Marketing UNCW’s Midnite Madness & Fan Jam

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Photo courtesy of the Association for Campus Entertainment.

In the past two years, UNCW’s Basketball program has grown in prominence and recognition, not only on our campus, but on the college basketball scene as a whole. As a former Spirit Chair for the Association for Campus Entertainment, I was beyond excited when the Men’s team started winning. One of the best ways to garner school spirit on a college campus is to give students something to root for. Events intended to boost that school spirit, like Midnite Madness and ACE’s Fan Jam, are not new to UNCW’s campus, but appear to be getting some new—and well deserved—recognition.

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Some decked-out fans at Fan Jam. Photo courtesy of ACE.

This past Friday, ACE worked with the Residence Hall Association, Athletics Department, Campus Dining, and more to organize the event known as Fan Jam. The purpose of Fan Jam is to get UNCW fans excited about the upcoming basketball season, while rewarding them with free games, shirts, and food. It is a way to thank fans for supporting UNCW’s sports teams. In the past, this event occurred after Midnite Madness and ran late into the night. However, this year Maddie Driggers, the current Spirit Chair for ACE, moved the event to 8 p.m., meaning it would take place before Midnite Madness. As with all her events, Maddie was tasked with discovering fun and engaging marketing techniques to inform students about the event and its new time.

IMG_2792  Basketball cookies made by Campus Dining. Photo courtesy of ACE.

Aside from creating a flyer and posting the event details on social media, Maddie and her committee members tabled around campus. At their table, students could win Midnite Madness t-shirts by making a basket in a child-sized basketball hoop. This technique proved effective because curiosity drew a lot of people to the table. Additionally, the students were more engaged with the information because they were getting a reward. The Athletics Department also provided glowing foam sticks with “Seahawks” written on them. This giveaway helped market the event because they were conversation starters and looked amazing in photos.

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The glowing rods in action at Midnite Madness. Photo from UNCW Athletics’s Facebook.

The foam rods can also be used a sporting events throughout the year and the photos can be used for promotional purposes for upcoming games. On the Tuesday before Midnite Madness, the Athletics Department hosted a Teal Tuesday event where they gave away more t-shirts and free food. They held other events during the week, like an ice cream social. At each of these events, Sammy was present to take photos with students and encourage them to participate.

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Sammy at Fan Jam with students. Photo courtesy of the Association for Campus Entertainment.

Overall, the key marketing strategies used by ACE and the Athletics Department for these events were face-to-face interaction with their key public (the students) and freebies. Both groups were also consistent in their marketing in the week leading up to the big day, maximizing the amount of students who learned about the events. In the end, Fan Jam had an estimated 500 students attend the event, the majority of whom went to Midnite Madness directly after making the day quite the success.

 

By: Katie Solinski

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Humans of COM Studies: Lauren Arsena

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Photo courtesy of Lauren Arsena.

Lauren Arsena entered UNCW in the Fall of 2014. At the time, she knew she was interested in marketing, but was unsure which major would be the best fit for her. She quickly discovered COM and the potential the department had to teach her, not only marketing, but advertising, public relations, and more.

In terms of campus involvement, Lauren is the President of the Association for Campus Entertainment. ACE is the student-programming board at UNCW; they are responsible for a wide variety of events across campus, including the Jesse McCartney concert in Kenan Auditorium last Friday, September 22. Lauren was an integral part of the team that brought Jesse to campus, resulting in the fastest selling show in ACE’s history. The show sold out in less than 90 minutes.

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September 22, 2017: Jesse McCartney at the concert on campus. Photo courtesy of Hayley Kane (ACE Photographer).

Lauren first decided to join ACE because she wanted to have a say in planning events for campus, while still having fun. Before becoming the president, Lauren was the Special Events Chair, now known as the Activities chair. She worked on a few of ACE’s traditional events like Last Seahawk Standing and Speed Dating. She created a few new events of her own as well, including Swing Dancing and Salsa Dancing lessons–both free for students. Last fall, she brought an improv group to campus for a Murder Mystery Dinner. Guests interacted with the characters to learn who the killer was.

