Arbutus Indiana University’s yearbook made by students for students. Hoosier Publics Bloomington’s Premier Public Relations Agency Anna Berg, Allison Davis, Nola Lazin, Jessi Howells Response to Request for Proposal: November 21, 2008
Table of Contents Executive Summary.......................................................................1 The Client: Mission…...……………………………………………………………….2 Goals……………………………………………………………………….2 Situation Analysis: SWOT Analysis………………………………………………………….3 Research and Research Conclusions……………………………..4 Target Audiences Primary Audiences……………………………………………………5 Secondary Audience…………………………………………………6 Key messages……………………………………………………………………7 & 8 Strategy: Measurable Objectives……………………………………………..9 Tools and Tactics.........................................................................10 & 11 Timeline......................................................................................12 Budget........................................................................................13 Evaluation ofSuccess..................................................................14 Appendix....................................................................................15
The number one problem that the Arbutus faces is that book sales are lower than desired. This is due in part to a lack of student participation and interest. Students being our primary target audience include, undergraduate, graduate, incoming freshmen, student athletes, and students within the Greek community. A survey conducted by Hoosier Publics found that not even 1% of the surveyed audience purchased an Arbutus last year.
Our proposal suggests four main goals to reach in order to achieve our mission of creating a quality yearbook that students will want to purchase. These goals are:
Increase sales of the Arbutus
Increase awareness of the Arbutus
Increase student involvement in the production of the Arbutus
Develop loyalty to the Arbutus
Given the results of our survey, not nearly enough of the student body is coming out to get their picture taken for the Arbutus, and thus we believe, they do not have interest in buying it. By offering incentives, we found that more people would be more interested in purchasing the book. We offer two main recommendations that we are confident will work to achieving our main goal. These include:
Making the Arbutus more available for students, whether it be through events or through making the books available to look through in popular sites around campus.
Developing a comprehensive communications publicity plan utilizing the Indiana University e-mail system and free Indiana Daily Student advertising.
We estimate the budget cost for this campaign will not exceed the amount the Arbutus staff used in last years’ yearbook. $2,000 of the $200,000 annual budget for the Arbutus will be paid to the photographer and used to create and distribute coupons.
The Client: Arbutus Mission The mission of the Arbutus yearbook is to provide a quality account of student life at Indiana University-Bloomington. The Arbutus is a yearly publication that aims to accurately represent student life by documenting traditions, current events, and University achievements. Students are the main audience but the Arbutus wants to reach the entire IU community including staff, faculty, alumni, and administration.
Yearbooks are a dying publication across college campuses in the United States. Indiana University is fortunate enough to have a circulating yearbook since 1892.
The staff at the Arbutus wants to not only make their publication well known to the student body at IU but their publication to thrive. To ensure success of the Arbutus, goals have been established:
To increase sales of the Arbutus*
Increase awareness of the Arbutus
To increase student involvement in the production of the Arbutus
The develop loyalty to the Arbutus
* This is the primary goal of the campaign. Since the Arbutus is funded by sales, it is important to generate revenue to ensure the stability and success of the yearbook.
in show at the Columbia Scholastic Press Association
in 1996-2001, 2004, and 2005.
Finalist for the 2000 Pacemaker award
Arbutus Yearbook was inducted to the Associated
Collegiate Press Hall of Fame in 2001.
Indiana Collegiate Press Association Division I
Yearbook of the Year Award.
Recognition on local and national level for outstanding
execution of yearly publication
Creative design and layout
Yearbook produced by one of the top Journalism schools
For students, by students
Low participation by students both inside and outside of the
School of Journalism
Lack of opportunities for students to take yearbook
portraits on campus
Lack of awareness about what the yearbook, thus, lack of
interest for students to contribute to the publication
Little to no PR efforts at the moment
Very small amount of books sold
Numerous resources to pull from on University campus:
Professors, students, Kelley School of Business
Many students would purchase the book if they knew what
they were getting for their dollar. $65 dollars for a three-
inch thick book.
