will coincide with some of the social media from the second wave. But, a
media convergence will take place in the department to allow the organizations to work
cohesively. This means KCSS will create voiceover announcements to pick up a copy of The
Signal, catch the latest episode of Warrior Rewind, or head over to the Relational Caffeine
website for an interesting read. It also means The Signal will write articles on events hosted by
KCSS, profile Warrior Rewind, or write a similar summary of Warrior Athletics as Warrior
Rewind in print, and even offer dual-publication for Relational Caffeine as the members
crossover. For more topic-specific organizations like Warrior Rewind, the media convergence
would mean referencing articles written through The Signal, or giving sports podcasts a new
medium on the show. This convergence will not only increase the audience for all channels and
organizations, but it will allow students to participate in all organizations without feeling the
need to remain loyal to one organization over another.
III.

Electronic Media Audit

PROMOTING COMM. STUDIES

The Communication Studies Department is attempting to reach five stakeholder groups that
are vital to the sustainability and success of the department and the organizations they offer
students. The groups include: incoming students attending New Student Orientation, current
major students, current non-major students, alumni, and faculty.
First, the department needs to re-evaluate how they target incoming students at New Student
Orientations. Although current students in the department have been invited to speak to students
at orientation, it is usually the faculty or staff that sit behind a table with no attempt to visually
persuade students to come up and talk to them. The faculty and/or staff that sit at the table are
often involved in conversations among themselves and new students are intimidated to walk up
and speak to faculty. It is being communicated through a lack of visuals and through nonverbal
communication that the faculty is unapproachable. The department can better attract students to
their table by adding a TV or laptop where they can play the promotional videos for students to
see, they can include a combination of faculty and students every year to make new students
more comfortable coming up to the table, and they can add a short game, icebreaker, or giveaway
to their table as a student incentive to interact with current students and faculty.
Second, the department does not currently actively reach out to non-major students to recruit
them to organizations within the department. Despite having so many organizations with
worthwhile experience for a variety of majors, the department is sending the message that you
have to be a Communication Studies major in order to be involved with organizations like The
Signal, KCSS, Warrior Rewind, etc. To correct this, the department can utilize campus-wide
emails to students about the organizations within the department, and they can also work together
with other department faculty to spread the word. For example, The Signal could work closely
with the English department to recruit editors, the Agricultural department to recruit reporters for

PROMOTING COMM. STUDIES

the new Agricultural section, or even the Spanish department to include Spanish writers for the
new Spanish section. Another example, KCSS should reach out to Business or Economics majors
for possible podcasts about their respective fields, or any person interested in broadcasting the
field they are interested in. This can and should be applied to all organizations within the
department for a wider variety of content for broadcasts and publications.
Third, the department and the faculty that work in the department communicate with
major students on a daily basis. However, other than face-to-face advising meetings, classroom
lectures, and email, the department does not communicate with students in an electronic fashion.
There is a public Facebook group for students, some faculty, and alumni called Communicators
at CSU Stanislaus, but the page is usually inactive until students need surveys taken and faculty
rarely communicates with students through that forum. This lack of open communication leaves
a gap between faculty and students, which can be bridged through the use of social media. First,
the department needs to implement several forms of social media, including a Facebook page,
not a group. A page can be better monitored, tracked, and evaluated with control over
administrators and postings to the page, where anyone in the group can post anything into it.
With the department Facebook group being public, any person can be added in by any current
member, regardless if they are a student or not. But, the use of social media like a Facebook
page, an Instagram account, a Twitter account, and a LinkedIn group (which requires approval
into the group by an administrator) would be a platform to celebrate student, faculty, and alumni
success. Also, it is a way to generate a sense of community among the different groups within the
department, from the different organizations, to faculty, students, and alumni.
The department also needs to add a more open channel of communication with alumni.
Recently, the department has made efforts to communicate with alumni in two ways: the Alumni

PROMOTING COMM. STUDIES

Networking Mixer hosted by the Senior Capstone class and Lambda Pi Eta, and a panel of
alumni speakers for the Communication Careers course. But, unless students are enrolled in one
of these two courses, they often do not interact with alumni while they are undergraduates in this
department. The promotional videos will solve this by inviting alumni to share their wisdom and
advice with students in a digital format, but also adding the social media specifically Facebook
and LinkedIn will bring alumni and current students together. While Facebook can be used for a
more social setting to get to know alumni, a group on LinkedIn can be give students access to a
more professional setting to network and find potential jobs or internships through recent
graduates who are in related fields.
Finally, the department should change how they communicate to faculty, specifically
regarding technology and organizations in the department. Most faculty drive home the idea that
we cannot use technology in the classroom, but the department should encourage the use of one
or more channels of technology, even social media. For example, in Visual Communication the
class had its own hashtag where students could communicate with each other and the professor
by adding #VizComm to any social media post. If students find any posts or web content that
relates to the course, they can share it with each other and the professor immediately and it can
be discussed in class time. Similar hashtags or social media assignments can be implemented
into all classes. Also, the support of organizations within the department from all faculty is not
always present. While faculty hold advising positions for most of the organizations, there are still
parts of the faculty that are not included in these positions or in the organizations at all. For
example, not many of the faculty in the department have watched a single episode of Warrior
Rewind. Without watching the show, faculty does not know the amount of work students put into
the show and the support for student involvement in Warrior Rewind is not always made clear.