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Lauren (right) and the Spirit Committee Chair Maddie (left) outside of Lumina Theater before one of ACE’s films. Photo courtesy of Hayley Kane (ACE Photographer).

She has gotten the opportunity to apply a lot of the knowledge from her courses to her position in ACE and vice versa. Lauren states, “I’m on the PR/IMC track, so I’ve learned a lot about how to effectively market on social media. ACE also helps me in my classes because I have experience in event planning, leadership, teamwork, and public speaking.”

Along with ACE, Lauren works as a Calendar Assistant for Campus Life. She uses Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator to create the calendars in the bathrooms of the Fisher Student Center and Union. Her experience with the Adobe Creative Cloud inspired her to add a Digital Arts minor.

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Two of Lauren’s recent calendars. Lately, she has been hiding a Pac-man ghost somewhere in the design. See if you can spot him! Photos courtesy of Lauren Arsena.

After graduation, Lauren would like to work in event planning for a few years. In the long term, she would like to return to school to work on a masters degree in Student Affairs. Her goal is to work with a student-programming board like ACE.

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September 26, 2017: Lauren (far right) photographed here with Brandon Stanton (center), the creator of Humans of New York. Brandon’s work is the inspiration behind this post. Photo courtesy of Stefani Norris (right of Brandon).

“Interpersonal COM, public speaking, and PR have taught me how to market myself better to others so I feel more confident and ready to enter the workforce after I graduate.”

By: Katie Solinski

“Irmagerd!”

In case the hurricane comes or it doesn’t or it does or it doesn’t…here are some suggested ways you can be prepared according to credible social media sources such as Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and Instagram.

1)    First of all, check to see where the predictions are currently standing and how you should take precautions.

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2)    Whatever you do, DO NOT forget your charger if you do need to evacuate the area.

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3)    Make sure you tie your house down before you leave, because that is extremely important.

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4) If you are are not evacuating try to put some of your household appliances to use. Throw ice in your washer before the storm and use it as a cooler! The water drains out anyway, so that’s actually not a bad idea! Yes, thank you Pinterest. 

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5)  Place important documents, pictures, and books into your dishwasher to make sure they stay safe and dry.

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I think you are ready now! You know exactly where the storm is headed, you have your charger, hopefully you’re gathering tools to tie your house down, drying out your dishwasher, and loading your washer with ice and drinks! You have nothing to stress about. Just sit back and relax, right?

If you have noticed a pattern with some of the artifacts that have been presented on how you can prepare – it could be that you have seen them before, or that they are all a little humorous, but most importantly they all share a common factor being that they are all memes.

In just a short about of time with the announcement of the hurricanes, several memes have been surfacing the internet and have gone viral.

What makes a meme go viral?

Memes have become a cultural trend and something that have become a part of our popular culture over the several years. Most of the time they are humorous, it’s a visual (and pictures are worth a thousand words), and it’s almost like an inside joke. For example:

4824576Screen Shot 2017-09-08 at 6.57.00 PMEasily the girl on most “Ermagerd” memes quickly became the girl who was posted on all of the “Irma Gerd” memes. If you didn’t know who she was you from her popularity on previously memes you may have thought they were still funny but not known who this girl was and why her face was the chosen one. I think it can now be declared the world’s favorite meme and hashtag paired with this storm.

There is a negative side to memes. Since they are such a huge part of our culture and entertainment they could be used as a method of persuasion. Although we want them to be harmless, as Dr. Deanna D sellnow stated at the Integrated Marketing Communication Conference, “some entertainments initial purpose was not made to be persuasive however because of that it could potentially be even more persuasive and compelling because we aren’t anticipating persuasion”. That seems to be a pattern with memes, as they are mostly made to be humorous some do become reality.