Production work provides experience for students in the
fields of photography, editorial/opinion writing, magazine
writing, creative writing, design, and sales
Lack of purchase means lack of funds which results in a low
budget to produce and advertise the book
Competes with other academic activities that students
would otherwise be involved in such as the IDS
Social Netwoking sites are taking the place of printed and
Situation Analysis Research & Research Conclusions Average price students are willing to pay for a book: $26. The price that the Arbutus sells for is $65. This means that the yearbook is overpriced. It could also mean that IU students have not had exposure to the yearbook and they have not seen the quality of production, photography, writing, and size of the book thus do not want to buy it. Only 3/50 students surveyed have thought about purchasing an Arbutus yearbook. Since the goal of the client is to increase sales, this statistic needs to increase. Since this number is so low, this means that there is little student contact with the book itself. It could also mean that there is very little advertising and PR action with this product. Only 1/50studentssurveyed have purchased the Arbutus yearbook. The Arbutus needs to convert a higher rate of interest to increase purchases. The Arbutus also must make their product available to students to increase sales and generate interest. 17/50 students surveyed did not know what the Arbutus was a yearbook. Of the people who didn’t know what it was, they guessed the Arbutus was a Greek God, flower, or magazine. No one surveyed had contributed to the Arbutus by getting his or her picture taken. After talking to the Arbutus editor-in-chief, approximately 2,000 students get their picture taken for the yearbook. There could be a factor of things contributing to this low turn-out including poor planning and advertising, or inconvenient times/locations for photo shoots. A random non-scientific sample survey of 50 Indiana University students was conducted to gather their feelings and thoughts toward the Arbutus yearbook. Also, and interview was conducted with the Arbutus editor-in-chief Lea Wilcox. 4
Target Audiences Students (primary) The Arbutus is centered around the lives of the students at Indiana University, and therefore they are the ones who will be most likely to buy the book. This audience can be broken up into 5 key segments. UNDERGRADUATES: We would like to market heavily towards this audience, in part because they are the most accessible. GRADUATE STUDENTS: This audience is past the prime of their college career, and are now more focused on education rather than annual happenings of students and the university. We must convince this group that they are still a part of the university and would benefit from having a detailed account of their years here. INCOMING FRESHMAN: We have a special advantage with this audience to hook them before they even arrive at the university. We must convince them that the Arbutus will be an invaluable account of their future time at IU, and it is essential to own a copy. STUDENT ATHLETES: As the Arbutus has a vast and exceptional section documenting the year in athletics at Indiana University, marketing towards this population will be key to our campaign. This audience will receive a great benefit from purchasing the book in the sense that their activities as student athletes are extensively represented in the book. STUDENTS WITH GREEK AFFILIATION: Marketing towards this audience can be more straightforward because they function in many ways as a group. The individuals in these organizations tend to be very involved around campus, so they may be more inclined to purchase the Arbutus which documents annual campus life. 5
Parents (secondary) Parents are necessary to reach because they play an important role in the financial return for the Arbutus. In most cases, they are paying for the arbutus that the student decides to purchase. Alumni (secondary) Alumni are a demographic that is important to reach because they are very helpful in financial support. The alumni group is always a good place to get funding from, especially if they were previously involved in the Arbutus during their time at Indiana University. Staff (secondary) The staff of Indiana University can be just as invested in campus life as the students. This audience can be divided into 2 main segments. COACHING STAFF: The coaching staff spend the majority of their time and effort focusing on the success of IU athletics, therefore they will have a significant interest in the athletic section of the book. Since this section is so detailed, they would experience great gains from the purchase of the Arbutus. ACADEMIC FACULTY/STAFF: Through the education and guidance of Indiana University students, this group is committed to campus life and the well-being of the university. They would certainly gain benefit from having an account of each year that they contributed a huge chunk of their lives to this institution. Target Audiences 6
Key Messages Students (primary) There are two objectives that we want to convey to students: to increase sales and to increase participation in the Arbutus by increasing the number of students who get their pictures taken. The price will be a concern for this group, so we must convey how they will benefit from purchasing the book. They will benefit most from participating in and buying the book, because it is their memories the Arbutus is seeking to document. They are also the group who we as marketers have the most access to as they live either on campus or in the general vicinity of the university. We would like to inform students and increase awareness of the Arbutus, and in turn largely increase sales of the book to this group. We would like to see a 10% increase in Arbutus yearbook sales. This means that the Arbutus would have to sell at least 4,000 books to the student body population. This well