Entrepreneurs, as well as many other companies, rely on Integrated Marketing Communication to get the word of their business out to the public with multiple methods. A fellow UNCW Senior in the Communication Studies department, James Connolley, has been an entrepreneur using IMC to promote his business, JC Surf Camp. James has been teaching people of all ages how to surf for 8 years and has been an entrepreneur, owning JC Surf Camp for 6 years. His decision to start his own surf camp business started with a conversation with his high school bible study leader. James has a love for surfing, kids, and Jesus and decided the best way to combine all the things he loves into his surf camp. He likes to share his message through his surf camp by the quality and professionalism in his every day work.
When the surf camp started in 2006, the only way James was communicating with his publics was by posting fliers in the storefront of a local surf shop. His business quickly started to grow and in 2007, James decided he wanted to market his business to a broader audience. He paid someone to build his own website and just recently added new content and features. James uses many other ways to communicate to his public by using mass emails, direct mailing, brochures, website, and social media. The best marketing overall with JC Surf Camp is word of mouth advertising and partnerships with other local camps in Wilmington. More recently, James was able to advertise his business through the local news station WECT.
The JC Surf Camp team considers surfing one of the greatest blessings in life and goes to great lengths to ensure others see it the same way. Each instructor at JC Surf Camp has gone through an extensive SurfInstruct Training Program before becoming a surf instructor. This program was developed to ensure every instructor knows ocean safety, surf safety, CPR and First Aid certified, and knowledge of different teaching methods for all levels, such as, kids, teens, groups, or private lessons. Another way James and his team ensure safety is by providing UV protected rash guards and soft-top surfboards. Safety is very important to all the JC Surf Camp instructors to make sure they are providing a safe learning environment. James stated it perfectly when he said if people feel safe, they are able to have fun. This is one of the messages James tries to communicate to retain and maintain customers.
Many times entrepreneurs start from the ground up and have to take what they have and make the most of it. Since James is in the communication studies department at UNCW, he has been able to take the knowledge learned in communication classes and IMC classes and implement that in his business. James, as a student and entrepreneur, thinks of entrepreneurship as an adventure and has far exceeded what many entrepreneurs his age are capable of.
By: Laura Simmons, Dorothy Conley, Christina Stevenson, Mollie Berthold