An example of this is with the memes dedicating their attention to the tracks of the hurricanes. As frustrating as it may be to not know where the hurricane could be headed it is better to be informed of what we do know as soon as possible, rather than waiting until is it 100% accurate and we have the potential of it being too late. After all, communication is key amiright? 

In all seriousness, stay safe during this storm and check credible news sources on how to prepare for the storm! But wait, there’s more….

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-Josie Edwards

 

Here’s to Being Thankful My Plan A Sucked.

My last blog post on here, wow. I can’t believe it’s over.

Alright, here we go-

I didn’t plan on going to UNCW; it just wasn’t my ‘Plan A’.

I didn’t plan on anything happening the way it did. But you know, life is funny like that.

My whole life, I had always lived by the beach. But my freshmen year of college at ECU made me feel completely landlocked, lost, and not at all satisfied with tailgates and purple/gold color coordination. The pirate’s life was in fact not for me. I was miserable, and sooo not into skipping class for football.

I didn’t have a Plan B, so I just went for it, and followed my way back to the coast and transferred.

I never really found my fit in the land of purple and gold. But when I came to UNCW, it felt like home. And the funniest thing about it? I’m here because my ‘Plan A’ failed miserably. I fell in love with my school, my major, and my new found home. And I was completely okay with skipping class for the beach.

I’ve taken in all that I can from the journey that has been the past 3 years. And I learned so much. I learned what a COM major at UNCW should learn, but I also learned 2 crucial life lessons from my college experience:

  1. Your plans will potentially suck and fail.
  2. Your failed plans will bring you to exactly where you need to be.

So here I am, right where I need to be, forever thankful that my ‘Plan A’ sucked.

UNCW will be my alma mater, and Wilmington will continue to be the place I call home. My personal and academic life plans failed for the better, and it all worked out just fine. I wish I could hug the whole university and all its’ students, faculty, and buildings because I will truly miss the Dub Life.

I hope those of you reading this take your time at UNCW and in Wilmington. It’s a beautiful little place in a wonderful city. I hope you don’t get discouraged when your plans fail you. Actually, you should plan for all of your plans to fail, even the most secure ones. And if your plan fails? Just ride the wave of it until you reach the shore you’re destined to land at.

It’ll be a hell of a ride, I promise.

Kayla Millie ’17

 

 

Tips for Your Linkedin Profile

Applying for jobs has many young adults worried. There are ways, however, to boost your chances of landing that job. Creating a Linkedin Profile is one way to show your professionalism and is a good way to network with countless other people, but you are probably thinking that many people have these profiles. How can you make yours stand out? We have some tips that you can use when crafting your profile.1217linkedin

  1. Join as Many Groups as You Can

Linkedin allows it users to connect with others and start groups. It is important to be in groups because the more groups you are in the more likely you will be found when searched by an employer. Be sure to only join groups that are relevant to the jobs you want to get. The more groups you are a part of the more times your name your will appear in front of someone looking to hire. You can really make yourself standout by leading a group too.

  1. Be Very Descriptive in Your Summary

The more descriptive you are in your summary the better your chances will be in attracting attention to your profile. This space allows you to tell what separates you from your peers. It is a good resource to share your story. Also, be sure to include many keywords in the “speciality” section so that when searched, your profile will show up sooner.  blog-cover-1024x587

3. Keep it Professional

Your Linkedin profile should be completely different than your Facebook profile. Linkedin is not a place to chat with your friends or create a profile to see how many shares or likes it can get. It is about networking and giving companies an online representation of who you are. Your profile needs to be organized. If your profile is a mess then whoever is looking at your page will assume that you are a mess too.

  1. Show off Your Worklinkedin2

Linkedin gives its users the opportunity to attach files or link websites in the profile. It is important to utilize this so that employers have a direct link to see the work you have done. Do not be afraid to show off your work and be proud of what you have done. Remember confidence is key. Make your profile a confident one.  