help increase sales. Addressing the other goal of getting people involved, we want to see 15% of the student body at Indiana University to be photographed for print in the Arbutus. Currently there are only 2,000 students being photographed. This will not only increase participation but will make students feel like they need to buy the book because they are in it. Staff (secondary) We will also have great access to this audience because even if they do not live directly in Bloomington, they are at the university teaching classes daily. We would like to inform this group, increase awareness, and also boost their sales. With this group we also have the hope that if they purchase the book and enjoy it, the may relay the benefits they experienced to their students who would in turn express interest. The ultimate goal with staff is to provide them an account of their tenure at Indiana University. Whether they were here a year or forty, the Arbutus is a great way to document the history and events on campus. The faculty is easy to reach because they typically have interaction with campus whether it is walking around from building to building or by reading the IDS. They are easy to reach via events, emails, and tactile messages. We would like to see 100 members of the IU faculty buy an Arbutus. Since this is a secondary audience it is not our primary concern yet is still a stakeholder in the book itself so we do not want to exclude them from the target audience. 7
Key Messages Derived from the SWOT analysis and the survey research conducted . Parents (secondary) The ultimate goal with this target audience is to urge parents to provide a financial commitment for their child’s yearbook. Key messages we want to communicate are how to order an Arbutus yearbook and the price of the yearbook. The goal of targeting parents is to get them to purchase an Arbutus by making it sound like an investment they need to buy their child. The message needs to be clear and easy to follow or else parents will not buy the book. We would like to see a 5% increase in orders generated by parents. This means that out of the almost 40,000 students at Indiana University, 2,000 orders must be placed by parents. This will help in the ultimate goal of increasing sales. Alumni (secondary) When addressing alumni the goal is somewhat similar to parents however a different message needs to be used to reach them. Where parents currently have an interest in Indiana University because their child is a student, alumni want to return to their past by connecting to the current life at Indiana University. The goal of targeting alumni is to get them to purchase an Arbutus in order to reconnect with the campus. The message needs to emphasize the importance of staying in contact with their alma matter. Since this audience has never been considered previously, we would like to see a small increase in alumni purchasing the Arbutus, only 100 books. This may seem small, but every book sold helps the Arbutus budget. 8
Measurable Objectives Objectives As you can see by the key messages to our target audience, we want to focus on two objectives for the 2009-2010 academic year. 1. Increase Arbutus Sales 2. Increase student participation in the Arbutus by increasing the number of students that get their yearbook pictures taken Measuring the Objectives Increase Arbutus Sales Students:10% increase in sales (approximately 4,000 books) Parents: 5% increase in sales (approximately 2,000 books) Faculty: 100 books sold Alumni: 100 books sold Current books sold: 1,800 Total: 7,000 books sold Increase Student Participation Students: 15% of the student body to get portraits taken for the Arbutus (approximately 6,000 students) Current students that get their photos taken: 2,000 Total: 8,000 students portraits taken 9
In order to increase sales of the Arbutus yearbook we suggest three tactics to achieve this goal.
Early in the campaign process, we will discuss lowering the price of the yearbook so it is financially accessible for as many members of our target audience as possible. This will be communicated by using email, direct mail, and announcements via the Arbutus webpage that is accessible through IUB.edu. Students, our primary audience, are more likely to use IUB web pages and to respond to email because it is simple to use and respond to.
Make the Arbutus more available for students to see. The goal is to place the Arbutus at 10 frequently visited campus locations such asindividual school libraries,computer labs, in the IMU, etc. This will increase the amount of times it is viewed and will increase buzz generated with this well-made and creative product.
As an incentive for students to look a the yearbook, Arbutus staff members will be standing by the books and handing out $5 off coupons for asking them questions about the yearbook.
Tools & Tactics
We will go straight to the source of our primary target audience. This will be carried out by the Arbutus staff physically going out to Greek organizations, sports teams, and other student-run organizations with copies of the book and informing them about the benefits of purchasing the Arbutus. This face-to-face marketing technique allows the staff to answer any questions the audience may have and gives them the chance to flip through an actual copy of the book. Once they experience the impressive quality of the book, we are convinced they will be more inclined to make the purchase.
Event outside of major campus buildings. Booth set up outside Ballantine, Kelley School of Business, Herman B. Wells library, and on 10 th street near the psychology building with the Arbutus and the opportunity to look at and purchase one of the yearbooks. If a target audience member is talked to, than they receive a coupon for $5 off the purchase price of their yearbook.
Tools & Tactics To achieve our goals in this campaign we will try several tactics that will cater to the likes of our intended audience.