PROMOTING COMM. STUDIES

As a solution, the addition of promotional videos to profile each organization to the department
website is a clear statement of support for students, but also by honoring students and their work
through the use of a department Instagram or Facebook account would also show overwhelming
support for student work.

IV.

Campaign Evaluation

PROMOTING COMM. STUDIES

I will evaluate my campaign before the campaign runs, during the campaign, and after in
order to calculate successes and adjust the campaign to make it as successful as possible.
First, before the campaign, I will do research on other California state universities to check
their website for two things: a Communication Studies department website and promotional
videos for that department. I will use research compiled by the university to calculate how
many students are in the department and how the number of enrolled students in the
department compares to other majors on campus, and the number of students involved in
Communication Studies organizations compared to other organizations on campus. Also, I
will take inventory of events usually held by the department over a year and compile a
calendar of events to be promoted internally and through social media. I will analyze the
current departmental use of social media and how effective it has been for students. Finally,
before the campaign, I will survey students and faculty in the department on awareness of
department organizations, knowledge of events, involvement in organizations, and use of
social media for major-related courses or communication.
During the campaign, I will track and monitor the number of willing participants
in promotional videos. Also, I will monitor social media, including the number of followers
being gained and general activity on the social media accounts including likes, posts, and
comments. I will also monitor the number of views on the promotional videos, as well as
maintaining contact with each of the organizations to see how many students have reached
out to them with an interest in joining the organization. As I progress through the campaign, I
will also survey the students on their awareness of organizations, knowledge of events,
involvement in organizations, and use of social media for major-related courses or
communication and networking.

PROMOTING COMM. STUDIES

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At the end of the campaign, I will analyze all of the survey data to see if there is a
significant difference between knowledge and involvement in the Communication Studies
department prior to the campaign and after the campaign. I will also survey advisors on
whether or not incoming students have more knowledge about the department or more
interest joining organizations earlier in their undergraduate career. I will also do an analysis
of the videos by comparing them to videos from other schools to see how the content and
quality of the videos compare. Finally, I will set up a way for the videos and social media to
be continued after the end of the campaign as a legacy for the department.

Individual Evaluation:
My main goal is to market the Communication Studies department in order to resolve
misconceptions about the department and increase faculty, student, and alumni involvement with
the department. I intend to do this by implementing the use of digital technology and social
media. This includes the creation of promotional videos and several social media sites in the
name of department and use them consistently for a year to analyze the effectiveness. I would
count the views of the videos and the number of followers, likes, comments, and posts for each
social media account as well.
The way I plan on generating followers is through word of mouth in the department,
starting with announcements in classes and a department email from the assistant in department.
I could utilize the two current Facebook groups, one for the Communication Studies department,
and one for an individual course taught, but also utilize the hashtag created for certain courses,
and the pages from The Signal, KCSS, Warrior Rewind, and Relational Caffeine to market
students in those organizations and alumni who were once involved in those organizations to

PROMOTING COMM. STUDIES

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follow or like the social media specifically for the department. Having these pages gives us an
advantage to reach a larger audience of students and alumni. From The Signal, KCSS, Warrior
Rewind, and Relational Caffeine, the organizations within the Communication Studies
Department can reach almost 4,000 people just through Facebook. While not all of these likes
and followers will translate or crossover directly to Instagram and Twitter, it is still a huge
population of people wanting to connect with parts or all of the Communication Studies
department.
By doing all of this, the Communication Studies department can not only market itself to
potential students, it can clear up misconceptions with current students, and it can bridge the
communication gap between alumni and the department.

V.

Conclusion

PROMOTING COMM. STUDIES

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In conclusion, this campaign will market the Communication Studies department and
increase student involvement in department organizations. I will use social media such as
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn to publicize the organizations students can get
involved in and open the communication channels between faculty, students, and alumni. Our
primary goal throughout this campaign is to get faculty, students, and alumni more involved with
each other and with the department.
In order to evaluate this campaign, I will conduct surveys, monitor social media, monitor
views of the promotional videos, and compare our departments marketing strategies to the
strategies of other departments like ours on other California state university campuses.