  1. Keep it as Updated as Possible

Your Linkedin profile should not be outdated. A profile is not created and then left to be alone. It should be in motion and kept up to date. Your profile needs to constantly be updated so that employers see all your experience. If you leave important information out then they will have no way of knowing of it. They can only see what you put out there. Adding that extra information could mean the difference between getting hired or getting overlooked. If you have experience then be sure to let them know. Do not limit yourself.

Let us know what you think of our tips and be sure to comment below if you have any of your own that you would like to share!

-Austin, Jonathan, & Kaela

Photo Sources

 http://exclusive.multibriefs.com/images/exclusive/1217linkedin.jpg

A Thai and Vietnamese Creation

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Although it’s only in Wilmington, NC, once you step through the doors of Indochine Restaurant you are transformed into a Vietnamese wonderland.  Guarding the front entrance, a 6-foot golden statue of Buddha welcomes the guests that come to dine.  Statues, paintings, and nicknacks line the walls of the interior of the restaurant, all collected by the restaurants owners during their many travels throughout Asia.

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The true enchantment begins when you pass through the back doors into the garden. With just over an acre, the Bartsch family has created a Vietnamese-inspired garden that will leave you speechless.  From koi ponds to individual tiki-huts for guests to dine in, the garden is a true transformation to a new “far east” destination.

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After opening its doors in 2001, Indochine quickly became one of Wilmington’s most popular attractions.  Voted Encore’s Best Restaurant Overall for over 15 years, each visit to Indochine is a handcrafted experience.  On top of a beautiful atmosphere, the cuisine only enhances the experience.  Staying local and true to Thai culture, each dish is freshly prepared based on family recipes.

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Indochine has built a brand based on every factor of the dining experience.  Atmosphere, service, and cuisine are just a few examples of where the Indochine staff focuses their attention to ensure every guest is experiencing a true taste of Vietnam.  Staying true to culture is very important to the owners and doing so has allowed them to build a strong brand awareness in the Wilmington community.

Based solely on word of mouth marketing, Indochine relies heavily on their reputation.  Through their success it is clear that staying true to culture and providing the very best experience to the customer is vital in surviving in the restaurant business.  Although the owners choose not to advertise in the community, Indochine is a name we all recognize and has become a staple in Wilmington culture.

Cucalorus: How to Brand an Independent Film Festival

By Daniel Dawson

Cucalorus is Wilmywood’s premiere quirky film festival, showcasing independent films from local, national and international artists. Film connoisseurs sporting chunky glasses, artsy students in their thrift-store best and less interesting folk like you and I file into Thalian Hall (or one of the many other venues), settle down and wait for the lights to dim. This November will be the 21st year this little slice of art and culture draws people to downtown Wilmington.

I could barely convince people to keep coming after my twelfth birthday party, so how does Cucalorus garner a big crowd each consecutive year? A cohesive brand narrative, that’s how. And Cucalorus’ brand narrative is nothing short of weird—but in the good way. Let’s explore what makes Cucalorus cool.

  1. It’s in the copy

While none of these factors are ranked in any specific order of importance, I am a word person and always like to read and evaluate the voice of an organization. Many organizations forget about this, not capitalizing its subtle importance. Bad organizations.

Cucalorus, on the other hand, has got its copy down pat. The copy, whether it’s online, in print or broadcasted on the radio, is how an organization communicates not only its news or events, but its personality, its voice and its image.  Here’s a snippet of copy from Cucalorus’ donation page on their website:

“Hey Cucalorians!!! Do you need to get rid of unwanted cash? Make a donation and we’ll send you a tax deduction letter to send your fuzzy little friends at the IRS (they don’t need your money and clearly don’t know what to do with it!!). We do know what to do with it – we’re already plotting and scheming for the 21st annual Cucalorus Film Festival – taking place November 11-15, 2015!!! Help us fund the dreams and visions of artists all over the world by making a donation today.
Dreaming of eggnog omelettes!
Cucalorius.
The Cucalorus Film Foundation is a 501c3 non-profit and your donation is tax deductible to the fullest extent of the law.”