Increasing Photo Opportunities
In order to spread student interest in getting their photos taken, we have developed 4 steps.
We will develop a comprehensive communications publicity plan.
a. Provide various incentives to students including decreased advanced purchase price
b. Create coupons for a percentage/dollar discount if get portrait taken for Arbutus
c. If you bring in previous years Arbutus than you can receive a percentage off for being a “repeat” customer (increases product loyalty)
We will also develop an email publicity plan to remind students to get their portrait taken and inform them about the Arbutus and the events that are occurring on campus.
We will increase the amount of advertising in the Indiana Daily Student and utilize the services they are willing to provide for no payment in order to simultaneously cut budget costs.
We will provide alternative popular campus sites for students to get their picture taken not limiting to only the Journalism school. These sites include the Kelley School of Business, The Indiana University Memorial Union, Ballantine Hall, Herman B. Wells Library and other major campus buildings.
Timeline Coupons distributed after portrait taken. This is the job of the Arbutus staff. Beginning when photos are taken in September. Place Arbutus on campus where the yearbook is highly visible and trafficked. This is the job of the Arbutus staff. Completed by September 2009. Go to student organizations on campus to promote the book. Hand out promotional coupons. This is the job of the Arbutus staff. TO be completed by September 2009. Develop communications plan. This is the job of Hoosier Publics. Any printing costs will be covered by the Arbutus. To be completed by April 2009. Develop email collateral. Hoosier Publics will develop the emails and it is the job of the Arbutus staff to distribute the emails via list serv. To be completed by August 2009. Place ads in the IDS newspaper to let student know when and where portrait sessions are being held. Hoosier Publics will develop the ads and send them to the IDS. Completed September 2009 to be run until December 2009. 12
Budget The Arbutus has an annual budget of approximately $200,000. This budget is directly dependent on the profits gained from the sale of the previous year’s books. Its majority is primarily allocated towards the production costs of the book, with only a minimal sum being set aside for marketing efforts. A sum of approximately $2,000 has been set aside to execute the marketing strategies that Hoosier Publics has laid out for the Arbutus. The Arbutus has an annual budget of approximately $200,000. This budget is directly dependent on the profits gained from the sale of the previous year’s books. Its majority is primarily allocated towards the production costs of the book, with only a minimal sum being set aside for marketing efforts. A sum of approximately $2,000 has been set aside to execute the marketing strategies that Hoosier Publics has laid out for the Arbutus.
E-mail and IUB Website Announcements
With the creation of an extensive list serv, sending out
e-mails informing our target audience about deadlines,
photo opportunities, and special offers will be
Posting announcements on IUB websites where our target
audience frequents is another cost-free tactic.
Given that the Arbutus staff is made up of student
volunteers, this tactic will be more time consuming than
others but doesn’t force us to pull from the budget.
Indiana Daily Student Advertising
We will utilize the unique resources available to us by
being based on a college campus and take advantage
of free advertising within the IDS.
This is the only one of our tactics that requires
monetary contributions from our budget.
Approximately $1,500 will be spent on the production
costs of printing the coupons.
Alternative Photo Sites
The remaining $500 of our budget will be paid to the
photographer for the extra time it will take to set up
in the various campus locations outside of the
Evaluation of Success 15 To evaluate the success of the Arbutus campaign Hoosier Publics will evaluate the tools and tactics that we provided to see how the job was completed as well as look at the timeline to evaluate if the jobs were completed on time. The large objective of the campaign was to increase the sales of the Arbutus for the 2009-2010 academic year. During the summer of 2010, sales needs to be gauged to see if the goals were met. If they were not, evaluation need to take place to see what tools and tactics worked and what did not. The editor-and-chief of the Arbutus, Lea Wilcox said that any improvement in sales would be a successful campaign. A successful campaign for us would be to sell 6,000-8,000 more yearbooks. Evaluation of this number would examine how many books were sold. To spread interest about the Arbutus, the tactic of putting books around campus was a solution. If we place 10 books around campus in major foot trafficked areas by the beginning of the school year in 2009, this would be considered a successful measure of this campaign. The amount of $5 off coupons that are passed out can help measure how many students/faculty/staff was directly talked to. Coupons will be color coded to see who redeems their coupon. This will evaluate how well the campaign reached the targeted audience and what events and promotions worked.