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How to Promote and Market Your Student Publication


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This is a presentation that I gave today at the Associated Collegiate Press and College Media Advisers fall conference in Austin. The presentation should give you a step-by-step plan to help you create a marketing plan to improve your credibility and perception on campus.

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How to Promote and Market Your Student Publication

  1. 1. How to Promote and Market Your Student Newspaper or Creating a Public Relations and Marketing Strategy Presented by Dr. Kay L. Colley Assistant Professor and Student Media Director Texas Wesleyan University
  2. 2. What do you currently do to market your student publications? <ul><li>Advertise within your publications </li></ul><ul><li>Cross-promote with other student publications </li></ul><ul><li>Host events or contests </li></ul><ul><li>Foster word-of-mouth marketing </li></ul><ul><li>Subscribe to social media </li></ul><ul><li>Collaborate with other campus organizations </li></ul><ul><li>Attend recruiting events </li></ul><ul><li>Attend job fairs on campus </li></ul>
  3. 3. How do you determine which of these or other choices will work for you? The Big Question:
  4. 4. How to create “The plan” <ul><li>Use the public relations campaign strategy of ROPE </li></ul><ul><li>Create an integrated marketing communication campaign </li></ul><ul><li>Combine the tools from public relations and marketing </li></ul><ul><li>Ultimate goal: To increase awareness or visibility of your student media in the campus community </li></ul>
  5. 5. What is ROPE? R esearch O bjectives P rogramming Evaluation
  6. 6. <ul><li>SWOT Analysis </li></ul><ul><li>Research tools </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Primary </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Secondary </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Qualitative </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Quantitative </li></ul></ul><ul><li>How do I choose? </li></ul>Research
  7. 7. <ul><li>Research—what we have </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Rambler focus group findings from Spring 2009 (qualitative, primary/secondary) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>nGenera focus group findings from Fall 2009 (qualitative, secondary) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Institutional research report on student demographics (qualitative/quantitative, secondary) </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. <ul><li>Research—what we want </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Rambler e-mail survey of students (quantitative, primary) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Content analysis of Fall 2009 newspapers (qualitative, primary) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Content analysis of website (qualitative, primary) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Focus groups—student, faculty, staff—website (qualitative, primary) </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. Why do research? <ul><li>Gives us a benchmark </li></ul><ul><li>Tells us what people think, in their own words </li></ul><ul><li>Tells us why people think what they think </li></ul><ul><li>Gives us ideas of how we can improve </li></ul><ul><li>Lets us know which programming tactics should work </li></ul>
  10. 10. Analyzing the Research <ul><li>Where do you start? </li></ul><ul><li>Remember, every research project is undertaken to get specific information. If you haven’t made that clear from the beginning, you’ll have a hard time making sense of the research. </li></ul>
  11. 11. Objectives <ul><li>Specific and quantifiable for measurement/evaluation </li></ul><ul><li>Support your overall goal </li></ul><ul><li>Can be impact and output objectives </li></ul><ul><li>Should be no more than 8 objectives </li></ul>
  12. 12. <ul><li>Objectives--Impact </li></ul><ul><ul><li>To improve newspaper perception as a credible source by 20% by May 2010 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>To increase page views on by 5% per month </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>To increase readership by 20% in 2009-2010 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>To increase number of fans to 1000 by Jan. 31, 2010 </li></ul></ul>
  13. 13. <ul><li>Objectives--Output </li></ul><ul><ul><li>To provide source feedback survey to each source after the story appears </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>To sign-up 10 people per week for e-mailed updates </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>To deliver papers to individual classes each issue as requested </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>To invite 10 new people to become fans per week </li></ul></ul>
  14. 14. Programming <ul><li>Start with a list of everything you could do </li></ul><ul><li>Narrow and focus based on your objectives and budget </li></ul><ul><li>Make sure your programming supports your objectives </li></ul>
  15. 15. <ul><li>Programming--Done </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Joined student media associations </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Redesigned paper (summer) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Revised job descriptions, pay and hiring processes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Began training prior to classes and continued throughout semester, bringing in outside experts to supplement knowledge </li></ul></ul>
  16. 16. Programming--Done <ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Returned to beat system of coverage and announced beat reporter via email to departments </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Redesigned rate card and invoices and had professionally printed </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Launched new website </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Launched social media sites </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Launched video log, using students throughout campus as hosts </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul>
  17. 17. <ul><li>Programming--Done </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Met with President’s Office to have newspapers sent to Board of Trustees </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Met with offices across campus to collaborate on coverage </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Met with faculty members in developmental English to provide newspapers directly to class </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Advertised website every issue </li></ul></ul>
  18. 18. <ul><li>Programming—In Process </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Signage—for new location and racks </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Racks—purchase of new racks that are branded </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Source survey—sent to every person who is a source to help understand veracity and credibility </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Contests—focused on Facebook to increase student involvement </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Cross promotions—Music department, theatre department, athletics </li></ul></ul>
  19. 19. Evaluation <ul><li>The other side of the research coin </li></ul><ul><li>Focused on results of objectives </li></ul><ul><li>Should be undertaken throughout the campaign </li></ul><ul><li>Can take many forms, depending on your programming and objectives </li></ul>
  20. 20. <ul><li>Evaluation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Objective </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>To improve newspaper perception as a credible source by 20% by May 2010 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Evaluation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Campus-wide, benchmark survey administered at end of Fall; mid-Spring; May 2010 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Conduct focus group in early Spring to determine actions </li></ul></ul>
  21. 21. <ul><li>Evaluation </li></ul><ul><li>Objective </li></ul><ul><ul><li>To increase page views on by 5% per month </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Evaluation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Review page view counts on a weekly basis </li></ul></ul>
  22. 22. Evaluation <ul><li>Source survey—how would you evaluate this? </li></ul><ul><li>What about those focus groups and surveys that you did in the research phase? </li></ul><ul><li>What about the content analysis of the newspaper? How would you evaluate that, or would you? </li></ul>
  23. 23. What can you take home with you? <ul><li>Marketing and public relations campaigns allow you to gain more credibility on campus, more funding from advertisers, and more good students as recruits </li></ul><ul><li>Taking the time to plan and put on paper a marketing and public relations strategy will give you the strategic direction you need to succeed </li></ul>
  24. 24. Feel free to contact me at: Dr. Kay L. Colley [email_address] 817-531-6525 Twitter: @kaycolley Blog: Website: Student Media Director for