 

On first glance this might sound unprofessional and not the voice an organization would want to convey. The context, though, is important. Cucalorus’ audience is mostly the aforementioned artists, hipsters and independent film connoisseurs and Cucalorians. These types of people generally like funny, creative and quirky things (like Cucalorus). These types of people also tend to be skeptical of the IRS—not to mention the state cutting NC’s film incentive last year.  So yes, it might be OK for Cucalorus to be a bit irreverent, and it’s their creative risk.

  1. Digital presence, dude

If your business doesn’t have some sort of online presence (an email address counts), I would like you to write to me immediately by carrier pigeon and explain how you’re still surviving. An online presence is increasingly important each year, and now just having a website and Facebook isn’t cutting it. Brand cohesion across appropriate social media networks and inter-connectivity between them is vital.

Cucalorus not only has a website, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram but their own blog and—drum roll—they are all updated. Bravo, Cucalorus. Content creation and audience engagement are essential to a successful IMC strategy.

  1. Creepily consistent image

This one is tandem with the digital presence. IMC consists of advertising, public relations, marketing and every other single communication an organization can perform with its publics. Consistency in corporate communication allows the organization and its audiences to construct a narrative and image of the brand. This is what people can relate to. This is how we can see the quirkiness, irreverence and artsy personality of Cucalorus as if it were that weird kid in your English class who would always have some snappy reference to an obscure book even your professor hadn’t read. But less annoying.

Take a look at Cucalorus’ official website:

Cucalorus Home Page - Wilmington, NC

Ooh, warm fall colors. Where’s my PSL?!

The color scheme and design is consistent. The font-faces, graphics and little cartoon dudes are consistent. There’s well-organized navigation and that copy I was talking about earlier. The social media pages follow suit. There’s an article on this if you’re into academic papers. Basically, the author, Simon Torp from Odense University in Denmark, says that as an organization your communication through all channels must be consistent, accessible and in line with your self-image, public image and meta-image for people to take you seriously.

  1. Zany staff workers

When I said all channels of communication, I meant all of them. Even the staff workers and volunteers need to be carefully selected and even briefed on an organization’s code of conduct. One time I went to a screening of a Cucalorus film at Thalian Hall and, not to get into too much detail, I, with the rest of the audience, was sternly asked by staff to partake in a ritual involving whipped cream, button pins and our tongues. Was I offended? No, but I could have been if I had been misguided by thinking Cucalorus was actually a convention for neo-Puritans. Because their self-branding and self-image don’t suggest that, I could expect something out of the ordinary. It’s the risk that Cucalorus takes to maintain its image and appeal to its target audience.

  1. High-quality product

When it comes down to it, a business or organization is only as good as its product. Silly brand narrative and image aside, Cucalorus does a good job at what it does. It recruits and selects excellent film talent from around the world and showcases it in quality and entertaining venues. This is where word-of-mouth comes into play. Word-of-mouth marketing or WOM is an organic and invaluable means of public relations, advertising and marketing. Have you ever read a positive news story about an organization you love? Or has a good friend of yours recommended a product or service they favor? These are examples of WOM that can make or break an organization depending on whether they are in favor or against it.  Maintaining the balance between brand narrative, professionalism and good business sense is how an organization thrives. While Cucalorus does an outstanding job of its own branding and controlled media, its reputation for quality and intrigue reign in filmmakers and spectators every year.

I am no way affiliated with the Cucalorus film festival professionally, nor do I represent it. I recognize good IMC in organizations and talk about it here. But, if you are tired of what the local theaters are playing, check out a showing of something interesting between November 11 and 15 downtown at Cucalorus.